So I have this problem. See I like to find problems and then solve them with clever gadgets. It's made me very successful in my day job but it also means I sometimes go overboard with my hobbies. Point in case: freeze drying foods for backpacking.
I'm seriously considering buying or building a freeze dryer. It's not as crazy as it sounds at first; I have a machine shop and have previously built vacuum systems for Fermilab and various particle accelerators at universities in the Midwest. I have experience with laboratory cryogenics and UHV and - in fact - the company I now work for has pioneered water vapor mass flow rate sensors for freeze drying in the pharmaceutical industry (Google "LyoFlux").
Whether I build it myself or buy a small one for home use, it's going to be expensive. So expensive that I could probably buy a year's worth of Mountain House meals before I break even!
So... I was wondering... what about some kind of freeze-drying co-op for people like us? Some way to open up freeze-drying technology to local backpackers and hikers without the individual having to make a huge investment. Obviously there are many logistical and likely legal issues to address but - what do you folks think? Could it be useful and fun?
Asked another way, if freeze-drying were something you could do yourself, would you do it? Do you like freeze-dried foods on the trail or do you prefer other foods?