Ideas For Prepping – I find that people have a tendency to overthink what it means to be a prepper. It’s not a political concept but could align with one’s religion. For most people it’s just common sense ideas that allow you to slowly stock up extra items. food or gear in case it is needed. The most important concept is to understand you do not control the world around you and must consider the weather. geo-political, or other emergencies that are unknown.
Food – If you like something, and it can store for a while get two.
Water – Extra water and/or a way to filter water on hand. Stores are able to adjust if you add to what you need over time.
Shelter – Where do you live, and how do you plan to protect this area if need be. Warm. safe, and with good locals, but consider how they will act if they get hungry.
Clothing – Can your clothing keep you protected from the elements, or suffice an emergency within your local area?
Defense – Can you defend yourself, your family, and others if need be. Are you in shape, and with the skills to defend yourself without a weapon? Or can you use a firearm if need be?
Canning – Sometimes it’s easier to store and get ahold of vegetables, and vinegar to store them long-term.
Camping Supplies – If you needed to bug out can you do so for a long period of time? Do you have the gear, food, and ability to clean water?
Alternative food – Dehydrated food, MRE, and others can be stored for long periods of time. 10 years or more is a normal expectation, and some MREs can be stored for 20 years.
Shop for deals – Garage sales, swap meets, military surplus, and consider advertising what you need.
Fishing – This can be a replenishable resource, but if people needed to survive on it you should assume the big boys will not stop. So stock up on your supplies for all areas you are comfortable fishing.
Now, these are not the only tips, and We just want to bring these ideas to the surface for you to consider. Times are always changing, and if you are an adventure traveler like we are it does require you to plan ahead. With prices rising we may soon need to make our own meals for long-term use on the trails or while hiking and camping in the National parks. But what do you do if your flying to a Unesco site, and don’t know if the local supplies are up to your standards? You will need to bring your own, and have them on hand.
One of the possibilities is to order from the country in question a few test meals. If you feel they are comparable you can then do a pre-order and have them shipped to your hotel ahead of time. So make sure to be creative, and operate in a way that allows flexibility. Most countries have issues on bring in fresh food so that may not be even an option. So you will need to learn about what you need ahead of time. Consider these Ideas For Prepping while you plan your next adventure.
Cold weather camping can be a little tricky. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors, it’s a good idea to learn a few tips and tricks before you go. This blog post will focus on some cold weather camping tips to help you get the most out of your trip. -In order to make your campsite feel a little less wintery, take a lightweight tarp and secure it to the ground with tent poles. You can then drape it over the tent. You can even set up the tarp to act as shelter from the wind. -Packing for cold weather camping is important. Just like in the summertime, you’ll need water, fire-starting equipment, food, and shelter.
5 Essentials for Proper Cold Weather Camping
Cold-weather outdoor camping can be a lot of fun with the right tools, supplies, and knowledge. With the proper gear, being outdoors in the cold will be an experience you are able to handle. Let’s begin by talking about what you will need when it comes to your wardrobe. A few must-haves are gloves, a hat, camping food, water, and layers. With these essentials in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy your night outdoors in the cold!
Heading outdoors in the cold is always an adventure. With these 5 essentials for proper cold weather camping, you’ll be all set for your next trip outdoors in the winter!
Cold Weather Camping Gear
Shelter and Clothing
The good thing about winter is that there are only two things to worry about when camping outdoors. The first is protecting yourself from the cold temperatures. The second is the best place to find shelter.
When it comes to shelter, there are many options. You can use a tent or tarp to create a makeshift outdoor shelter. You can also build a snow fort or igloo. Building an igloo can be a lot of fun and it’s a great way to stay warm while you’re camping in the snow.
As for clothing, it’s important to dress in layers and to pack clothing that is water and wind-resistant. Cotton clothing is not the best option for winter weather because it doesn’t insulate against the elements
The Right Sleeping Bag
When we talk about camping, we often think of warm weather. You usually find campers in the summer, and often in the desert! But what about when the temperatures drop and all you want to do is curl up in your nice, warm bed? Well, you can still camp in the winter! Read on to find out how to make a winter camping experience a fantastic one!
