Frying Pan Backpacking

Most backpacking meals nowadays involve very little more than boiling water and adding some prepackaged, dehydrated food. You then wait for a certain amount of time and bam, dinner is served! These meals aren't bad, and they're not terribly expensive either, but recently I have started thinking that there has got to be more that you can do in the backcountry for a good meal. This train of thought led me to purchase a backpacking frying pan. At three ounces I have little excuse against bringing it. Having both a pot and a pan for cooking has greatly increased what I can make for my backpacking meals and I am excited to continue to try new recipes.

Quesadilla #

One of my go-to lunches, quesadillas are easy to make and taste delicious. Because of this, the first thing that I made with my frying pan was a basic cheese quesadilla. I prepared everything before putting the frying pan on the flame of my stove and I am glad that I did! Because of how thin my pan is the heat transferred very quickly and I almost burned my quesadilla on one side. I turned the heat down for the other side and it cooked much better. Lesson learned: have the flame on the backpacking stove turned low when cooking on a frying pan. As a modification to this dish, adding some tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and pepperoni creates what I like to call the "pizzadilla". Cheese can last for quite a unrefrigerated so don't be afraid to bring some on your next trip!

Pancakes #

Pancakes are another easy meal to make when backpacking. The easiest way is to take measure out however much pancake mix you need and then add water when you are ready to cook. This is another one that you need to be very careful with your heat. Greasing the pan well is also critical to have nice pancakes for breakfast (or for any other mealtime I suppose). Powdered eggs are also a great option to add some extra protein to your meal.

Vegetables #

When backpacking it can be very easy to forget that it is still very important to eat healthy foods. Part of the reason for this is that it can be difficult to find something that tastes good. Your best solution for this would be dehydrated vegetables. My suggestion would be to dehydrate these yourself. I've seen dehydrators (used and new) running anywhere between $30–200. For starting out, a used, cheaper dehydrator is your best option. Once you have your dehydrated veggies, put them in a bag until you're ready to cook. If you're going to use them in a soup/stew or simply boil them all you will need to do is add them to your boiling water. For frying or sautéing you will need to rehydrate them first. This can be done by either letting the vegetable sit in boiling water for 15–30 minutes or in cold water for several hours. After they are rehydrated you can go ahead and fry them up!

These are just a few ideas of what you can do with a backpacking frying pan. I'll be adding more recipes in the future, and go ahead and experiment on your own!