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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2009

Winter Camping: Recipes & Menu Planner

These recipes are fortified with extra warmth and calories for winter camping.

by: Kelly Bastone


COLD COMFORT
Full Winter Camping Guide


RECIPE CENTER
Want more essential recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between? Check out the Backpacker Recipe Center.


Weekend Menu Planner
A dining guide fortified with extra warmth and calories–based on the grocery list below

Dinner 1
Instant soup, macaroni & cheese, hot drink (coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or cider)
Breakfast 1
Oatmeal, granola bar, hot drink
Breakfast 2
PB&J bagel, hot drink
Dinner 2
Hearty Veggie & Bean Soup, Abominable Snowman
Lunches & Snacks
Small, frequent snacks eaten on the go keep you warm and energized. Choose your favorites and graze hourly.
Crackers, jerky, cheese, dried fruit, energy bars, cookies, Gatorade, trail mix with nuts and chocolate, pepperoni (foods with a low moisture content are least likely to freeze)

Hearty Veggie and Bean Soup
Alaska Mountain Guide Eli Fierer favors this recipe for a warming, rehydrating meal.

1/2 C. split peas
1 C. instant rice
1 C. dried veggies
(try mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes)
3 T. butter
1 pouch chicken breast
1 packet Knorr soup mix
1 cube chicken bouillon
Loaf of bread

1. Soak the peas in hot water for 45 minutes.
2. Add dried veggies, soup mix, and bouillon to one liter of water, and bring to a boil. Add peas and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in rice and chicken; when rice is cooked, swirl in the butter. Enjoy with bread. Serves 3.

Abominable Snowman Buck Tilton, coauthor of NOLS Winter Camping, warms up with this favorite brew.

1 packet instant hot chocolate mix
2 T. powdered milk
Pat of butter
1 T. brown sugar
1 shot tequila

Place hot chocolate and powdered milk in a mug. Add 1 1/2 cups hot water. Stir in butter, brown sugar, and tequila.

Grocery list
[ ] 2 packets instant oatmeal
[ ] 3 servings coffee/tea/hot chocolate/cider
[ ] 1 granola bar
[ ] 1 bagel
[ ] 2 T. peanut butter
[ ] 2 T. jelly
[ ] 1 box crackers
[ ] 1 pack jerky or pepperoni
[ ] 1 pack dried fruit
[ ] 1 pack trail mix
[ ] 2 energy bars
[ ] 4 individually wrapped cheeses
[ ] 1 pack cookies
[ ] 7.5 T. Gatorade
[ ] 1/2 C. split peas
[ ] 1 C. instant rice
[ ] 1/2 C. dried mushrooms
[ ] 1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes
[ ] 1 pouch chicken breast
[ ] 1 packet Knorr soup mix
[ ] 1 bouillon cube
[ ] 4 T. butter
[ ] 1 loaf crusty bread
[ ] 1 packet hot cocoa
[ ] 2 T. powdered milk
[ ] 1 T. brown sugar
[ ] 1 oz. tequila

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READERS COMMENTS

delene
Feb 26, 2012

is there any way to pack fresh veggies like tomatoes and lettuce without them freezing during winter campouts?

epicwalker
Feb 07, 2012

Well if the temps stay below 40 degrees you can pack perishables like fresh steak yumm

scott
Jan 09, 2012

how does one retort cook?

K.c.
Jan 05, 2012

Ummm, I thought you weren't supposed to have alcohol while in cold temps...at least that's the info I've read multiple times...

Laurie Ann March
Jan 08, 2010

You'd be much better off to make the full soup at home (without the chicken) and then place it on food dehydrator trays. Then at camp all you need to do is add in the pouch of chicken and rehydrate the mix with boiling water in a wide-mouth Nalgene or freezer bag for about 15 minutes. Make sure you cozy the rehydration container as it makes a big difference.

Tim
Jan 06, 2010

Hey everyone...RETORT. In the winter reheat, don't cook. Just about any meal can be fully cooked in advance and bagged and reheated in boiling water. Single servings. No cleanup (eat out of the bag. Fast meals. Nice and hot.

Joel
Jan 05, 2010

Linda great advice and great link.

Linda
Jan 01, 2010

The "Abominable Snowman" is great -- substitute an ounce of peppermint schnapps instead of tequila.

Now let's rethink the soup. The ingredients are great. But anything that requires soaking in hot water for 45 minutes and then simmering for 10 minutes is not winter-friendly, especially in below freezing temps. Try this: cook the split peas and regular rice (not instant) at home, then dehydrate them. Mix together with the other dry ingredients and divide into 2 or 3 quart size freezer zipper bags (one serving per bag). In camp, you add the butter and chicken to the zipper bag. Boil water, approximately twice as much as the volume of dehydrated food in the bag. Pour the water into the zipper bag, seal it tight, and place into a cozy or wrap it in an extra piece of clothing. After about 10 minutes, open and eat out of the bag. Advantages: saves fuel, no cleanup.
Added advantage: if you're sitting in a camp chair while you're cooking, place the cozy either under your thighs or between them. This helps the cozy stay warmer while rehydrating the food and also helps your own body heat while you're sitting. Be sure the bag is zipped securely.
Check out www.freezerbagcooking.com for more ideas.

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