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Harvest Roast

Harvest Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Whenever I’m in Portland, I’m always given a big ol’ box of these from a source at Danner Boots. They’re just…damn good. So if you ain’t got time to make your own, put these little bags in your pack, okay?

November 7, 2013 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }


Bold Italic 1 Bold Italic 2 Bold Italic 3

I went on a hike to the top of Mt. Tam last week with Hall from Juniper Ridge, Dan from Art In The Age, Maggie, whom I met while living in Colorado, and our friend Isla, who works at SF’s The Bold Italic. Mr. Newbegin was picking plants for a simple syrup collaboration with AitA (nice Danners, Hall), so we all came along for the beautiful hike. It was one hell of a day. See the rest of Ms. Isla Bell Murray’s photos and her interview with Hall here.

What would you consider foraging gold?

For me, the beauty of foraging isn’t about finding rarities, it’s about immersing yourself in nature and engaging your animal senses in the beauty that’s all around you. There is endless beauty in the most common of plants — a redwood forest, oak woodlands, sage chaparral, a square foot of wet earth right beneath your feet, overflowing with life and ten thousand species of little critters that we’ll never know about.

I do find rare flowers from time to time, and when I do, I just sit down next to them and try to drink in every detail, because they’re only out for a second and then they’re gone. I would never harvest a rare plant. I only work with plants that are utterly abundant and aren’t being impacted in any way by the harvesting. Rarities are just that, and they need to be admired for their beauty and left alone.

September 25, 2013 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Pat’s Backcountry Beer

Pat's Backcountry Beer

Just add water and carbonation beer for the backcountry? Seems suspect, but holy, that’s a great/useless idea. For the alcoholics in all of us

How is such a thing possible? According to the company’s website, the beer concentrate isn’t made by dehydrating a conventional beer. “Instead, our process (patent pending) allows us to start with almost no water, and carefully control the environment of the fermentation,” says the site. The result is supposedly a beer that tastes like a “premium micro brew.” Each beer packet makes a single 16 oz. pint.

Pat’s Backcountry Beverages owner, Pat Tatera, says the beer is just barley, water, hops and yeast, writes “If you come into our facility, you’ll see fermentors, you’ll see a mash tun, you’ll see a brew kettle, but you’ll also see some equipment that looks like some sci-fi movie, and that’s where our very specialized technology allows us to do what we do,” he said.


August 13, 2013 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Sylvester Graham

Sylvester Graham

I’m not much of s’mores guy, but clearly that’s the first thing a lot of folks think of when camping is discussed. Hell, I think some people go camping because they get to make s’mores. Is that stupid? Sure, but why the hell not, right? And though I would never pack graham crackers for a long excursion (for obvious crumbly reasons), those things are REALLY FUCKING GOOD. (Seriously, when was the last time you had a graham cracker by itself? Go now.)

And who do we have to thank for the “bread” of our favorite camping dessert sandwich? His name is Sylvester Graham, a dietary reformer who preached an emphasis on a vegetarian diet as a cure for alcoholism and sexual urges.

Think he’d be happy that his claim to fame has now been turned into a vehicle for chocolate (aphrodisiac?) and marshmallow (not vegetarian)?

June 13, 2013 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Baked Is The New Fried


While seeing a new baby cousin yesterday afternoon, we started talking about the Grand Canyon and a family friend’s recent trip there back in April. They had a great time, and while they knew it was nothing to complain about in the scheme of THE GRAND CANYON, they did mention how bad the food was. And while surfing around the ol’ interwebs today, I find out that the NPS is taking a little initiative to make their food a little bit…better.

I can’t remember the last time I ate a meal at NPS concession, but I’m sure that the food is pretty bad. Though I would imagine that a teenager who was hired for the summer thinking he was going to drop some fries in a basket all day wouldn’t be too psyched to find out he now has to make this shit:

To usher in the new Park Service food initiative, the White House sent over Sam Kass of the Let’s Move campaign, who noshed on almond-crusted baked chicken with a fennel salad.

“You know, baked is the new fried, so that looks delicious,” he told the chef.

Excuse my language NPS, but Sam Kass, you’re an asshole.

June 10, 2013 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Springtime Treats

Ramps and Morels

Get em while they’re hot, trail hounds. Read and listen here.

May 7, 2013 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Cream Of The West

Cream Of The West

Can’t get much better packaging than Cream Of The West, a Montana “staple” since 1914. Not a bad name either…

MP3: David Ackles – Montana Song

February 14, 2013 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Tucson Burritos

Tania's Tucson

After a few days out in the woods, it’s inevitable that the “What are we going to eat when we get back to civilization?” conversation is going to make its way to the campfire. We all have our favorites, and around these parts, it usually involves something Mexican. So it’s no surprise that on our recent excursion to the southwest, we were more than excited to taste some local fare. Perhaps it’s cheating to mention Tania’s 33 in this conversation as we actually ate here before departing to the Organ Pipes, but I can’t help but think that Tucson, AZ will be an après-camp destination for some of you in the months to come.

I don’t believe we’ve ever plugged a restaurant here on Cold Splinters before, so I’m happy that Tania’s is our first. There are all sorts of burritos out there in the world (Papalote after a long afternoon hike in Point Reyes is a fine choice) but the stupidly-good homemade flour tortillas (they’re vegan) and range of filling options (for those of you who don’t eat meat, their homemade soyrizo is, well, also stupidly-good) to satisfy any hungry hiker. And the owner, Rudy, who is pictured above, is just about the nicest guy in the world. It’s impossible to get him to shutup, so don’t ask too many questions about the impossible-to-read menu. Just go with it. Best pre/post camping meal I ever done had. Thanks to our host, Eric from MOCS1986, for the recommendation.

I’m sure you all have favorites, so hit me in the comments.

January 29, 2013 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }

Camping Candy

It usually happens that you’ll stop at a gas station/convenient store en route to wherever it is you’re going. And whether or not you need it, it’s probable that you’ll pick up some snacks (candy) for the trail. I can’t remember the last time that I went on a camping trip without some black licorice. (Though, yes, I usually get the individual sticks of Panda, which, no, you can’t usually pick up at a gas station.)

What do y’all buy? And I ain’t talking some Green Macriobiotic Seaweed Stevia snack. More like…candy necklaces or another Cold Splinters favorite, Boston Baked Beans.

January 10, 2013 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 10 }

May Wah

I haven’t eaten meat in many years. There, I said it. And getting lightweight protein isn’t always the easiest thing (or tasty) for non-carnivores.

For that reason, May Wah, located in New York City’s Chinatown, has seen my credit card many of times before a big trip. Beef and Chicken flavored TVP (textured vegetable protein), vegan jerky (I like the spicy squid) and an array of other weird things (the mock lobster, which is obviously not trail food, comes shaped like a lobster) are wonderful for vegetarians, vegans and even meat eaters while out in the wild. I’m not usually a huge fan of these types of foods while back in town, but out in the woods, it sure is nice to have around.

I hadn’t seen the article until a few weeks ago when I made a pit stop in the store, but the New York Times wrote an article about May Wah in September, citing it as a great place for campers to buy snacks. Wild.

In any case, have a look around their website, learn more and thank me later. Or never.

November 28, 2012 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }