Healthy trailfood: dried chili

When you are on the trail, a meal has to taste great, but you also want to eat a little bit healthy. Let’s be honest: you walk for miles all day, try to be conscious about your footprint on mother nature, enjoy the scenery. Are you sure you want to be eating fat pork saucages or chemical prepacked junk at night?

Eating healthy?

With a little bit of effort, you can eat pretty healthy on the trail. First things first: buy a dehydrator. It’s a machine that helps you dry your food for you, which makes it lighter and makes sure it keeps for a long time. You can find a breakfast camping recipe with oatmeal on this site, and a a recipe for dried pasta as well. They both include the use of a dehydrator.

Dried chili

This is what you do: prepare a great chili like you would when you eat it straight after. You can use any chili-recipe you like, we just used a basic chili recipe here to show you how it’s done.


  • – kidneybeans
    – 250 grams of ground beef
    – 2 paprikas
    – 3 tomatoes
    – 2 onions
    – 3 cloves of garlic
    – 1 pack of peeled tomatoes

  • ingredients dried chili


Cut the tomatoes, onions, garlic and paprika in small bits. Fry the mince and add the onion, garlic, paprika and tomato one by one, and it that order. I added some wine to mine as well, just because it tastes good. Add the peeled tomato and let it thicken for a while. In the last minute, add the kidney beans and let it simmer for one minute longer.

eating healthy adventure recipe chili con carne

Drying chili con carne
Take some greaseproof paper, cut it to fit the racks of the dehydrator. Making holes in the paper allows the warm air to reach the bottom of the chili when it’s on the paper, so make sure you fold it up and make a couple of holes in the paper.
Spread the chili as thin as possible over the greasproof paper and let the machine run on 75 degrees Celcius or 170 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 hours. I just went to sleep and checked in the morning. It was fine then, but you might be able to dry your chili a little shorter. The chili now formed dried sheets. Break them up and put them in the blender. Put the powder that comes out in the dehydrator again for an hour or two. Because you grind the chili in the blender, a lot more dry air reaches the chili, which allows it to dry a lot better and faster. It also mixes with hot water much better, when you rehydrate your meal. Put the powder in afreezer bag and store it in the freezer.

Preparing dried chili
Bring your lightweight, superhealthy meal with you on your microadventure. Prepare a campfire and bring about a liter of water to the boil. Add the powder to the water, stir for five minutes, maybe add some grated cheese, and enjoy!

We tried this recipe during our microadventure in the Biesbosch.

Have you tried this or similar recipes? Do you have ideas about eating healthy on the trail yourself? Share your experience below!

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