Backpacking Chef Makes Camping (More) Fun For Food Lovers

Attention camping enthusiasts! If you're dragging around anything but Backpacking Chef's excellent home-dehydrated meals, you're packing deadweight and probably suck at other facets of camping too. All you'll need to recreate the chef's (and cookbook author's) lightweight, portable and infinitely better-than-canned creations is a food dehydrator, or even just a nice low oven. Besides, they don't make canned ratatouille or shrimp and grits.

Learn the basics of food dehydrating, for instance: how to dry out cooked ground beef for the quickiest, easiest smoky campfire chili you've ever had or how to dessicate tuna for quickie tuna casserole. It really couldn't be easier. All your job entails is laying out food on a tray and letting low, dry heat do the rest. Prone to getting lost in the woods? Properly dried, stored meat, fruits and vegetables will last up to 2 months — just add water and it snaps right back to life.

Peruse this awesome website for more tips and recipes, including what might possibly be our favorite thing to bring camping since these coolers: tomato sauce leather. Yes, simply cook up a nice smooth tomato sauce, spread it out in a thin layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheets and dehydrate for light, flexible and long-lasting strips of reconstitutable tomato sauce...that you made! With love! Or just curiosity, that's fine too. But a little rehydrated tangy marinara makes "campfire cuisine" into "dining al fresco" without lugging a 28-ounce can of San Marzano up a friggin' mountain. Use the extra room for booze.

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