Dehydrated Trail Tacos

Last weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to explore Yosemite with Brian and a few of our friends. I had driven through Yosemite before, but had never hiked here, which was something truly humbling. We hiked the Half Dome trail, which was about 15 miles with 4,000 feet of vertical gain. The trail climbs past Vernal and Nevada Falls, meanders past the beautiful Merced river, and then makes the final ascent toward Half Dome. It was definitely one of the most demanding hikes I have ever done.

On our way back down, having covered about 12 miles at this time, we were hungry! We found a beautiful little swimming hole by the river, filtered some water, and made trail tacos I had dehydrated the week before. I can’t even begin to tell you how well these hit the spot. The meat rehydrated perfectly, the tortillas were easy to pack, and the squeeze cheese, well, it’s pretty much my favorite backcountry comfort food. Whether on a long day hike or backpacking overnight, these will be your favorite, too!

Dehydrated Turkey Trail Tacos

Makes 10-12 tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey or ground beef (the less fat when dehydrating meat, the better)
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa (I like Casa Sanchez medium salsa verde)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Can of squeeze cheese (I like cheddar Easy Cheese) or other processed cheese
  • 10-12 flour tortillas

Directions to make the taco meat:

  1. Brown meat in a saute pan over med-high heat. Make sure to crumble the meat so it dehydrates more evenly.
  2. After the meat is no longer pink, add the seasonings and 1/2 cup water. Simmer over medium heat until the water has evaporated.
  3. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the salsa.

Directions to dehydrate:

  1. Line two dehydrator trays with plastic inserts or parchment paper.
  2. Allow the taco meat to cool completely before transferring it to trays, divided evenly among the trays.
  3. Set the dehydrator to 155ºF for five hours. After five hours, flip and peel off the plastic trays or parchment, so the taco meat is directly on top of the dehydrator trays.
  4. Continue to dehydrate for another 6-7 hours until crumbly and brittle.
  5. Transfer to a vacuum seal bag, big enough to add water to on the trail, and seal with an oxygen absorbent packet.
  6. Store in the fridge until you’re ready for your trip to keep ultimate freshness.

Directions to rehydrate:

  1. Cut off the top of the vacuum seal bag and add just enough water to cover the taco meat mixture.
  2. Stir and set inside a mylar bag or coozie and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the meat and squeeze cheese to the tortillas and call it taco Tuesday!

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Dehydrated trail tacos along the Merced River in Yosemite.

 

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