Sometimes, I still dream about what my life was once like when I could travel and not have to plan how I was going to feed myself away from home.
Since the global pandemic reached our shores, millions of people joined me and others like me in the march of buying groceries, cooking at home, and washing endless amounts of dishes!
All the while, we’re saying, “Been there, done that,” am I right?
Yet with many of our national parks, camping, and local trails open for use as long as we practice social distancing and limit groups to five or less, road travel is popular. And I can’t help my mind falling into a daydream involving my Subaru and a mini teardrop camper, hitting the road, and going remote.
But then, what to do about food?
I’m going to keep this post short. Think of it as a placeholder for what is to come. When news of the pandemic hit, I saw people hording basic food supplies with a long shelf life. For people like me, it’s better to eat natural, fresh foods. However, fresh food doesn’t have a long shelf life unless you do something to it.
Last year, I purchased a Harvest Right freeze dryer to preserve food and its nutrients to the highest level possible. It extends the shelf life of the food to 25 years. I cannot tell you how happy I am to have this, even though I could have never predicted how helpful it would be in a pandemic:
- Quarantine Life – I went into self quarantine from my husband by living in my artloft during the months I was volunteering directly with COVID-19 positive and presumptive-positive patients. Having extra food around so that if I came back from a Nursing shift hungry but too tired to cook, I had nutritious food ready to be rehydrated with hot water. Just add some rice or gluten free noodles, and voila, balanced meals were ready. This was my to-go food, convenience food, fast food, only healthy, hearty, and safe.
- On the Road in a Pinch – As trails and campgrounds opened, I didn’t have to worry about how to feed myself, or about what an area would have to offer regarding food options. I no longer have to “take what I can get” and just hope that I won’t end up with severe gut distress or anaphylaxsis. It also relieves the stress of those around you, who may worry that you won’t have anything to eat. Just being able to take care of myself alleviates worry for everyone involved.
To some people, this may seem like it’s not too different from going to the grocery store and buying a box of Hamburger Helper. You cook the noodles and add some ground meat. But my freeze dried meals are free from the yucky stuff, the emulsifiers and fillers, and the ingredients that I’m allergic to. You don’t add the protein in; you put it in the first place by making batches of freeze dried food, and then putting them in mylar bags to seal up or in glass jars, if you prefer.
I’ve camped with others, and I’m always curious what they end up eating. I’ve seen people eating out of a can of beans and a hunk of bread for dinner. But I’d rather be eating kale, sauerkraunt, bison meat, and rice. This meal can be completely freeze dried (you would need to flatten that burger, or sliced thin before freeze drying).
If you had access to a freeze dryer, what kinds of meals would you make? Could it be a game changer regarding where you could go and how you could feed yourself across all the adventures you’d like to take, even in remote areas of the world?