Get Out There

Prep Food for Camping on Freezing Days

We are always talking about the importance of getting outside for your health. It’s essential to your mental and physical health. But, in the cold days of winter, it can be hard to spend long periods outside. While exercise is still necessary for good health, time outdoors might actually be dangerous depending on your weather. Instead of going out, if it is too cold in your area, you can plan ahead for when you will be heading back out to hike and camp again!

When you hike, you want to keep your backpack as light as possible to walk long distances comfortably. However, you must also carry a lot of stuff, from safety gear to extra clothes to food. Dehydrated food can pack a lot of nutrients while being lighter and easier to carry. However, camping food from the stores is expensive. The good news is, you can make it at home. And dehydrated food can be stored for a long time!

Besides dairy items and high-fat foods, you can dehydrate almost any food at home. Even soups can be dehydrated! Foods like vegetables and meat should be cooked first. When you dry fruit, you can slice them and add dried fruit to trail mix or puree them so they become fruit leather as they dry.

You can dehydrate things like cooked ground beef, pasta and tomato sauce. Then all you have to do is add some boiling water to rehydrate them while camping, and you have a meal without actually cooking in the wild! A normal dinner serving is one cup of dehydrated food.

There are guides to picking the best dehydrator. If you are an avid camper, a machine might be worth it. However, for most of us, it’s a process that can be done in the oven. Buying another appliance is an expensive waste of counter space! If you camp 40 weekends a year, it might save you time and money. For the rest of us, it’s a big investment!

You can easily dehydrate food in your oven! You set it to the lowest setting and put your food on parchment paper on baking sheets. Then, you wait about seven hours, stirring occasionally. It takes longer and uses more power than a dehydrator. But if you do it a couple of times a year, it’s more cost-effective than buying camping food at the store or purchasing a dehydrator.

Dehydrating your camping meals or hiking snacks can be a fun way to plan for your spring adventures while it’s too cold to get out there. Personally, we’re dreaming of a white Christmas followed by a warm spring!

Banner image: K8 via Unsplash

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