A week into her first-ever NOLS class, deep in the wilderness, Katherine Boehrer experienced the biggest shock of the trip, at dinnertime. “They made this chocolate cake. I didn’t know you could make a cake in the backcountry,” she says. “And it was so comforting; it was like a taste of home.”
The experience stuck with her. Today, Boehrer works as the social media manager for NOLS, and she regularly blogs about baking in the backcountry. While she’s been on countless expeditions and tried all kinds of recipes since that first taste of chocolate cake, Boehrer maintains that it was the best thing she’s ever eaten around a campfire.
Baking at a campsite or in the backcountry can try even the most talented pastry chef’s skills, but it’s worth the hassle and it isn’t as hard as it seems. “If you like baking in the front country, you’re probably going to like baking in the backcountry, too." Boehrer says.
Make a Self-Contained Baking Dish with Real A-Peel
If you hang around Pinterest, you’ve probably seen pictures of perfectly baked goods slow roasting in the soft embrace of an orange rind. And if you hang around Pinterest, you also know it’s best to be skeptical that things will turn out anything like they appear in the photos. But this one pans out, literally. “I’ve done it in the backcountry, and it works well,” says Maria Gaffney, a Minnesota musher who lives off the grid in the north woods.
Here's what you do: slice the top off an orange; hollow it out; pour in brownie, cake, or muffin mix (premade cinnamon roll dough is great too); and replace the top of the orange. Wrap the whole thing in heavy-duty foil, and place it on very hot coals for 25 to 35 minutes. Your final product will probably have a strong orange taste, but for most things, that’s a bonus
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