I've got a lot of backpacking trips lined up this summer, including one multi-week one. I'm considering picking up a dehydrator because:
- It probably would be more cost effective than buying freeze dried food.
- I get more (total, in fact) control over the ingredients.
- In addition to meals, I can make snacks like jerky and fruit leathers.
On the meals side (breakfast, dinner) it seems like the re-hydration times are nearly half an hour. Maybe half of that is just letting it sit, but depending on the climate you might need to keep the stove running on simmer for even that phase.
I'm comparing that to freeze dried food which is simply (in my experience) to add boiling water, wait ~7 minutes, and you're good to go.
I'd like to know if anyone has any experience dealing with rehydrating dehydrated food and what kind of dent that puts into fuel use and meal times (compared to freeze dried).
For whatever it's worth, I typically use an MSR Dragonfly.
Update: I recently just got back from a trip where I dehydrated ground beef and pasta sauce in advance. I combined them both in a bowl with water (in the sun, lid on) for ~45 minutes, stirring. Boiled some pasta noodles, combined, and had a pretty awesome dinner. As indicated by the accepted answer below, re-hydration is a thing to deal with but it's certainly do-able.