hiking meals dehydrated

Freeze Dried Meal Options for the Australian Hiker – Dehydrated Comfort Food Guide for  Kokoda


Trekking the historic Kokoda Track is a challenging and rewarding experience that takes you through the rugged terrain of Papua New Guinea. As you embark on this journey, ensuring you have the right meals is crucial for sustaining your energy and keeping you fuelled throughout the hike. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of dehydrated hiking meals, offering you a range of options to consider for your adventure on the Kokoda Trail.

Understanding Dehydrated Meals

What are Dehydrated Meals?

Dehydrated meals are a popular choice for hikers and trekkers due to their lightweight nature and long shelf life. The process involves removing the moisture content from the food, making it lightweight and easy to carry while preserving its nutritional value.

Benefits of Dehydrated Meals on the Kokoda Trail

  1. Lightweight and Compact: Dehydrated meals are ideal for backpacking, as they are significantly lighter than traditional camping food, allowing you to carry less weight on your journey.
  2. Extended Shelf Life: With moisture removed, dehydrated meals have a longer shelf life, ensuring your food stays fresh throughout the entire trek.
  3. Nutritionally Balanced: Many dehydrated options offer a balanced mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, providing the essential nutrients needed for a strenuous hike.

Meal Preparation for the Kokoda Trail

Dehydration Techniques

Using a Dehydrator

Investing in a food dehydrator gives you the flexibility to create your own dehydrated meals. Whether it’s beef jerky, dried fruits, or complete meals, a dehydrator allows for a range of delicious options.

Homemade Dehydrated Meals

For those who love cooking, preparing homemade dehydrated meals allows you to customize flavours and cater to your specific dietary preferences. Experiment with recipes using your dehydrator for a truly personalized experience.

Rehydration on the Trail

Carrying a reliable flameless heater pack ensures you can enjoy a hot and satisfying meal after a long day on the trail. Simply add water to your dehydrated meal, and within minutes, you’ll have a nutritious and comforting dish.

Meal Options and Choices

Diverse Dehydrated Meal Choices

  1. Main Meals: Explore a variety of main meal options, from casseroles to pasta dishes, all in a dehydrated form for easy packing and rehydration.
  2. Snack Ideas: Include energy bars, fruit leather, and beef jerky in your backpack for quick and convenient snacks during breaks.
  3. Breakfast Starters: Kickstart your day with dehydrated breakfast options, ensuring you have the energy needed for the challenges ahead.

Dietary Considerations

  1. Gluten-Free Options: For those with dietary restrictions, there is a great range of gluten-free dehydrated meals available, providing a safe and tasty choice.
  2. Nutritionally Balanced Choices: Opt for meals that offer a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to sustain your energy levels throughout the trek.

Practical Tips for Dehydrated Meals

Food Storage and Packaging

  1. Vacuum Sealed Bags: To maintain the freshness of your dehydrated meals, use vacuum-sealed bags to protect them from moisture and external elements.
  2. Single Serves: Pack meals in single-serving portions to avoid carrying excess weight and ensure easy portion control.

Longevity on the Trail

  1. Shelf Life: Dehydrated meals can last for at least a year if stored properly. Check the packaging for specific details on each product.
  2. Carrying Extra Weight: While dehydrated meals are lightweight, carrying a little extra weight can be worth it for the added comfort and enjoyment of tasty, nutritious food.


As you embark on the Kokoda Track, your choice of meals plays a vital role in the success of your trek. Dehydrated hiking meals offer a practical, nutritious, and delicious solution for sustaining your energy throughout the journey. From lightweight snacks to hearty dinners, the options available cater to various tastes and dietary preferences. So, gear up, pack your dehydrated meals, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure on the Kokoda Trail.


Q: What are dehydrated meals?

A: Dehydrated meals are food items from which the water has been removed using techniques such as freeze-drying or dehydration. This process helps to preserve the food, making it lightweight and convenient for backpacking and camping adventures.

Q: How do I dehydrate food for backpacking?

A: You can dehydrate food for backpacking using a food dehydrator or by air-drying certain foods. It involves removing the moisture from the food, which helps to extend its shelf life and makes it suitable for outdoor activities.

Q: What are the benefits of dehydrated meals for camping and hiking?

A: Dehydrated meals are lightweight, easy to carry, and have a long shelf life, making them ideal for camping and hiking trips. They also retain most of their nutrients and flavor, providing a convenient food option for outdoor adventures.

Q: Can I make homemade dehydrated meals for backpacking?

A: Yes, you can make homemade dehydrated meals for backpacking using a food dehydrator or by air-drying certain fruits, vegetables, and meats. This allows you to customize your meals and ensure they meet your dietary preferences.

Q: What are some popular dehydrated meal options for backpacking?

A: Popular dehydrated meal options for backpacking include freeze-dried meals, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, jerky, dried soups, and fruit leather. These options are lightweight, nutritious, and easy to prepare on the trail.

Q: How do I rehydrate dehydrated meals while camping or hiking?

A: Rehydrating dehydrated meals while camping or hiking is simple. You can add hot water directly to the meal pouch or resealable bag and let it sit for a few minutes until the food absorbs the water and becomes ready to eat.

Q: Can I use dehydrated food to make backpacking recipes?

A: Yes, dehydrated food can be used to create a variety of backpacking recipes, including soups, stews, pasta dishes, and trail mixes. By rehydrating the ingredients, you can enjoy flavourful and satisfying meals during your outdoor adventures.

Q: What are some tips for preparing dehydrated meals for backpacking?

A: When preparing dehydrated meals for backpacking, consider portion sizes, nutritional balance, and the ease of rehydration. It’s also helpful to label and organize your meals for easy access while on the trail.

Q: Are there any risks or considerations when using dehydrated food for camping or hiking?

A: While dehydrated food is a convenient option for outdoor activities, it’s important to ensure that the food is properly stored, rehydrated, and consumed within a reasonable timeframe to maintain its quality and safety.

Q: Where can I find a range of dehydrated meal options for backpacking and camping?

A: A variety of dehydrated meal options for backpacking and camping are available at outdoor supply stores, camping specialty shops, and online retailers. Look for brands that offer nutritious and flavourful dehydrated meals to enhance your outdoor dining experience.

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