Look, we don't have anything against freeze-dried meals. They're easy, they're fast, and they're nutritious enough to keep you going on the trail.
But sometimes, that's not enough: Sometimes, spectacular scenery deserves a spectacular meal. From comfort food to protein-packed dishes to decadent desserts, we've collected 36 of our most popular recipes here, along with a few of our personal favorites. Master them, and you'll taste what backcountry cooking can really be like.
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Tips to Help You Become a Master Camp Chef
- Make a spice kit: There's a good chance you're underseasoning your food. For a simple fix, pack a teaspoon or two each of garlic powder, oregano/basil mix, soy sauce, cinnamon, hot sauce, and Spike. Pack in leakproof containers, like a Nalgene travel kit or a GSI waterproof spice rack.
- Bring the right tools: Bringing the proper utensils will help you finesse your meal. If you're cooking for a group, an ultralight spatula like the GSI Outdoors Pivot is worth the weight. A long-handled spork like the GSI Outdoors Kung Foon also does the trick.
Have we whetted your appetite? Sign up for our Backcountry Kitchen course on AIM Adventure U, and you'll get a comprehensive lesson in backpacker cuisine that you can take at your own pace. Bonus: Right now, it's 50% off.