How to Prepare Freeze-Dried Meals

Eating Right on the Trail Has Never Been Easier

Your next backpacking trip is beckoning. You’ve got the gear, planned the route, done the training and psyched up your kids for the journey. You’re good to to go and you’re planning to keep your pack light by carrying freeze-dried foods to fuel the trek. But you want to make sure you do it right, so your young sidekicks don’t wrinkle their noses at a meal that looks more like gruel than granola.

Backpacker's Pantry light and nutritious freeze-dried meals have been fueling adventures for decades. Here's how to go about rehydrating and preparing our freeze dried meal. Spoiler alert: it couldn't be easier!

How to Prepare Backpacker’s Pantry

Every Backpacker’s Pantry meal, whether it’s the protein-packed Santa Fe Style Rice & Beans with Chicken for a zesty lunch, Stroganoff Sauce, Egg Noodles, Beef & Mushrooms for a satisfying dinner or Coconut Key Lime Pie to please your sweet tooth, all you need is water and a little bit of time.

Every Backpacker’s Pantry food package, whether an individual portion or a multi-serving can, comes with instructions on how much water you’ll need to rehydrate your meal. So with a little bit of patience - not much, just enough to pass the time to boil water and wait while food rehydrates - you’ll have tasty meals and snacks that you and even your picky little eaters are sure to enjoy.

Every Backpacker’s Pantry food pack comes with preparation directions, but they all start with water - boiling or cold depending on what you’re making. The amount of water on the package directions is intended for preparation at 5,000 feet. But if you’re exploring at higher elevations, remember that rehydration time doubles with every 5,000 feet of elevation gain.

For example, if you’re making Mango Sticky Rice at 5,000 feet, you need only boil 1 to 1 1/2 cups of water, pour it into the pouch and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Then voila, a yummy breakfast, dessert or snack. If you’re at 10,000 feet, you’ll need to let the water and rice sit for 30 to 40 minutes.

Insider Tips for Freeze-Dried Meal Prep

Don’t add more water than called for in the packaging directions. There is no shortage of online chatter and YouTube videos on rehydrating your backpacking food, and one common thread includes advice on not overdoing on the water you add.

Another common tip is if you are adding freeze-dried meats to another entree for an added punch of protein, do so in cold water. Meats rehydrate faster in hot water, so to keep the texture in tact, rehydrate in cold water and then add to whatever you’re cooking.

If you are rehydrating multiple items to combine in a recipe, do so individually and then add them as you would fresh foods.

No matter what you’re plans, our selection of tasty and convenient meals for anytime of day, that can be prepared and eaten anywhere, can ensure full bellies for energetic journeys. Get out there and enjoy.