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Tips: Cooking

We all need to eat, especially when we are blazing through calories on the trail.  Some people are daunted by the thought of cooking in the backcountry.

The first thing you need to know is that it will always taste better in the mountains.  Period.  For some weird psychological reason, our brains automatically think that food tastes better after a grueling hike.  Don’t ask me why, it just does.

The second thing is that dirt will get in your food.   Deal with it.  Yes it is unsanitary, yes it can be a little gritty, but if Bear Grylls squeezes elephant shit to get water in the middle of a desert, and doesn’t get sick, I think a little pine needle in your pasta won’t kill you.

Thirdly: upgrade your cooking system every once and a while.  A nonstick pan/pot can go immensely far.  Butter can help somethimes with old nonstick pans, but spending a little extra goes a long way in terms of the convenience.

Last but not least, get comfortable when cooking.  Chances are, you will probably be there for awhile, so might as well set up with a view.  But do not go looking for Lion King Rock; wind can drastically alter the boiling time of water, even if you have a wind screen.  Make sure that your kitchen is waterproof.  Putting your stove in your vestibule is bad on so many levels, but covering the cooking area with a tarp or Tyvek will keep everything dry.  Also, if you have a foam pad or a Crazy Creek camp chair, prop it up against a log or a trunk of a tree.  Leaning over a stove is rough on the back after 15 minutes.

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