Camping Pancakes

Pancakes are one of my favorite breakfasts, paired up with some maple syrup, sausage, and coffee they fill you up great and provide key energy for an active day. In my experience I have found that there are some tricks to making good pancakes in the woods or in the mountains.

Oil the pan - this is key even with non stick cookware, I like to have a little Nalgene squirt bottle filled with vegetable or olive oil as a staple in my cooking gear on all my trips.

Add ins - Wild Blueberries are great to find on the trail in late summer, but for the other parts of the year, or in case you don't luck out finding any wild blueberries, you can buy dried blueberries at the store and add those to your pancakes. There are also several other dried fruits you can experiment with; cranberries, raisins, pineapple are all tasty. Nuts add a good texture and crunch, as well as flavor and protein to pancakes - Try some walnuts, almonds, or cashews in a batch.

Batter mixing - I like two methods for this - First off, I really like Bisquick Shake and Pour containers, you just add water, shake it up, then pour into your greased pan. I think these are perfect for shorter trips, or trips where you can spare packing room, because the containers can be slightly bulky in a backpack and are heavier than a zip-lock of pancake mix. Which is the second method I like; using a gallon size zip-lock bag. At home just add the amount of mix you need plus any add ins you want. Then at camp add the required water for your batch directly to the bag, zip it up, then shake and squish till its thoroughly mixed. Finally to pour the mix, cut the corner of the ziplock so it becomes a "pastry bag", then you can squeeze your mix neatly into your pan. Tryout whole wheat mixes if you can find them at your grocery store, i have found that i really like buckwheat pancakes. Also opt for "just add water" mixes to keep things simpler.

Pan - Non stick is the best bet here by far, also try to go for a medium or larger sized pan to make flipping easier, and when you pour out your mix leave a decent gap between the pancake and the rim of the pan to be able to easily slip your spatula in.

Have a decent Spatula - Several companies now offer folding backpacking spatulas that will do a great job on your pancakes so i recommend investing if you don't already have one.

Syrup - I go for the little Nalgene squirt bottles here again, you can just fill one up with some syrup from your house before heading out. Another lighter option is Maple Syrup Granules which when combined with water make syrup. (leave a little hot water from coffee/tea making and you can have hot syrup!)

Photo courtesy of : http://www.flickr.com/photos/85934826@N00/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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