Chef Glenn McAllister
Food Dehydrating Expert & Author

Robert Young, a famous actor in the 70’s, played the lead in a TV series called, "Marcus Welby, M.D." Young’s trustworthy persona  enabled him to do commercials as well. As he began his pitch of  Sanka-brand coffee as an aid to sleep, he'd say, “I'm not a doctor, although I play one on TV.”

When I started Backpacking Chef in 2008, I similarly said, “I’m not a chef, but I play one on the Internet.” I figured I would grow into the job.

With apologies to working chefs, I gave myself the trail name, Chef Glenn. The idea was that anybody could become a backpacking chef. I imagined putting "Chef" in front of the first names of everybody who transitioned from eating freeze-dried meals to creating homemade backpacking meals using healthy ingredients.

In the thirteen years since I took the first ninety dehydrated meals for a 315-mile test hike on the Appalachian Trail, my interest in developing backpacking recipes using dehydrated food continues.

Every month, I send out a newsletter, Trail Bytes, to twelve thousand subscribers. Each edition includes step-by-step instructions for making dehydrated meals.


Get a free e-book when you subscribe: Home & Trail: An Introduction to Drying Food.

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Reader comments:

Dear Chef Glenn,
What an awesome gift.  Receiving your downloadable book made my day. I will be able to begin my dehydrating experience. Making meals for day hikes and longer backpacking will be a great winter project. Thank you again. -Ginger

THANK YOU so much for this. Passing on knowledge about stuff like this is invaluable! -Tra

This guide looks awesome, Glenn! Thanks so much. I also regularly share your newsletters with my hiking friends who do not yet know about you and encourage them to get your books and newsletter. –Abra

My sincere thanks to you for another year of superlative recipes and your wealth of experiences you provide us! -Jeff

Short Bio

I grew up in northern New Jersey, in a neighborhood built on a former dairy farm. There were plenty of woodlots and streams for a boy to explore. My favorite topics in school were the sciences. I headed south to the University of Georgia for college, and later settled in North Georgia.

To stay connected to nature, I served on the board of the Upper Etowah River Alliance. My primary role was leading hikes and canoe trips, but I also got certified as a Georgia Adopt-A-Stream water quality tester. When my kids were young, family-time included lot's of camping and playing in rivers and lakes.

For the past twelve years, I have lived in Switzerland with my wife, Dominique. I am blessed with two daughters and three granddaughters in Georgia, plus a loving second family in Switzerland. Dominique and I hike regularly – usually with a hot thermos meal made with healthy, dehydrated ingredients.

Chef Glenn & Dominique

Chef Glenn McAllister in the News

Associated Press

This article was published in the Washington Post and numerous regional newspapers.

Eating well on the trail: Hikers dehydrate home-cooked meals


Dehydrating Food: How to Make Your Own Backpacking Meals

Scouting Magazine

6 Backpacking Food Articles Introducing Food Dehydration to Scouts

Outside Magazine

Stop Wasting Money on Prepackaged Backpacking Food

Backpacker Magazine

3 Perfect Ways to Upgrade Your Ramen

How to Make Your Own Backpacking Meals

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine

A.T. Chef Dishes Tips and Best Backpacking Recipes

Section Hiker

Review of Recipes for Adventure

Hunt Backcountry Podcast

Interview with Chef Glenn: Do-It-Yourself Dehydrated Meals

National Parks Traveler Podcast

Episode 198 | Chef Glenn McAllister Discusses Food Dehydration

Sea Kayak Assoc. of British Columbia Presentation

A 1-hour Zoom presentation of "Let's Get Started Dehydrating Food" recorded on YouTube.

Social Media

Facebook: Backpacking Chef

Questions or Comments for Chef Glenn

Contact Chef Glenn McAllister

Sale: Buy 1 e-book and get $5 off each additional e-book.

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Recipes for Adventure: Healthy, Hearty & Homemade Backpacking Recipes. The Ultimate Guide to Dehydrating Food for the Trail.
Recipes for Adventure II: The Best of Trail Bytes. Adventures in Dehydrating Backpacking Food.
Action Guide: Dehydrating 31 Meals. Step-by-step instructions.
Backpacking Chef Menu Planning & Food Drying Workbook.
1001 Miles on the Appalachian Trail.

Free E-book & Newsletter

Home & Trail: An Introduction to Drying Food. Free with subscription to Trail Bytes.

Free with Trail Bytes subscription.