When you’re out on the trails, you want to eat something that’s going to keep you going. Something that won’t leave you feeling tired and weak but will instead give you the energy to keep climbing that mountain and exploring the sights. And there’s nothing better than a good, freeze dried meal to do just that!
So, today in this article, we’ve put together a list of our favourite 5 best freeze dried meals for backpacking that we tried and tested for when you’re out on the trails. Whether you’re trekking through mountains or just heading out for a day hike, these meals are sure to keep your energy up and your spirits high.
Also, we will take a look at a comprehensive buying guide of the Best Freeze Dried Meals for Backpacking that will help you choose the perfect one. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What are Backpacking Dehydrated meals?
Backpacking dehydrated meals are a great way to have a nutritious and delicious meal while on the trail. These meals are lightweight, easy to prepare, and require no refrigeration. Dehydrated foods are made by removing all of the water from fresh ingredients using a vacuum process. This leaves behind only the dry matter which is then packaged into airtight containers.
When ready to eat, simply add water (and sometimes heat) back into the food and it will rehydrate itself – making it look and taste just like freshly prepared food! There are many brands that offer backpacker-friendly freeze dried meals including Mountain House, Backpacker’s Pantry, Good To-Go, Outdoor Herbivore, etc. There is something for everyone’s taste buds out there!
Whether you prefer breakfast options like pancakes or oatmeal; lunchtime favourites such as macaroni & cheese or chili; or hearty dinners like lasagne or beef stroganoff – there’s sure to be a freeze dried meal that will satisfy your cravings while on your next adventure!
Are freeze dried meals nutritious?
There are many benefits to freeze dried foods. They offer a longer shelf life, require no refrigeration and can be lightweight and easy to transport – making them ideal for camping, backpacking or emergency situations. But what about their nutritional value? Are freeze dried meals as nutritious as fresh or canned foods?
The process of freeze drying involves removing water from food while preserving its other nutrients. Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables maintain much of their original nutrient content, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, some studies have shown that the vitamin C content in particular is higher in freeze-dried fruits than fresh ones.
However, one downside is that the freezing process does destroy some sensitive vitamins like B12 and folate. But these lost nutrients can easily be made up by including fortified foods or supplements in your diet. Overall, frozen dryer meals provide an excellent source of nutrition – similar to fresh or canned options!
How much do backpacking freeze dried meals usually cost?
Backpacking freeze dried meals are an excellent way to save money and time while backpacking. They usually cost between $5 and $10 per pack (daily serving), depending on the brand and type of food.
For example, a typical dinner from Mountain House costs around $8, while an entree from Backpacker’s Pantry is typically less than $6!
Buying Guide to the Best Freeze Dried Meals for Backpacking:
Looking to buy some freeze dried meals to carry in your backpacks for your next trip? Well, don’t worry! This guide will take you through all important considerations to take note of while choosing an ideal one!
1. Cooking Method
When it comes to backpacking freeze dried meals, there are three main types of cooking methods: pouch, pre-cooked or pot. You should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option carefully before making a purchase.
- Pouch: Pouch meals are the most lightweight option and require no cook time since they’re already fully cooked. However, they can be more expensive than other options and some people find them less flavourful.
- Pre-cooked: Pre-cooked meals take a little longer to prepare since you have to simmer them in water first, but they tend to be more affordable than pouch meals. They also usually have better flavour since all the ingredients are cooked together from the start.
- Pot: Pot meals are similar to pre-cooked meals in terms of preparation time and cost, but they often come with additional spices or seasonings that give them even more flavour. Plus, you can use your pot for other things like boiling water for coffee or tea while you’re on your trip!
2. Cooking Time
Cooking time is another important factor to note while buying the best backpacking freeze dried meals. The average cooking time for most backpackers is about two minutes, which can be achieved by boiling water and then adding it to the meal.
Freeze-dried foods often have a longer cook time than other types of dehydrated food, so it’s important to check the package before you buy. There are a few things that you can do to speed up the process though. One tip is to pre-heat your water before adding it to the meal. This will help cut down on overall cook time.
If you find that your particular freeze dried meal has a very long cook time, consider investing in a portable stove or campfire grill specifically for cooking these types of meals; this way, you’ll always have access to heat when you need it!
