Fine dining is possible in the backcountry

Have you ever purchased one of those Mountain House pouches of freeze dried food, and wondered later on in camp why you paid 8, maybe 9 bucks for a bag of mush?

I know I have.  More than once, actually.  You’re in a pinch.  You’re not feeling like the creative camp chef everyone makes you out to be.  The pressure is on. A pouch of food looks easy. Done deal.

But you’re better than that. You are an informed, intelligent consumer. You cruise the cheap-o aisles at the grocery store.  You’re perpetually on the lookout for a deal. Maybe you even shop the dusty expiration rack in the back corner by the employee break room (hey, there’s no mold!).

So you know you can save on backpacking food if you’re smart. There are entire sections devoted to cheap, edible food in pouches: meats, veggies, fruits, spices. Mix and match, and you won’t necessarily have to sacrifice your fine dining standards. Creativity goes a long way here.

Here is one perfect example. It’s called Backcountry Thanksgiving.  We’ve made this recipe a few times on the trail. If I wasn’t snoozing in a sleeping bag out in the middle of nowhere, I’d swear I was at grandma’s house for the holidays.

Backcountry Thanksgiving

  • 1 packet of Stove Top band stuffing
  • 1 7-ounce pouch chicken
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

This is where things get really difficult.  Stay with me. Boil 1.5 cups of water, then stir in stuffing. Add chicken and cranberries. Serves two. Or one, if you’re the hungry boy (like me) in camp.

Do yourself a favor: steer clear of the Mountain Mush.

How about you, Pilgrim? Surely you know of a few gourmet backcountry recipes that are both cheap and delicious. Please. Do Share.



    1. Oh really? Sounds delicious. I have another backcountry recipe that calls for 2 cups of leprechaun tears, 1 teaspoon of unicorn piss, and 1 pound of fresh morels.

      The chicken is cooked and freeze dried.

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