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The Manual: Win a Camp Cookoff

Ideal appetizers, perfect wine pairings, desserts, and advanced techniques.


Derek Sullivan, a double winner at BACKPACKER’s last camp cookoff (September 2004), shares his secrets.

Don’t get carried away
with untested ingredients or cooking methods.

Adapt home-cooked meals
by substituting pack-friendly ingredients and adjusting techniques—such as shepherd’s pie with instant mashed potatoes, dried veggies, and dehydrated ground beef.

Practice preparing the meal at home a few times, using only your camp stove and cookware, to fine-tune details.

Grilled trout Riesling, gewurztraminer
Hearty chili Malbec, Shiraz
Grilled steak Cabernet sauvignon, Shiraz
Pasta with red sauce Pinot noir, Sangiovese, Beaujolais
S’mores Muscat, reserve port

Try: PlatyPreserve wine carrier ($13,

Next Page: Desserts and Advanced Techniques

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