I am going to re-hash the old weight versus taste argument. Do you take whole food or dehydrated? Believe it or not, your body has the answers! Many Rock Climbers will lean towards the freeze dried due to weight and a Backpacker tends to go with the more whole food option

Calories are literally energy, and that’s all they are. A calorie isn’t a vitamin, it’s not a mineral, and it has no nutritional content.steve

Below is a guide to how many calories you are burning on your trail excursion based on your weight and weight carried.






So if I sound bias it’s because I wrote a cookbook (In The wild Chef) that addresses the issue of what food we could bring backpacking. On my journey as a backcountry chef I have met some really great people and one of those folks is Christine Conners, the co-author of “LipSmackin Backpackin”. Christine and her Husband Tim have complied a book on cooking, then dehydrating gourmet food for the trail.

One difference between the two books is I propose that many ingredients around your house can go out with you and freeze it in a one gallon freezer bag and simply thaw it at your destination. Additionally using dehydrated components from the bulk area of your grocery store.



Freeze dried food has not enjoyed a great reputation in the past for “fueling” you up on the trail. It boils down (pardon the pun) to calories units, a calorie is the unit of energy used when talking about food.

In the past I was not a proponent of freeze dried or dehydrated food for many reasons, I have changed my mind. I have found that there are a few acceptable freeze dried food options which includes dehydrating your own food. I am advocate of any freeze dried application if it is lacking the chemical we don’t want and have good amounts of calories.

I personally add some extra fresh ingredients to Alpine Aire Foods meals, they are incredible, organic and void of the chemicals. I recently learned of a high end chef turned dehydrated food manufacturer, Good to Go out of Kittery Maine. Another fairly good alternative is Mary Jane Farms Organic Backcountry food.




­­­­­Eat Well Outdoors!

Steve Weston- In The Wild Chef