3. Energy-Weight Ratio
When you are backpacking, it is important to choose the best freeze dried meals that will provide you with the most calories per ounce.
This way, you can be sure that you are getting the most out of your food and not wasting any valuable space or weight in your backpack. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for high calorie foods for your next hike:
- Look for meals that have at least 100 calories per ounce. This may seem like a lot but remember that when you are hiking all day long, you need to fuel your body properly!
- Make sure that the ingredients list is packed with nutrient-rich items such as lean protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, and vitamins & minerals.
- Choose foods that have minimal packaging waste. You don’t want to end up carrying around extra garbage on your trek, so look for brands/meals that use eco-friendly packaging materials!
4. Shelf Life
When you are backpacking, one of the last things that you want to worry about is your food. You want to be able to enjoy the scenery and not have to worry about whether or not your food will spoil. This is where freeze dried meals come in handy.
Freeze dried foods have a much longer shelf life than fresh foods, so you can rest assured knowing that your food will last for a while. However, it is important to note that not all freeze dried foods are created equal. Some brands have better shelf lives than others, so it is important to do your research before purchasing any backpacking freeze dried meals.
In general, most freeze dried meals will last for around two years when stored properly. However, there are some brands that can last up three or four years without issue – which gives you an extra margin of safety on those long hikes!
My Suggested 5 Best Backpacking Freeze Dried Meals:
1. Mountain House Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Looking for a classic dish that will never go out of style? Look no further than Mountain House Spaghetti with Meat Sauce. This long-lasting freeze-dried meal is perfect for emergency food storage or outdoor activities such as backpacking, camping, and hiking.
All you need is hot water to enjoy this delicious meal in less than 10 minutes. With 7 total servings, there’s enough to feed the whole family! Backed by a 30-year taste guarantee, this meal is made with no preservatives, artificial colours, or flavours.
So, you can rest assured knowing you’re getting a healthy and delicious meal every time. Then why wait? Get your Mountain House Spaghetti with Meat Sauce today!
- Flavour: Beef
- Size: #10 Can
- Preservatives: No Preservatives
- It is a classic dish that is enjoyed by many
- Just add hot water to the can & eat in less than 10 minutes
- Can be made with room temperature water in case of power outage.
- Perfect for emergency food storage or outdoor activities such as backpacking, camping, hiking, etc.
- Made with no preservative, artificial colours, or flavours.
- Some people didn’t like the flavour of the sauce!
If you’re looking for a tasty meal that’s quick and easy to make, then look no further than Mountain House Spaghetti with Meat Sauce. This delicious meal can be made in no time at all!
Just add hot water to the can and enjoy a satisfying meal in less than 10 minutes. If you are ever caught off guard by an emergency or power outage, you can still enjoy this classic dish by making it with room temperature water.
Ideal for emergency food storage or outdoor activities such as backpacking, camping, hiking and more!
2. Peak Refuel Beef Stroganoff
The Peak Refuel Beef Stroganoff Pack contains freeze dried meals that are both tasty and nutritious. Made with high quality, non-GMO ingredients, each pouch contains up to 53 grams of protein.
This pack includes 10 total pouches. Contains 2 of the following; Biscuits and Gravy, Strawberry Granola, Beef Stroganoff, Sweet Pork & Rice, Chicken Alfredo Pasta. Freeze drying locks in important nutrients like natural taste and texture while easy preparation makes it a great choice for those on the go.
Not to mention, it’s loaded with important nutrition like vitamins and minerals. So go ahead and explore your world knowing that you’re eating Peak Refuel!
- Flavour: Strawberry, chicken, beef
- Unit count: 1
- Protein: 53g/pouch
- Tasty and nutritious
- Made from high quality, non-GMO ingredients.
- Up to 53 grams of protein per pouch
- Contains 10 pouches.
- Extremely easy to prepare.
- Not suited for people with lactose intolerance!
If you’re looking for a way to incorporate more protein into your day (especially while you are out on outdoor excursions)—and if you want to do it in a convenient, tasty way, then Peak Refuel Beef Stroganoff Pack is the product for you.
With 10 pouches that are filled with 53 grams of protein per pouch and made from non-GMO ingredients, there’s no reason not to give this product a try!