First things first, a sleeping bag is a necessity. Make sure it’s rated to a temperature that feels good to you. Most people think that a sleeping bag that’s rated 20 degrees Fahrenheit or less is sufficient for three-season camping. If that’s not your style, you might want to consider a 40-degree F-rated sleeping bag.
Hiking, Backpacking Gear It’s getting to be winter which means that cold weather camping will be on the agenda. However, that doesn’t mean that this is a bad thing! Here are some tips to remember when embarking on a winter camping trip:
-Pack a scarf. Along with a hat and gloves, a scarf will help create a barrier to keep heat from escaping from your head and other cold spots
-Include a balaclava or other cold-weather mask. It’s not enough to just bundle up your head, other parts of your face will need extra care, too
-Avoid winter blows by including a winter sleeping bag. In this cold weather camping post, we’ve mentioned a scarf, hat, and gloves, but a winter sleeping,
Winter Camping Dehydrated Food
Having food that stays well preserved is key while in a more extreme environment. Dehydrated meals from Mountain House, Backpackers Pantry, and more can ensure you keep your meals clean and dry. They are protected inside the pouch, and this helps them also withstand colder environments. It does not matter if you’re inside a cabin or a heated tent since these meals can be ready in a few minutes just by adding hot water.
Winter weather camping is considered by many to be more difficult than the summer. A lot more preparation is required during this time of year. You can’t just roll out of bed in the morning and hike up the mountain. One important preparation, before leaving your campsite on your winter journey, is to make sure your water bottles are completely frozen. Not half-frozen, but completely frozen. This will ensure that your water will stay cold long enough for you to finish your hike. If you are using hot drink packets, be sure to buy ones that are specifically made for winter. Hot drinks will fade your taste buds so your taste will change. You may find that even foods that you would
Camp Cooking and Heat You should make a small checklist of cold weather camping essentials to make sure you don’t forget anything. The first tip is to make sure you have a good sleeping bag. If you’re a camper who loves a cold outdoors experience, a heavy-duty mountaineering sleeping bag could be for you.
Another cold-weather camping tip is to bring a backup. If you’re backpacking, always bring a tent as a backup in case it gets too cold outside. This way you can enjoy two different experiences as a camper.
Another tip is to have extra clothing to bundle up. This way you can adjust to the cold weather conditions over time. Bring a fleece jacket, gloves, a hat, and a scarf so that you can stay warm.
Another tip is to make sure you have extra clothing to bundle up with. This way, you can adjust to the decreasing temperature over time. Some items you might want to bring are a fleece jacket, gloves, a hat, and a scarf.
It’s not difficult to camp in cold weather, but it requires a little bit of extra time and preparation. Before you head out, you should know how to keep yourself safe and sound by practicing simple techniques that cover food, water, and shelter. Don’t take your environment for granted, and ensure your winter camping food, clothing, and supplies are appropriate for the environment.
Food preservation is the art of retaining the longevity of food products until consumed. Two popular methods of food preservation are “dehydration” and “freeze drying”. One often makes the mistake of implying both the food preservation methods synonymously. However, freeze drying and dehydration are two unique and different food preservation methods used to extend the shelf life of food spanning decades.
This article explores the brief history of the two methods, their differences, their pros and cons, and presents a little FAQ section to help you understand better.
A Brief History
One of the oldest methods of food preservation is dehydration. Our prehistoric ancestors, dating back to 10,000 BC, used the natural sunlight to dry seeds and meat for years around consumption. Dehydration reduced moisture from the food and inhibited the growth of microorganisms. Food items like eggs, rice, fish, and meat were sun-dried and preserved through the process of dehydration as evident from evidence found in Japan, China, Italy and many other countries across continents.
Modern dehydration techniques were developed in France around 1795. Presently, there exists various dehydration equipment like vacuum dryers, kiln dryers, tunnel dryers, and cabinet dryers that allow foods to be dehydrated and preserved at home. Dehydrating can happen electronically through the use of above referred equipment or it can be natural such as drying seeds or meats under the sun.
