Backpacking Thanksgiving

For some folks, Thanksgiving is celebrating with family. For others, Thanksgiving is football, turkey, and pumpkin pie. No matter what Thanksgiving means to you, it’s a time to reflect on what you’re thankful for.

We have plenty of people who come to our store, whom we know are thankful for all the natural beauty around us in the state of Arkansas. While some people’s Thanksgiving tradition is gathering around a big table with lots of people and lots of food, others prefer to show their thanks by filling a pack with the necessities and walking through the woods.

However, trading in the banquet table for a backpack doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on Thanksgiving favorites. You won’t be hauling out a 20-pound turkey, toting cans of cranberry sauce, or attempt to preserve a pumpkin pie, but you can still enjoy all of those flavors in a more portable, backpacker-friendly option.

Here’s a recipe from Backpacker:

  • 1 packet of stuffing mix
  • 1 7-ounce pouch of chicken
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries

All you need to do is boil up 1 1/2 cups of water, and add the stuffing mix. Then, add the chicken and the cranberries. This serves two.

If you’re feeling ambitious, you can get your mashed potato fix on the trail as well.

  • 3/4 cup of instant mashed potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp of dried milk
  • 1 Tbsp of butter

Pack all of those ingredients into a one-quart freezer bag before you hit the trail. When you’re ready to cook your potatoes, add 1 1/4 cups of almost boiling water to the bag, and mix very well. It might be hard to get the potatoes mixed thoroughly, especially around the corners, but you can do it. Bring a pouch of instant gray (making the gravy in it’s own pouch if the pouch allows), and you’ve got mashed potatoes and gravy for two!

If you’re not much for cooking on the trail, you can also get a taste of Thanksgiving with EPIC bars. They have a bar with turkey, cranberry, and almonds, which is as close as you can get to Thanksgiving with a food bar!

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