For years I have relied on store bought dehydrated meals while hiking and camping. In most instances you can find brands like Mountain House and Backpacker’s Pantry with many options from breakfast to dessert. On the rare occasion, I’ll pack along a MRE when I can get my hands on them.
Recently though, I’ve been toying with the idea of doing my own dehydrating. This would allow me to control what ingredients are used and portion size. After quite a bit of research I decided it was time to go for it. I purchased a $35 electric dehydrator and started working on recipes.
I successfully tested my first trail dish today… Trail Burritos. To my surprise the process was extremely simple. I purchased about a pound of 90% lean ground beef, browned and drained it then rinsed it with hot water to remove any excess grease. I put it back on the stove for a few minutes to cook off most of the excess water before placing in my dehydrator. I heated and rinsed 1 can of black beans and placed them on another tray in the dehydrator and last cut up some orange bell pepper and placed that on it’s on tray in the dehydrator.
The peppers were done in about 8 hours, I left the beef and beans in for about 14 hours (probably done in 12, but I let it run overnight). I placed all the ingredients in a zipper storage bag with 1 cup of instant rice and a packet of burrito mix.
I also bought some soft corn tortilla shells, although I would have been better off with flour tortillas instead. All that was needed while out on the trail was 1 cup of boiling water. I took my small canister stove with me and used water from my hydro-pack. I placed some of the dehydrated burrito filling in a re-purposed Mountain House bag and mixed in the boiling water and let stand for about 5 minutes or so. Spooned some filling onto the tortilla and chowed down.
I made 4 burritos worth in that sitting and barely made a dent in the bag. So, for about $12 I made enough dehydrated burrito filling for 12-16 burritos! way more cost effective than 1, 2 serving meal you would pay $8-$10 for if it was pre-made.
Have you made any of your own dehydrated trail meals? What’s your favorite recipe? Let me know in the comments!