More Backcountry Cooking

If you'd like to go backpacking but don't have a camp stove, or just don't want to carry the extra weight of one, don't worry. There are some great no-stove recipes to satisfy a ravenous day’s end. They also satisfy a backpacker’s weight concerns because with each meal you’re carrying less, so pack weight drops dramatically. Because your total kitchen—consisting of a plate, cup, knife, spoon, and scrubby—weighs in at a whopping few ounces, you feel like you’re carrying a day pack toward the end of your trip.

No-stove meals need little or no water. That means you can camp in airy abandon, carrying only the water you need for drinking. Ditto for the middle of a desert, the edge of a hanging valley, or anywhere else you feel like plopping down for the night.

The key is to make sure these carefree meals are tasty and filling. You probably have meals you eat at home that could easily be adapted to trail use as well. A two-day menu might look something like this:


Breakfast: Bagels with cream cheese and nectarines
Lunch: Pita pockets stuffed with bean sprouts, quinoa, and shiitake mushrooms (mushrooms need water)
Dinner: Baked potato (precooked) with canned smoked oysters and scallions

Day Two

Breakfast: Brown rice (precooked) with cinnamon, nuts, and raisins
Lunch: Baked potato (precooked) with cream cheese and tofu jerky
Dinner: Bell pepper stuffed with rice (precooked) and tuna (in foil package)

Snacks: Energy bars, dried or fresh fruit, crackers with instant hummus (needs water) or make fresh at home

Even if you go stoveless, remember to take matches or a lighter. You may not need to light your stove, but in an emergency you may need to light a fire.
(Marjorie McCloy)


Here is a stoveless recipe from Dorcas Miller:

Falafel Pita Pockets
Falafel is a Middle Eastern dish made with garbanzo beans and spices. A dry mix of these ingredients is widely available in health food stores and supermarkets (check the natural food section).
At home, combine and stir well:
¾ cups water
1 cup falafel mix
Let stand 15 minutes to absorb water. Heat frying pan and make a patty just a little smaller than the frying pan. Heat frying pan and add:
1 tablespoon oil
Drop chunks of falafel into the pan and as soon as they start to cook, break them into small pieces. Stir pieces until they are evenly browned. Cool and place in a zipper-lock bag. Store in the refrigerator.

Pack individually:
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 pitas
½ cup dried corn
On trail, at breakfast add to corn:
1 cup water
Seal container and let rehydrate during the day. In the evening, drain water and add falafel. Mix well. Spoon into pita halves and drizzle the tahini on top.

Servings: Two servings of 1 pita (2 halves) each.
Nutritional information: 743 calories, 34 grams fat, 67 grams carbohydrate, and 21 grams protein per serving.


--Adapted from More Backcountry Cooking: Moveable Feasts by the Experts by Dorcas Miller, The Mountaineers Books


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