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Hardtack (also known as Pilot Bread, Ship’s Biscuit, Eskimo Cookies, Pilot Crackers etc.) refers to a simple cracker of flour and water. These bland little things will last for a long long time and were common fair for sailors, soldiers, and yes, campers back in the day. Today, most hardtack is made by Interbake Foods under the “Sailor Boy” label, pictured above. 98% of the their production goes to Alaska, where the crackers can be found just about anywhere.

November 20, 2012 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }


There’s no denying that a few sips of alcohol will keep you a bit warmer in these colder months. Whiskey is usually the camping go-to, but around these parts we’re partial to Laird’s Applejack – aka Jersey Lightning. The cider spirit tastes just like alcohol should taste around a big ol’ fire.

Keep it comin.

MP3: Smog – Red Apples

November 15, 2012 | Camping, Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Mount Everest Special

There’s an article on the NYTimes website today, written by Dwight Garner, about the peanut butter and pickle sandwich. If you read this rag regularly or know me personally, you’re hip to the fact that peanut butter is quite the obsession in these parts, so these idiot articles get me a little excited. In his intro, Garner references Ernest Hemingway’s favorite sandwich, peanut butter and onion on white bread, a recipe I’ve been meaning to write about on CS for many moons. The sandwich, which I’ve consumed more than a few times, though unfortunately not on white bread, is a real time. And of course, like always, chunky is king.

Hemingway references PB&O in Islands In The Stream and it makes its way into The Hemingway Cookbook as well. The Mount Everest Special:

“Well, go down to the galley and see if that bottle of tea is cold and bring it up. Antoni’s butchering the fish, go make a sandwich will you, please?
“Sure. What kind of sandwich?”
“Peanut butter and onion if there’s plenty of onion.”
“Peanut butter and onion it is, sir.”
He handed a sandwich, wrapped in a paper towel segment, to Thomas Hudson and said, “One of the highest points in the sandwich-maker’s art. We call it the Mount Everest Special. For Commanders only.

And in honor of the weird Lyle Lovett reference in the NYTimes article, here’s a hell of a Tuesday morning tune:

Youtube: Lyle Lovett – If I Had A Boat

October 23, 2012 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Indian Chickpea Burgers

If you’ve read any of the previous posts about camping food in these parts, you’ll notice that most of them contain some sort of tofu/TVP/peanut butter ingredient, so it might be obvious at this point that I don’t eat meat. Though after years of practice, it’s rather simple to work with while in the woods, and if I’m really being completely honest with myself, all I crave after a full day of hiking is a massive amount of carbs.

Chickpea flour, or Gram/Besan flour, is a mainstay at home and is easy to pack into the backcountry as a source of protein. Here’s a very easy recipe for Indian chickpea “burgers” to try instead of those god awful freeze-dried packs of “food.” Man, I get the easy cleanup and preparation of those suckers, but they’re all just so bad. So so bad. It’s like eating McDonalds at your wedding. Sort of.

Recipe after the jump…

Continue Reading →

September 12, 2012 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

Chocolate Nut Butter

As mentioned previously, I spent a few nights on the JMT last week with friends from Juniper Ridge and beyond. Because I was in a foreign land, I made a stop at the Whole Foods in Oakland before we headed out to Yosemite and made it a point to buy only things that I’d never eaten on the trail. Of course I always eat loads of nut butter (everyone told me to stop calling it that), but surprisingly enough, I’d never bought these little packets of Justin’s. Game changer. Anyone? Yes, probably everyone. Chocolate Hazelnut and Chocolate Almond literally taste like brownie mix. And they’re vegan too, if that may matter to ya. Score.

Have the goddamn weekend of your lives, alright?

MP3: Angel Olsen – The Waiting

September 7, 2012 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 5 }

PB and P

A few months back, Christine Mitchell sent out an email asking people to contribute recipes that she would illustrate for her wonderful site, N’East Style. I must have been excited about it at the time as I was the first the respond. Works for me.

See the Cold Splinters Peanut Butter and Pasta recipe over at NES. Hope y’all had a great weekend.

August 27, 2012 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

R.I.P. Cookie Lady

For over 30 years, Jane Curry, also known as the “Cookie Lady,” welcomed bikers into her Afton, VA home to clean up and eat, well, yes, cookies. Curry was 91 years old. From The Hook’s obituary:

“I asked how much for a dozen cookies?” Parker recalls. “She said, ‘Oh, honey, the cookies are free, but you need a bath. Go on up and take a shower,  and then come down for some cookies.”

Cold Splinters wrote about the Cookie Lady back in January, so if you happened to miss it, click here for more info. She was a pretty amazing woman.

MP3: múm – Slow Bicycle

July 18, 2012 | Food, Long Hairs | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

Heady Topper

Cold Splinters spent the last weekend up near Stowe, VT and head the extreme pleasure of trying Heady Topper for the first time. We don’t usually get too excited about beer, but holy moly, this is the one. Unfortunately you can’t get it here in the New York area, though going back to Vermont ain’t such a bad idea…

July 12, 2012 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 7 }

Camp Food: Nutritional Yeast

Whether you’re a vegan (Thank you, Scott Jurek), a vegetarian or a steak every night kind of person, Nutritional Yeast is a damn fine thing to have along in your backpack while out for a couple of days. If you haven’t tried this stuff, it tastes like a nutty powdered cheese. Which is good. Believe you me.

Around these parts, we put the stuff on most sandwiches (save almond/peanut/cashew butter), pasta, tacos, or if we’re around the campfire, a pan of Jiffy Pop. (That’s a lie, I haven’t had Jiffy Pop in years.) And, hell, it’s a complete protein. Who woulda thunk it?

MP3: The Amazing – International Hair

May 22, 2012 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Larry The Quaker Guy

You know the iconic Quaker dude that looks you in the eye as you’re making granola at home or eating a hot bowl of oats after waking up from a night under the stars? OF COURSE YOU DO. Well, Larry (That’s what insiders know him as, which is just, well, weird) is about to lose a little weight and get a haircut. Read more about it at the WSJ.

MP3: Amy Milan – Skinny Boy

April 2, 2012 | Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }