Cooking in the wilderness can be a very pleasant & rewarding experience or it can be a total nightmare that will put a bad taste in your mouth for a long time (pun intended). Ultimately, your experience depends primarily on 2 things: PRACTICE & PREPARATION. Whether you hunt and gather your own wild edibles or you pack in your meals, preparing food in the woods with limited supplies and resources presents a very unique set of challenges. Open camp-fires, mini stoves, simple pots & utensils and basic ingredients leave little margin for error when it comes to fixin’ up a tasty meal in the bush. However, it’s a challenge that I really enjoy.
With this post I’d like to share with you some ideas that have made my culinary bushcraft adventures a little more enjoyable – SPICE KITS. Plain and simple, food tastes better when seasoned properly. A little salt and pepper on freshly steamed nettles or pokeweed shoots makes all the difference. A dash of garlic salt and butter flavoring go a long way on roasted cattail roots. And, freshly caught bluegill taste a lot better when seasoned with some cayenne pepper and salt. Whether it’s vegetables or meat – having a decent selection of spices in my bushcraft pack can make any meal more palatable.
As a survivalist & bushcrafter I am always making tough decisions about what to carry in my pack. I take many criteria into consideration: weight, cost, multi-usefulness, overall gain and more. Because I really enjoy preparing and eating meals in the woods, I’ve decided that a small spice kit is a worthy addition to my personal bushcraft pack and I have never regretted bringing one with me.
Over the years, my spice kit has evolved. At first my spice choices consisted of just Salt & Pepper in one of those simple little camper type salt and pepper shakers.
Over time, as I began to spend more time in the woods and prepare more elaborate meals and do more hunting and gathering I decided that a better spice selection would be a good idea. So, I went to my favorite camping outfitter store and looked for the perfect BackPack Spice Kit. To make a long story short, there was no such thing. I spent the next few months testing a variety of containers for spices – from straws (which I had seen on-line) to plastic baggies. None of these options really worked well for me. I was looking for something compact, durable, fairly crush resistant, cheap, reusable and with multi-compartments for keeping 4-7 different spices. Hmmm…
Then one day while picking up some items at a local pharmacy, I saw a few great solutions.
There were several different styles of daily pill case containers that would do the job perfectly. Contact lens cases also work pretty well. Back to the pill cases…there were all kinds of shapes and sizes. They were made from durable plastic, were cheap ($1-$4) and were really compact. So I started testing… Ultimately I’ve settled on the 2 styles below which I interchange in and out of my pack from time to time.
Another great option is this stack-able screw-on lid pill case:
In these 2 kits I stock 7 different seasonings: Salt, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Garlic Salt, Butter Flavoring & Basil. These are the seasonings I use most often and pretty much cover all of my bases. A friend of mine also gave me the kit below as a gift which I will use from time to time as well. This thing really has a great spice selection but is overkill for most of my 1-4 day treks. I did think it was pretty cool, though…
You can find one like this on-line at: http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/mobile-foodie-survival-kit
So if you are like I was….searching for a practical and efficient way to include some spices in your bushcraft pack, I would say try out 1 of these Spice Kit ideas and see if it works for you!
My Final Thoughts:
- Cheap <$4
- CAN SEASON FOODS PROPERLY
- Adds a little bulk to your pack
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter or any ideas you might have about a BushCraft Spice Kit.