We must always all simply get used to it: Irrespective of the place you camp within the mountain west, chances are high at the very least even that you simply received’t have the ability to burn firewood. Sorry not sorry, s’mores.

And that’s a very good factor in some methods: the odor of wooden smoke could hearth up your tenting reminiscences, however it’s not good in your lungs and as our local weather modifications, it’s turning into increasingly harmful relating to the potential of catastrophic wildfires.

So, let’s have a look at hearth bans as a culinary problem.

Listed below are a couple of suggestions, together with 5 dinner recipes that may be pre-cooked or made at your campsite utilizing a propane range or one of many swank new backpacker-size gizmos.

They’re all simpler with two burners, however may be finished with a single burner — so long as it should get sizzling sufficient to boil water. And also you received’t want greater than 5 cooking utensils. For those who maximize using already-cooked protein and staples, throw in a couple of canned or jarred necessities and keep in mind to pack some chilly and salty pickles and olives, you’ll be able to gas some fireless enjoyable.


Suppose sustainability

With the supply of reusable zip-top baggage, together with the silicone selection that may be dropped in boiling water to reheat them, pre-cooking doesn’t need to be wasteful. The gorgeous factor about dinner in a bag is that you would be able to freeze it and it’ll hold any perishable gadgets chilly. This protects on cooler area, water, and gas: Warmth your meal, then use the boiling water to cook dinner your carbs and/or wash your dishes and utensils.

Put a lid on it

While you’re packing, don’t neglect a lid that matches each your important saucepan and your skillet. For those who don’t do a lot (or any) cooking or camp cooking, you’ll be astonished at how a lot sooner a closed cooking vessel heats up.

If weight isn't a concern, bring your favorite medium cast-iron skillet and a lid. It makes a fry-up or other dishes easier to keep warm. (Susan Clotfelter, Special to The Denver Post)
If weight isn’t a priority, carry your favourite medium cast-iron skillet and a lid. It makes a fry-up or different dishes simpler to maintain heat. (Susan Clotfelter, Particular to The Denver Publish)

Secret sauce

Do the phrases “scullery maid” sound like enjoyable to you? Then don’t get guilt over taking the shortcuts. In any case, tenting is meant to be a trip. Repeat that phrase: VAY. CAY. SHUN. Take an all-purpose bottle of dressing for bagged cole slaw (good on tacos, good with barbecue and hell, good with breakfast). We like Brianna’s Creamy Cilantro and Lime), or a bottle of your individual do-it-yourself French dressing that may double as a marinade.

Pillage the pantry

There’s no disgrace in utilizing prompt brown gravy or prompt mashed potatoes — and so they don’t weigh a lot, both. We created these recipes from issues like pre-made rice in shelf-stable pouches, pasta that cooks in a flash (skinny spaghetti, ramen or glass noodles) and dried fruits (apricots, cherries).

Tidy suggestions

Greatest tenting innovations ever: The collapsible sq. silicone sink, for dishwashing. Something made by GSI — kitchen kits, pots, nesting consuming gear. Compostable paper plates and bowls. Prompt espresso powder. And olive oil in slightly squeeze bottle — we received by on lower than 3 ounces of olive oil for 4 days and we ate like royalty (granted, we had baked some chocolate-walnut brownies prematurely, smeared them with bitter cherry jam, and ate them with canned mojitos and daiquiris).

If you have one working propane ...
In case you have one working propane burner, and do a little bit of planning and preparation, you may simply feed 4 folks an honest sizzling meal.


Camp range Shepherd’s Pie

This may be fully made prematurely and reheated. Whereas it’s simpler to do it on two burners, it may be finished on one. And if prompt mashed potatoes offend your foodie sensibility, boil up some small ones and pack right into a zip-top bag. Then smash them along with your fingers and re-warm on high of the stew. Serves 4


For the stew:

  • 1 pound or extra beef stew chunks or trimmed, cubed chuck roast
  • 3 ounces dry pink wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper or seasoned pepper mix
  • 2 packets brown gravy combine, any selection (gluten-free manufacturers can be found)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups frozen greens: carrots, peas and inexperienced beans are splendid

For the potatoes:

  • 1 pound small pink or multicolored potatoes, skin-on, pre-boiledOR:
  • Pre-packaged Prompt mashed potatoes plus the elements to make 4 beneficiant servings (most manufacturers name for milk, butter and water, however we skipped the butter and had been simply fantastic)


Any or the entire following steps may be finished prematurely.

Reduce any massive chunks of the stew meat or chuck into bite-size items. Mix beef, pink wine, salt and pepper in a resealable bag or container and chill for two hours.

Combine the brown gravy in line with bundle instructions in a bowl or mug

Warmth the olive oil over a medium setting in a skillet or Dutch oven. When it shimmers, add the meat chunks one after the other with tongs in order that the chunks get a little bit of a sear. When the entire beef has been added and turned as soon as, add the brown gravy and switch the warmth all the way down to a simmer. Cowl and simmer for five to 10 minutes or till the meat is finished to your liking.

(At this level, you may bag and freeze the stew base, then reheat it and mix it with the greens on web site.)

OR: Add the frozen greens. Cowl as soon as once more and proceed simmering till heated by way of and effervescent sizzling; cowl and put aside to maintain heat.

(You may as well freeze the stew at this level).

At your campsite: Make the potatoes. If utilizing prompt, boil water and add milk and/or butter in line with bundle instructions. Season to style. Warmth by way of; cowl and put aside.

If utilizing potatoes boiled at residence, give the zip-top bag of cooked potatoes to your favourite baby or childlike grownup and inform them to squish the potatoes with their fingers by way of the bag. Add milk, butter or oil, and salt and pepper to style (be sparing with the salt, as most brown gravy mixes are a lot salty). Squeeze the potatoes right into a pot or skillet and heat by way of over low warmth; cowl and put aside. (Or, if the potatoes had been in an immersible bag, simply toss the bag within the boiling water).

