Three easy recipes for making your own dehydrated backpacking meals

Dehydrated OatmealBreakfast: Oatmeal with Apples, Raisins & Cinnamon 

It’s easy to tear off the top of a pack of instant oatmeal and add hot water, but it’s not a healthy breakfast with all that sugar, artificial colors and flavoring. With just a little more effort at home, you can make a much more satisfying pot of oatmeal on the trail.

Serves 1

Ingredients

• ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

• ¼ cup dried apples

• ¼ cup raisins

• ¼ cup granola cereal

• ½ tsp. cinnamon

• 2 Tbsp. NIDO Whole Milk Powder

• Pinch of salt

• 1¼ cups water

At Home: Pack milk powder, granola and raisins in separate small Ziploc bags and enclose in a larger Ziploc bag containing the oats, dried apples, salt and cinnamon.  

On the Trail: Combine all ingredients except milk powder and granola with water in pot and soak five minutes. Light your stove, bring the water to a boil and cook for one more minute. Wait five minutes with lid on pot before eating. Top with granola. Mix milk powder in a separate cup with another half-cup of water. Pour desired amount of milk over the oatmeal and drink the rest.

Dehydrated Taco Beef and RiceHot Lunch or Supper: Taco Beef and Rice
Serving Suggestions: Eat out of the pot or roll up in tortillas like burritos. This recipe will fill about two burritos.

Serves 1

Ingredients: 

• ½ cup instant rice

• ¼ cup dried ground beef

• ¼ cup dried bell peppers, onions and tomatoes

• ¼ cup dried black beans (dehydrated canned beans)

• 1 tsp. taco seasoning

• 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. cheddar cheese powder (from a box of mac-and-cheese)

• 1 Tbsp. powdered milk (NIDO brand is recommended)

• 1 ¼ cups water

• 2 tortillas, if desired

At Home: Pack cheese, milk and taco powders in a small plastic Ziploc bag and enclose with other ingredients in a larger Ziploc bag. Pack tortillas separately.

On the Trail: Soak all ingredients except cheese, milk and taco powders with water in pot for five minutes. Light stove, bring to boil and cook for one more minute. Remove from stove, stir in cheese, milk and taco powders. Wait ten minutes with lid on pot. Either eat out of the pot or in tortillas.

Supper: Mac & Beef in Cheesy Tomato Sauce Dehydrated Chili Mac

Ingredients: 

• ¼ cup dried ground beef

• ¼ cup dried peppers, onions, mushrooms (and any other dried veggies desired)

• ½ cup macaroni noodles

• ¼ cup tomato sauce leather

• 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. cheddar cheese powder (from a box of mac-and-cheese)

• 1 Tbsp. powdered milk (NIDO brand is recommended)

• 1 ½ cups water

At Home: Combine cheese powder and instant dry milk in a small Ziploc bag. Pack tomato sauce leather in another small Ziploc bag. Enclose in a larger Ziploc bag with macaroni, ground beef and vegetables.

On the Trail: Add all ingredients except the cheese and milk powders to pot with 1 ½ cups of water and soak for five minutes. Light stove, bring to a boil and continue cooking for two minutes. Stir in cheese and milk powders. Wait ten minutes with lid on pot. 


Read more about making your own dehydrated backpacking meals:

Tips and tricks to consider when investing in a food dehydrator

Basic ingredients for make-at-home dehydrated backpacking meals

How to make dehydrated fruit snacks for hiking or backpacking treks

How to create a dehydrated meal plan for your next backpacking trek


Backpacking Chef Glenn McAllister is the author of the book, Recipes for Adventure: The Ultimate Guide to Dehydrating Food for the Trail and the companion workbook, The Backpacking Chef Menu Planning & Food Drying Workbook. Visit his website BackpackingChef.com and sign up for a free monthly newsletter, Trail Bytes.

One thought on “Three easy recipes for making your own dehydrated backpacking meals

  1. The 1967 Fieldbook had excellent sections on writing camp menus and repacking food. None of the literature since then has been remotely as informative, in my opinion.

    What chance is there of getting that same information out sometime in the foreseeable future? My copy of that book has gone missing, and most current members have never had access to one.

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