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Elevate Your Camping Cuisine: Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Ingredients for Delicious Outdoor Dining

Heading out for a camping excursion or outdoor escapade shouldn't entail endless hours of prep and packing, especially for the family chef. Gone are the days of lugging around an entire kitchen's worth of pots, pans, and utensils, not to mention the burden of coolers and ice runs. Thanks to the marvels of freeze-dried and dehydrated ingredients, you can transform your camping cuisine into gourmet delights without the fuss of hauling heavy perishables or sacrificing flavor. Join us on a journey where convenience meets culinary excellence, as we explore fast and easy meals on the go that are sure to satisfy your taste buds and simplify your outdoor dining experience.

In this blog, I'll share a variety of recipes and meal ideas tailored for adventurers who crave delicious meals without the hassle. From hearty one-pot wonders to quick and nutritious snacks, we've got you covered with options that require, only adding water, minimal cooking equipment and preparation time. Whether you're backpacking through the wilderness or setting up camp at a family-friendly site, these fast and easy meal solutions will keep you energized and ready for whatever outdoor activities lie ahead. Stay tuned for practical tips, creative recipe adaptations, and insider hacks to elevate your camping culinary game.

For added convenience and space-saving benefits, consider storing your camping ingredients in mylar bags instead of traditional jars. I will put an affiliate link below to the ones that I find the best. There are 2 sizes, depending on portions size that you are storing, family vs. single meal. Mylar bags are lightweight, durable, and provide excellent protection against moisture and pests, making them ideal for outdoor adventures. Simply transfer your freeze-dried and dehydrated ingredients into the mylar bags, seal them tightly, and label them with the recipe name and any necessary cooking instructions. Not only will this streamline your packing process, but it will also allow you to portion out ingredients for specific meals, reducing waste and making meal prep a breeze. Plus, mylar bags take up minimal space in your backpack or camping gear, leaving more room for other essentials. The bags are made to withstand temperatures that you can pour your water and cook right in them leaving a quick mealtime clean up. With the convenience of mylar bag storage, you can enjoy the same delicious recipes while simplifying your outdoor cooking experience.

I have started a new section in the Meal in jar and Master Mix recipe collection book focusing on these types of recipes! It will be your next updated download so stay tuned! These individual recipes are so great for lunches at the office, hiking, camping or putting away for emergencies. I am confident that with more recipes to choose from your range of meals will explode to help with convenience and ease to make your outing most enjoyable.

Now that you're equipped with Thrive ingredients and meals in jars recipes, it's time to whip up some delicious outdoor recipes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

*Just as a sidenote I frequently get asked if dehydrated can be interchanged in the meals in jars recipes. For these recipes I do not advise using outside of the freeze-dried ingredients. The reason is that dehydrated does not rehydrate to its regular size, leaving the volume in the final product minimal. Also, most of these recipes will use just boiling water to make. The heat from the water will need to rehydrate and cook the ingredients. Dehydrated ingredients take a lot of extra time to soften and get tender, they will not under these circumstances, leaving tough and chewy ingredients.

Planning Your Menu

Breakfast: Start your day with hearty egg and sausage scramble or whip up a batch of pancakes using powdered eggs and milk. Or try this recipe for a hearty oatmeal.

Maple Pecan Instant Oatmeal

Ingredients (for one serving, pack each ingredient separately in a mylar bag):

  • 1/2 cup instant oats

  • 1 tablespoon chopped pecans

  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries or raisins

  • 1 tablespoon powdered milk or powdered creamer

  • 1 tablespoon maple sugar or maple syrup powder

  • Pinch of salt


1.    Pour boiling water to just cover ingredients. Stir and close and let sit for 3-5 minutes to let the oats absorb.

2. Stir the mixture again and taste. Add more maple sugar or maple syrup powder if desired.

Enjoy your maple pecan instant oatmeal straight from the bowl or mug!

Lunch: Try the backpacker's couscous Salad, Pasta or soup! Pack a selection of DIY trail mix with freeze-dried berries, nuts, and seeds for a quick and energizing midday snack, or assemble wraps with dehydrated vegetables and precooked protein or a day of backpacking. You can even take and make dehydrated chopped chicken for a quick chicken sandwich. Here is a recipe I love for a lunch to take to work, but also would be a good recipe for a camping lunch meant to replenish your energy.

Individual Hiking Meal: Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta

Ingredients (for one serving, pack each ingredient separately in a mylar bag):

  • 1/2 cup pasta (such as penne or rotini)

  • 2 tablespoons freeze-dried tomato dices

  • 1 tablespoon freeze-dried basil

  • 1 tablespoon powdered Alfredo sauce mix

  • 1 tablespoon powdered milk or powdered creamer

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste


1.    When ready to eat, pour boiling water just to barely cover the ingredients.

4.    Stir well to combine all ingredients thoroughly.

5.    seal bag and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes to allow the pasta to cook and the other ingredients to rehydrate.

6.    After 10-15 minutes, stir the mixture again and taste. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

7.    Enjoy your creamy tomato basil pasta straight from the bowl or mug!

Dinner: Get creative with dinner options like Chicken Alfredo made with freeze-dried vegetables or indulge in a comforting bowl of Campfire Chili: pour your premade dry meal of chili in a pot. Add water, seal, and let simmer over the campfire for a delicious and satisfying dinner.

Snacks: come in all shapes and sizes and just snacking on the mixed freeze dried or dehydrated fruit and vegetable medleys or homemade trail mixes. Here is one trail mix recipe, but you can customize and make this to your taste preference.

Single-Serving Backpacker's Trail Mix


  • 1/4 cup mixed nuts (such as almonds, cashews, and peanuts)

  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (such as raisins, cranberries, or apricots)

  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

  • 2 tablespoons coconut flakes (optional)

With the convenience of freeze-dried and dehydrated ingredients and the simplicity of meals in bags, you can elevate your camping cuisine to gourmet levels without the hassle. If you have a family to cook for, simply adapt Meal in Jar recipes by transferring them to bags instead of jars. For those seeking individual meals, the Meals on the Go recipes are perfect. Not only are you in control of ingredients and their quality, but also portion size and meal variety. Make camping a time of rest for the meal maker too.

Whether you're camping, hiking, or hitting the road in your RV, these lightweight and shelf-stable ingredients and snacks make outdoor dining a breeze. So, pack your gear, grab your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy delicious meals under the stars on your next outdoor adventure.

Here are the links to MRE 30 mylar bags

Here is the link to the quart mylar bags

If you would like to be added to my Meals in jars and Thrive mailing list for a monthly newletter focusing on recipes, sales and tips you can subscribe HERE!

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