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Backpacking Meals and Cooking Preferences

Dehydrating Backpacking Food
Many backpackers like to dehydrate meals to eat on backpacking trips

What’s your cooking style on backpacking trips?

Do you prefer to mix up your own freezer bag meals using store ingredients or ingredients you’ve dehydrated at home? Or do you like eating soupy, one-pot meals that easy to heat and clean up?

Many hikers like buying commercial dehydrated dinners from companies like Mountain House since they’re easy to rehydrate in the bag and don’t require any clean up. And others like eating normal food that they can buy in the store, like cheese, bread, salami, peanut butter, tortillas, or pasta.

In order to find out what backpackers really do, we asked 280 backpackers about their food preparation preferences on backpacking trips. As you can imagine, we got a wide variety of responses, which you can browse below. It makes for pretty interesting reading if you’re looking for good ideas about what to eat on a backpacking trip!

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  1. I do a little of both. I dehydrate some of my meals and I also buy Mountain House. I like a warm meal and really like my coffee.

  2. I like a hot meal for dinner – I do a mixture of Backpackers Pantry (which I find better quality than Mountain House, plus more vegetarian options), Good-to-Go, and Outdoor Herbivore with my own concoctions (couscous curries etc). Breakfast is usually Bob’s Red Mill mueseli with dried milk & instant coffee. For lunch I like Justin’s peanut or almond butter packets on pita or Wasa toast, Babybel cheeses, dried fruit/nuts, and one of my favorite trail snacks, crystalized ginger.

  3. Very interesting post and comments! But I’d really like to ask a question – to rehydrate a solo dried meal in the pot, rather than in a freezer bag, what is the minimum size pot I could get away with? I prefer to cosy cook as it minimises fuel (alcohol stove) consumption, so I’m looking at small solo pots/mugs for a do-it-all system that will allow me to rehydrate/cosy cook all in the pot, without the need for freezer bags. I like the 700-750ml sized pots such as the Snow Peak Trek, Toaks 750 and Evernew 750 pasta pot. Any idea if these are big enough for in-the-pot rehydrating? Thanks for such a helpful article!

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