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Old 24-06-2022, 04:54   #1
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Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

Ok, This isn’t just for Mike. But he seems to be someone who knows quite a bit about it.

I have a trip coming up where I have to pack very light. I will be gone for about a month. It’s a motorcycle trip. Barely has anything to do with boats. I might see a lighthouse on the way. Ha ha so hopefully this isn’t too off topic.

However, traveling in the middle of nowhere with very small bags on a bike is a lot like backpacking. You can’t possibly bring enough food.

I also have lots and lots of dietary restrictions. Can’t eat this. Can’t eat that. The list is endless. I eat a pretty special diet at home. So, when I’m in the middle of nowhere, I’m not going to be able to find the types of foods I need to eat. (No sodium, no saturated fat, no dairy)

I have noticed freeze drying things is one way to preserve them without needing refrigeration and without weighing much. Packing light and small is the key. It is ever so much more important when backpacking or motorcycling in remote areas than on a boat.

Truthfully, I don’t even want to be cooking. I just want to take something I make an advance that is freeze dried, stick it into a jet boil, add water, and then eat.


Questions:

Can you freeze dry the following with good results?
*egg whites
*fruit/berries
*avocado
*beans/rice
*chicken/beans/rice
*tuna (could just bring the cans maybe)
*salmon
*all manner of vegetables, broccoli, etc
*complete meals - chicken biryani, Falafels, daal, bean burrito insides, stews
*oatmilk

What is the best economical freeze drying unit to get? I’m on the grid at the moment, so I can plug it in.

Canning food requires a lot of knowledge and technique. Is freeze-drying the same? Or am I just shoving whatever food into the freeze dryer and it comes out ready?

How do I permanently seal against moisture for all of eternity?

Thanks!

Hoping to get started on doing this very soon.
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Old 24-06-2022, 05:07   #2
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

Freeze drying food could be a challenge for you. It took General Foods 7 years to figure out how to make freeze dried coffee.
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Old 24-06-2022, 05:50   #3
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

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Originally Posted by bgallinger View Post
Freeze drying food could be a challenge for you. It took General Foods 7 years to figure out how to make freeze dried coffee.
Wouldnít that be because no one had ever done it before?

Iím pretty sure people know how to freeze dry things now. I just donít yet.

Iím also pretty sure itís easier than canning.
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Old 24-06-2022, 05:53   #4
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

Most backpackers simply dehydrate their food. No refrigeration needed. However, most of what is on your list is commercially available already freeze dried. If bought in bulk, the prices tend to be OK. Single serve packages are very expensive. As always, read the label to see what, if anything, has been added.

Be careful- I hear those motorcycle things are dangerous. (I own 3.)

And have fun!

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Old 24-06-2022, 06:40   #5
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

Im a Harley man myself.....have you thought about beef jerky....it's packaged....protein, takes up little space
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Old 24-06-2022, 06:59   #6
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

Sounds like a great trip. I've done some distance on my small motorcycle (Yamaha Majesty, 400 cc of raw power ), and carried some dried food along as well.

The first thing to say is that I know little about freeze drying. What I do, and talk about, is dehydrating, or air drying. Freeze drying requires extremely low temperatures and pressures. It uses specialized equipment. There are freeze drying units available for non-professional use, but they are costly (thousands of $).

Air drying, or dehydrating, can be done with little equipment. Basic non-professional units can be had for less than $100, and it's easy to DIY it.

All that said, I've dried much of what's on your list, including complete meals. We mostly dry basic ingredients and then cook, but especially when canoe tripping we did a lot of full meals: stews, chilies, thicker soups, etc.

