Chef's Top Picks Shopping Guide
Welcome to the Backpacking Chef Shopping Guide!
These are products that I use regularly, and if I haven’t
yet, they come highly recommended by Backpacking Chef readers.
Take a look and see if there’s something new that will help
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High-quality dehydrators ranked by capacity. Read
- NESCO Gardenmaster Digital Pro Dehydrator, 4 Trays
- COSORI Dehydrator Digital Controls, 6 Stainless Steel Trays
- Excalibur Dehydrator Digital Controls, 9 Trays
& Nonstick Dehydrator Sheets
Mesh sheets are needed for drying small food items in
dehydrators that have tray supports with large spaces. Nonstick sheets are
needed for drying fruit leather and saucy foods. Flat sheets can be cut to fit
- Dostk Mesh Dehydrator Sheets, 14” x 14”, 12-Pack
- Excalibur ParaFlexx Nonstick Dehydrator Sheets, 14” x 14”,
- Hlimior 6-Pack Silicone Dehydrator Sheets with
Raised Edge, 12” x 10.6”, 6-Pack
Measuring Cups, Digital Food Scale
A good blender makes easy work of blending fruits and
vegetables for fruit leathers, soups, and sauces. I use measuring cups and a
digital food scale when cooking whole meals for dehydration, and also for weighing
quantities when assembling dehydrated meals.
- Ninja Blender, 1200W, 72 oz. Pitcher plus 18, 24, & 32
oz. To-Go Cups
- Measuring Cups & Spoons, Set of 20, Stainless Steel
- Etekcity Digital Food Kitchen Scale, Stainless
Sealers & Bags
Vacuum sealing removes oxygen and prolongs the shelf-life of
dehydrated food. Vacuum-sealed meals are protected from moisture on the trail. See: vacuum sealing dehydrated food.
- FoodSaver FM2435 Vacuum Sealer
- FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer Bag Rolls, 8" x 20', 3-Pack
- Vacuum Sealer Kit for Wide & Regular-Mouth
Mason Jars, Works with FoodSaver Vacuum Sealers
Bags & Oxygen Absorbers
Mylar bags, when used in combination with oxygen absorbers,
are excellent for storing individual dehydrated meals. Cook meals right in the
bag by adding boiled water. Oxygen absorbers should also be added to dehydrated
foods stored in mason jars at home.
- PackFreshUSA: Pint (6" x 7") Mylar Pouch Stand-Up,
Heat Sealable Bags plus 100cc Oxygen Absorbers, Pack of 50 each, plus Long-Term
Food Storage Guide.
- PackFreshUSA: Quart (7" x 9") Mylar Pouch
Stand-Up, Heat Sealable Bags plus 200cc Oxygen Absorbers, Pack of 50 each, plus
Long-Term Food Storage Guide.
- 100cc Oxygen Absorbers, 200 Pack, PackFreshUSA,
plus Long-Term Food Storage Guide.
Thermos food jars are excellent for rehydrating meals that
you want to eat later in the day. Great for backpacking, hiking, work, and
travel. It helps to have a long-handle spoon. Read more about thermos cooking.
- THERMOS Stainless King Vacuum-Insulated Food Jar, 24 oz.
- Optimus Titanium Long Spoon
- THERMOS Stainless King Vacuum-Insulated Food Jar
with Spoon, 16 oz.
Pot Cozy & Pot Stand Material
Hold the heat in your backpacking pot or bag by making an
insulating pot cozy or pouch cozy. See how to make a pot cozy, and how to
make a pot stand for alcohol or candle stove.
- Double Bubble Reflective Foil Insulation, 24” x 10’
- Reflectix FT210 Reflective Foil Tape, 2" x 30'
- Hardware Cloth for DIY Pot Stands 24” x 5’
light Candles, Alcohol Fuel Bottle, Canister Stove
See tea light candle cooking or tea light
alcohol stove cooking.
- Richland Unscented Tea light Candles, White, 125 count.
- Vargo Alcohol Fuel Bottle
- Optimus Crux Folding Canister Stove
A 900 ml pot is big enough for solo backpacking, but a 1300
ml pot gives you more flexibility if you sometimes hike with two people. The
GSI Halulite pot, a heavier option, comes with cups and bowls. These pots all have
- EVERNEW Ti Titanium Ultralight Pot, 900 ml
- EVERNEW Ti Titanium Ultralight Pot, 1300 ml
- GSI Halulite Microdualist Pot with
Cups & Bowls, 2 Person
Filters & Purification
Sawyer Squeeze water filters come in several sizes and work
well. Carry a backup water purification method such as chlorine dioxide drops
or tablets, or a UV SteriPen. Read more about water filters and purification.
- Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System w/ Two 32-Oz Squeeze
Pouches, Straw, and Hydration Pack Adapter
- Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets, 20 Count
- SteriPEN Ultra UV Water Purifier
by Chef Glenn
Everything you need to know about dehydrating delicious
- Recipes for Adventure: Healthy, Hearty and Homemade
- Recipes for Adventure II: The Best of Trail Bytes
- 1001 Miles on the Appalachian Trail
Replace sodium and minerals lost during sweating and improve
- LMNT Zero-Sugar Electrolytes Hydration Powder Packets
- Nuun Sport Electrolyte Hydration Tablets
- Tailwind Electrolytes Hydration Powder Packets.
Coffee & Milk
Coffees highly recommended by Backpacking Chef
- Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee, 50 packets
- Café Bustelo Instant Coffee, 72
- Whole Milk Powder by Hoosier Hill Farm, 1 lb.
Cheese, Peanut Butter, and Coconut Milk
Make saucy meals. Add to backpacking desserts and fruit
leather smoothies. See Mac & Cheese Recipes, Thai Peanut Noodles Recipe,
Thai Green Curry Recipe, Fruit Leather Recipes.
- Cheddar Cheese Powder by Hoosier Hill Farm, 1 lb.
- Peanut Butter Powder by PB2, 32 oz.
- Coconut Milk Powder by Anthony's Organic, 1 lb.
These freeze-dried meals got the top votes from Backpacking
Chef readers. With a 30-year shelf life, it’s good to keep a few meals on hand
for emergencies or for when you don’t have time to dry your own.
Hungry backpackers can eat a 2-person serving, but a
1-person serving may be better for some appetites.
- Mountain House Biscuits & Gravy, 2 Servings
- Mountain House Chicken & Dumplings, 2 Servings
- Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce, 2
Pro-Pak meals are 1 serving.
- Mountain House Breakfast Skillet, 1 Serving
- Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles, 1 Serving
- Mountain House Chicken & Rice, 1 Serving
Calorically dense energy bars to eat between meals.
Recommended by Backpacking Chef readers.
- LÄRABAR Variety Pack, Gluten Free Fruit & Nut
Bars, 16 bars
- CLIF BAR Energy Bars Variety Pack, Plant Based, 16
- GoMacro Macrobars, Organic, Vegan, 12 Flavors, 12 Bars
Add to meals to boost fat calories.
- Kraft Real Mayo, 25 Packets
- Marconi Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 25 Packets
- JUSTIN'S Peanut Butter, 10 Packets
Recommend a Product
If you use and love a product related to food dehydration or backpacking food, please send me your recommendation here: Contact Chef Glenn.
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