Do You Know These Tips to Spice Up Your Backcountry Cooking?

By Molly Herber

Sep 11, 2015

Backcountry Meal Preparation That hangry face ... so scary. Photo by Mauricio Clauzet.

Food may be fuel, but that doesn’t mean it has to taste like it.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly a delicious-smelling cookpot can perk up your mood and turn people from a bunch of hangry grouches into very helpful kitchen assistants.

But what's the secret to turning regular macaroni and cheese into a masterpiece? It’s a matter of taste, not an exact science. If you're not sure quite where to start with your seasoning technique, then follow a few of these guidelines to spice up your dinners.

1. Avoid pouring seasoning directly into the pot.

Pour it into the cap of the spice bottle or into the stirring spoon first (that's because these utensils are probably cleaner than your hands).

Careful Preparation for a Backcountry Dinner Sprinkle, stir, sprinkle, stir. Photo by Tracy Baynes.


2. Start with a little, taste, then add more if needed.

Taste Everything Before Serving! Hmmm ... needs more hot sauce. Photo by Brad Christensen.


3. Remember that the flavor will intensify with cooking.

After seasoning, allow food to cook for about 10 minutes, then taste again before adding more.

Making Sure the Pudding Is Delicious Does everyone like the chocolate we added to this brownie mix? Photo by Tracy Baynes.


4. Have a group with strong opinions and different tastes?

Have everyone season their own portion to taste.

A Happy Group in Alaska Happy, not hangry! Photo by Tracy Baynes.


Follow these tips and enjoy! All tips came from the NOLS Cookery.

Think you're ready to test your skills? Then check out this *sweet* video:


*Editor's note: Post updated 12/10/2019

Written By

Molly Herber

Molly is a NOLS instructor and writer. She loves the smell of her backpack and does her best writing before 7:00 am. When she's not scouting the next post for the NOLS Blog, she's running and climbing on rocks in Wyoming. Follow her on Instagram @mgherber

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