Re-hydrating Survival Food Tip #2

Haha….really? Another no brainer? Yes – really, just like with tip #1 “Using the Correct Amount of Water” there are people who don’t know these simple tips. This tip will make life a little easier when all you want to do is eat as quickly as possible.
What it boils down to is (-ha, did you see what I did there? ok, no more bad puns) people not boiling their water long enough to reach a rolling boil. It sounds easy enough but many people don’t understand how big of a difference a strong rolling boil vs. a low/medium boil makes in food re-hydration time. We are talking about a 5-15 minute difference depending on the boil.
5-15 minutes may not sound like much but when you are hungry or the kids are hungry and everyone wants to eat right away it can be a significant difference. It really makes a big difference when you are making several batches to feed the entire family. Forget about trying to conserve cooking fuel and only using a medium boil. You will end up waiting longer than the expected time for your emergency survival food to re-hydrate, you will get frustrated, and then put survival food back on the heat trying to speed the process up. Now you are burning more fuel than if you had just waited for a rolling boil the first time around.

The Three Boiling Stages

Small Bubbles on Bottom

Stage 1. Small bubbles on the bottom. This is more of a simmer than a boil. This is common for people to use when at a campfire and the coals aren’t hot enough to reach an actual boil before a significant amount of water evaporates. You can use this to re-hydrate your food but you will have to wait more than double the time that is recommended on the package.

Medium Bubbles on Bottom Starting to Break the Surface

Stage 2. Medium bubbles on the bottom are starting to rise and break the surface. Although this is technically a boil it is not a rolling boil. This will re-hydrate your food faster than stage one but you will still have to wait longer than expected for the food to properly re-hydrate – unless you like the “crunchies.”

Rolling Boil

Stage 3. This is the money shot! You want a the water to be a furious rolling boil. This will re-hydrate your emergency survival food as quickly as possible. Once you reach this point go ahead and quickly add the freeze dried or dehydrated food, stir, and cover. This will get you and your family eating as quickly as possible.


About the Author:  Darren Gaebel is a U.S. Army Veteran and has a decade of experience with natural disasters as a catastrophe claims adjuster. During Darren’s catastrophe experience he has seen the toll it takes on families who are unprepared. For this reason he created this blog ( to help educate and spread awareness for disaster preparedness. Darren also created to provide a way for individuals, families, and disaster relief organizations to have access to a stress free solution for getting prepared.  A portion of all proceeds from the website are donated to non-profit disaster relief organizations.


This is an archive of: