Tuesday, October 2, 2012


     My buddy Chris over at Iron Vaquero sent me an e-mail last week asking about camp cooking-methods, equipment, menu, etc. I am by no means an expert, in fact a few of his recent trips and his camp cooking photos put my usual routines to shame. If you haven't checked out his blog, you should. He is always riding and documents everything with words and photos. Do yourself a favor and click here.
      I tried to answer him the best I could and I've copied the text of that response onto this post. Since weather is about perfect for camping and riding, it's time to get it together. If you haven't thought about your gear lately, no time like the present.
      I don’t know if you could call what I do on the road cooking...I’ve seen your recent blog posts and you  put what I do to shame. Gear wise, I carry a Brunton Raptor stove. It is one of the ultra-light folding stoves you can get at places like Dick’s and Academy. I got it on clearance at the latter for $20 years ago. I am pretty sure it isn’t made any more but there are still a couple places you can get it online anywhere for $40-$60. It is a killer little stove I just think they couldn’t compete with companies like JetBoil and MSR even though I have found the stove to be an excellent buy at a fraction of the cost of the other’s products. Everything on this stove is built in, including the ignition, and it fits easily in the palm of my hand.
 (that is a bag from a Crown Royal Mini, not a full size bottle, didn’t want you thinking it was HUGE.)
     My mess kit is the pretty standard pot and lid folding job you can get from any store with outdoor supplies for around $15-$20. These usually come with more than I take. I usually just take the pot and lid and the small plastic cup inside just in case a traveling companion has something good to share. On overnight trips I’ll travel without the mess kit to save space and just cook the can right on the stove. This works but if you aren’t careful and patient you’ll get burnt food on the bottom and ice cold food on the top. I keep the cup and some Wonder Wash inside the kit. Wonder Wash Soap is great, cleans ANYTHING and is all natural and biodegradable so you don’t have to worry about letting it seep into the ground. I have kept a LightMyFire spork in the kit traditionally but despite being made of very hard plastic I have broken several. My brother in law gave me a Hobo Knife set on a road trip a couple years back and I like it better than the sporks. You can get these from anywhere from $10 all the way up to $100 for a really nice one (my cheap-o set works just fine). I also carry a P-51 can opener in my wallet. 

     My food choices are very simple. In the morning I eat a granola bar, usually a Cliff or Cliff Mojo bar. These are denser and more filling that a lot of the options out there though I’ll occasionally get a Builder or other brand protein bar if I know I’ll really be pushing myself. I use Starbucks Via for coffee. It dissolves equally well in hot or cold water (for those mornings you just don’t feel like restarting the fire or messing with the stove). Since I am not real picky about my morning coffee, this works really well for me: you just dump the envelope in the water, give it a shake or stir and you are on your way to caffeinating. There are several flavors available and a box will usually cover me for a couple cups/bottles every morning for the whole trip. 
      Lunch is normally on the road. The only rule I have here is I refuse to eat anything I could eat at home. I try to get a taste of the local offerings by asking a gas station attendant or another customer. You find the best places to eat this way. The only exception to this is if I run into issues and I need to save time or funds and I’ll hit a dollar menu at a fast food place. This is a last resort.
      At night, I normally stick to canned soups and chili with crackers or bread. This is because they are self contained, easy to cook and don’t have spoiling considerations. I will also “dress up” a soup or chili with jerky and cheese sticks if I come across them at the last stop of the day. I occasionally carry small, individually wrapped summer sausages for something different. I have also done the whole ramen and dehydrated veggies in a ziplock bag deal. You just boil water, pour it in the bag, zip it closed and in a few minutes you have dinner. That works good and if you do a little homework and plan ahead you really can have something different every night. I also carry a variety of small candies for my sweet-tooth and Slim Jim’s for snacks during the day.
      On a long trip I carry a few days worth of food at a time and restock as needed. I can always find a good grocery in a small town along the way and worst case scenario, most convenience stores will have at least a couple options. One thing I always make sure to have is a can of Beanie Weenies. There will always be a night where I just don’t feel like cooking and unlike most chili and soup, Beanie Weenies aren’t terrible cold.


  1. Massive share on that one mate, never seen a stove such as that before, similar, but not that compact, unreal, ta muchly.

  2. JT-Wow! Thanks for the information and for the props! I have learned quite a bit from your posts! Keep rockin' it!

  3. Thanks guys, glad you got something out of it!

  4. Crackers and cheese, vienna sausages, potted meat, etc always work well

  5. Yep, my brother in law didn't cook at camp the entire time we were on the road to Canada. Kinda weird to me but to each their own.


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