- Published: Friday, 08 May 2015 10:00
- Written by Dan
Dispatch by S. Bedford
Photo by Jimmy Martinello
As well as experiencing elation and excitement when initially embarking on this assignment, I admittedly entertained a few minor apprehensions. Like that my colleagues would be tenacious outdoorsmen who had trekked on the moon, or that we would be sustaining on peanut butter and anchovy sandwiches for a week.
While my trip mates are every bit the wilderness experts I anticipated, they are also incredibly understanding of a lesser-expert like me, and have taken the time to explain and demonstrate many of their techniques. Similarly, every meal thus far has been delectable and vastly surpassed my expectations.
In addition to its inherent nutritional and energizing value, food plays a crucial role on any physically demanding adventure. There is no better appetite stimulant than having fun—by the time Team Outpost staggers into camp after long hours of traipsing the hoodoos, our growling stomachs are raucous enough to keep the fauna at bay. As the evening chill sets in and our overworked muscles begin to kvetch, the prospect of a hot meal motivates us to pitch our tents and unfurl our mats with haste. Dinnertime is also an opportunity for us to reflect upon and celebrate the events of the day.
When it comes to camping cookery, Delano is a gastronomic guru. One of his secrets to exquisite cuisine seems to be the scent of bristling conifers nearby and the light of budding stars overhead. His other secret is to enhance our Harvest Foodworks freeze-dried meals with fresh ingredients.
On our second evening, he jazzed up a traditional macaroni and cheese with verdant broccoli, caramelized onions, crisp carrots and sizzling bacon. Jimmy then unveiled his portable spice kit and added the crimson flakes of a Himalayan chili pepper that he acquired a decade ago while mountaineering on the border between Nepal and Tibet—an act that warmed our hearts as well as our taste buds.