Looking at your list:

*egg whites: Have never dried any eggs. Have purchased dried whole egg powder, as well as egg whites. The whole egg powder does pretty good. I never liked the egg whites, but that's me.
*fruit/berries: Yes, lots and all kinds. We do whole fruits (sliced) and fruit leathers, which are purred and dried on good plastic wrap.
*avocado: Never tried it, but I'm sure it would work fine.
*beans/rice: We buy them dry... no need to do anything.
*chicken/beans/rice: Make a chicken meal with beans and rice, then dry... sure.
*tuna (could just bring the cans maybe): Yes, tins are usually OK, but I have drained and dried canned tuna, salmon, and other meats. Reduced weight and size, but probably unnecessary, even on a motorcycle.
*salmon: See above.
*all manner of vegetables, broccoli, etc: Absolutely. Pretty much any veg can be dried. Dry what you like to eat. The broccoli flower end tends to powder though. Still tastes great.
*complete meals - chicken biryani, Falafels, daal, bean burrito insides, stews: See above, but yes.
*oatmilk: I doubt it can be dried. We buy powdered milk sometimes. Maybe you can do the same with oatmilk?
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Old 24-06-2022, 07:03   #7
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

For long-term storage we use a vacuum bag sealer. I've gone through a number of them over the years and love my current version: Foodsaver. I got the dual AC/DC version so we can run it directly off the boat's system with no inverting, but that's not necessary.
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Old 24-06-2022, 07:57   #8
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

Most groceries now have tuna available in pouches. It's more expensive and worse for the environment but lighter, easier to pack, and you can eat it straight out of the bag.

I didn't eat a lot of tuna when I was backpacking due to the smell. It's hard to get it off your hands when you have a limited water supply.
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Old 24-06-2022, 08:07   #9
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weatherbird View Post
Most groceries now have tuna available in pouches. It's more expensive and worse for the environment but lighter, easier to pack, and you can eat it straight out of the bag.

I didn't eat a lot of tuna when I was backpacking due to the smell. It's hard to get it off your hands when you have a limited water supply.

And bears love tuna smell. Ask me how I know!
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Old 24-06-2022, 08:35   #10
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

OK! This is some great information. A good place to start.

This sounds like one of those posts where somebody is like “I want to go around the world in a houseboat.” Ha ha ha.

I guess I don’t know what I don’t know yet. Didn’t even realize it was just regular dehydrating. I thought it was some kind of freeze drying machine. Thank you for setting me straight.

Also sorry about the misspelling of your name, Mike. Thanks for taking that in stride.

So, to address lots of stuff in the thread, I ride a tiny cc Enduro. Hundred miles per gallon. I got it as a toy to play with in Florida. To try to take some stress away from building the boat. It’s a complete junker. But it won’t die. So I’m going to keep riding it. I used to have powerful bikes. Mostly street bikes. Ninja ZX seven. CBR 900 RR. Honda ATC 250 R. But, I just got this as a toy. And I’m having a great time with it. It was super cheap. It’s all set up with panniers and the top box to go ADV riding. However, top speed is about 55 mph (at a fairly reasonable 7000RPM because it’s geared down for off road. So I have to take back roads everywhere. No highways. Which is kind of nice in a way. Last summer I took it deep out into Colorado. Did many of the famous rides out there over the mountain passes and stuff. It was fantastic. A good diversion while I still have no boat.

This summer, since I’m in the Northeast, I’m looking at going up through New England, paying some visits there, crossing into Canada, Hopefully visiting Montreal for an urban diversion, and then Gaspť peninsula. Just hoping the heat waves aren’t too ridiculous. I know Montreal was over 100įF last time I was up there. It was awful. I will have to get a hotel in those cases.

So I know in northern New England, it’s very difficult to get the healthy food I need. And probably the same thing remotely in Canada. Those small little places you can stop tend to have processed foods, high sodium, burgers, pizza, vegetables. But not high calorie high-protein mostly vegan stuff.

Ooooh! But I will most definitely be going out for local fish as much as possible when I get to the coast.

MicHughV: Beef jerky is off the menu. Sodium. Preservatives. Processed meat. High saturated fat. I can’t eat that stuff.



Thanks for all the responses. And I didn’t know we had so many motorcycle people on here. That’s interesting. I’m going to have to read up on the food dehydrators now and some techniques. Now that I know that’s what I’m looking for. Ha ha

I think I’m going to try to dehydrate premade meals however. Ones I make at home before leaving. Something I can just dump into a jet boil with water. Or maybe dump into a thermos with hot water and ride around and it’s ready later.

I plan to try to do some stealth camping. Some crownland tent camping. I don’t really want to be lighting fires. Plus I can’t breathe when there’s a lot of particulate pollution from smoke. Lol so, I don’t really like to light campfires. Ideally, to help with the bear situation, I’m going to try to eat somewhere, and then move on and camp somewhere else. So that means just heating and rehydrating meals that are premade. Or eating out if I can.
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Old 24-06-2022, 09:24   #11
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

Are mylar bags and oxygen absorbers the way to go?
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Old 24-06-2022, 09:29   #12
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

some years ago, I learned to make " biltong"....this is a South African version of jerky, but 1,000,000 times better....it is simply meat that is spiced and "air dried", no cooking required. You can go online and find 100's of recipe's for doing this.
It's easy to do on your own...drying takes about 3 days, sometimes longer...I've stored it in a brown paper bag for days. Prior to drying it does get marinated in a vinegar brine, this keeps the bugs and mold off.
Once you eat one piece, you'll eat another, it's quite addictive...
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Old 24-06-2022, 09:39   #13
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicHughV View Post
some years ago, I learned to make " biltong"....this is a South African version of jerky, but 1,000,000 times better....it is simply meat that is spiced and "air dried", no cooking required. You can go online and find 100's of recipe's for doing this.
It's easy to do on your own...drying takes about 3 days, sometimes longer...I've stored it in a brown paper bag for days. Prior to drying it does get marinated in a vinegar brine, this keeps the bugs and mold off.
Once you eat one piece, you'll eat another, it's quite addictive...
Now THAT sounds good. And doable. I was picturing that junk they sell in the gas stations here.

I still have to use chicken for it, but I bet itís pretty good.
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Old 24-06-2022, 09:57   #14
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Ok, This isnít just for Mike. But he seems to be someone who knows quite a bit about it.

I have a trip coming up where I have to pack very light. I will be gone for about a month. Itís a motorcycle trip. Barely has anything to do with boats. I might see a lighthouse on the way. Ha ha so hopefully this isnít too off topic.

However, traveling in the middle of nowhere with very small bags on a bike is a lot like backpacking. You canít possibly bring enough food.

I also have lots and lots of dietary restrictions. Canít eat this. Canít eat that. The list is endless. I eat a pretty special diet at home. So, when Iím in the middle of nowhere, Iím not going to be able to find the types of foods I need to eat. (No sodium, no saturated fat, no dairy)

I have noticed freeze drying things is one way to preserve them without needing refrigeration and without weighing much. Packing light and small is the key. It is ever so much more important when backpacking or motorcycling in remote areas than on a boat.

Truthfully, I donít even want to be cooking. I just want to take something I make an advance that is freeze dried, stick it into a jet boil, add water, and then eat.


Questions:

Can you freeze dry the following with good results?
*egg whites
*fruit/berries
*avocado
*beans/rice
*chicken/beans/rice
*tuna (could just bring the cans maybe)
*salmon
*all manner of vegetables, broccoli, etc
*complete meals - chicken biryani, Falafels, daal, bean burrito insides, stews
*oatmilk

What is the best economical freeze drying unit to get? Iím on the grid at the moment, so I can plug it in.

Canning food requires a lot of knowledge and technique. Is freeze-drying the same? Or am I just shoving whatever food into the freeze dryer and it comes out ready?

How do I permanently seal against moisture for all of eternity?

Thanks!

Hoping to get started on doing this very soon.
Of course one Could just purchase these items, at an REI or such.
Pack and go!
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Old 24-06-2022, 10:08   #15
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Re: Paging Mike ORiley - need crash course in freeze dried food

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatyarddog View Post
Of course one Could just purchase these items, at an REI or such.
Pack and go!
Boatyarddog
No good. I just looked at the first 10 or 12 of those that I could potentially eat. And there’s no way I can eat any of them. They’re all awful


40-60% sodium, 40-60% saturated fat. Garbage
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