Return the stew to the burner and warmth to effervescent. Serve the stew over the mashed potatoes.

It doesn't get much easier than throwing together canned tuna, fresh herbs, olive oil and tomato paste. A cold pasta salad can be lunch, dinner, or in a real pinch, breakfast. (Susan Clotfelter, Special to The Denver Post)
It doesn’t get a lot simpler than throwing collectively canned tuna, contemporary herbs, olive oil and tomato paste. A chilly pasta salad may be lunch, dinner, or in an actual pinch, breakfast. (Susan Clotfelter, Particular to The Denver Publish)

Tuna terrine pasta

This chilly pasta supper requires solely the boiling of some spaghetti noodles and the opening of a pint mason jar. In case you have entry to a high-quality canned tuna in oil, be happy to substitute that — and for those who’d moderately serve this on crusty bread than pasta, go for it. Serves 4.


  • Two 7-ounce cans of best-quality tuna, packed in oil or water
  • 1/2 cup of good-quality olive oil
  • 2 cans tomato paste or 2 tubes of sun-dried tomato paste.
  • 1/2 cup contemporary herbs, roughly chopped and loosely packed (parsley, dill, fennel, basil, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, thyme or chives all work)
  • 1/2 cup inexperienced olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved, or 2 garlic scapes (elective)
  • 3/4 pound raw spaghetti noodles
  • Shredded parmesan cheese (elective)


Earlier than leaving, open the cans of tuna. If water-packed, drain the tuna (reserve the juice for later use or as a deal with for canine or feline pets). Divide the primary can of tuna into two glass jars and utilizing a fork, break it up into smaller chunks, then pack it barely stage. Add one-quarter of the chopped herbs to every jar (leaving half of the herbs for the second layer). Cowl with one-quarter of the olive oil, to only attain the highest of the tuna and herbs layer. Add half of 1 can of tomato paste to every jar. Repeat the layers. High every jar with half of the chopped inexperienced olives. Add garlic if desired. Refrigerate.

On the campsite: Break spaghetti noodles in half (to slot in a small cooking pot). Boil till al dente; drain.

To serve, portion cooked noodles into bowls. Scoop out olive, tomato, herb and tuna layers to high noodles. Add parmesan cheese if desired.

If you are allowed a fire or are camping with a grill, these cumin-and-cardamon-dusted lamb bites can be cooked on skewers. But they're just as tasty seared in a skillet. (Susan Clotfelter, Special to The Denver Post)
If you’re allowed a fireplace or are tenting with a grill, these cumin-and-cardamon-dusted lamb bites may be cooked on skewers. However they’re simply as tasty seared in a skillet. (Susan Clotfelter, Particular to The Denver Publish)

Lamb nuggets with apricot rice

This recipe works equally effectively with beef or rooster chunks, spiced meatballs or, we suspect, plant-based options resembling falafel. For those who make loads of the pilaf, you may add garbanzo beans and feta chunks to it the second day for a light-weight, cool lunch. And for those who neglect the apricots, you may substitute currants, raisins, and even halved grapes. Serve with cucumbers and dressing or a inexperienced salad, or each. Serves 4.


For the lamb:

  • 1 pound lamb stew chunks
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon floor cumin
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon floor cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon floor cardamon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the rice:

  • 1 8.8-ounce bundle ready-to-eat basmati rice
  • 1 6-ounce packet dried apricots, diced or snipped with scissors
  • 1 and 1 / 2 cup frozen tiny peas
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 bunch contemporary chives, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to style


The next steps may be executed earlier than your journey.

Reduce any massive stew chunks into bite-size items. In a resealable bag or container, mix the lamb and the cumin, pepper, salt, cinnamon and cardamon. Refrigerate for as much as 4 hours — or freeze to cook dinner at your campsite.

Warmth the olive oil over medium warmth till shimmering. Add the spiced lamb and cook dinner till finished to your liking. You’ll be able to freeze the lamb at this level to reheat at your campsite.

At your campsite or at residence: In a big bowl or resealable zip-top bag, mix the rice, apricots, herbs, and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to style. Serve heat or chilly.

Rooster Sausage Fry-up

This recipe works with any kind of sausage, although it’s rather more moveable with absolutely cooked sausages or these you’ve beforehand grilled or cooked. It will additionally work with plant-based sausages or vegetarian variations, and for those who actually, actually, miss a wooden hearth, char the greens to your coronary heart’s content material at residence and reheat them at your campsite. Acquired leftovers? That’s breakfast. Serves 4.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • One massive or two small zucchini, minimize into chunks
  • One massive or two small yellow squash, minimize into chunks
  • One bell pepper, inexperienced or ripe, minimize into vast strips
  • 1 teaspoon floor pepper or seasoned pepper mix
  • 4 to six absolutely cooked rooster sausages, minimize into half-inch-thick chunks
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese or crumbled cheese, any variety, elective


Warmth the olive oil over medium warmth till it shimmers. Add the greens in a single layer. Sprinkle the seasoned pepper mix on the greens. Prepare dinner till barely brown.

Add the rooster sausage; proceed to cook dinner till the sausages are barely browned and every little thing is heated by way of. Add the cheese and take away from or flip off warmth; cowl to soften the cheese and hold the dish heat. Serve instantly.

Susan Clotfelter (susanc2@gmail.com) as soon as cooked for 185 campers for 3 days at an altitude of 8,000 ft with out electrical energy or trendy plumbing. She had numerous assist — and has since fully regained her sanity. Kind of.

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