Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt

Paddler’s Palate | Freeze-Dried Food

Welcome to Paddler’s Palate, our brand new web series that focuses on helping fellow paddlers fulfill their nutritional needs. Standup paddling takes a lot of energy and paddlers need to fuel themselves with a nutrient-rich diet in order to operate at peak performance. Whether it’s a hardy breakfast before dawn-patrol, a recovery meal after a grueling race, or healthy snacks for those on-the-go moments when you need a boost, this series is dedicating to helping you achieve a balanced diet both on and off the water.

Freeze-Dried Food, Our Top Pick For Expedition Paddling

Standup paddle expeditions are all the rage right now. From transatlantic paddler Chris Bertish closing in on completing his 3,500-mile crossing of the Atlantic, to Denmark’s Casper Steinfath attempting the 130-kilometer Viking Crossing in the freezing Scandinavian winter. These feats of human accomplishment defy the realms of possibility, but without a reliable source of nutrition would not be impossible. So how exactly do folks like Chris Bertish–who hasn’t seen dry land for over two months–fuel their runs into the history books? The same way the astronauts did it back in the 1960s–freeze-dried food.

Every successful outdoorsman understands the benefits of freeze-dried food. Not only is it easy to store and can last for decades, but it’s also packed with vitamins and minerals. The process of “freezing” involves using a low heat, this is important because this leaves the food’s nutrient and taste mostly intact. In fact, all you need to do is simply add boiling water and bon appétite! What’s more, their relatively small packaging allows them to be easily stored in a dry bag on your board. Here are a few good options to fuel up on your next SUP expedition.

Mountain House
One of the most popular brands when it comes to freeze-dried food is undoubtedly Mountain House. With over five decades of experience, these guys know what they’re doing. With appetizing options including beef stroganoff, chili mac with beef, and even a neapolitan ice cream bar, how could you go wrong?

Mary Janes Farm

For those health-conscious expeditionaries, Mary Janes Farm offers up some organic options. While their price point is a little higher than other brands, this reflects the higher quality ingredients that will be fueling your paddling. Options include chili mac, garlic pesto, and spuds with spinach.

Backpacker’s Pantry

Another brand with generation-spanning experience in the wilderness food market is Backpacker’s Pantry. Based out of Boulder, CO, their chefs blend high-quality spices with freeze-dried and dehydrated ingredients to create a diverse array of tasty meals. These include sweet and sour chicken, katmandu curry, and Denver omelettes.


Three healthy snacks that are perfect for snacking while paddling.