Category Archives: Backcountry Recipes

DIY Backcountry Meals – Dehydrated Chili Recipe

Chili is one of my favourite dehydrated meals while camping – it is hearty, delicious and easy to make! The ground beef has a lot of surface area so it dehydrates and rehydrates well. I just make a big pot in the slow-cooker, have it for dinner and then dehydrate the rest!

The tower of cans that went into this chili recipe
The tower of cans that went into this chili recipe


  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • Optional – 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (small) tomato paste
  • 1 can of sliced mushrooms (I really like it so I used 2)
  • 4 cans of beans (I usually use two black beans and 2 red kidney beans but you can really use any that you want… I’ve made chili abroad with lentils and chickpeas before!)
  • 1 can of corn (whole kernel, nibblets)
  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder  (Make your own Chili powder from scratch! –
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Extra spices to taste: salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, cayenne (all of these are actually in the homemade chili powder but you can add more of one or the other as you like)


  1. Open and pour all the cans into the slow cooker to start cooking.
  2. In a frying pan, Fry the ground beef and drain the fat. Draining the fat is super important dehydrating.
  3. Add the onions, garlic and the optional green pepper in the frying pan and saute to brown a little
  4. Add chili powder into the frying pan and cook for a few minutes to soak into the mixture
  5. Add frying pan mixture into the slow cooker. Add the salt and simmer about 4-6 hours.
  6. After the slow cooker has heated with everything in it for a couple hours, taste to see if you want to add more salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, cayanne or just more chili powder as you like

Dehydrating instructions: 

Spoon two scoops or so onto a dehydrating tray so that there is a very thin layer of chili. Set the dehyrator on high temperature/ meat setting if available.  Dehydrating times depend on your dehydrator but just make sure that there is absolutely no moisture before packing it away. I just put it into ziplock bags. You can store it in the fridge if keeping it for a long time.