How to Dehydrate Food

Unlike Pocatello’s ski mountaineering champ Luke Nelson – who believes that there is not bad weather, just soft people – I value 10 fingers and toes and prefer to lay low when temps drop below -13 F (-25 C) and wind chill takes it down even lower.

That doesn’t mean cold weather days don’t have any value for softer outdoor enthusiasts. Put those 10 digits to use prepping for future backcountry adventures.

Food is necessity no matter when or where the trip. Freeze-dried meals are easy, but they’re also expensive and you never know exactly what you’re eating. Bone-chilling winter days are perfect for a little time in the kitchen dehydrating food for future use. It’s cheap, relatively easy and you’ll know exactly what is going into your mouth.

Drying red peppers

What you need:

  • veggies (potatoes, or carrots, or onions, or zuchinni…)
  • vegetable peeler
  • knife (or food processor)
  • dehydrator

How to do it:

  1. Peel, slice and lay a single layer of veggies on each tray.
  2. Turn on the dehydrator.
  3. Rotate and flip veggies as needed to ensure even drying.
  4. Bag them and store away for your next adventure.
  5. To use, soak (rehydrate) in warm water and use in soups, stews, and curries.


  • Start early, dried vegetables keep well for months when stored in moisture-proof containers.
  • Choose vegetables that are firm and that will keep their colour and texture when re-hydrated (carrots, red/white/yellow onions, red/yellow/green peppers, potatoes, yams and zucchini have worked well for us).
  • Slice vegetables as evenly as possible so that they will dry at the same rate.
  • Move trays top to bottom and turn quarter turns several times while drying to help maintain an equal drying rate.

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