Jennifer Scism is a classically trained chef who spent two decades working at the highest level of Manhattan’s culinary scene. But these days she’s most comfortable preparing a meal in front of her tent somewhere deep in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest. Scism is the founder of Good-to-Go, a Maine-based company that makes healthy dehydrated backpacking meals with an emphasis on quality ingredients.
The company was born on a two-week backpacking trip through the Adirondacks with her husband. “His go-to backpacking meal at the time was Annie’s Mac and Cheese with tuna,” Scism says. “I wasn’t going to eat that for two weeks straight, so I started experimenting with a tabletop dehydrator, making Thai curry and chili. Those recipes ended up being the first meals for Good-to-Go.” Today, the company offers 10 different meals with entrees including mushroom risotto to Indian vegetable korma.
We asked Scism to detail her kit for cooking in the backcountry. Her advice: Keep it simple and focus on a few key pieces of gear. Here are her picks.
Jet Boil Flash Stove ($100)
The Flash is what inspired us to create Good-to-Go. It’s the best super-light stove you can buy, in my opinion. At this point, we have every stove they make and love them all.
Platypus Gravityworks 4L Water Filter ($120)
These filters are fast and gravity does all the work for you so you don’t have to spend the time pumping. This is my go-to filter when I’m cooking for a group.
GSI Outdoors Glacier Frying Pan ($35)
This is an awesome sauté pan. It has a waffle pattern at the center that keeps the food from sticking to it. The handle folds in and it’s made from lightweight stainless steel, so it can handle high heat without warping. I can cook anything in this thing.
Guyot Squishy Bowls ($20)
I love these bowl and cup sets. They’re bright and fun and made from a squishy material that’s super light and easy to pack. Most importantly, they clean up really well.
Snowpeak Titanium Spork ($10)
Technically, any spork will work, but I spent years breaking plastic sporks in the backcountry until I finally decided it was worth it to spend the extra money on a titanium one that has yet to break.
Bambu Kitchen Basics Spoon ($15)
I love wooden spoons and spatulas because they don't damage the surface of your pan, no matter how hard you’re scraping it. These are great utensils made from light, strong bamboo.