Jacques-Arsene d’Arsonval invented the freeze-drying technique, technically known as lyophilization, in 1906 in Paris, France. It became immensely popular during World War II when a solution was needed to transport preserved blood serums which were otherwise getting spoiled by the time it reached the soldiers at the frontline. The technique was later applied to foods in the 1950s.
Freeze drying technique is widely used in the pharmaceuticals and the food industry. According to Mordor Intelligence, the freeze dried food industry is expected to reach $66.5 billion by 2021. The Asia Pacific and South America are the largest growing markets while North America has a 35% global share.
Freeze Dried vs Dehydrated Food: 5 Major Differences
There are five major differences between freeze dried and dehydrated foods:
1. Food Taste
The taste of the food is a strong determinant of our food choices. Some people prefer spicy foods while others enjoy a rather bland diet. Neither the freeze dried nor the dehydration process impacts the taste of the much significantly. However, given the nature of preservation techniques used, there might be a difference in the flavor of the food: one might seem richer than the other.
Food industry experts believe that since the freeze dried method uses minimal heat, the food retains its original taste to a large extent. The natural texture of the food is retained and the nutritional value remains intact. In comparison, the dehydration process uses a high heat percentage to remove moisture from the food which compromises the flavor, texture, and the original smell of the food. This is the reason why freeze dried foods are found to have better flavor as compared to the dehydrated foods.
2. Shelf Life
The shelf life of a food depends on its moisture content. Vegetables with higher water content such as spinach, cucumber, or gourds spoil easily whereas ginger and garlic does not. An increase in moisture reduces the shelf life of the fruit or vegetable. The primary governing principle involved in both the freeze drying and dehydration process is the controlled reduction of the moisture levels.
Home dehydration removes around 70% of the moisture which will increase the shelf life to around one year while the industrial dehydration process removes around 95% of the moisture content and increases the shelf life to around 15 years. In the freeze drying process, up to 99% of the moisture is eliminated which is why such foods can last for 25 years! The freeze drying method has been created for long term food storage. It successfully retains various vitamins and minerals, as per the American Institute of Cancer Research.
Both the freeze dried and dehydrated food should be stored in cool temperatures. A temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended by experts.
3. Cooking & Nutrition
The cooking or preparation time of freeze dried food is less than the dehydrated food. All you need to do is add the recommended level of water, heat it, and eat. All freeze dried foods are pre-cooked. Once heated, the natural flavor, taste, and nutrition of the food is back. In comparison, dehydrated food needs to be cooked after rehydration. The cooking time depends on the nature of the dehydrated food and it can have a significant impact on your work schedule.
As per experts, around 97% of the nutritional value is retained in freeze dried food while the dehydrated food retains around 60% of the original nutrients (source).
4. Weight & Storage
Food weight and storage are two critical factors when deciding between freeze dried food and dehydrated food. While either of the processes reduces the overall weight of the food due to the reduction in moisture content, however, compared to food dehydration, the freeze dried food is lighter, easier to store and carry anywhere.
For example, if you are trekking, hiking, or camping, you will need to carry food that does not take up too much space and is lighter in weight. All you need is enough water to rehydrate the food and consume. Freeze dried foods like fruits and vegetables require minimal water to become fit for consumption. In contrast, dehydrated foods are heavy and require a bigger storage space. Your preference between the two is dependent on your overall purpose.
Freeze drying of food happens on an industrial scale. It requires advanced equipment and a complex process that cannot happen in home kitchens – the situation might change in the future though. Until then, you cannot freeze dry food at home and can only buy readied products from the market. The food is exposed to a low temperature of -40 degree Fahrenheit or lower, which creates a vacuum around the food as the temperature gets regulated, leading to the sublimation of the frozen water. Dehydration also happens on an industrial scale but there is equipment available for home use, as explained in the later part of the article.
Pros and Cons of Freeze Dried Food
The major pros and cons of freeze dried food are explained below.
Freeze dried foods or freeze dried desserts are affordable. It is produced in bulk and transportation costs less than transporting other fresh available foods like fish or meat. They are packaged neatly and can be bought off-the-shelf from any departmental store.
Lightweight and Portable
The freeze drying process is such that it reduces the weight of the food, which makes it light and portable. It can be stored anywhere within airtight containers. Storing large amounts of freeze dried food would not make the storage bulky.
The freeze dried food retains its nutritional value – its quality, shape, size, and taste never gets reduced after going through the freeze drying process. Warming or directly eating freeze dried food will have the same taste and quality as the freshly made food.
Long Shelf Life
Freeze dried foods are extremely helpful in emergency situations as it has a longer shelf life. It can last months and years without refrigeration. For example, freeze dried foods are sent for astronauts living at the International Space Station (ISS).
Consuming freeze dried food requires rehydration of the food and it is not always necessary to cook it before consumption.
Some freeze dried foods are costly particularly because of the method and equipment used in producing it. However, if you want to depend on freeze dried foods for the long-term, chalk up a manageable budget and buy in bulk as it proves to be cheaper. Since freeze dried foods are edible for years to come, they can be stored easily without any fear of long-term spoilage.
Pros and Cons of Dehydrated Food
The major pros and cons of dehydrated food are explained below.
There are various kinds of dehydration equipment that can be purchased and installed in your home kitchen. With proper handling and management, these equipment can last for years and thus, it is a one-time expense. All you need to do is purchase fresh food and then dehydrate it at home. It saves a lot of money in the long-run. Buying dehydrated foods directly from the grocery store regularly will prove to be a costly activity.
The food dehydration process helps to reduce kitchen waste. It has been seen that around 40% of foods purchased by families are wasted. For example, overripe fruits are often thrown in the dustbin. Instead, you can put it in the dehydrator to control spoilage and store it for later consumption. The same works for leftover foods that can be dehydrated and consumed at a later date.
Dehydrated foods retain the exact taste and texture of the food. For example, dehydrated corn tastes amazing when roasted, right? It assumes its fresh nature again when cooked and tastes delicious. It retains its nutritional value as well. Dehydration techniques are akin to natural preservation of foods as our ancestors did. Air drying or sun drying foods retain their natural element.
While the dehydrated foods bought from the grocery have a higher shelf life, remember that the reason is the addition of preservatives that might be harmful to the health. Preservatives, which are often chemicals, successfully prolong the life of the food but it can also change the composition of food.
For example, dehydrated bananas or berries may not be good for your health because a high amount of sugar is added as a preservative. High sugar consumption is often harmful for your health. This is the reason why home dehydration and preservation of food is recommended as you can control the process.
High Calorie Intake
Dehydrated food sees an increase in calorie count as compared to fresh food. The reduction in water content during the dehydration process increases the calorie content in the food, which can often trigger gain in body weight. To state an example for better understanding, a cup of fresh apples has 57 calories and a cup of dehydrated apples has 208 calories. If you are dieting, rethink before opting for consumption of any kind of dehydrated food purchased from grocery stores.
A Short FAQ
Is freeze dried and dehydrated food safe for consumption?
Yes, both the freeze dried and dehydrated food is safe for consumption. Both the methods reduce the moisture content from the food to prevent the growth of microorganisms.
Is freeze dried and dehydrated food nutritious?
Yes, they are. Freeze dried food retains higher nutritional value due to the method used in storing the food.
How are freeze dried and dehydrated food stored?
Both the freeze dried and dehydrated food should be stored in airtight containers to prevent the growth of moisture from the air. The airtight containers can be purchased from retail stores at an affordable price.
Are freeze dried and dehydrated foods recommended for kids?
Kids should consume freeze dried and dehydrated food in moderation; freshly made food is recommended and preferred. However, such preserved vegan freeze dried foods retain their nutritional value; therefore, even kids can consume them.
From where can freeze dried and dehydrated food be purchased?
Since freeze drying is a complex process that requires high-end machines, they are best purchased from retail outlets, grocery stores or online freeze dried food stores where they are preserved at the right cooling temperature. The dehydration process can happen at home too if the proper method is followed.
Conclusion Both freeze dried and dehydration are preferred methods of food preservation. They have their own pros and cons. Choose either one based on your food preferences and requirements. If you want to start exploring food preservation, try dehydrating foods in your home kitchen. Taste few freeze dried food products to understand the differences between the two.
