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I've taught expedition skills for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) for over a decade. In that time, I've become quite accomplished with my little camp stove. This summer I spent 13 days in the mountains of central Wyoming with a light pack. My cook kit included only one pot with an aluminum foil lid and an alcohol stove. With this minimal setup we ate like royalty, but it required careful planning.

I am a vegetarian, and I spent those two weeks with my co-instructor Lauren, who is a Vegan. This course was our chance to really dedicate ourselves to creating as healthy a diet as we possibly could. This article documents our cooking style and pre-trip planning for meals with an emphasis on whole grains and organic products without dairy or processed sugar. We call this eating style "Groovy-Biotic" due to the selective inclusion of the grooviest parts of organic/vegan/macrobiotic diet principles.

Below are some of the tools and recipes that made our menu so joyous, despite the tiny cook set. We include a rations plan for six days on the trail for a two-person team. Obviously, the information in this article is not likely to perfectly fit your next trip, but you can easily tailor these ideas to fit your needs. And carnivores don't be scared off - there are plenty of useful ideas on cozy cooking, sauces, steam baking, packaging and spices that you can use.


  • Introduction
  • The Cozy
    • Benefits of the cozy
    • Cozy construction
    • Using Barge Cement
    • The Cozy as a fuel saver
  • Good Cozy Cookin' Food
    • Polenta Recipe
  • The Liquid Sauces
    • Middle Eastern Sauce
    • Pesto Sauce
    • Thai Peanut Butter Sauce
  • How Much Per Meal?
    • Oatmeal
    • Super Spackle
    • GORP
  • Steam Baking
    • Biscuit Batter Recipe
  • Yams in the Dehydrator
  • Packaging
  • The Spice Kit
  • Rations Plan
    • Daily Ration Plan for Two People
    • Balance Within the Diet
  • Acknowledgements

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