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Freeze-Drying Your Own Backpacking Meals: How to Eat Your Favorite Town Food on the Trail


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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Freeze-Drying Your Own Backpacking Meals: How to Eat Your Favorite Town Food on the Trail

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  • #3736642
    Drew Smith
    BPL Member

    @drewsmith

    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    Companion forum thread to: Freeze-Drying Your Own Backpacking Meals: How to Eat Your Favorite Town Food on the Trail

    In this freeze-drying installment, we discuss the history of freeze-drying and experiment with using a freeze dryer to prepare our favorite take-out town meal into the backcountry.

    #3737147
    Kevin Garrison
    BPL Member

    @kgarrison

    Locale: SF Bay Area

    Quick couple of questions.  Does each tray hold one meal?  Do you vacuum seal after they are done or does the freeze dryer both freeze and vacuum seal.  It seems like 3 days for 4 meals is a lot.

    #3737649
    Drew Smith
    BPL Member

    @drewsmith

    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    @Kevin Garrison – I’d say more like 2-3 meals per tray (roughly a quart volume), so 8-12 per run if fully loaded. A run typically takes 30-36 hr, so 1.5 days rather than 3. Yes the process is slow, but the hands-on time with the dryer is fairly minimal: check/replenish oil levels in the vacuum pump, close the drain, a couple of entries on the touch screen and then you walk away until it’s done. You’ll spend much more time prepping the food (even take-out).

    The dryer does not do any food storage work. You can vacuum-seal, but I do that more for individual meals pre- trip. For longer-term storage I have been packing food in resealable mylar bags and tossing in a few oxygen-absorbing packets. I’ll address food storage at more length in a future installment as this is fairly crucial to maximizing the value of freeze-drying.

    #3757598
    Josh J
    BPL Member

    @uahiker

    i’ve done some looking around and it looks like you can freeze dry with dry ice at home. anyone try it? might have to give it a go! especially since buy dry ice is way cheaper than buying a machine for $$$$ for the few times a year I’ll be using it

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