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” – Ruth Reichl
When it comes to food, most people may not always hesitate to try something new, something different. It is one of the qualities of food lovers; they’re always up for new stuff. But more than the taste, one must also consider eating healthy. Especially when you are on a journey or a backpacking trip. After all, you can’t always depend on junk food. There has to be a healthy alternative. This is where easy travel prep mealscome into the picture. This is a food that is not only dehydrated but freeze dried while retaining all its essential nutrients and can be taken for months.
While traveling, access to healthy food is a big challenge. We usually have to depend on whatever food is available, which most of the time is junk, containing unwanted calories, fats, and may lead to several health issues on the trip and later as well. This is where freeze dried foods prove to be your best companions. When on a trip, you need to stay healthy, which means you need to consume appropriate nutrients, which is exactly what freeze dried foods offer.
These foods become all the more important while traveling as you get a sufficient intake of all kinds of vitamins and minerals. While the food at airports, stations, or any other spot may not provide you with the required essentials as they are mostly fast foods.
Freeze dried fruits and vegetables are specifically different than other regular foods as they undergo a process where the water content in them is removed while being in a frozen state and they are completely dried using low pressure.
Here’s how freeze drying of food takes place?
The freeze drying process is more about producing clean, dry, and nutritionally rich products that help you have a safe and healthy journey. So before we can turn to the health benefits of freeze drying, we shall delve into the process of freeze drying to understand the exact procedure. Also known as lyophilization, freeze drying revolves around the removal of moisture, which is the major reason behind the food contamination, from raw and frozen products through vacuum and sublimation. The frozen raw product is then cut down to the required piece size and spread evenly onto trays which are stored in freezers. What happens now is that the sized product freezes at an even colder temperature, reaching an optimal state at which the original shape of the product can be retained. The trays, in the next stage, are filled into a freeze-drying chamber, which is refrigerated and is tightly shut. The chamber’s vacuum system removes ice from the product converting it directly into a vapor without moving through the liquid state, in a process called sublimation.
We also need to know the types of food that can be packed, stored, and consumed during a journey. Here are a few freeze dried food options that you can take along on your backpacking trip or a journey of more than a few weeks and months:
For full-fledged meals
MRE beef meal is the perfect pick for your trip to colder areas. This product is ready to eat meal that is rich in high nutritional content. With zero refrigeration required, it has a shelf life of up to 5 years when stored at 70 degrees or cooler.
Summit breakfast scramble New 2020: The product contains red beans, scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, and pepper, perfect for a morning on a backpacking trip in the mountains.
Risotto with chicken: This blend of creamy Parmesan cheese, rice broccoli corn, onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes is an ideal breakfast on a long journey.
Well, there are infinite options to choose from right from Peanut butter & raisin oatmeal to Granola with bananas, almonds & milk, that make for a perfectly healthy breakfast, which is both easy to make and lightweight.
Here are some major benefits of freeze dried foods:
What makes freeze dried food popular is their travel friendliness. These products are perfectly suited for travel. A journey where you need to travel for days, even months, where food stores are scarce and junk food in abundance, freeze dried products are perfect for such kind of a travel. Not only does it requires minimum space, but is also lightweight, which makes it an ideal item for even backpacking trips.
Easy to prepare
Dehydrated foods require cooking, even seasoning sometimes. So one needs to boil the food and let it cook for some time. This usually takes at least 15 minutes to four hours. One most beneficial aspect of freeze dried foods is that they can be easily prepared. So you just need to add hot or cold water to the freeze dried food and you’re good to go. In other words, they make for a quick meal option, wherever you are.
So be it a hotel room or a primitive area with the least available facilities, you can prepare a meal for yourself easily. Like if you have freeze dried sweet potatoes with you, all you need to do is rehydrate them by adding water and let them soak the heat and you’re good to go. Freeze dried fruits on the contrary can also be consumed directly from the pack as they do not require rehydration.
There is a reason why freeze dried food is so popularly used on backpacking trips. The products are extremely easy to carry. Because of the freeze drying process, the food becomes lightweight as the water content is removed and obviously becomes smaller than the actual size. This is why freeze dried food can fit into your suitcase or bags comfortably. Freeze dried fruits and vegetables can be directly consumed without hydrating them. These work as an instant energy booster while hiking or trekking.
