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Trail Food: Drying and Cooking Food for Backpacking and Paddling Paperback – February 22, 1998
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About the Author
Alan Kesselheim dries his food in Bozeman, Montana, where he lives with his wife and three children. He is the author of five books, including Water and Sky: Reflections of a Northern Year and Going Inside, and has published hundreds of magazine articles.
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There are extensive tables explaining what texture your finished dried food should be at, tips for storage and many recipes. Some of them are vegetarian and many of them could be easily adapted to being vegan as well.
He also includes plans for building your own food dehydrators, one heated by a light bulb, the other, solar.
A wonderful inspiring book for finding new ways to pack nutritious and good meals.
A nice feature is the chart of drying temperatures and times for different foods. Also, the chart of calorie and protein content of different foods is important to making sure you get enough calories to keep going in the field and enough protein to keep your body from consuming your muscle tissue for fuel. There are also plans for building your own dehydrator for the do-it-yourselfer. The suggested one week meal plan is a good guide to get you started on packing for a trip.
The emphasis of this book is on drying individual ingredients and then rehydrating and combining them at meal time. This allows you to be more flexible in your meals, but takes a little longer at meal time. However, it also tells you how to use your own recipes to prepare a conmplete meal and then dehydrate it. Precooked spaghetti, rice or beans rehydrate and cook faster in the field. The book recommends having both types of meals with you for variety and flexibility. You can also dehydrate canned foods like vegetables or canned chicken, tuna or salmon and use them in your recipes.
This book is concise and a fast read, but packs a lot of information. This means that you need to pay attention to pick up all the important points. Fully half of the book gives infomration on dehydrating and meal planning as well as other important instructions and the other half gives some excellent recipes.
One important point (based on experience) is to be sure to try the recipes at home on the same stove and cooking utensels that you will have in the field. You want to make sure that you have everything you need and know how to use it BEFORE you are in the field and cold and wet and tired and hungry. That's not a good time to find out that you need another pot or that your pot isn't large enough to properly prepare your recipes!
"Trail Food" is all you need to dehydrate your own meals, but a few other general books on dehydrating wouldn't hurt to help you gain a full understanding of all the nuances of dehydrating.
In other words, if you have a husband as I do with high blood pressure this book will give you options that others don't. :)
Being one who dehydrates food as well as a backpacker and hiker, I had high hopes for this book. It didn't live up to my expectations.