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Best backcountry meal ever?
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Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Best backcountry meal ever? on 10/22/2011 21:31:59 MDT Print View

I think this is pretty tough to beat for the best backcountry meal ever. I do FBC 99% of the time, and eat well, but last weekend I was going into RMNP where you have take a "real" stove and the night before happened to go out to a dinner that my company paid for to celebrate a project. So I brought the leftovers along. Delmonico steak with a Porcini mushroom rub and 12 year old Balsamic drizzle, lobster mac 'n cheese, and some fancy au grautin potatoes. I think it was even better the second night. And it was really the only highlight of a very disappointing trip. After enduring 40 MPH winds all night, and the forecast was for it to get worse, I bailed on Saturday morning.


Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
even now on 10/23/2011 17:23:58 MDT Print View

Man, that looks good. You're making me hungry and underscoring the limitations of ultralight---which that tasty meal clearly violated. Couldn't you dehydrated it and grind it into a fine paste before heading out? Ho ho

Tim Haynes

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Best backcountry meal ever on 10/24/2011 11:26:44 MDT Print View

I don't think "best backcountry meal" will ever fit into the ultralight category (are those two things mutually exclusive?), but heading out to a trail, friends and I stopped at a roadside stand somewhere in Colorado, heading out to the Utah mountains, and picked up three elk tenderloins, freshly butchered. Covered with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, we used found sticks to create a makeshift spit and slowly turned the tenderloins over the open fire to a perfect medium rare

Combine this with a vista miles away from another human being, camped halfway up a mountain in SE Utah, and the one-beer-per person we had with us, and it was unquestionably the best backcountry meal I've ever had, if not the best meal period.

Something about a good steak over a fire in the backcountry is an unparalleled luxury.

Roger Heward
(green1) - F

Locale: Alberta, Canada
Re: Best backcountry meal ever? on 10/24/2011 19:20:04 MDT Print View

The best meal I've ever had in the backcountry was something most people would never attempt. An acquaintance of mine at the time (who has since gone on to work as a chef at some fancy hotels, and then to teach other aspiring chefs) came hiking with us with an insanely heavy pack. He's built like an ox though, so he kept up quite well. When we all got to camp and the rest of us were relaxing before dinner, he got right to work, he opened his pack and pulled out a full leg of lamb, he then pulled out a bag of charcoal to cook it properly! Along with this he made baked potatoes and for desert he made a black forest cake in a coffee can (from scratch).

I don't think I've ever eaten that well, on or off the trail!

Some other memorable backcountry meals
- When I hiked the west-coast trail there is a "restaurant" in the middle of it (it's a shack made of driftwood, with a sand floor, and somewhere you would never go anywhere near if it was in civilization!) I'm not sure if it's the best burger I've ever eaten, or just because of the location, but it was pretty good!

- And I have to mention this one... For my "first date" with my current girlfriend we did a 3 day backpacking trip. The first night she made me steak and mashed potatoes, but unlike previous backcountry steak (see the "worst backcountry meal ever" thread) this one was amazing, it had been marinating in a ziploc in her pack all day, it was amazing! (I made her my famous backcountry pancakes for breakfast) (we've been together for 4 years now... so she obviously knew the way to a guy's heart!)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Best backcountry meal ever? on 10/24/2011 19:37:34 MDT Print View

One time up in the head waters of the Kern I caught about 20 6-7" hybrid Golden-Rainbow Trout out of a small remote lake for my partner and I. Shook 'em in a bag of seasoned flour, fried 'em 'til they were crisp and brown, then took some rehydrated mashed potatoes seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper, and a little cumin and fried up a thick, pan sized potato pancake, all crispy brown on both sides, in the trout drippings. We proceeded to eat the trout, skin first, then the filets, followed by the crispy heads and tails. Followed that with the potato pancake, and topped it off with fresh picked currants topped with brown sugar and double strength Milkman. Ahhhhhhhh. I can still taste it to this day. Not very fancy, but finger lickin' goooood. Mike Moore is spot on about the little ones being the best eating.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
steak... on 10/24/2011 21:15:46 MDT Print View

Well, once we were doing a shared menu. My husband was made responsible for getting the meat for the first night's dinner. There were two couples (Bry and I as well as Claude and Shelley) and each pair carried a GSI Backpacker grid. The plan was cooking a steak with foil pouches of veggies and mushrooms over a campfire.

Leaving my hubby in charge of the meat turned out to be overkill (and expensive). You see he didn't buy just any steak... four rib steaks... aged 26 days... organic angus beef... they were so huge that we ate the leftovers for breakfast (Claude and Shelley had a cooler bag). I don't usually do the campfire thing unless we are car camping, but I have to say this was a pretty incredible dinner. The couple we were with also packed in a Platy with a beautiful Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.