Freeze dried foods can be stored for a long time. If you happen to travel to a place with no refrigeration facility or a place where you cannot adjust to the menus, you could always depend on freeze dried foods. Since they do not require refrigeration, they can be well-stored and consumed as they won’t go bad. So if you are traveling for more than one day, freeze dried foods will always have your back. Fresh produce cannot be stored as it poses the threat of food poisoning. Therefore, the high durability of freeze dried food is the main reason why it is preferred by trekkers and hikers and even during emergencies.
One of the best things about freeze dried foods is that they are rich in nutrients. This is very important because the body needs all kinds of vitamins and minerals, especially when you’re out on a tour where most of the food you will find is junk. Even though the fresh produce may have slightly more nutrients than freeze dried foods, the latter is rich in fiber and antioxidants, making the nutritional difference negligible.
Dehydrating and canning involve the heating of food which usually hampers the nutritional value of the food by breaking down its vitamin and mineral contents like vitamins A and C, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. Further, the taste is also affected as the food fibers are broken down, which even changes the texture of the food.
According to the process mentioned above, the actual color and shape of the raw materials are also retained and maintained due to freeze drying. Since the raw materials remain intact and unspoiled, the body can efficiently consume the food while maintaining its required level of nutritional intake. All this makes Freeze dried food highly nutritious and beneficial for the body. Several health issues can be avoided and tackled if it is carried along on long journeys.
Freeze dried food is a lifesaver during emergencies too, where you do not have access to food. In situations where you are stuck in an isolated place or if your car breaks down in the middle of the journey with nowhere to go, having freeze fried foods packed with you is a blessing in disguise. This is the reason freeze dried food is sent to places with emergencies such as floods or other natural disasters.
Making the food scrumptious
Not only does freeze drying increases the nutritional value of the food, it also makes it more appetizing. When you dehydrate the food, it becomes hard and crunchy, and if the same food is freeze dried, it tends to become soft again as soon as you put it in the mouth. It thus is nutritious as well as succulent. Apart from dried fruits and vegetables, even dairy products can be freeze dried. On first thought, cheese or yogurt or any dairy product for that matter, may not be your first choice for freeze drying. But surprisingly, probiotics and nutrients in a dairy can be best preserved through freeze drying. Rehydration of cheese is quite easy and once rehydrated; this cheese melts just as good in the mouth as regular cheese.
Lightening the food
If you are traveling for days, you are going to need food that will not just last for days but will fit properly in your bags without making them heavy. And, freeze dried food is definitely light and easy to carry. It can be carried along for months without worrying about food poisoning.
What freeze dried food is popular for is its surprising durability. Dried fruits, soy powder, and dried vegetables have a shelf life of about 20 years and items like honey, salt, and sugar have shelf value of almost 30 years. These foods have the highest and longest durability with the food remaining edible for at least 25 to 30 years. Furthermore, this food can be stored at extreme temperatures. It can survive extremely hot and cold climatic conditions without getting affected. So the longevity of these products is one of the major reasons why they are carried along during long journeys.
Low in calories
In contemporary times, where one needs to take the utmost care of their health, freeze dried foods offer the best solution. The junk food which is commonly found around us is hazardous for health. It is rich in calories, which ultimately leads to obesity and other severe health issues. So in order to avoid such a mess while on a trip, depending on freeze dried foods is the best option as it not just keeps you energetic but also fulfills your body’s nutritional needs. These foods take care of your health by keeping the calorie intake in check.
So Freeze dried food is the perfect solution for an emergency or a backpacking trip. As compared to the conventionally dried fruits and vegetables, freeze dried foods offer much lesser calories and are healthier. Lesser the calories, lower the chances of unwanted health issues. As these foods undergo a vigorous process of vacuum and sublimation, which dehydrates them while freezing, they make for a healthy food option for longer journeys. Apart from being lightweight, freeze dried foods are easy to digest too. And, digestion becomes important when one is traveling for months. Therefore, when on a backpacking trip, or a year-long tour, don’t forget to pack freeze dried meals for traveling as these ensure a balanced and healthy diet on the way.