Camp Kitchen

Add this to your list of camping hacks. Sure, there are a zillion different solutions for backcountry plates and bowls. You can choose from a massive selection made from plastic, titanium, stainless steel, or even collapsible silicone. Or perhaps you prefer a lightweight plastic food container. Or maybe you just eat straight out of the…

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The black bear population is exploding in New England, particularly in Vermont and Massachusetts. As a recent article in the Boston Globe recounts, the number of bears in Vermont has doubled over the past two decades, to an estimated 6,000. In Massachusetts, the population is nine times larger today than 30 years ago (an estimated…

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Hot food. Hot drinks. Hot coffee. Yum. To enjoy any of these in the backcountry, you’re going to need a stove, of which there are three fundamental types: canister, alcohol, and liquid fuel. Which one is right for you? Your backpacking style and needs will help you decide. CANISTER STOVES A solid choice for most…

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Early 19th century hikers didn’t have much specialized gear. They wore cotton and wool and leather. But hiding in plain sight in many AMC photographs from the era is a trailblazing item: a tin AMC cup, often seen dangling from backpacks or hanging by their wire handles from belts. An ad in the back of…

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Let’s face it. For kids, the success of a camping trip rarely hinges on what waterfalls you see, what birds you hear, or how great the hike was. Kids likely will remember two things: the weather and the food. You can’t control the weather, but you can make food a highlight of every excursion, whether…

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Yuck. One bad ingredient can ruin the mix. Something happens to high-calorie trail snacks when you mix them all together. More often than not, the result is far less appetizing than the sum of its flavors. “Trail mix” is a description given to a broad collection of hiking snack mixtures. They typically include some combination…

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Think you know which foods give you the most calories per ounce? So did I. Turns out I was wrong. Sort of. I’m talking about nuts, which provide an exceptional number of calories per ounce. As I’ve written about before, pecans and macadamia nuts contain the most energy per ounce (200 calories), followed by Brazil…

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Coffee is good. Brain-splitting headaches are bad. If you’re a backpacking caffeine addict like me—or you simply enjoy the occasional backcountry brew—you’ll need the tools to produce a cup or three of this headache-staving, performance-enhancing, deliciously stimulating beverage. Here are your options, rated for weight, quality of brew, and convenience. Instant opportunities  It’s hard to beat…

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After a day on the trail, the thought of building a bright, crackling fire is incredibly appealing: the warmth, the light, the s’mores. Yet a campfire, even a small one, can mar the landscape, so it’s crucial to consider your impact. Whether in front- or backcountry settings, practice Leave No Trace (LNT) principles to minimize campfire…

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Coffee is good. Brain-splitting headaches are bad. If you’re a backpacking caffeine addict like me—or you simply enjoy the occasional backcountry brew—you’ll need the tools to produce a cup or three of this headache-staving, performance-enhancing, deliciously stimulating beverage. Here are your backcountry coffee options, rated for weight, quality of brew, and convenience. Instant opportunities It’s…

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