Category Archives: Creepy Camping Food

Everything tastes better when it’s cooked outdoors!

Algonquin Portage: Dehydrated Pad Thai

DAY 1 – RAIN LAKE

I love portaging.  As much as I love the comforts of car camping, I also love the challenge of canoe tripping.  The beauty and peace that surrounds you out on a lake is worth all the hard work. Every time I visit Algonquin I feel so thankful to live in Canada. As much as my heart loves the city, I crave the connection with nature and being out in the wilderness feels like home to me as well.

This was the first time my boyfriend and I were going portaging together.  My ex-boyfriend preferred car camping, so this was also the first time I was embarking on a canoe trip with my better half. Portaging can make or break a relationship – it tests your ability to work as a team, to listen to each other, to be patient, and you have to take care of each other, all while testing your own limitations. But I wasn’t nervous at all, we had traveled and camped together before and I knew we would make a solid team. After two weeks of dehydrating all our meals and buying a brand spanking new two-man tent, we were set to go! I was super excited to leave civilization behind and set out on our adventure.

Day 1 was a light travel day. We set out nice and early from Huntsville, picked up supplies and our permit in Kearney and headed out from Access Point #4 – Rain Lake. The weather was warm and sunny, but pretty windy and as soon as we paddled out of the narrow straight the wind picked up and carried us across the vast, sparkling lake. After about an hour of paddling we arrived at camp – a site hidden away at the edge of the far island.

 

Dehydrated Pad Thai - Algonquin

Dehydrated Pad Thai – Algonquin

For lunch I experimented with a new dehydrated meal: pad thai. I used a standard pad thai recipe and made everything except for the rice noodles that are compact and light to carry. I replaced the egg with chicken, as egg does NOT rehydrate well at all. I tried dehydrating scrambled eggs once – and it just disintegrates – there is no form for rehydration and you end up with a small portion of inedible food. So instead of egg I used a cooked chicken breast that I shredded. Make sure you cut up the shrimp as well. The chicken and the shrimp should be as thin or as small as possible so that it will dehydrate evenly. My post on dehydrating has detailed instructions for the rest of the process. To rehydrate simply fill your ziplock bag with water until the food is covered and soak for 30 minutes. Soak your rice noodles separately and then mix everything together over medium heat. I had a couple of small packs of peanuts from McDonalds that I sprinkled on top – and voila! Outback Pad Thai! I’m pretty happy with how it turned out even though the shrimp was a bit rubbery. The sweet and spicy pad thai flavour really came through and all the carbs and protein were particularly comforting after our busy morning.

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Rain Lake – Algonquin

DAY 2 – RAIN LAKE TO BANDIT LAKE

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Moccasin Lake to Bandit Lake – Algonquin

The next day we headed north towards Bandit Lake. We had 1835 meters of portages as we headed through Sawyer, Jubilee and Moccasin Lake but the distance was actually quite short and after four hours of travel we arrived at camp. We had another fun island site, and we spent the rest of the afternoon swimming around the island and lounging in our portable hammocks. That evening we sat by the campfire drinking 40 Creek whisky and watching the full moon rise over the calm, dark lake.

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Bandit Lake – Algonquin

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Bandit Lake – Algonquin

 

Camp Food Day 4: Bon Echo Smoked Ribs

We spent our final day of camping bliss relaxing on the beach and taking in the last views of Mazinaw Rock.

Mazinaw Rock - Bon Echo

Mazinaw Rock – Bon Echo

I wandered along the shore line, trying to get a better view of the rock and discovered some tree roots along the way.  I’ve always loved to draw and photograph tree roots.  Winding and crawling their way forwards, I like to try to capture their texture and creepy shadows.

Bon Echo

Bon Echo

Mazinaw Rock - Bon Echo

Mazinaw Rock – Bon Echo

For our last supper we smoked some baby back pork ribs from The Healthy Butcher on the smoker.  We rubbed our ribs with the Texas rub from Paul Kirk’s Championship BBQ book and smoked the ribs for about 4 hours on medium low.  Alongside the ribs we had coleslaw, creamed corn and baked beans – when was the last time you had creamed corn?  I remember growing up my friend always had creamed corn in a little Thermos for lunch and my mom served it for dinner once and awhile.  I think the one time canned food is completely acceptable is on the last night of a camping trip…when you’ve been waiting to eat delicious smoked ribs for hours!

Smoked ribs - Bon Echo

Smoked ribs – Bon Echo

Our bellies full of southern comfort food, we wandered out to the beach to take some night photos.  The lake was perfectly still as the park slept quietly.  I took some deep breaths soaking in the last few hours of an amazing camping trip, and gazed up at the full moon glowing through the clouds.

Bon Echo

Bon Echo

Camp Food Day 3: Bon Echo

Mazinaw Rock - Bon Echo

Mazinaw Rock – Bon Echo

Day three was leftover day! We made some serious breakfast burritos using up the leftover roasted sausage, pico de gallo and guacamole.  For lunch added the leftover smoked pork along with some kelp and celery to some Ichiban instant noodles. Instant noodles are perfect camping comfort food and throwing in some leftover meat is a great way to make a quick, gourmet ramen dish.

Maple pork sausage breakfast burrito - Bon Echo

Maple pork sausage breakfast burrito – Bon Echo

Smoked pork ramen - Bon Echo

Smoked pork ramen – Bon Echo

After a relaxing, pork-filled morning we decided to work it off on one of the many hiking trails in the park.

Bon Echo

Bon Echo

We hiked the 1.7km moderate High Pines trail where we passed numerous ponds, groves of hemlock and these beautiful tall pines.

Bon Echo

Bon Echo

The sun was starting to set as we walked through the pines right at magic hour, casting a gorgeous orange glow on the trees.

Bon Echo

Bon Echo

We walked to the end of the narrows, taking a break to watch the sun set over the lake and wishing we could just stay a few more days, weeks…months…

Bon Echo

Bon Echo

Moments like these are when I feel such a strong connection with nature.  The peace fills my soul and I know that eventually I’ll spend the rest of my days among trees and near water.

Bon Echo

Bon Echo

We cooked over the fire for dinner, roasting eggplant, tomato, hot yellow peppers and red onion over the fire, adding the onion and peppers to some quinoa and mixing the tomato in with the eggplant for a creamy, smoky sidedish.  We marinated a rack of lamb from The Healthy Butcher  in some lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary and oregano and roasted the rack over the fire for a few hours.  The lamb came out nice and smoky, juicy, full of flavour and paired nicely with the smoky eggplant and quinoa.

Bon Echo

Bon Echo