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Outdoor cooking doesn't have to mean steaks, dogs, and burgers. You can cook just about anything on a camp stove or over a fire, and if you can boil water then you can enjoy boil-in-bag meals, pasta side dishes, and a variety of other convenience foods that just take boiling water to make them. You can even take along instant pudding; just add dry milk powder and water!
On a large camp stove, you can create gourmet meals just like you'd create at home and gourmet outdoor cooking is becoming much more popular. On a short hiking trip of a couple of days, you can carry insulated containers with food you've prepared at home, then heat up at the camp site.
Another quick outdoor cooking tip is to partially cook pasta at home, then put it in a strong plastic bag. You can finish cooking it in the bag when you're ready for dinner. Marinate meats in plastic bags as well, and then cook them when you arrive at camp.
Practice outdoor cooking skills on your stove or on a grill at home before you hit the trail, so you'll know exactly what you need to do when you arrive in camp. If you're going for a shorter hike, you can carry more fresh foods and really enjoy outdoor cooking. Longer, multi-day backpacking treks usually call for more dehydrated and packaged dry foods.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|