Are freeze dried ingredients better, and should I use them?

That depends on your definition of “better.” Freeze dried ingredients always win the texture and often the flavor department and are better in that regard. However, they take up significantly more volume since they retain their shape. This is an important point to consider if your trips require you to store food in a bear cannister or you have a small pack. You will be able to fit significantly more food and calories into the same space with dehydration instead of freeze dried.

It boils down to what is most important to you. If having great texture and flavor is your goal, freeze dried all the way. If cramming as many calories into as small a space as possible, dehydration is the name of the game.

For short trips that only last a couple of days or long thru hikes with frequent resupply caches, freeze dried can’t be beat. If you’re going on long or extended thru hikes with stretches of no support or resupply, and need to carry as much as possible, go with dehydrated.