Camp Cooking in the Wild - Mark Schriver, Wendy Grater, and Joanne Baker

Released April 2012

Fox Chapel Publishing

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Two authors of Camp Cooking in the Wild either work or own Black Feather Wilderness Adventure; the other is a former instructor for Canada's Outward Bound program. Using their understanding of being out in the wild, they've created a cookbook that is perfect for campfire cooking and touches on more than the heated canned foods that many campers rely on.

 The book covers everything you need to know about getting ready and cooking in the wild. It covers the equipment you need to bring, planning your menu, packing your food items, and basic cooking skills. There are loads of helpful tips in here that cover creating your fire, finding the best place to set up your cooking area, setting up a fire if it's raining, using a propane or alcohol stove, if you have one, and even how to properly clean and filet a fish. The authors also cover cleaning up when you're done and safely disposing of waste. From there, the recipes start. The organization is perfect and sections include:

Dinner, Appetizers, Side Dishes
Dinner, Main Dishes
Baked Goods

This is where the cookbook surprised me. I'm not much of a camper. I hate bugs too much to put myself in a situation where they are plentiful. My husband grew up camping, however, and I've heard his tales of his parents heating up baked beans in a can over a fire and then frying the trout they'd catch in the rivers the rest of the time. It honestly doesn't sound overly appealing. The authors blew me away with their recipes.

One of the first recipes in the breakfast section is a fruit compote. This is far from the meals I've heard of powered eggs being reconstituted with some boiled river water. Cranberry Almond Muffins,  Muesli, and Cinnamon Buns also caught my eye. For lunch, there are recipes like Chicken and Mandarin Pasta Salad and Mediterranean Potato Salad.

Skip ahead to dinner and you'll find a number of unique recipes. You'll find Sushi, Spicy Thai Peanut Tofu, Vegetarian Lasagna, and Deep Dish Pizzas. For dessert, there are recipes for Ice Cream, Camp Cake, and the classic S'mores. Finally, under baked goods, you'll find Yeast Bread, Bannock, and Cranberry Nut Bread. This isn't the camp cooking many experience out in the wilderness.


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