How to Dry Food for a 12 Day Solo Trip
Drying your own food is by far the best way to prepare camp meals. You can pick up a good dehydrator for less than $100 (thankfully, my wife and I received one for a wedding gift). But you can also place items on racks in your oven (use a cookie sheet for sauces), set on the lowest temperature possible, for six to eight hours.
Sauces are the best to practice on. One jar of spaghetti sauce placed in the dehydrator or oven is reduced to a thin slice of, what looks like, fruit leather. Then, once at camp, you simply place the dried sauce in a small amount (½ cup) of boiling water and it turns right back to the original spaghetti sauce.
Vegetables are also quite easy to dehydrate. My wife and I routinely spend the winter months buying up different veggies on sale and then dry them in bulk for use later on. Some of our favorites are broccoli, celery, green and red peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, corn, peas, and egg plant.
Meat takes a lot more preparation. It first must be cooked before drying. Some meats, such as cooked ground beef, should also be rinsed over and over again with hot water to eliminate the grease content and reduce the chances of bacteria forming. Alana and I prefer drying ground turkey or ground venison. It has less fat and therefore less chance of spoiling while we are out on the trip.
We also prefer to buy some dried foods at the bulk food store. Onions really stink up the house when dried in the dehydrator, and we can’t seem to get our banana chips or pineapple slices to look as appetizing as the ones you can pick up at the store.