3. Mountain House Biscuits & Gravy
Looking for a delicious, easy to store and portable meal option? Look no further than Mountain House Biscuits & Gravy!
Made with buttermilk biscuits and pork sausage gravy, this freeze dried food requires no artificial preservatives, flavours, or colours. Just add hot water for a delicious meal in under 10 minutes- with no clean-up required! Perfect for camping trips or backpacking adventures as well as emergency food storage.
Plus, the recyclable packaging comes with a 30 year taste guarantee, so you can be confident your meal will be just as good years from now as it is today!
- Flavour: Buttermilk
- Size: 6-Pack
- Preservatives: No Preservatives
- Comes in an easy to store format.
- No preservatives, artificial flavours, or colours
- Just add hot water for a delicious meal in under 10 minutes
- Ideal for backpacking, camping or hiking trips.
- Also comes with a 30 year taste guarantee.
- It takes a tad more time to cook than advertised!
If you’re looking for a delicious, hearty meal that’s easy to transport and store, look no further than Mountain House Biscuits & Gravy. It’s got just the right amount of savoury flavour to keep your taste buds happy and your belly full, without weighing you down.
This is the perfect meal for backpacking, camping, or hiking trips. You can enjoy it in under 10 minutes, and it comes with a 30 year taste guarantee!
4. Backpacker’s Pantry Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken
There’s no need to sacrifice a delicious and satisfying meal when you’re camping, hiking, or backpacking. With Backpacker’s Pantry Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken, you can have it all! This take-anywhere meal is lightweight and easy to prepare – just add water according to the instructions on the packaging.
Plus, it has a long shelf life so it’s perfect for stocking up your emergency food supply. But the best part about Backpacker’s Pantry Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken is that it tastes incredible! The creamy alfredo sauce roasted red peppers chicken and noodles are nourishing and delicious – plus, each serving has 40 grams of protein to keep you fuelled up throughout your adventure.
And like all of Backpacker’s products, this dish is made with non-GMO ingredients that are natural and organic. So go ahead and enjoy a hassle-free gourmet meal in the great outdoors!
- Number of items: 6
- Flavour: Chicken
- Weight: 2.5 Pounds
- Size: Pouch (6 – Count)
- Lightweight and easy to prepare.
- Ideal for camping, hiking, backpacking, or hunting
- Packed with 40 grams of protein.
- Made with non-GMO, natural and organic ingredients.
- Contains 2 serving pouches.
- The product has a few ratings, but they are very satisfied clients.
When it comes to camping, hiking, and backpacking, the last thing you want to worry about is lugging around heavy food containers. That’s why we love Backpacker’s Pantry Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken!
With two serving per pouches and made with non-GMO ingredients, it’s lightweight and easy to prepare ideal for your next camping trip or hike. It also packs a punch with 40 grams of protein per pouch, so you can remain fuelled throughout your journey.
5. Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce
The Mountain House lasagne with meat sauce is a delicious, freeze-dried pasta dish that can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime. With no refrigeration or preservatives needed, this hearty meal can easily be taken on the go for backpacking trips or emergency food storage.
Packing six individual servings per case, Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce provides an easy and lightweight way to enjoy a classic Italian favourite without all the hassle. And when you’re finished, simply recycle the pouch to reduce waste.
So, go ahead and treat yourself to a hassle-free, delicious meal with Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce!
- Diet Type: Vegetarian
- Flavour: Cheese
- Size: 6-Pack
- Preservatives: No Preservatives
- Consists of pasta with cheese in a rich tomato meat sauce
- It is freeze dried to lock in nutrients and freshness.
- Produced without the use of any synthetic additives.
- One pouch serves one person and there are six pouches per case.
- Pouch is recyclable hence reduces waste.
- There’s not enough calories per serving….so you might consider adding some extra food especially on long hikes!
The Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce is a great option for a hot meal on the go. It’s tasty and nutritious, easy to prepare and it comes in a convenient pouch that is light weight and recyclable.
It’s perfect for camping, hiking or just everyday use. The 6-pack case offers a great value while still keeping your budget in check!
1. Is freeze-dried food good for backpacking?
When it comes to backpacking, food is an important part of the equation. Not only do you need to make sure you have enough calories to keep your energy up, but you also need to consider the weight and bulk of your food.
