Freeze-dried meals have come a long way over the years. Companies have been making lightweight, long-lasting, nutritious, packable meals that have been used by all kinds of travelers, from weekend hikers to Arctic Circle Explorers to lunar astronauts. Scrambled eggs, sweet and sour pork, beef stroganoff, the selection is huge and varied. All you need to do is add hot water to the package itself, wait a few minutes, and eat.

Such advanced food preparation technology means that freeze-dried meals can be used for purposes besides as a hot meal after a day of hiking. Here are three other ways to use freeze-dried meals.

A 15 ounce can of freeze-dried food can yield 11 one-cup servings. Mountain House

If you’ve volunteered to make dinner (or been tasked with the duty) for your family or friends on a carry-in trip, when every ounce matters, freeze-dried meals that come in large cans are perfect. These bulk cans provide anywhere from 10 to 15 servings each of a wide variety of ready-to-eat meals, such as chicken teriyaki and spaghetti with meat sauce. Some of these large cans contain just beef or chicken, which you can use as the main ingredient in a more elaborate meal.

Spend more time planning your trek than your meals by using an emergency supply meal package for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Mountain House

Emergency food supply kits contain breakfast, lunch and dinner meals for anywhere from 3 to 7 days. While these collections are packaged for people who want to keep a backup food supply on hand in the event of an emergency, they work perfectly for the camper who does not want to be bothered planning every meal before the trip, figuring out the weight of everything, and then cooking it all. These emergency food supply kits do it all for you.

Hide this bucket and you—or your kids—will have a supply of food up to the year 2049. Mountain House

The “bucket” meal assortments contain 29 to 32 food servings in an airtight container that you can store in a deer camp or survival bunker for emergency use. The bucket helps keep critters at bay, and most companies guarantee a shelf life of foods for 30 years after the date of manufacture. You may not need to ever use the food cache, but you can rest easy knowing it’s there for you—and maybe even the next generation.