MSR Drink Lab: Five Delicious Hot Winter Camping Drinks to Ring in the New Year

Just in time for New Year’s Eve, we’ve got five rich, savory and spicy hot drinks that’ll keep you toasty on cold nights and mornings in the backcountry. These recipes are our top five favorites as submitted by you to our MSR email request. Concoct one or all of these tasty—and unique—concoctions and keep warm and spirited at basecamp this winter season. Cheers and Happy New Year from the MSR crew!

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MSR Backcountry Cafe: Make Ahead Mac-N-Cheese

Story and Photos by Tara Alan Where I live, in the Green Mountains of Vermont, the first yellow, orange, and russet leaves are beginning to appear scattered upon the ground. Nights are becoming cool enough to wear a jacket, and the scent of wood smoke is apparent on the breeze. It’s clear that autumn is just around the corner! What better way to spend these glorious end-of-summer days than in the woods? And what better way to end them than with an evening of camping? On chill nights like these, I want a supper that’s warm and cheesy, quick and easy: macaroni and cheese. As far as I’m concerned, there’s a spectrum of macaroni and cheese. On one end are those blue boxes containing a handful of elbow noodles and…

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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.

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Building Your Backcountry Kitchen, Part 2: The Essential Ingredients

I grew up in a family that embraced the convenience of freeze-dried meals and deviled ham when it came to camping trips. It wasn’t until a college spring break trip to Baja’s Bahia Concepción that I discovered it’s possible to actually, you know, cook while camping. We’d procured some scallops from the bay. My friend Caroline, an avid cook, sautéed them with garlic and chili flakes, adding a splash of her beer and a squeeze of lime to finish. I was gobsmacked—left to my own devices, I’d been subsisting on canned frijoles refritos and tortillas. That pivotal moment not only inspired me to go to culinary school, it redefined what I thought of as camping fare. Today, there are certain ingredients that are staples in my home and backcountry kitchen….

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MSR Backcountry Cafe: Lentil Stew

A life of travel and adventure on the open road sounds downright romantic, but in truth, it is usually far from glamorous. At least, that was my experience when my husband Tyler and I decided to spend two years on the seats of our touring bicycles. Sure, there were days when the sun was shining and a gentle tailwind urged us onward, through quaint towns filled with kind, curious people.

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