Our Motto will always be: “Do not take what you do not like to eat.”
The Long Way to backpacking bliss……I learned how to not eat the hard way, which also seemed to involve carrying a rather large (and quaint) backpack, back in the day:
Like most backpackers, when I got into backpacking, I thought that eating freeze dried meals was the only way to go – they were light weight, they packed OK in the sense that one could grab a couple packages for a trip and be done, and were easy to make. Except for being very pricey, having little flavor and making one’s stomach not feel so good. I started dreading dinner time – for some reason all the dinners started tasting the same. And cost wise, freeze dried was too expensive as I went out more often and was taking my son along with me.
So….I started cooking on the trail. And that was even worse! I hated having to carry multiple pans and then cleaning those pans, using so much fuel up to cook on windy nights. Spending an hour in the evening cooking and cleaning when I was tired was not fun. I also had become tied down to campsites that had an adequate water supply – so I could do dishes.
One day, about long many years ago, I saw mention of freezer bag cooking and I wondered how that would work for me – and for the most part I have never looked back. It is the best of both ways of cooking – it is fast, it can taste very good, you can have so much variety and it is affordable. The food is very packable – and can be a way to lighten your pack weight.
Best of all, it has made it so I can have what I want for dinner, and my sons can have what they like, and we eat at the same time. It simplified my outdoor life so that I can spend more time being out there. The amount of gear I carry for my kitchen is a shadow of what I used to carry.
In fall 2004, a hiking partner and I got to talking and realized we needed to broaden our food & meals on the trail, and come up with more recipes…and make them as gourmet as we could. At the time, if you did FBC, it was usually standards like mashed potatoes and stuffing. So, we started coming up with new recipes for our weekly hikes-and trail testing every one of them in the wilds. The rules were a stove, a tea kettle or small pot, a freezer bag with the food and a spoon. The recipes came fast. We opened our eyes and saw how many products could be used.
The Freezer Bag Cooking website evolved out of this in late 2004, and in late 2005 Kirk and I published the first version of our first cookbook, Freezer Bag Cooking: Trail Food Made Simple.
As the years have passed by and we got further into it, http://www.trailcooking.com was born. We realized that while we preferred FBC, that we could do even more on the trail – be it FBC meals, FBC hybrid meals, The Fauxbaker for making baked treats and gourmet one pot meals that didn’t suck up fuel or require long cleanups. We invented the soft, ultra light freezer bag cozy and opened up our gear store online.
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Kirk and I with our two youngest sons in summer of 2016:
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All information on the website and in our books is our personal writing. We are not nutritionists nor are we professional chefs. In the past we have been asked about whether we would provide nutrition counts on recipes. For now we are not doing it as the software is not reliable in providing correct amounts. There are a number of free resources to determine calorie counts online if one wants to try it. Periodically when the stats are easy to run we do add them to a recipe – if Sarah has the time to add it.
On subjects such as low sodium diets and food allergies, we are presenting what has worked for us personally. As always, if you have dietary and health concerns, talk to your doctor first.
While no one we know has had any bad occurrences on the trail using freezer bags (ie. leakers, blowouts, etc) there is a small chance of it occurring. So make sure you pay attention, set the freezer bag in front of you as you pour the water, be careful when pouring the boiling water and don’t do it in your lap.
Use common sense in cooking in the outdoors, just like you would at home. All sports run injury risks, and cooking has a multitude of chances of hurting yourself (hot stoves, water, knives, etc).
We as authors, do not take any responsibility for the use of any materials or methods described on this website, or in our books, nor of any products mentioned in them.
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When we write about products and gear in the blog, website and books these are our personal views on the items. If you notice a pattern in reviews, and see a company’s name pop up often, this is a company we love. These are our personal views.
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