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Backcountry Gourmet & Wildereness Camp Stove Cooking Class

Tuition for this special class is $15.00 for members of The Mountaineers and all those who pay at least a day in advance, and $20 for non-members at the door if space remains available. 

Wild Chef Charlie Borrowman is a graduate of the French Culinary School and has been with Wolf Camp since 2005 and will be co-teaching this class with Wolf College directors Kim & Chris Chisholm as we share some of the meals Charlie prepares all summer during our camps and expeditions.

10 Minutes on Gear: Recommended camp stoves, pots, utensils, knives, etc. Class instructors Kim & Chris Chisholm along with Wolf College wilderness chef Charlie Borrowman will compare brands and share their experiences using them in the field.

10 Minutes on Stoves & Fires: Using camp stoves vs. open fire cooking. We will demonstrate the use of various camp stoves,  as well as how to cook over open fires, depending on the limitations of our class location.

10 Minutes on MRE’s & Freeze-Dried Meals: Kim & Chris will bring along a Meal Ready To Eat of military fame, discuss caveats you need to be aware of if you use them, then prepare and share it with you. We will also bring along some of the popular ready-meals sold in outdoor stores, and cook one up, showing pitfalls you want to know. Charlie will also recommend ways to improve their taste.

15  Minutes on Recommended Ingredients: Putting together your own light-weight ingredients for meals. Charlie will discuss many great lightweight breakfast, lunch and dinner options to help you look beyond freeze dried cuisine. We’ll help you learn to prepare a full and satisfying meal. Youth classes will spend half of this time making oatmeal or other breakfast grain, adding their own favorite ingredients.

15 Minutes on Spices: Recommended flavor-enhancers for affordability, weight, and health. Charlie will show you a variety of inexpensive and easy to pack ingredients to add some WOW to your wilderness dinners. He’ll start with how to make your own Italian spice mix, then French, then Mexican, the Cajun, then Asian fusion. Youth classes will spend half of this time making their own spice mix from one of the aforementioned world cuisine traditions.

15 Minutes for a Gourmet Backcountry Dish: Making a quick meal using cous-cous, orzo and other pasta. Charlie will show you his best quick meal for backcountry camping.

15 Minutes for a Collaborative Class Dish: Making a gourmet dish with student-selected choice of ingredients. Now it’s your turn to help Charlie create one of his classic improvised backcountry dishes! Youth classes will spend this time learning to use certain cookware safely, depending on age. Adults can cut and dice with our recommended backcountry knives, and choose one or more of our various cookstoves for their meal.

15 Minutes for a Wild Edible Foods Intro: Primer on backcountry wild edible foods. Chris & Kim will share the Top Wild Edible Foods for our area so that you don’t have to waste time learning unnecessary plants.

15 Minutes for a Wild Edible Dish: Making a dish using wild edible foods. Charlie will demonstrate how to fry up a tasty dish using insects and plants you may encounter on your adventures.


- Hats, warm clothes, proper footwear, and rain gear if necessary for the outdoor portion of class.
- Any of your favorite cooking or plant books. Wild Edible Plant books we recommend and will have for sale at class include:

1. Botany in a Day by Thomas J. Elpel for general learning.
2. Lone Pine Plant Guides such as Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojar & MacKinnon for itentifying wild plants in the field.
3. Edible Wild Plants by John Kallas for using urban greens.

To get a jump-start on the skills we cover in this class click the following blog posts on these subjects • How to Cook for Backpacking Trips • How to Cook Over a CampfireFilbert / Hazelnut Milk & Truffle Dessert Recipies • Stinging Nettle: Harvesting, Processing and Recipes • Tips for Eating Edible Insects • Making Clam Chowder with an Original Herb Recipe • Eating From The Seashore: Seaweeds & Shellfish of the Salish Sea and to practice these skills in depth, check out our summer kids camps, our overnight youth camps and adult expeditions.

Classes follow field exercises from our Wolf Journey Earth Conservation Course, and topics through the Academic Year include the following themes:

• January in 3 Northwest Locations: Wilderness Survival Skills including Bow Drill Fire Demo

• February in 3 Northwest Locations: Natural Navigation, Map & Compass, Lostproofing, & Orienteering

• March in 3 Northwest Locations: Local Wild Edible Plants & Backcountry Herbal Medicine

• April in 3 Northwest Locations: Safety, Tracks & Bird Alarms in Cougar, Wolf & Bear Country

• May in 3 Northwest Locations: Backcountry Gourmet & Wilderness Camp Stove Cooking Classes

• June in Puyallup: Special Week of Classes

• October in 3 Northwest Locations: Climate Change Training – Lifestyle, Emergencies & Carbon Sequestration

• November in 3 Northwest Locations: Backcountry Crafts – Making Rope, Berry Collecting Baskets, Sleeping Bag Mats & More

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