2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

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

Full Winter Camping Guide

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

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -


Feb 26, 2012

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

Feb 07, 2012

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

Jan 09, 2012

how does one retort cook?

Jan 05, 2012

Ummm, I thought you weren't supposed to have alcohol while in cold 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.

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.

Jan 05, 2010

Linda great advice and great link.

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 for more ideas.


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Health and Fitness
2014 fitness updates
Posted On: Aug 22, 2014
Submitted By: RebeccaD
Rocky Mountains
Who Has Plans in the Winds This Year?
Posted On: Aug 22, 2014
Submitted By: OldBill

View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions