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[pct-l] Re: dehydrating food, etc.

When to start dehydrating food for the PCT?  Depends on the size of the
dehydrator, the learning curve on how long to dry (definitely give it a
chew to make sure it's not over/underdone or burned), and what you're drying.

Most recently I used 2 hydrators to prepare food for an 800-mile/2
months' duration hike.  I started drying food in about February for a
June 19 departure, perhaps 2 loads of food/week.  One dryer has
six-shelves, approx 12"x24" --"institutional size", the other, a round,
small type with the maximum (6?) trays. I precooked or pre-steamed
beans, rice, carrots, tomatoes, onions, corn, mushrooms, yams, zucchini,
strawberries, tomato paste, lentils, etc.  That menu was vegetarian.  On
an earlier long walk, I packed the meat separately to insure that if it
got rancid it would not spoil the meal.  Everything was put into freezer
ziplocks or seal-a-mealed and kept in the freezer until meal and food
box assembly time.

It was worth it to me (and cheaper in the long run, when one takes into
account buying, prep & drying time) to buy certain dry foods in bulk --
like onions (never again!-way to smelly to dry at home) and vegetable
mix -- at Oregon Spice, located in Portland, Oregon (web-site
www.oregonspice.com).  Oregon Spice also has bulk soup bases and other
goodies.  For future walks, in addition to drying some food at home, I
plan to buy some of the dried and freeze-dried vegetables and fruits in
the #10 cans from the freeze-dried food companies. It all comes down to
time or money. 

Good luck!
Lesya Struz, PCT91
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