Many people call outdoor activities like camping “food for the soul.” While feeding your soul is a big part of backcountry adventuring, we think feeding your stomach is just as important. Freeze dried food gets the job done, but pouring hot water into a bag can be underwhelming to those with a little culinary prowess. Why not get creative with your backcountry eats? We’re talking Backcountry BBQ, or BCBBQ for short.
There’s nothing more satisfying than fixing up a hot meal with real food after a long day on the trail. It’s a well known fact: food tastes better when cooked over a campfire.
BCBBQs are easily attainable when car camping, but venturing into the actual backcountry requires a little more planning. No matter your camping style, the perfect BCBBQ can be attained by adding a few simple tools to your cooking arsenal.
Load up this little friend with 6 spices of your choice to blast your BCBBQ to Planet Flavor. We love salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, dried rosemary and curry powder as our go-to BBQ spices.
A grill grate will take any BCBBQ up a notch. Yes, you can get by with tin foil/rocks/whittled sticks, but once you use a grate you’ll never want to go back to such primitive ways. This grate sure is great.
This is the baller of backcountry cooksets. Cutting board? Check. Knife? Check. Spatula, eating utensils for 4 people, pouches for oil and sriracha, and a handy carrying case? Check, check, check, and even more check. Destination: flavor town.
All the utensils you need for some backcountry cooking with a lightweight tote to make packing a breeze. MVPs of this set are the tongs, spatula, and cutting board. Never burn your hands trying to flip something on the coals again.
Armed with the proper BCBBQ tools, you must now decide what to grill. Freshly caught fish is the go-to choice for delicious backcountry eats. Grilled veggies are amazing -- think peppers, onions, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, portabellas, asparagus, etc. A frozen package of brats, steak, or hamburger can also work well (seal the meat tightly and roll it up in clothing or a sleeping bag to keep it insulated and frozen in your pack).
Here’s an easy recipe for one of our favorite BCBBQ treats.
Backcountry BBQ Trout
Freshly caught trout
A Spice Rocket loaded with garlic powder, salt, pepper and dried rosemary (dill or thyme can be substituted for rosemary)
Step 1: Catch a few juicy trout and clean them for cooking (remove the head and guts; leave on the skin).
Step 2: Build a fire and let it reduce to coals. Drizzle a little olive oil on the skin and in the center cavity of each fish. In the cavity, sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder and rosemary. Slice up the lemon into ½-inch thick slices and toss a few into the middle cavity.
Step 3: Choose how to grill your fish: use a grill grate; assemble a grate out of small, wet sticks; or place them on rocks in the coals (careful to not put the fish directly on the coals). Cook for approximately 12-20 minutes (depending on how hot your coals are), rotating the fish to cook evenly. To check if they’re done, poke the fish with a fork. A fully cooked fish will be white and flake easily. Remove the trout from heat and enjoy your first taste of BCBBQ.
Next time you’re planning meals for a multiday trip, plan for some BCBBQ action and leave the freeze-dried spaghetti in the cupboard. Bon appetit!