Gear Guy

How to Eat Well in the Backcountry: Backpacker’s Pantry Outback Oven

I'm burned out on pasta and trail mix. What easy-to-make food should I take backpacking this summer?

How to Eat Well in the Backcountry: Backpacker’s Pantry Outback Oven

Outback Oven Photo: Courtesy of Backpacker's Pantry

Complement your improving culinary skills with a Backpacker’s Pantry Outback Oven ($80). It's a fiendishly clever device that combines a non-stick skillet with a lid, heat shield, and reflective canopy. That lets you turn nearly any stove into a convection oven. (Do note that you must use a stove with a fuel source that attaches via a hose, not one where the stove sits atop fuel. That's a good recipe for an explosion!)

An Outback Oven opens up the door to serious cooking: brownies, scones, pizza, frittatas, even apple pie. It takes a bit of finesse, but the potential is huge. I hauled mine up to 14,000 feet and baked fresh bread when I climbed Denali.

That said, these days I use my Outback Oven mostly on bike tours and kayak trips, when the load isn't all on my back. The same goes for Outback Oven’s heavier cousin, the Lodge Dutch Oven ($55 for the five-quart version). With a Dutch Oven, you can begin to add dishes like Mexican rice and pot roast to your repertoire. But it’s a tool to use only when weight is no concern at all.

Bon appetit!

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