When you made that lasagna the other night, did you ever wonder how it would taste if you had to dehydrate the slices? How about turning Mom’s Tuna Casserole into crumbles that will later be re-hydrated into life?

This is what Melinda Dean, avid hiker and trail blazer, has done on the weekends for the past two years. She’s traveled to Patagonia and enjoyed the beautiful sightseeing; she’s trekked up Kilimanjaro and many other mountains, hills, slopes and stairs! All this fueled by a passion for seeing more, climbing more and living more; she’s also fueled by dehydrated foods!


Here are Melinda’s tips and tricks, as well as her favorite foods to dehydrate:

  • When dehydrating foods, make sure to thinly slice them as to have achieve drying. 
  • Re-hydrated foods tend to lose flavor, so before drying out, make sure to add an extra dash of seasoning or salt to cover for the lost flavor.
  • Favorite Foods:
    • Chilli
    • Lasagna
    • Tuna Casserole
  • The process of re-hydrating: the dried food is sealed in Ziplock Freezer Bags and when on site, water is boiled and added to the bag. Depending on the food, it takes between 8-10 minutes to fully re-hydrate. 
  • To keep foods warm, Melinda has made a bag out of silver bubble wrap to contain the heat. 
  • Trails Snacks: Fruit (dried for long trips and fresh for weekend/short trips); oatmeal bars; jerky; M&M’s; water and Gatorade. 

What would you like to try dehydrating or what is your favorite trail/hike food?
If you have any questions for Melinda, be sure to leave them in the comments section!!

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  1. Kathryn Sheneman says:

    Thank you, Melinda. I am planning a hike of a few months, got a food dehydrator, vacuum sealer and was hoping to make up some lasagne and dehydrate it. Your suggestions are just the encouragement I needed.

  2. I guess a girl has to do what a girl has to do in order to eat. Not sure if I would find dehydrated meals appetizing, but it’s a great idea for hikers to be able to have a meal.

  3. this is the first time I read about dehydrating meals this sounds interesting I am curious on how things done.

  4. Cool, I make jerky a lot, but never tried casseroles, etc. Great Idea!

  5. This is absolutely crazy. Never thought of dehydrating whole meals, just fruit chips, unless I were an astronaut and that is a different story. lol but yeah, cool!

  6. Banana chips for sure. I love anchovies and I can imagine you all staying away from me, LOL. Seriously though, other than herbs and tomatoes I haven’t dehydrated anything.

  7. Wow, love this!!!! I bought some camper, pre-packaged, dried dinner….honestly it was just okay. BUT making my own food, brilliant! I can decide what goes in my meal, especially less sodium:-) Hugs, Terra

  8. this is crazy! i’ve never heard of dehydrating meals before! something for me to consider when i go on future road trips.