How to Make Fabulous Backcountry Mac & Cheese

Step 1 (at home): Obtain your preferred brand of macaroni & cheese. I prefer Annie’s Shells & Cheddar.

Step 2 (at home): Repackage the mac into a quart-sized, freezer-quality resealable plastic bag.

Step 3: Bring roughly 600ml of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to desired tenderness, probably ~10 minutes.

Note: You don’t need a powerful stove to do this; I use a cat food can stove with denatured alcohol.

Note: You may optionally add some broccoli florets, which hold up excellently in the backcountry.

Step 4: While the pasta is cooking, add 2-3 tablespoons of REAL BUTTER to the bag that previously held the pasta.

Note: I recommend double-bagging your butter, just in case it melts. If you keep your food bag buried in your pack and the days aren’t too hot, it’s entirely possible to keep butter solid and fresh for 4+ days.

Step 5: Drain the pasta water into a hole in the ground, reserving a tiny bit. Then pour it into the bag, where it will immediately begin melting the butter. Seal the bag and massage it to evenly coat the butter.

Note: Don’t worry, the bag won’t melt.

Note: The bag makes an excellent hand-warmer.

Step 6: Add the cheese powder and massage to coat, working out the clumps with your fingertips.

Sometimes the clumps are tasty. Sometimes they’re too much.

Step 7: You’re done! Open the bag, stick your spoon in, enjoy!

Note: Consider adding tuna packets, hot sauce, salami chunks, and/or nutritional yeast to spice up your mac.

Step 8: Clean-up. Seal your ziploc bag and dispose later. Pour a tiny bit of water into your dish to clean off any pasta residue… or don’t. Ba-boom, you’re done. No mess, no fuss!