How to build a perfect dehydrated food kit

Light weight and long shelf lives make this the perfect camping or survival kit.

dehydrated foods on purple background, including pomegranate juice powder, a meat and veggie bar, freeze-dried rice pudding, a dehydrated ice cream sandwich, and packet of pad thai mix
Dinner is preserved. Clockwise from top left: pomegranate juice powder, a meat and veggie bar, freeze-dried rice pudding, a dehydrated ice cream sandwich, and packet of pad thai mix.Brian Klutch

The first Americans in space squirted their meals out of tubes. Their successors on the Apollo missions enjoyed somewhat finer fare, nibbling on ­freeze-​dried food. Today, travelers and desk jockeys can enjoy the ­descendants of those space dishes with an array of dehydrated cuisine. The kit below stuffs 2,000 calories in a package ideal for disaster prep or camping trips.

Drink

Typical powdered punch can form clumps when you mix it. Tapioca flour in Nature Restore Organic Pomegranate Juice Powder helps the dehydrated beverage remain smooth.

Breakfast

Cooks at Backpacker's Pantry season raisins and almonds with cardamom and orange peel to create Indian Rice Pudding. One helping delivers 12 grams of protein plus dashes of calcium and potassium.

Snack

Dried fruit like dates and apricots bind Wild Zora Original Meat & Veggie Bars together for a texture that's softer and tastier than gas-​station jerky. Each 1-ounce packet delivers 100 calories.

Dinner

Each packet of Good To-Go Pad Thai provides two servings of that sweet and spicy dish, along with 146 grams of carbs. Add about 2 cups of boiling water, wait 15 minutes, then eat it right out of the bag.

Dessert

Most sweets don't travel well. But the 1.1-ounce Mountain House Ice Cream Sandwich is a room-temperature freeze-dried confection that looks and (mostly) tastes like the real thing.


This story originally published in the Out There issue of Popular Science.