How Do You Make Dehydrated Meals for Backpacking?

By Robert Palmer

Dehydrating meals for backpacking is a great way to save weight and space while you’re on the trail. It also allows you to enjoy a variety of meals without having to carry a lot of bulky ingredients with you. Plus, dehydrated meals are much more nutritious than canned or packaged foods, as they retain most of their nutritional value.

Step 1: Preparation

The first step in making dehydrated meals is to prepare the ingredients. This includes washing your vegetables and cutting them into small, uniform pieces.

You’ll also need to cook any proteins such as meat or beans before dehydrating them. Once everything is prepped and cooked, it’s time to start dehydrating.

Step 2: Dehydration

Dehydrating your food can be done in an oven, a food dehydrator, or even in the sun. One important thing to keep in mind when drying food is temperature control; too high of a temperature can ruin your food, while too low of a temperature won’t dry it out enough.

Generally speaking, 125-135°F (50-55°C) is the ideal temperature range for most fruits and vegetables. If you’re using an oven, use the “warm” setting instead of “bake” or “broil” to avoid overcooking your food.

Step 3: Rehydration

Once your food has been adequately dried out (it should be leathery but not brittle), it’s time to rehydrate it for eating. To do this, simply add boiling water and let it sit for 10-15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed by the food and it has reached its original consistency. You can also add cold water if you prefer; however, this may take slightly longer for the food to rehydrate.

Step 4: Flavoring

Finally, once your meal has been rehydrated and heated up (if necessary), all that remains is adding flavorings and seasonings! Most dried herbs and spices will work just fine here; however, if you want something more exotic like curry powder or chili flakes, make sure to add them before hydrating so they have time to infuse into the meal while it sits in boiling water.


Making dehydrated meals for backpacking can be a great way to reduce weight and save space while still enjoying nutritious meals on the trail. With just a few simple steps – preparation, dehydration, rehydration and flavoring – you can easily make delicious backpacking meals that are both light-weight and full of flavor!