Kristin, do you have any tips for winter cooking? How should I set my
backcountry kitchen up differently? Can I cook in my tent?
First: Keep it simple. Winter is not the time for elaborate, fancy-pants menus. Winter is the time for shoveling hot, nourishing, easy-to-prepare food into your face, then crawling into your sleeping bag with a headlamp and a good book.
As far as setting up your kitchen, just make sure you have a stove that can handle cold temps. Go with a liquid fuel stove (check out this article for the full scoop) or a cold-weather-proven canister stove like the Soto Microregulator. A tip: If you’re camping on deep snow, it can be tough to get a stable cooking platform, because the heat melts the surface and the stove sinks into the snow. Make yourself a lightweight stable stove platform using scavenged household items.
As for cooking in a tent, for the most part (see exception, below), we don’t recommend it, for reasons that should be fairly obvious. It is perfectly common to cook inside a tent vestibule, however, where you don’t have to worry about toxic fumes or flammable fabric under your stove.
One more tip: If you have a canister stove and want to boost its performance in colder weather, keep the canister warm—in a pocket or your bag. You can even duct tape a chemical hand warmer packet to the bottom. A warm canister is a happy canister. You can also set the canister in a plate or shallow bowl of water (don’t do this if you taped a hand warmer to the bottom). —KRISTIN