View Full Version : Dehydrating fruit this summer for a 2011 hike?

06-23-2010, 18:29
I'm planning a 2011 hike and one of my concerns is not having enough fruit and veggies. Since it's summer and fruit is available and cheaper, would it be possible to buy fruit and dehydrate it now for a 2011 hike or would it go bad?

I'm new to this dehydrating thing, so I appreciate any help!

And the reason I don't use store-bought dried fruit is because it either has a ton of sugar in it or sulfides as preservatives, and I don't like the taste of either of those.

06-23-2010, 18:55
it should keep after dehydrating if you store the fruit in a freezer

Mother Natures Son
06-23-2010, 19:28
If something is dried right and keeped in a dry box box (and nothing can get at it), the food shoud keep for years! Right now, I'm trying out new meals that I can dry for the trail. Here is a short list of this that worked in the past; Meatloaf, stews, Baby Back Ribs (no joke) and of course, vegs,/fruit. Lots of great cook books out there you can try.

Appalachian Tater
06-23-2010, 21:23
Before deciding to dehydrate your own fruit, check to see how much it costs to buy it already dried vs. buying fresh fruit and drying it yourself. In many cases you will find it is cheaper to buy dried fruit than to do it yourself.

For an easy example, think about grapes and raisins--they cost about the same amount per pound, or reasonably close. Even if raisins cost twice as much a pound as grapes, they would still be cheaper than drying your own.

Now, if you have a source of free fruit, that's a different story.

06-23-2010, 21:55
The previous posts offer sound considerations.

My wife and I dehydrated two bushels of delicious ripe Georgia peaches before our thru hike. There was not problem with keeping everything fresh and tasty. We vacuum packed servings and stored them in a freezer until it was time to include each in a mail drop. The one thing we didn't anticipate was how tired we'd become eating dehydrated peaches.

Our lesson learned - don't assume you will maintain an appetite for large quantities of food you've preprepared.

06-28-2010, 07:45
I am planning my 2011 thru as well. I have recently bought a L'Eqipe pro dehydrator. It was a bit pricey, but it rocks. I just wanted to add to some of the comments about what to dry, and what to buy. Most fruits are pretty cheap if you go to your local dollar stores. I have found a variety of dried fruit for $1.50-$2.00 per bag. I have been drying fruit that you just don't find at the store. Cantaloupe, strawberries, pears, things you never see. I purchased my dehydrator to subsidize my meals and load them up a bit. Dehydrating meat will save you a lot of money for your thru. I have done ground beef, or burger meat, and it work out real good. I plan to add that to my stew, soups, etc...Think of the price of jerky, not to mention all the other chemicals that are in it. All the meat I dry; I vacuum pack and freeze. All the fruit and veggies I dry I put in empty plastic food jars, and store in a cool, dark, dry place. As some one had mentioned; there are some good books if your still unsure. Good luck.

06-28-2010, 09:35
No matter how you add it up, dehydrating your own is probably an economic wash as compared with buying what you need when you need it.

However, if dehydrating and vacuum sealing food becomes part of your lifestyle, all the better.

Work in small batches. Seal small amounts.
Get a 'how to book' for pretreating and drying time advice.
A simple vacuum sealer is adequate.
If sharp edges puncture bags, wrap food in parchment first.
Label and date everything.
Frozen veggies dry well, get extra on sale.
Check for freshness befor a long trip.
Mix and match to avoid hating one thing.
Dried raspberries are easy and fun to eat.

07-05-2010, 08:10
I agree with gray fox. You can purchase alot of your fruit cheaper then you can make it. By the time you factor in purchase price, man hours, and electricity, some times your better off buying. I am dehydrating alot of fruits and veggies for my 2011 thru. I am drying fruit that you do not find readily available. I am doing strawberries, kiwi limes, cantaloupe melon's, etc.... When doing some of your fruits; I have found that using an hard boiled egg slicer works great. Just the right thickness and uniform. Good luck, have fun.

