hike blog

Dried veggies and fruit

Accepting your own mortality is like eating your vegetables: You may not want to do it, but it’s good for you.
– Caitlin Doughty

Fruits and veggies are incredibly easy to dehydrate and weigh next to nothing while they pack a nutritional punch.

Fruits and veggies are incredibly easy to dehydrate and weigh next to nothing while they pack a nutritional punch.

The easiest way to get veggies and fruit on your backpacking trip is to dehydrate them. Fresh fruits – like apple and watermelon – and many vegetables – like cherry tomatoes and bell peppers – can be dried directly on the racks, but some – like carrots – need to be blanched first, which takes time and is just one more step I don’t feel like doing. So I was delighted to discover you can get fantastic results dehydrating frozen vegetables as is, no cooking required! including carrots, peas, string beans, corn, and those packages of frozen medleys – as well as a wide range of fruits like mango and pineapple.

Dehydrated vegetables can be added to any meal, and work very well with potato bark. I tend to eat dehydrated fruits all on their own. There is nothing like mango, watermelon or pineapple at the top of a hard-to-reach peak. They taste like candy; a real treat.

Pro tips:

  • For best results, don’t let the fruits or veggies stack on top of each other as the dehydrate.
  • Place them directly on the tray, though you may have to gently peel them when you flip them.
  • Some fruits can get a little sticky or turn slightly brown. You can always add a little lime juice which also gives them a mild margarita taste.
hike blog

Behold the bar!

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. 
– Virginia Woolf

Bars are a go-to for nearly every backpacker.

A high energy snack for the pack.

When I first made these backpacking essentials, I called them vegetarian pemmican which simply confused everyone. The fact is, they’re similar at least in principle. Vegan, but not gluten-free, these babies are packed with vitamins, protein, fiber and fat, and the best part is they taste oh, so good. You might find your bars double as currency if you’re in a jam on the trail.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup dates

1/2 cup dried figs (remove stems)

1/2 cup unsalted raw almonds

1/2 cup unsalted cashews

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1/2 cup pecan pieces

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup wheat bran

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup honey or agave syrup

Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Chop fruit and nuts in a food processor. I like to get the nuts really buttery.

3. Mix together with dry ingredients and slowly add honey. Add enough water to moisten, 1/2 to a full cup.

4. Press into a greased 6×6 pan.

5. Bake for 30 minutes.

6. Let cool on wire rack.

7. Cut into squares and immediately store in vacuum sealed bags. They can be frozen until ready to bring on your backpacking trip.

8. Enjoy!

These bars are nutritious but a few days’ worth weigh more than my tent.

The bars are nutritious but a few days’ worth weigh more than my tent.

Pro tips:

  • For best results, keep the batter moist before baking.
  • The bars are not light, but they pack a punch of nutrition and much-needed calories.
  • Once you open the vacuum seal, repack bars in ziploc bags.
  • Bars taste best with a hot drink.