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Five freeze dried foods to use on camping trips

There is a whole population of us baby boomers who are too young to slow down, but too old to carry heavy packs. For me, going lightweight in my gear selections is no longer optional.

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by Dirk Puckett

Freeze dried foods have long been associated with astronauts, survivalists and extreme outdoors activities, but you can take advantage of the same benefits when it comes to planning your next camping trip menu. Instead of lugging coolers full of ingredients to your campsite or resigning yourself to eating boring, basic camp fare, take a look at what freeze dried foods have to offer your taste buds.

With freeze dried or dehydrated foods, all you need to do is add boiling water to make a tasty meal.

With freeze dried or dehydrated foods, all you need to do is add boiling water to make a tasty meal.

Using freeze dried food while camping makes perfect sense. Freeze dried foods aren’t heavy, don’t spoil and don’t lose flavor or texture when properly prepared. Because they are individually packaged, you can quickly prepare each meal with boiling water. Stir, seal and eat a delicious and nutritious meal right from the pouch. Learn what emergency preparedness experts have known for a while about freeze dried food by creating your camping trip meals using these five categories:


The entrees to choose from are as varied as your tastes. Whether you’re preparing for an emergency, backpacking, or heading out to your favorite campsite, a few freeze dried entrees will help you create a hearty, satisfying meal with minimal preparation. Some examples of delicious meal options include beef stew, chili, spaghetti and meatballs, beef stroganoff, beans and rice, lasagna, chicken ranchero and Cajun chicken and rice. If your diet requires something more specific, look at vegetarian, gluten free or low sodium options.

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Freeze Dried Sides

To keep your body fueled up with calories and to compliment any main course, turn to freeze dried sides. Easy to prepare in individual pouches, side dishes can round out your lunch or dinner and turn your camp meals from boring to delicious. Try cheese and crackers, diced carrots, green beans, vegetable couscous, buttered corn, mashed potatoes and gravy or creamy soups, among other selections. Generally, the serving sizes for these sides are for just one person to round out a meal, so bring extras if your group will be expending a lot of calories while camping.

Freeze Dried Snacks

To maintain your energy levels when camping, take some freeze dried snacks along, especially if you’re hiking or backpacking. Trail mixes, energy bars and dried fruit are lightweight, long-lasting and delicious. With options like freeze dried banana chips, strawberries, mangos or a fruit and granola blend, these healthy snacks need no preparation—just open and enjoy. The natural flavors will satisfy your sweet tooth and give you the energy to keep going.

Freeze Dried Desserts

Take along some desserts that you don’t have to prepare over the campfire, such as chocolate pudding, hot apple cobbler, cheesecake or ice cream. Freeze dried versions of these desserts are prepped and eaten in their own pouches, making cleanup a breeze.

Freeze Dried Drink Mixes

Avoid dehydration by drinking lots of water while you are camping, and give yourself extra incentive by mixing in freeze dried drink blends. Whether you want hot cocoa or hot cider in the evenings, or want to up your caloric intake with a fruit juice blend, add a freeze dried drink mix to water for a tasty flavor boost.

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Dirk Puckett writes for Daily Bread, about topics such as food storage, emergency preparedness and sustainable lifestyles. Reach your long-term food storage needs by visiting

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