Freeze-dried foods are a great option for backpackers because they are lightweight and easy to pack. Plus, they offer a variety of options that can fit any dietary needs or preferences!
2. What brand of freeze-dried food is best?
There are many different freeze-dried foods on the market, and it can be difficult to decide which brand is best for you.
If you’re looking for the best freeze-dried food, there are two brands that stand out above the rest: Mountain House and Backpacker’s Pantry.
3. Is freeze-dried food good for survival?
Freeze-dried foods are a great option for survival because they have a long shelf life and can be easily transported. They are also lightweight and easy to store, making them ideal for emergency situations.
Additionally, freeze-dried foods retain their nutritional value better than other forms of food storage, so you can be sure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs in an emergency situation.
4. How long do freeze-dried backpacking meals last?
Freeze-dried backpacking meals are a great way to have a nutritious and delicious meal while on the trail. But how long do they last?
The answer depends on several factors, including how well you store them and what kind of food it is. Generally speaking, most freeze-dried foods will last for 3-5 years if stored in a cool, dry place.
However, there are some items that can last even longer. For example, dehydrated fruits and vegetables can often be stored for up to 10 years!
5. Does freeze-dried food need oxygen absorbers?
Freeze-dried foods are a great way to store your food for long periods of time. However, one thing you need to be aware of is that they can go bad if not stored properly. One way to help prevent this is by using oxygen absorbers.
Oxygen absorbers are small packets that contain chemicals that absorb oxygen. This helps keep the freeze-dried food fresh and prevents it from going bad. The oxygen absorption process also helps preserve the colour and flavour of the food.
6. What is healthier dehydrated or freeze-dried?
Most vitamins and minerals are preserved in freeze-dried foods. While dehydrated foods, on the other hand, can lose up to 40% of their vitamins and minerals during the dehydration process.
This is due to the fact that heat is used in dehydrators which breaks down many of these nutrients. Freeze-drying does not use any heat, meaning that all nutritional value is retained.
So, in terms of nutritional value, freeze-dried foods are the clear winner. However, both dehydrated and freeze-dried foods offer other benefits that make them worth considering!
7. What survival food lasts the longest?
Honey can last indefinitely if stored properly! The main reason honey doesn’t spoil is because of its high sugar content.
Sugar acts as a preservative by absorbing moisture from the air and preventing bacteria from growing. Furthermore, the low pH level of honey (3.9) also helps to inhibit the growth of microorganisms.
8. How many days’ worth of food can you carry backpacking?
One of the key considerations when planning a backpacking trip is how much food to bring. After all, you need to eat to survive and having enough food is essential for enjoying your time in the wilderness.
But just how much food do you need? And how many days’ worth of food can you realistically carry with you? The answer to these questions depends on a number of factors, including the length of your trip, the amount of mileage you plan on covering each day, and whether or not you’re comfortable carrying extra weight.
For most backpackers, it’s realistic to carry 3-5 days’ worth of food at a time. This will allow you to cover significant ground each day without being burdened by an excessively heavy pack.
9. Can freeze dried chicken go bad?
It is possible for freeze dried chicken to go bad, but it is not common. The main reason why freeze dried chicken would go bad is if it were not stored properly. Freeze drying involves removing all the water from the food, which makes it very shelf stable.
However, if freeze dried chicken is exposed to moisture or high humidity, it can start to spoil. Spoiled freeze dried chicken will have an off odour and a slimy texture. It must not be consumed and must be discarded immediately.
10. Does freeze-dried food have bacteria?
Freeze-dried foods are considered to be sterile, meaning that there is no live bacteria present. However, freeze-drying does not necessarily kill all bacteria; it simply stops them from growing.
So, while the food itself may be safe to eat, the packaging it comes in could potentially harbour harmful bacteria!
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The Bottom Line
We hope this list of the best backpacking freeze dried meals helps you find a tasty, nutritious meal that you can enjoy while on the trail. There’s nothing better than being able to enjoy a hot dinner after a long day of hiking!
If you’re looking for more information about backpacking, check out our other articles on the topic! Thanks for reading, If you think I forgot something or if you simply want to share a story or some advice, feel free to leave your comment below! Be Safe and Have Fun.!