Farr Away
07-07-2010, 07:30
Uneven slices or leftover bits of fruit can be pureed and dried into fruit leather. Very tasty.

07-07-2010, 08:00
And the reason I don't use store-bought dried fruit is because it either has a ton of sugar in it or sulfides as preservatives, and I don't like the taste of either of those.

Health food store. I have seen gunk free apricots at the local grocery.


Google dried fruit.

07-07-2010, 15:49
I'm thinking of getting a cheap dehydrator to dehydrate meals, as well as some fruit and veggies. While the fruit and veggies I can get at the store, it would be cheaper and easier for me to make potato bark for stew and such than buy it (I hate dried mashed potatoes, there's something so wrong with them existing), and chili and such.

Of course, if I'm smart, I'll just borrow my cousin's dehydrator, but she has a fruit crop coming in right now, so I'd have to wait until December or January, and that's cutting it a little close for me.

Freedom Walker
07-07-2010, 17:14
What about dried blueberries. I have 23 5 yr old blueberry bushes, and even though they young, they are loaded this year.

07-07-2010, 17:23
absolutely store in freezer.

07-15-2010, 19:54
i havnt had much luck with drying fruit. always comes out not to my liking...maybe i just prefer it fresh haha...pineapple is OK, and apple can be too with some cinn. on it.

07-15-2010, 20:23
My grandpa must have had 10 thumbs, 'cuz he always had a rule of one of them :-)

Store in freezer, meats = 6 months, fruit/veg = 1 year. Wait until fall at least to start freeze drying/freezing for next summer. You will have NO doubts that your food was safe and fresh. 'Course, you can start getting USED to eating freeze dried and frozen now, but then I would start to question the cost/benefit equation.


07-23-2010, 20:03
i just did strawberries this weekend an dthey came out really good. probably my favorite fruit ive ever dried. so good. sliced them pretty thin

07-23-2010, 21:42
To dry blueberries you need to craze or break the skin, otherwise you get little hard blueberries or just sort of air puffs. I pour the blueberries out on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer, then just put the frozen bb's in the dehydrator. Or you can poke each one with a pin and then dehydrate

I have been dehydrating mangos, would be nice to have a blueberry bush.

07-31-2010, 11:46
Try canned peaches. (You can get the industrial sized cans for a few bucks at most bulk stores.) They have been soaking in the syrup and are perfect to throw on the dehydrator trays without slicing or anything...just dab off excess syrup with a paper towel. It tastes like candy! I take these instead of fruit gummies or anything like that.

08-04-2010, 23:46
tortoise1, I hiked on and off with a fellow who had dehydrated a great deal of food and otherwise prepped various meals so that he had a lot of resupply boxes coming. It seemed like every town he had to go off trail (I think whether he really wanted to or not) to get a resupply box. Beyond this putting him at the mercy of business hours (and sometimes post office hours) to get his stuff, I think it also caused him to split up with hiking companions on occasion.

On my first (PCT) thru-hike I had too many boxes, so I learned from that and went with five boxes on the AT (five pairs of shoes, five 30-day supplies of prescription medication ...). It was no problem resupplying, though indeed I didn't always have a great selection of dried fruit. Sometimes I did, however; I carried dried mangos more than once, bought at a supermarket.

So on the off chance that you haven't heard this already, "less can be more" so to speak, when it comes to resupply boxes on the AT. I actually felt a sense of relief and ~freedom when I got my last resupply box (in Glenncliff NH) this year.

09-11-2010, 12:34
So can anyone recommend an instruction manual on preparation, drying times, etc.?

09-11-2010, 13:06
I think its personal preference. I like my meats so dried they are crunchy and not a bit chewy for example. Just dry it and then if needs more...dry it more. One tip...as soon as it is still hot but you are not sure if its "dry" put it in a freezer bag and if you see condensation it isn't dry yet for sure...but it still may be dry enough for what you want...like if you want half dried bananna for that weekend or something.