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Backpack Meals that Make Sense

(8/22/06) Picture yourself sitting around the campfire laughing with your backpacking buddies while sharing stories. You're sipping on a cup of fine cognac after finishing a delicious plate of fettucine alfredo that you cooked from scratch. Life is really good.

But it was a long and strenuous day of hiking and you can feel your muscles starting to fall asleep before you do. Then your mind chimes in to remind you that you slept only four hours the previous night to pack for the trip. Yup, it's time to slip into your long johns and snuggle in your brand new toasty 900 fill Marmot sleeping bag.

That's when it hits you... Waaaaagghh, I have to wash the dishes. DISHES. disshhhhh... ez.

You grab your crusty plate and spork, and then grudgingly walk over to the pot to study the remains of burnt-on cream sauce, fragments of hardened pasta, and baked-on cheese. You then look up and glance around your surroundings as if to spot a Viking dishwasher hidden in the trees or for a rare encounter with the Dawn Dishwashing Liquid Angel, who has heard your cry for help. What you see instead is a fleeting shadow in the distance of what resembled the shape of a bear.

Your backpacking buddies, who earlier looked longingly at your fettucini with fresh herbs, garlic, and stringy cheese, while they settled for their boring commercial freeze dried dinners, started to get up and exchange good nights. This only added insult to injury as you heard them earlier screaming like school girls as they splashed around in the lake, while you were shredding cheese, chopping herbs, and waiting for a large pot of water to boil. But wait, let's add coursely ground salt to the wound - you find out later in discussions around the campfire, that your studly pals were skinny dipping.

So there you are alone with your dirty pot, looking up at the stars, thinking to yourself, "Never again". (Slow-zoom out. Cross-fade to black video.)

Spoiled from gourmet cooking in the great outdoors, you're not ready to settle again for commercial freeze dried fare. As you lay in your sleeping bag hours later, counting your fifth shooting star, you ponder -- What would Becka Homo Eca do?

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