The 5 Best Freeze-Dried Backpacking Food in 2020

How It’s Made
The process of cooking food for tourists usually consists of three stages.


Stage 1: already prepared, ready-to-eat, foods, and various ingredients are placed in the freezer and kept there until they are completely frozen. This ensures that the water in the food is removed after the sublimation process and the food does not melt in the second stage, during drying.

Stage 2: at this stage, frozen food is subjected to primary drying, this allows you to remove frozen water crystals from the food. To do this, the products are heated a little and placed in a vacuum to speed up the process of sublimation. Sublimation is needed in order to turn all available ice into water vapor and preserve the structure of the food. At this stage, up to 95 percent of the water is removed.

Stage 3: the final stage, in which the food is subjected to the second stage of drying. With more heating, residual water is removed.

After these three stages, 1 to 4 percent of the water remains in the food.


But freeze-drying is not the only method used to preserve food for hiking. The dehydration method is sometimes used to remove water in order to ensure the long life of the food. Dehydration involves the use of low temperatures and a long drying process. This method does not use the preliminary freeze step. With this cooking option, a loss of nutrients is possible, mainly vitamins A and C.


At home, you can also cook food for hiking, having previously prepared the food. So it will be stored longer. But of course, in terms of shelf life, it will not be close to the methods described above. You can still preserve food - but bulk weight is not always convenient to take with you on hikes, because it will not be one or two banks, it will be difficult and not practical. In addition, after using the jars, you will need to carry with you, and this is additional weight.

How to eat freeze-dried food
As you probably already guessed, first of all, you need to add a sufficient amount of water to the food. The main thing is to follow the instructions, because if you moisten more than necessary, the food will have a foam texture, and if you add less, then this food will be impossible to eat.

Cooking option in the package
In order to cook, you need to add the amount of hot water indicated on the package to the bag, often one cup is enough, and then close the bag and let it brew for about 20 minutes. It is also necessary to remove, if available, the oxygen scavenger bag. As time passes, you can open the package and eat. You can eat both from the package, and shifting to another convenient dish. After use, the package can be burned or taken with you. It will not take up much space.

The option of cooking freeze-dried food in a pan
If you do not like cooking in a bag, then you can cook in a saucepan or other available containers. Just boil the right amount of water in the container and then add the contents of the bag to boiling water. But this method is inconvenient in that after eating food you need to wash the dishes.


We tried to select you the best food options for tourists. Optimum in price and nutrients. All of the products below have been tested by us and we can safely recommend them for use.

1. Mountain House

Calories Per Pouch: 800 cal
Price per 100 Calories: $ 0.99

Mountain House is the most famous lyophilized food company. Engaged in production since 1968 and supply the military and special forces with food. They expanded their production and now everyone can purchase their products for hiking. In their assortment you will find packages with traditional American dishes, you can pick up food for breakfast, desserts, and dinners.


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2. Next Mile Meals

Calories Per Pouch: 540 cal
Price per 100 Calories: $ 2.59

The assortment of Next Mile Meals has a small selection of dishes, but there are reasons for this. The company is still quite young, it has been manufacturing since 2017. Their food is designed low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fat. Therefore, their food is more high-calorie. And what else is needed during the campaigns in order to replenish their strength?

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3. Trailtopia Adventure Food

Calories Per Pouch: 540 cal
Price per 100 Calories: $ 2.03

Trailtopia Adventure Food is a fast-growing company producing dehydrated and sublimation products for hiking. An American company founded in Minnesota in 2014. Founder Vince Robisho began mass production of food for hiking after his family recommended that he produce food that he himself prepared for long trips.

Convenient and compact bags from which you can eat and easily add water to them. Recipes contain the optimal balance of carbohydrates and proteins. Very tasty and nutritious in our opinion.

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4. Backpacker's Bistro

Calories Per Pouch: 330 cal
Price per 100 Calories: $ 2.73

This is a great line of nourishing gourmet backpacks from chef Melissa Lynn Leeser. Manufacturing is located in Portland, Oregon. The bulk of the food comes from near lying farms. Their food to taste has nothing to do with ordinary camping food. A large assortment of varied dishes. It's worth a try, believe me.

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5. Nomad Nutrition

Calories Per Pouch: 600 cal
Price per 100 Calories: $ 2.33

If you are a vegetarian then this is for you. In the assortment of all dishes without meat. The right balance of vegetable fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Soy and gluten-free. Also, thanks to its own technology of dehydration of products, food preserves taste, smell, and structure without the use of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Their technology allows you to cook food in 8 minutes. Incredible. There are both packages designed for one meal, and packages designed for two meals.

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Whatever you choose for your hiking trips from this list, it will always save you money, effort and time.

Jimmy Rai is a life long adventurer and a long distance hiker. He can often be found in the expanses of Alaska, the Caucasus, North Korea and near the Alps. Rai writes about his experiences with gear he used at one point or another.

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