Skills: Recipe 911 | Canoeroots Magazine | Rapid Media
Skills
Skills: Recipe 911 Photo: Jillian Lukiwski

Prevent your next backcountry cooking disaster

Well-fed campers are happy campers. When you’re cooking at a campsite, your best approach is to prevent mistakes in the first place—not even hot sauce and cheese can make a charred lump of carbon palatable. Take the same pleasure and care in planning your meals as you do with your gear and route. Then use these simple tips to guide your cooking so you can enjoy your trip even more.

FAMILIAR TERRITORY

First and foremost, don’t try to learn a new recipe or technique while camping. Haven’t mastered the art of perfectly puffed soufflé or slow-cooked brisket? Now is not the time. Try your recipes at home using your camping gear to see if it works, how it tastes and whether you’ll be comfortable cooking it. A stressed-out chef casts a pall over a campsite.

PLAN AHEAD

The first night out always seems to have far more tasks than time. Nobody likes cooking in the dark, and an awful first meal can set the tone for the trip. Prepare a meal at home you can reheat over a fire or on the coals for your first evening while you set up camp. Freeze a hearty soup or stew, or prepare a foil packet dinner by combining meat loaf, cooked potatoes and carrots with some onions and spicy tomato sauce.

Leave the complex and gourmet meals for mid-trip when time is a luxury. Save the simplest items for the last day, when breaking camp and traveling home will preoccupy mind and hands.

MANAGE YOUR TIME

Cooking takes longer when outdoors. Fires and camp stoves...

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