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I am interested in getting a food dehydrator to make my own dried fruit and dehydrated ingredients for lightwight hiking and camping trips. Just wondering if anyone has tried doing this and if we can start a conversation about best methods?

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My parents bought a commercially available one a few years back. The dried fruit was TASTY (bananas and apples), however, we tried making jerky according to a few different recipes and they all turned out too salty and tough.
We did this. My grandma gave me an old food dehydrator. Nothing fancy. You can even use an oven set really, really low if you want. We dried mostly applesauce and other pureed fruits, but I also dehydrated spaghetti sauce. It's really, really easy to rehydrate and it was our favorite trail meal. There's a book called Lip Smackin' Backpackin' that has many helpful, easy recipes for dehydrating your own food for the trail.
You can make a solar dehydrator, too. Here's one of many links on the topic.

I've never done any dehydrating but once the temp warms up a bit and my garden starts giving up goodies, I may try making one of these.
We did some extensive dehydrating for a month long trip (in and out of the car) this summer. Used an Excalibur dehydrator. Has a back mounted fan and heating unit. Dehydrated everything from 20 ingredient veggie stews to homegrown fruit leather to herbs and veggies. Learned a lot about what worked and didn't in the process. Certain things defiitely reconstitute better than others.
I found it. Easy! It's all about air current convection...

I've been experimenting with it since summertime (when I got my dehydrator for my birthday), but Audra of Doris & Jilly Cook has been my inspiration and teacher in the process of drying things as a means of preservation. Check out her blog here.

We've had trouble keeping things from molding (especially herbs!), so either I'm not drying them out enough or we're not storing them properly. I'd love suggestions on storing dried foods. The airtight environment seems to be perfect for mold growth :(

I'm getting some great feedback via my book's Facebook page. Some of my readers aren't keen on joining another site, even though Homegrown rocks.

For more great input on dehydrating food check out the comments on the recent post/link to this discussion here.

Sorry to scatter the info!

We have a dehydrator that we use regularly. I really like it. I had a boyfriend in college that had the same style and manufacturer as the one we have now and he used to make the BEST jerky ever.

 

We also use it to dehydrate mushrooms that forage, tomatoes and other stuff that we want to have on hand for awhile.

I have one of them Excalibur Dehydrators as well. Definitely used it for camping trips. I'd recommend any of the following:

apple rings

flax crackers

kale chips

fruit leathers

dehydrated veggies that you can add to hot water for soup

Dehydrating spaghetti sauce? Awesome... is this something you would share?

KBO said:
We did this. My grandma gave me an old food dehydrator. Nothing fancy. You can even use an oven set really, really low if you want. We dried mostly applesauce and other pureed fruits, but I also dehydrated spaghetti sauce. It's really, really easy to rehydrate and it was our favorite trail meal. There's a book called Lip Smackin' Backpackin' that has many helpful, easy recipes for dehydrating your own food for the trail.

Mike ~ Care to share "flax crackers" and "kale chips"? I already do fruit and veggies but these sound amazing.

Mike Lieberman said:

I have one of them Excalibur Dehydrators as well. Definitely used it for camping trips. I'd recommend any of the following:

apple rings

flax crackers

kale chips

fruit leathers

dehydrated veggies that you can add to hot water for soup

Sure here's the basic recipes that I follow

 

Kale Chips - http://www.simplyrawrecipes.com/2009/09/basic-kale-chips/

 

Flax Crackers http://www.simplyrawrecipes.com/2010/04/flax-crackers/

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