Fun fact: I’ve never eaten one of those commercially available freeze-dried backpacker meals. I’ve looked at them with interest but the price makes me lose my appetites. When we started backpacking I IMMEDIATELY purchased a dehydrator and started making our own food. Partly because we were vegan at the time and it gave us more options, but also because I’ve always been a food preservation nerd and this felt more useful than canning in my mind. 
My dehydrator died on me earlier this year though; blew a fuse. Probably because I was trying to dehydrate meat-based foods for the first time, which requires a much higher temperature. Guess I should stick with the vegan stuff for backpacking.