[pct-l] Freeze dried or dehydrated food?

Gail Van Velzer vanvelzer at charter.net
Thu Aug 28 13:19:06 CDT 2014

What Ken says is good, with a few modifications.  The "Just Veggies" line is 
expensive, but you can get it much cheaper through Honeyville.  It's  a #10 
can, so one can will do for an entire thru hike, especially if you get 
several varieties.  Trader Joes is a good source for the dried fruits.  I 
like the "cereal" he makes.  The Nido powdered milk is good, but also 
expensive.  You can get several types of spray dried milk and milk 
substitutes at Honeyville much cheaper.  I like the one called Mountain 
Fresh.  It's got some soy in it, but it tastes the most like real milk.  I 
bought a 50 lb. bag and store it in tin cans that are sealed with an oxygen 
packet.  I have a friend who lives closeby that has one of the can sealers, 
so I bought in bulk and saved even more.  You can buy the oxygen packets at 
Honeyville in various sizes.  I also use a Food Saver a lot.  Once you open 
the can, store it in the freezer and it will last a long time.  The two 
types of beans that Ken mentions can also be bought at Honeyville much 
cheaper and taste just as good.  As for the tuna and chicken packets, I use 
the freeze dried chicken and it only takes about 10 minutes to rehydrate.  I 
sprinkle some water into a ziploc along with the chicken about 30 minutes 
before I plan to stop for lunch.  I use dehydrated onion, celery, apples and 
sometimes dried cranberries.  I put these in a separate ziploc at breakfast 
so they have more time to rehydrate.  I carry mayo packets and relish 
packets and mix everything together for lunch.  I like the Sandwich Thins 
best because they pack well and keep well, but tortillas are great too.  I 
do bring the tuna packets, but one of these days I'll try dehydrating the 
tuna and seeing how it tastes.  I just canned a 20 pound tuna last weekend 
that my neighbor brought home from his fishing trip.  He caught 13, so he 
gave one to me.  I tried dehydrating the chicken myself, but it won't 
rehydrate well.  It's like trying to rehydrate beef jerky.  Hope this info 
is helping you.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ken Powers" <ken at gottawalk.com>
To: "PCT" <pct-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2014 9:15 AM
Subject: Re: [pct-l] Freeze dried or dehydrated food?

> Hi Cat,
> I went cookless on the PCT this summer and was glad that I did.
> Freeze dried food rehydrated faster than dehydrated food. Freeze dried
> veggies and fruit are good eaten dry. They are crunchy like popcorn. I 
> have
> eaten and really like all of Just Tomatoes products, but it is expensive. 
> I
> bought the hydrated fruit at Trader Joe's.
> All nuts are a great choice. I mixed mine with other foods. I liked a
> variety because the texture differs. Seeds are another food that are high
> in fat and micronutrients. I like Chia seeds, Nido powdered milk, nuts,
> dried fruit, and coconut mixed together as a cereal (five ounces is about
> 800 calories!) I ended up eating it at night as my recovery meal. I 
> usually
> couldn't tell what dried fruit I had put in the mix but it was all good to
> me.
> I also bought Fantastic Foods dehydrated black beans and dehydrated 
> refried
> beans. The flavors are different. The refried beans taste like Fritos bean
> dip so I ate them as a dip lots. I could eat the black beans (rehydrated
> ahead of time) on a tortilla. I also thought it was okay as a soup without
> rehydrating it so it was a crunchy meal that I ate with the spoon. Any
> vegetable added to this soup would be great. I especially like Just 
> Veggies
> roasted garlic. Beans seem to give me the most long-term energy it wasn't
> fast hit like sugar or candy.
> I didn't start out with tuna, salmon or chicken packets but they were
> favorites further along on my hike. Some people were tired of them by the
> time I started eating them so I traded for tuna a lot. Tuna packed in oil
> tastes better and has more calories.
> One of the advantages of being cookless was that I ate my food in whatever
> order I felt like for the day which made my menu seem more varied.
> ...GottaWalk
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