Even before I returned to cooking as a profession, I endeavored to eat well while camping. Blame Burning Man. When I attended the event as a participant, with two kids no less, I was inclined to cook whole meals while on playa.
Half of my planning for the desert was food, what we would eat and when we would eat it. A lot of things would be prepped, like spaghetti sauce, premade, frozen and kept on dry ice.
This habit of preparing food extended to my travel habits. If driving, I’d plan out snacks and prep accordingly. When flying, I make a favorite meal and pack it in Tupperware.
So, for winter camping, I wanted to do the same. But it’s not the same, not in Saskatchewan at least. Winter camping here occurs at well below zero, so everything freezes.
The first night of the trip, I was reasonably prepared. I had a thawed steak and prebaked potatoes.
By the second night though, it was already a bit more of a challenge. I did ok, with my can of clam chowder and cherries coulis that I’d already prepped in a zip lock bag with some sugar. I let the cherries cook over the flames in a pan, with some added whiskey.
I did ok with beverages. I had plenty of cocoa and instant coffee and tea on hand. But I wasn’t exceptionally excited about instant oatmeal in the morning. I had plans to boil eggs, but boiling water for the required 11 minutes became an issue. I may need to rethink that one.
Prepping food for winter camping will obviously require some different strategies. But luckily, winter is long here, I have a fire pit out back and plenty of time to experiment.
I can see winter camping food becoming a new obsession for me. There’s always a way to do it better and DIY. Stay tuned…