On casual treks where I'm less concerned about counting every ounce of equipment in my pack, I may opt for a luxury here and there.
That luxury might include a fishing rod and a handful of flies, an ultralight packraft for crossing rivers or paddling a lake, or, as featured in this article, a small fry bake.
A fry bake is a deep "pie-type" pan that can be used to fry or bake meals on an ordinary camp stove or twig fire. Such pans are usually six to eight inches in diameter for the solo hiker and nine to twelve inches in diameter for larger groups.
The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), in partnership with the Banks Fry Bake Co., promoted this style of backcountry cooking starting more than three decades ago. But NOLS fry-bakes weighed more than two pounds, and are not high on the list of priority gear for ultralight backpacking crews.
One or two ultralighters can share a fry bake pan these days for as little as 10 ounces (lighter for DIY options).
This half-plus pound (there are a few accessories you might want, as well, such as a metal spatula) can open up a wide variety of cooking options.
This article includes a 7-minute HD video highlighting gear and techniques, including seasoning the pan and making a few different meals.
- The Ultimate Fry Bake
- The Video
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