Best Freeze-Dried Meals for Camping (26 Quick Meal Ideas)

Freeze-dried meals are convenient, lightweight, calorie-dense, and can be very delicious!

This is why they’ve become so popular as a go-to meal option for camping and backpacking.

In this guide, we’ll look at some of the best freeze-dried meals for camping (from breakfast to dessert), the best brands to choose from, plus answer some important FAQs!

Best Freeze-Dried Meals for Camping

The best freeze-dried meals for camping are pre-cooked and made with real ingredients, provide the calories you need and are ready in minutes. And, of course, they taste delicious!

Important: The “best” freeze-dried meal is subjective. It really comes down to personal taste. But below are some of our favorites, along with our favorite brands, to help you pick out some convenient and great tasting options for your next camping trip!

Freeze-Dried Breakfast Meals

DescriptionServingsCalories Per Serving
Peak Refuel Breakfast Skillet2320
Peak Refuel Biscuits & Sausage Gravy2570
Backpacker’s Pantry Granola with Blueberries, Almonds & Milk1620
Mountain House Breakfast Skillet2260
Mountain House Granola with Milk & Blueberries2260
Alpine Bandito Egg Scramble1460
ReadyWise Breakfast Variety Pack120190-250

Freeze-Dried Lunch & Dinner Entrees

DescriptionServingsCalories Per Serving
Peak Refuel Chicken Alfredo Pasta2430
Peak Refuel Beef Stroganoff2400
Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef2230
Mountain House Chicken Teriyaki with Rice2240
Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai2370
Backpacker’s Pantry Lasagna2310
AlpineAire Foods Spicy Sausage Pasta1600
AlpineAire Himalayan Lentils & Rice (Vegetarian)1640
ReadyWise Entree Variety Bucket60Varies

Freeze-Dried Desserts

DescriptionServingsCalories Per Serving
Peak Refuel Dessert Bites2320
Mountain House Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich1140
Backpacker’s Pantry Creme Brulee2310
Backpacker’s Pantry Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Mix2300
AlpineAire Chocolate Mudslide1580

Freeze-Dried Snacks

DescriptionServingsCalories Per Serving
Mountain House Peanut Butter Bites – Apples & Cinnamon3140
Mountain House Peanut Butter Bites – Cocoa3140
ReadyWise Simple Kitchen Freeze-Dried Strawberries and Bananas1100
ReadyWise Cookie Dough Trail Treats2240
Thousand Lakes Freeze Dried Sweet Corn3100

Tip: Add your favorite freeze-dried meals from above to your camping food list so you’re prepared for your next trip!

And don’t forget your camping and backpacking stove, so you can heat the water to add to your freeze-dried meal pouch.

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Looking for more quick and easy food ideas? Check out our list of the best packaged foods for camping and our huge list of 101 food ideas to take camping without a fridge (including meal plans)!

Best Freeze-Dried Food Companies

There are many different companies offering freeze-dried foods and meals. But only a few really stand out.

These companies have developed a reputation for creating high-quality, delicious freeze-dried foods focusing on customer satisfaction.

Mountain House

Mountain House

Mountain House originally began making food that tasted good and was long-lasting for the United States military during the Vietnam conflict. Then in 1969, they started offering freeze-dried meals to regular consumers. Over the years, they have become a leader in the freeze-dried meal market.

Peak Refuel

Peak Refuel

Peak Refuel uses 100% non-GMO ingredients, and USDA inspected meats in their packaged meals. They rehydrate fast and are typically ready to eat in less than 10 minutes! Less time preparing food means more time to enjoy camping!

Backpacker’s Pantry

Backpackers pantry

Backpacker’s Pantry has become extremely popular in just the last decade for creating authentic recipes, using only the healthiest ingredients, and being eco-friendly. They are one of the few companies that are 100% solar-powered and have offset all carbon emissions from shipping. You are supporting a better future by supporting Backpacker’s pantry.

They have one of the largest vegetarian and vegan meal assortments I’ve seen, as well.

AlpineAire

AlpineAire

AlpineAire believes that freeze-dried meals shouldn’t be boring. So, they’ve created a range of products, including meat and vegetarian meals, soups, vegetables, and other foods ranging from breakfast to dessert.

Simply add water, and you have a healthy, preservative-free meal in minutes!

Readywise

Readywise

Readywise creates freeze-dried meals for emergency preparedness and outdoor camping and hiking situations. Their meals are easy-to-prepare (just add water), last up to 25 years, and are affordable and convenient.

They sell large bundles, which are excellent for extended camping trips or to have on hand for survival purposes.

Camper’s Pantry

Camper's Pantry

Camper’s Pantry is an Australian-based company that started creating great-tasting freeze-dried meals to help fuel campers and hikers as they traverse the beautiful outback and beyond!

All of their meals are made with real ingredients, pre-cooked, and 100% freeze-dried.

Good To-Go

Good To-Go

Last on this list is Good To-Go. They technically only offer dehydrated backpacking meals for camping and hiking, but I thought I would mention them as the end product is similar, and they are a great company.

All Good To-Go meals are hand-made in Maine using the cleanest ingredients. And they offer arguably the best-tasting dehydrated meals around! That’s because their meals are designed by Chef Jennifer Scism, who just happened to beat Mario Batali of Iron Chef fame in the Mushroom Battle of Spring 2005.

FAQs

Is Freeze-Dried Camping Food Good?

Freeze-dried camping food tastes as good as its fresh counterpart. The freeze-drying process simply removes any moisture from the food. When you rehydrate the food to eat it, you are essentially returning it to its original state. 

How Do You Freeze-Dry Meals for Camping?

To freeze dry meals for camping, you will need a freeze-drying machine. Simply turn on the freeze-dryer and let it cool down to the proper temperature. Then place your meals on the included tray, and slide the tray into the freeze-dryer. In about 24 hours, your food will be dried. Properly seal your food in bags or jars, and it’s ready for camping!

Are Freeze-Dried Meals Healthy?

Freeze-dried foods retain the majority of their nutritional value during the drying process, thus making them as healthy as their fresh counterparts.

How Long Do Freeze-Dried Foods Last?

Freeze-dried foods will typically last 25 – 30 years as long as they are unopened. Once opened, they are exposed to air and moisture, drastically reducing their shelf-life.

Related: 48 Best Canned Foods for Camping (With Meal Ideas)

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