Back Country Camping Prep: Dehydrate Everything




Introduction: Back Country Camping Prep: Dehydrate Everything

About: Oh Canada!

In preparation of my yearly 4 day back country trip with my

family, we start dehydrating everything.

We head across a lake and onto an island for 4 days and do not bring a cooler.

We filter our water and make all our meal from dehydrated or robust food sources.

When you dehydrate you can bring stuff usually only kept in the fridge/cooler or that is too delicate to be thrown into a backpack.

Bringing a cooler full of ice and full fruits and vegetables is really unnecessary if you do some prep work up front.

Dehydrating saves on weight (10x), space and best of all longevity of the food source.

You save money too, by using fruit and veggies that you might have thrown out. Plus you are not buying the expensive (not always good) store bought stuff.

I’d rather take one trip with a canoe then two because our food takes up too much space.

It’s just the smart thing to do.

I hope you enjoy this Instructable.

Please have a look at a couple other Instructables that are similar from past years.

Step 1: Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Me!

Shred and pit peaches.

You can leave skin on but it looks better dehydrated if you skin them. You don't need to get every piece of skin.

Step 2: Save 10x the Weight by Packing Died Fruit.

Here is one peach weighting 2.3 oz. Three dehydrated peaches weight in at only 0.6 oz.

This is an amazingly sweet snack on the trail.

Step 3: Marvelous Mangos

Delicate fruit is hard to transport into the back country. It can get bruised and ruin easily.

One mango is 13.2 oz. Dehydrated is only 2.0 oz.

The space and weight alone is worth the up front effort.

Use mango in your morning cereal, stir fry or as a naturally sweat snack on the trail.

Step 4: Make It Even.

Try and make all you pieces similar in shape so the all dry to the same consistency.

I try and keep the fruit separate so after I can store separate in jars or baggies.

(Pictured Peaches and Mangos)

Step 5: 12 Hours Later...

I always make my trays up right after supper around 6 pm. I leave for work around 6 am and almost always everything is finished.

When I come home from work everything has cooled off and is ready for storage.

Step 6: Don't Forget Your Veggies.

I take the last of my used veggie that are almost ready for compost (because we are spoiled and always want the fresh stuff) and dry them too.

Mushrooms and peppers come back to life almost perfectly in a sauce, soup or stir fry in the bush.

Step 7: Get Your Rids to Eat Zucchini.

Salt and Vinegar Zucchini.

Use all the zucchini your neighbor gave you to make delirious salt and vinegar zucchini chips.

Your kids WILL eat this. We have a hard time saving this one. It's gone right off the trays.

Slice as thin as possible or use a shredder to make thin, even slices.

Even slices is the key to all dehydrating.

Step 8: Soak Your Zucchini.

Soak your zucchini in vinegar, oil and salt.

1 Cup vinegar,

1 dash of oil,

Salt to taste.

Then spread over trays.

Step 9: Berries, Berries Berries

Fresh or frozen berries will all work.

Cut blueberries in half so they can dry quicker.

Step 10: Rack'em and Stack'em...

Step 11: Perfectly Dries Friuts Adn Veggies!

Another saving tip:

I use parchment paper to aid in the cleaning of the racks. The paper also makes it easier to remove the products off of the racks. It kind of acts as the paper on a fruit roll-up.

I reuse them if I am doing a dehydrator blitz.

I really hope you found this Instructable useful.

PS - Please Vote!



    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest
    • Fix It! Contest

      Fix It! Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest

    12 Discussions

    Salt and vinegar zucchini sounds amazing!

    Yes my dehydrator only has a low heat and a fan. So its on and off. That is it.

    The dehydrator does all the work. When i say we let cool, we mean that we unplug the machine and just then everything get to room temperature.


    2 years ago

    Ok. I can set a temperature on my dehyd, but often when I do fruit I just have it to no heat. Never tried with heat and wondered what would be the upsides of it.

    1 reply

    I find that it is just a faster dry. I don't have the option of temp. Mine is just on and off. I would say in my experience low heat is better and faster then no heat.

    When we camp, we will put the veggies in a pot with some water, or even in a zip lock bag around lunch and then by supper time they are ready.
    Something like mushrooms you can put right in the sauce and the came back fast.
    The fruit is good dried so we rarely re-hydrate.

    This is great! What is benefit of soaking the zucchini in vinegar?

    1 reply

    The vinegar makes the zucchini taste like Salt and Vinager chips.

    Nice! How long do you dehydrate the berries for or is it 12 hours for everything you do?

    1 reply

    Yes everything is 12 hours. I put it on after supper and its all done in the morning.