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Just Add Water, then Bon Appetit!

There’s nothing like a long day of hiking to work up an appetite, so it makes sense to put a lot of thought into the types of foods that you’re going to bring along in your pack. Obviously you don’t want something that will weigh you down, but it has to be packed with energy, healthy, and nutritious – and of course it would be nice if it tasted good, too.

Fortunately, many companies make dehydrated foods that are specifically designed for throwing into a pack and enjoying in the great outdoors. If just-add-water instructions make you think of flavorless, mushy instant oatmeal, never fear – the dehydrated foods available these days are a far cry from what they were in the past.

dehydrated-food

There are a lot of brands of dehydrated food, so you’ll want to do your own taste-testing to find the one that’s best for you. Personally, I like the ones made by Pack Lite Foods. These are 100% vegetarian meals with decent portion sizes, no preservatives, and great flavor.

Here was my menu on a recent day-long hike:

  • Breakfast: Wilderness Granola with Milk (the milk is already in the bag in powder form – just add water and a handful of fresh berries if they’re growing along the trail)
  • Lunch: South o’ the Border Chili, with lots of high-protein beans, fresh veggies, and just the right kick of spiciness
  • Dinner: Will’s Wild Rice Dinner, chock full of vegetables and cranberries smothered in a creamy sauce

Dehydrated foods can get expensive, with a dinner selling for $4.75, but the feeling of having a full belly at the end of a long day is definitely worth it. And it’s nice to know that you’re giving your body the fuel it needs without all the extra salt and fatty meats that many other brands add to their dehydrated foods.

What about you? Have you found a favorite brand of dehydrated foods? Let everyone know which ones you think taste best and offer the best value.