The packs were certainly lighter on the way out - and thank goodness this was a canoe trip with only 1 big portage.

It was pretty much amazing. Here's a photo and the GSI grids should give a scale reference as to just how much meat there was.

Steaks in the Backcountry

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
UL on 10/24/2011 21:56:19 MDT Print View

"You're making me hungry and underscoring the limitations of ultralight---which that tasty meal clearly violated."

Whadda ya mean? That food didn't change my base weight! :)

OK, I did have to bring that big non-stick pan to heat it up in. But there was nothing remotely light weight about this trip anyway. Since it was in RMNP I had to bring the Pocket Rocket and a bear canister. And since I was planning to be mostly fishing and not hiking much, I had to bring some beers. (I think that's in the fishing regs.) That didn't work out but dinner was great. Did I mention that I paired the meal with an Oskar Blues Gubna? :)

Some good meals posted. Especially that leg of lamb. I'd bring that guy on every trip!

Roger Heward
(green1) - F

Locale: Alberta, Canada
Re: UL on 10/24/2011 23:07:57 MDT Print View

That fellow was always great to have along, He'd carry and cook amazing food, and all you had to do was the cleanup, definitely worth while!

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
like the Buddha, Two meals stand out on 10/27/2011 22:15:04 MDT Print View

The first meal was in Pennsylvania's Allegheny National Forest and was grilled fresh-caught brook trout and a cheese fondue dip for our bread.

The second meal was last year in Utah's Coyote Gulch. It was an FBC of Pad Thai with retort pouch shrimp mixed in.

Of both meals I can say "better than a top restaurant" - and I live in 'Vegas with plenty of world class restaurants.

Francis DeRoos

Locale: Mid Atlantic
re: best backcountry meal ever? on 10/28/2011 18:08:57 MDT Print View

had some variation of this for 1/2 of the nights on the JMT this Sept. Fresh trout with an asian seaweed soup broth. Tasty and a perfect warm meal for early afternoon.trout seaweed soup

Roy Staggs
(onepaddlejunkie) - F

Locale: SEC
Recipe? on 11/01/2011 02:38:58 MDT Print View

Need the recipe for the broth Francis! The trout I can handle.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
best backcountry meal on 11/01/2011 08:23:43 MDT Print View

This one, cooked by my friend Roula on a canoe trip, was pretty darn tasty (and memorable too). She had more kitchen gear than anyone I ever traveled with but was I ever glad she did that day. Good thing it wasn't a hiking trip! We didn't expect to catch fish so had nothing to bread them with until I remembered the jalapeno-cornbread crackers I had leftover from lunch the day before.

Chef Roula

I love this photo of her cooking dinner for us. My son and our friend Bill caught all the fish (Smallmouth Bass). This gear should make you all cringe... lol. The stove with the red stand was mine and the other Roula's. The full bottle of olive oil was Roula's and the wine and Nalgene with cheesecloth (I was growing sprouts) was mine. She also brought a proper chef's knife and tongs. I just about died laughing at her when she pulled those out. I tend to travel very light compared to my other canoeist friends. It was a great trip - very different and relaxed compared to what I am used to.


Edited by Laurie_Ann on 11/01/2011 08:29:42 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Best backcountry meal ever? on 11/01/2011 11:35:23 MDT Print View

I have always felt that any meal can be lifted to a higher status if it is mosquito and fly free in a lovely alpine bowl, preferably on the edge of a meadow, on a lake and with views of the peaks. That and a comfy Slinglight chair with shoes off.......

David Noll
(dpnoll) - MLife

Locale: Maroon Bells
best backcountry meal ever on 11/01/2011 15:32:31 MDT Print View

Granted it was a canoe trip but imagine paella with mussels etc.Paella

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: best backcountry meal ever on 11/02/2011 11:13:28 MDT Print View

Now that really floats me boat... lol.

Jim Cowdery
(james.cowdery) - MLife

Locale: Central Florida
First night out on 11/02/2011 11:34:01 MDT Print View

I always try to pack a little something extra fro the first night out. Sometimes it is pre-seasond chicken, steaks and usually also includes fresh veggies!!

It isn't truly ultralight (at least for the first day) but sure sets the tone for the rest of the hike!!!

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Best backcountry meal ever? on 11/02/2011 19:48:33 MDT Print View

My most memorable backcountry meal came at the end of a 5-week backpacking trip when I was 15. We were all teenagers on the trip, and we basically hadn't packed enough food, so by the end we were VERY hungry. On the last night of the trip, we were camped at a lake and some other folks were camped nearby. We must have looked pretty bad, because they not only gave us some of the trout they had caught, they also gave us a bunch of other food. We fried up the trout, and dumped all the rest into one big pot. I don't remember the details of what we had besides the trout, but it was extremely satisfying.