It takes three basic things to sustain life and we can only live for a given amount of time without them. Three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food…Well that’s what they taught me in school anyways. So, why is it that the least important life giving essential given the most attention? It’s also the one we spend most of the time fussing about, planning and prepping for. There are so many dedicated TV channels just about food and the cooking of food. There are also all those videos that just show up online. Showing a new creative way to cook the same old chicken. I guess good food is just our kryptonite!!!
With this in mind Week 2 of winter prepping for the upcoming riding season… Lets chat about our back-country kitchen…Let’s start with not everyone has a large string of mules waiting around just to pack in your kitchen, so weight and space is normally an issue. Another parameter, would be length of your trip. How does one keep your perishable foods from perishing? Are you basing out of your LQ trailer at a trail head or setting up shop 32 miles into the middle of nowhere? Is your back-country trip a roving one, packing up camp and moving everyday or are you going to base out of a large wall tent for 14 days? Once we work on the logistics of camp; we need to work on that menu. As you start to pencil out that menu remember if your having hash browns, you’ll need oil for the pan etc. etc. etc. Now the average family has 4 horses they ride 2, pack 2. This is where we need to start cutting weight. Most of us will leave that cast iron at home, right or wrong we need to cut weight. I take a light weight grill and cook almost everything over the fire (which is an art in itself) a light weight two burner propane stove, one pot, a frying pan and of course, the coffee pot…
Everything I cook can be cooked in or with that list of items. My menu is built around my kitchen set up. Most meals are prepped at home to speed up cooking time and eliminating waste. I take one coffee cup per person each one a different color. That’s your cup for the trip. Wash it, don’t wash it I don’t care, it’s yours. Mine has marks on it and doubles as a measuring cup...maybe that’s why everything I cook has a hint of coffee… During the winter is when I use those prementioned cooking videos that just show up on the internet. I pick the ones I like, and make them into one pot meals. Enjoy your time around the table with friends and family, whether it’s at home or on the side of a creek a little practice and prep goes a long way. One last tip…Most of us have hand me down cookware from our home kitchen, which include a frying pan with the non-stick wore off. Throw it away and spend $15 on a new one!!! Who wants to spend any more time scrubbing dishes instead of fishing than we have too? If space is an issue, they make pans with folding or removable handles.
Next week Is dedicated to kitchen hacks that makes life easier in the back-country kitchen. If you have a trick up your sleeve that might help us in our back-country kitchen share it with us.
See You on the Trail.