5 Top Best Freeze-Dried Hiking Food

When it comes to eating food, nutrition is one of the best things to look for. More importantly, if you are hiking for multiple days, you want to ensure you have everything you need while not taking up room and weight. Because of this, we will discuss the top best freeze-dried food to hike in and why.

Although many different freeze-dried food companies exist, we have chosen six of the most reliable and trustworthy ones. Here at Adventerism, we want to ensure you get the best of the best! The freeze-dried hiking food is as follows:

  • Mountain House
  • Backpackers Pantry
  • Alpine Aire
  • Peak Refuel
  • Good To-Go

This article goes more in-depth on what these companies are about and why you should choose them. Not only this, but we will also discuss why freeze-dried foods are beneficial for hiking (and in general.) We encourage you to continue reading as this article contains essential information for you to know.

What Is Freeze-Dried Food?

Freeze drying is a form of dehydration. When you freeze dry food, you remove all its water contents to create something unique. It takes the water from a solid to gas from the ice vapors and does not go through a liquid state.

Because freeze drying uses very low temperatures, many nutrients, appearance, taste, and heat-sensitivity remain in the food. It is one of the best methods for drying and storing food in ways that are needed. Many people use freeze-dried foods for snacks, meals, etc.

What Is the Best Freeze-Dried Hiking Food?

Here, we go more in-depth on the best freeze-dried hiking food. When looking for a company, ensure they have essential nutrition, proteins, and carbohydrates. It is also important to look for variety as well. With that being said, let us get into the details.

1. Mountain House

Being first on the list, Mountain House was founded in 1969 in the USA, where they realized there was a need during the Vietnam Conflict. They make freeze-dried food for the US Special Forces and other military branches and have supplied food for multiple households, hiking trips, camping trips, and even to the moon and back (literally.)

The Mountain House meal packages only require adding water, creating easy, no-mess cleanup meals. You can purchase snacks, breakfasts, entrees, desserts, proteins, meats, gluten-free, vegetarian, and more. They are one of the most affordable and trusted companies in the USA and Canada.

2. Backpackers Pantry

Backpacker’s Pantry is also a great company to invest in because they provide so many different dietary options, as listed on their website. They include the following:

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Soy free
  • Peanut-free
  • Tree nut-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • High calorie

This company was founded in 1951 when a Girl Scout troop leader, Anne Benedict, realized there was a need for better meal storage while camping and outdoors. Twenty years later, Ronald Smith purchased it, transforming this fantastic idea into a worldwide freeze-dried meal company.

Backpacker’s Pantry has perfected convenient and delicious meals for many people. Not only this, but they are proud supporters of multiple non-profit organizations.

No matter where they go in the outdoor and food industry, they will continue to promote the welfare of others through donations and other good causes.

3. Alpine Aire

Alpine Aire is the third company on our list to discuss today. They have been reliable since 1979, as they were initially sold locally in San Diego, CA. Today, they are a worldwide company free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

This extremely affordable company provides real meat like chicken, turkey and beef. They provide in-house testing on all their products, ensuring the safety of those who invest in them. Lastly, Alpine Aire provides highly nutritious ingredients that will not disappoint you!

4. Peak Refuel

Peak Refuel provides multiple options, like drinks, meals, and more. This specific company helps you understand why you should choose them, and there are several reasons.

The first reason is that their food is made from real meat. Not only this, but Peak Refuel’s food quickly rehydrates, and most of its meals are made in 10 minutes or less.

Not only are you saving time, but you have a meal that contains an average of 37.6 grams of protein and an average of 800 calories, ensuring your body will continue to be energized for your long yet rewarding journey ahead.

Finally, each of their ingredients goes through a long-winded process, so you can ensure you are getting high-quality ingredients with every bite.

5. Good To-Go

Good To-Go is not a Veteran company as they were founded in 2014 as its founder, Chef Jenniffer, realized there was a need to create healthier options for people who did not want any unclean ingredients. This company has multiple chefs that handcraft each meal in Maine, proudly keeping the “Made in USA” name strong!

Good To-Go provides low-sodium, gluten-free products made with no preservatives. They also offer many vegan and vegetarian options to ensure everyone is satisfied with their company.

Not only are they a healthier option, but all you need is some boiling water, and within minutes you will have an incredibly delicious meal. Overall, Good To-Go ensures each meal is adequately prepped and made.

Benefits of Freeze-Dried Meals for Hiking

There are many benefits to taking freeze-dried meals on your hiking trips. For example, if you go hiking for an entire week, you would not want to stock up on canned goods due to the weight. However, packing multiple meals, especially those high in protein, is one of the best ways to go.

1. It Is Lightweight

Suppose you are on a 3-day hike and go by yourself. In that case, you want to pack lightweight items, especially since you will only use a large backpack.

However, although your spine is strong and can hold a lot, it is essential to leave room for other things, like a med kit, extra clothes, water, pots and pans, etc.

2. It Contains a Lot of Nutrients

Did you know that when you freeze dry food, it keeps almost all of the nutrients? It is 90% of fresh nutrition left over, give or take a few.

It is entirely different than if you were to air dry or heat dry the process. This is why so many people prefer freeze-drying over other drying techniques.

3. Long Shelf Life

Not only do freeze-dried foods have lots of nutrition and are lightweight, but it also has an extremely long shelf-life. Many people use freeze-dried foods as emergencies when the power goes out in their homes. On average, freeze-dried food lasts 25 years or longer.

Is Freeze-Dried Food Good for Backpacking?

Yes, freeze-dried food is good for backpacking! This is because the process removes 80% or more of the food’s water content, weighing about 5 to 7 ounces, whereas the meals provide anywhere between 500 to 900 calories. Most of these meals need water, so make sure you have a water source nearby that can be filtered out with this pocket water filter.

Which Freeze-Dried Food Tastes Best?

The freeze-dried food that tastes the best is what you realistically love the most. For example, if you like biscuits and gravy, Peak Refuel has an option for two meals, whereas another option is their chicken alfredo pasta.

What Are 3 Important Nutrients Needed on a Longer Hike?

Slow-burning fats, muscle-building proteins, and energy-boosting carbohydrates are the three most vital nutrients needed for a longer hike.

Make sure to eat a lot of carbs to ensure you are gaining enough energy source during your backpacking and hiking journey. You want to ensure you have enough energy outdoors, especially since your body requires more replenishing as time goes on.


We hope this article has helped you determine which freeze-dried company to use. You can ensure these companies care for you and your essential needs. If you have any more questions, check out our other articles. Otherwise, we wish you the best of your journey and hope you find what is needed during this time!

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