Tired of the same old mylar packet of freeze-dried stuff? Here are some sources for tasty prepackaged meals and for dehydrated ingredients so you can make your own. As I write this, a lot of the dehydrated ingredients are out of stock, likely due to new converts to emergency preparedness during the pandemic. I’m sure they’ll be back in stock by the time we are ready to go backpacking again.
PackIt Gourmet makes appetizing prepackaged meals, some of them unusual, like the Many Bean Salad. That takes a hour to rehydrate (cold water), but it is really tasty. They also sell ingredients and kits of ingredients. The black beans can be combined with minute rice, sun-dried tomatoes, dried onion, and some seasonings to make a homemade dehydrated trail meal. Add a can of chicken if you’d like some meat.
Pack-It Gourmet offers freeze-dried meat, which can be hard to find. With that and some grocery store items, you can package your own backpacking meals.
Good source for vegetarian and vegan backpacking meals. As a bonus, they’ll show you how to grow sprouts on the trail. And their name rhymes.
The Harmony House Backpacking Kit is a collection of eighteen packages of different kinds of freeze-dried vegetables. Each package is one cup of freeze-dried vegetables in a zip-lock bag. The kit is about $70 from most sources. This is a great way to get started with home-assembled dehydrated meals if you don’t have a dehydrator. Harmony House sells lots of different kinds and quantities of dehydrated and freeze-dried ingredients.
Harmony House also stocks a wide variety of textured vegetable protein (TVP), a vegan option for backpacking.
Crystallized lime or lemon juice with no sugar. Add this to beans or Mexican food when it is finished cooking and the flavor will really pop out. It’s good with tea, too, if you are into that sort of thing.
There are a surprising number of dehydrated ingredients in regular grocery stores. You’ll find instant rice, potato flakes, couscous, soup mixes, and more. Plus, you can use small cans of cooked chicken to provide protein. Check the international section for other dried foods. Look into freezer bag cooking to get idea and recipes.