April showers brings May flowers! That is 

true for the east coast this spring. Even with 

the rain we shouldn't let it dampen our 

spirits. Taking time for a planned trip in our 

natural world is a great way to feel alive. 


Leaving you're kitchen behind doesn't mean 

that your health has to suffer though. The 

best meals I've enjoyed have been sitting 

around a fire with black bears feeding on 

salmon a few hundred metres away or 

serving breakfast on a remote beach with 

gray whales dining in kelp beds out front.


Traveling in remote coastal and backcountry

environments takes planning! With a few 

simple creative methods we can enjoy fresh 

bread, chowders, burritos, mac and cheese, 

curry or even marinated salmon steaks! On 

relatively short trips (4 days or less) we can 

take many fresh foods. Our pack will be a little

heavier initially, but we will have no waste to

pack out, we can eat a diet we're familiar with and fresh food tastes better! Potatoes, onions, carrots, peppers and cheese are all very easy to travel with and don't bruise or spoil easily. My favorite simple meal is a sweet potato and cheddar cheese chowder. Nothing warms me up in the cool damp spring weather then a hot bowl of chowder and fresh bread!


Sweet Potato and Cheddar Cheese Chowder

1 sweet potato per person

a few stalks of celery

1 small onion

1 cube of soup broth

grated cheddar cheese

milk powder


fresh parsley



Boiling water in your pot, we start to cook the thinly sliced potatoes. As the potatoes cook, we can 

mash them with a fork and add our chopped onion, celery, broth, milk powder, pepper and parsley. 

Turning the heat low on our stove we allow the chowder to simmer while we stir frequently. The open 

flame will burn our meal if left unattended. Stir in the grated cheese and add a little parsley to garnish 

and serve! A very simple meal idea that will have no waste afterward except a couple small ziploc 

baggies we stored the cheese, milk powder and herbs in. The organic waste we can burn in our small 

evening fire, leaving no trace of our presence there.


Baking bread in the backcountry is a fun art to master. While other campers around you may be eating 

packaged meals they pick up at the local trail shop, you could be enjoying fresh flat bread with a little 

brown sugar sprinkled on and a splash of lemon juice. We don't pack measuring cups and spoons while traveling light, instead we remember ratios. For bread, the ratio for flour to water is approximately 3:1.

Learn from others mistakes! We don't have access to more flour, so start with half of the amount water and flour, adding more in small increments.


Basic Backcountry Bread

1 Tbsp of sugar

1 Tbsp of yeast

1 ½ cups of multigrain flour (a ¼ – ½ c of extra flour doesn't hurt it and it weighs very little)

1 Tbsp oil

½ cup of warm water


Mixing the sugar and yeast together first, we then add a ¼ cup of warm water and half the flour. 

Mixing this with a spoon, we will gradually add more flour until we get a slightly sticky dough ball. 

Continue to knead for a a few minutes. Rub the outside with oil and then place in a plastic freezer bag, 

seal the top and keep warm to let it rise. If we want fresh bread for morning we prepare the dough the 

night before and take our dough baby to bed with us. Keeping it next to our body in the sleeping bag 

will let it rise. If you choose to use the dough for pizza in the evening, it is best to make as soon as you 

arrive in camp. Keeping the dough inside your jacket next to your body will let it rise in time for 



The tricky part is the baking! Instead of putting our pan directly on the stove, we use the aluminum 

windscreen that was supplied with our stove to elevate our pan off the flame with the heat turned as 

low as it can go. Voila! I suggest being familiar with you're stove before you go. It's best to have a 

practice run at home. No one likes being hungry or eating burnt food, and you won't be packing extra 

groceries for a second attempt.


You can enjoy almost any normal meal you would serve at home while camping. Be creative and enjoy!




Backcountry Cooking:  Eating Well While Camping

by Landon Brown – SKGABC Guide


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