MSR Employees’ Favorite Camp Recipes

Camp meals vary wildly from person to person. Some are ultralight backpackers who eat cold instant refried beans every night without complaint (not joking). Others, whether car camping or out in the backcountry, want the whole shebang, from a starter salad to a glass of wine and dessert. These five recipes from MSR employees lie mostly in the middle (though some definitely lean toward the backcountry feast side of the scale). We’re a pretty outdoorsy bunch here at MSR, and we’ve perfected our camp recipes over years of adventures. MSR also makes pretty spectacular backpacking and camp stoves, if we do say so ourselves, and each employee has a favorite for cooking up their camp recipes. Check out this deep dive into our stoves, from Polar explorer Eric Larsen. A…

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MSR Folding Utensils – Behind the Gear

Even eating utensils require quality engineering. Product Manager Steve Grind answers a few questions about the design and performance of MSR’s Folding Utensils, designed for maximum packability and food-to-mouth efficiency. We know what’s important when you’re camping. What is the advantage of a folding spoon, fork or spork? Folding utensils are popular because they collapse into a much smaller configuration for packing, and often provide an overall longer utensil that is more suitable for use with pouch-cook meals. And utensil length is important if you’re a freeze-dried food aficionado, assuming you’d prefer not to spend your after-dinner time cleaning stroganoff from your knuckles. Some people prefer rigid utensils for their simplicity and ease of cleaning—and there are some good, long, single-piece utensils available. I tend to take folding utensils on…

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MSR Backcountry Cafe: Tomato Pasta

Though it was early September when my husband and I were cycling through the Po River Valley region of Italy, the summer sun still blazed, dry and scorching, lending a golden light to an already golden landscape. As well as being oppressively hot, the afternoon was also deathly quiet. We were used to this Italian riposo by now, that time between about two and four in the afternoon when shops closed, the buzz of activity at the local café dwindled, and the wooden shutters on everyone’s homes were shut tightly against that flaming sun. And so, it was with some surprise that I happened upon an elderly man who was up and about, despite the riposo. He was standing in a field that was parched, barren, and brown, walking carefully through the…

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Building Your Backcountry Kitchen, Part 1: Storing, Stashing & Stocking

Even if you’re content to subsist primarily on reconstituted meals in the backcountry, there’s always room for improvement (it’s amazing what a dash of soy sauce or a dollop of peanut butter can do, for example). If you genuinely enjoy the challenge of creating healthy, delicious fare while out in the back of beyond, having a well-stocked portable kitchen will serve you well. The following are tips on storing, stashing, and stocking your backcountry kitchen. I’m not going to address cookware here, as what you carry depends upon the type of trip, destination, and your personal preference/weight-bearing capabilities. (See Part 3: Cookware and Stove Pairings.) One of the main considerations is keeping your kitchen kit lightweight and compact. If you’re going to be on the river or in a clime…

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MSR Backcountry Café: French Press Coffee

A French press can produce rich, strong coffee that will supercharge your day in the backcountry.  Collapsible presses, available as accessories for our Windburner® and Reactor® stoves, allow you to use your cooking pot for a brewing vessel, saving weight and space in your pack. Best of all, French press coffee is simple and delicious: get the grind and water temperature correct and you’re likely to have a great cup (or three). The Coffee You’ll need about one ounce of coffee per finished cup. It should be coarse-ground and stored in an air-tight container. With French press coffee, an even grind is important—use a burr grinder rather than the blade type. Tip: Normal drip coffee will work if you can’t find the proper grind; MSR presses are designed to work…

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