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Camp Food: Eating Right in the Backcountry (feature article)

October 2008 Feature Article:

Camp Food: Eating Right in the Backcountry

There are two schools of thought regarding the menu for a hunting, fishing or camping trip in a remote location - roughing it or eating well. On my recent Alaskan caribou hunt, we ate well - including tundra filet mignon cooked on an innovative grill which folds up to the size of a ruler!
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Re: Camp Food: Eating Right in the Backcountry (feature arti

Great article. It really is true that a great many types of backpacking food can be found at the grocery stores without having to pay the high price of MREs from places like REI or other places. Generally for a week long deer or elk hunt we pack all our gear in a couple trucks and generally set up camp anywhere from 50 yrds to 300 yards of the truck depending. We don't backpack in for biggame hunting trips. Set up camp no closer than 2 miles from our hunting grounds. We can generally have pretty good meals under those conditions. I always bring and use my Coleman 2 burner camp stove, and my single burner Coleman backpacker stove, as well as a pair of cast iron grates to grill some stuff over the campfire with. Someone else in the party will always bring their camp stove as well, but one 2 burner stove is usually enough to cook for 4 people. My smaller Coleman 533 single burner is mainly used to brew coffee with while the food is cooking. Our philosophy when it comes to food is reasonable portions of high energy nutritious food, nothing too fancy or ellaborate, we just keep meals simple. Hearty stews and chili, smoke cured sausage, bread, eggs, canned beans, noodles in seasoning, nuts for snacks.

Used to use my single burner Coleman backpacking stove for weekend summer backpacking trips, overnight rafting trips, and day fishing trips with friends when I was a single man and each person was responsible for their own meals. Now it's typically brought along on every trip and used as an auxillary burner for car camping, fishing, and hunting trips. We'll also eat a portion of whatever trout we catch when camping too.

Waterfowl or upland hunts, we generally stay in a lodge or cabin near the hunting area and are generally pretty close to a town. So dinner is either cooked in the cabin or we'll eat at a local diner. I still bring my camp cooking gear along, but only use it during a break in the morning to cook up breakfast not far from the blind. That negates us having to pack up and head into town for breakfast if the hunting action is good.

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