I use a basic, low cost dehydrator (like $70 US or so), a review of it is posted and Laurie added comments and insights at the Reader Reviews, Foods - Energy Bars, etc.:
I can't speak highly enough of the fun I have had trying out dehydrating stuff. Some of it didn't work, and I didn't really read all the stuff on the Internet or in books about it. But it works and I have not killed myself with food poisoning after some 15 years of using it.
Favorites are dried beef jerky and dried tomato. Because they are expensive and you can make them yourself. Also, made dried ground beef after cooking it in a frying pan and it reconstited great.
Also, there are a lot of lower priced bulk dried food, either dehydrated, freeze dried or both, retailers on the Internet.
Here are some food ingredient sources that Laurie posted:
I don't have any sources for MRE's but here are the places I use for ingredients to make quick meals.
www.mec.ca (they have things like smoked wild salmon in small packages)
www.sprouting.com (okay not quick but lightweight and yummy on the trail)
www.bauly.com (they have freeze-dried meatballs!!)
And here is an old post of mine on the same topic:
FAst intro to freeze dried/dehydrated food and descriptions of common vegetable, how they reconstitute, weights before and after rehydration, cooking times, etc -- stuff seems pricey compared to the below bulk dealer:
Check out Survival Acres.
This site is blowing my mind with the bulk freeze dried food products available ... it is like a whole grocery store of already freeze dried bulk food -- of all kinds: