Wilderness Ranger Cookbook - It's really Cookin'!

Wilderness Ranger Cookbook

In 1990, the Forest Service produced the first-ever Wilderness Ranger Cookbook. Seasoned with experience, the Wilderness Ranger Cookbook provided unique and practical campstove cookery for the novice or gourmet chef. The book is filled with "tried and true" backcountry recipes from Forest Service Wilderness Rangers all across America.

The idea for this book came from a Forest Service wilderness training session held in Granby, Colorado, in 1988. Sprinkled throughout the cookbook are tips about no-trace camping, historical facts about the wilderness movement, and the complete text of the 1964 Wilderness Act. Also included in the center of the book is a map of the National Wilderness Preservation System and a list of Forest Service wilderness areas found in each state.

This book has become a backcountry cooking standard and, due to the popularity of the 1990 edition, a second expanded edition includes new recipes from all four wilderness management agencies, making this truly an interagency publication representative of the entire wilderness system. Printed for the 50th anniversary and sponsored by Globe/Falcon Press and Osprey, the cookbook was in stores beginning in July 2014. Order yours online today.

Here's a sneak peak of some of the recipes, cooked in the wilderness over Labor Day weekend by Wilderness50 Communications Coordinator, Lisa Ronald!


Superstition Surprise
Page 15

This low cost, filling, hot breakfast is a great way to warm up in the morning and prepare for the day's hike. It's satisfyingly sweet, but not overly so, and sticks with you long into the day.

2 cups oatmeal, instant or slow-cooking
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup mixed, chopped nuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup powdered milk

Mix all ingredients in a sealable bag before you leave on your trip. For breakfast on the trail, pour boiling water over cereal, more if you like runny oatmeal or less if you like this oatmeal. Wait 2-5 minutes before eating. Tip: Add 1-2 tablespoons of cornmeal to your oatmeal mix if you are not using instant oatmeal. This will help maintain a smoother overall consistency when water is added.

Savanna Sojourn Sandwich
Page 18

Horseradish and jam together might make one skeptical, but this sandwich is a perfect combination of spicy, sweet, and salty.

1 tablespoon horseradish
1 pita (or 2 slides bread)
1 tablespoon jam (raspberry used here)
1 apple, sliced horizontally
1 slice cheese (Cabot extra sharp cheddar used here)
2 slices ham (salty prosciutto used here)

Spread horseradish and jam on pita or bread. Layer apple slices, cheese, and meat. Tips: Mix jam and horseradish together in a small container to avoid extra packaging. Put the apples in a smaller open bag in the resealable bag with the pita to keep it moist and pliable in dry climates.

Divine Swine
Page 45

A pork burger with pork as the bun. How can this NOT be good? In our case, there was too much stuffing, so we made open-faced burgers!

1/2 medium-sized apple
2 jalapenos
1/2 cup almonds
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon ginger root
2 tablespoons almond butter
Salt, pepper, cumin to taste
1 pound organic pork

Stuffing: Finely dice the apple, jalapenos, almonds, and garlic. Finely shred the ginger root. Combine these ingredients with the almond butter, adding salt, pepper and cumin to taste. Tip: Prepare this ahead of time in a resealable bag. The apples won't brown because of the almond butter and ginger.

Patties: Season the pork to taste. Form the pork into 4-6 thin patties and fry on both sides until almost done. Add stuffing and second patty to make the burger. Tips: Season pork ahead of time, pack into a Klean Kanteen insulated food container, and freeze. This ensures that you can eat this meal on the 2nd or even 3rd night of your trip since the meat will stay frozen and cool. If you make your burgers too thick, don't worry, just have open-faced burgers!

Cricket Pudding
Page 117

This is a deliciously sweet and crunchy desert that requires no cooking. Hot cocoa provides a nice contracting compliment to this cold desert.

3.4 ounce box of instant pistachio pudding
3 tablespoons of powdered milk
2 cups water
1 package oreo cookies

Combine pudding and powdered milk in a resealable bag before leaving on your trip. This bag should be large enough to also accommodate the water. Crush cookies and store in a separate bag. When you're ready for desert in the field, add water and knead bag contents to mix. Put in a cool place like a mountain stream or lake until the pudding gels. Top with cookies to serve. Tip: If you don't like pistachio pudding try another flavor or a combination. 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 pistachio works well.