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Jetfoil Adventures

By Lon Anderson
Originally Published in the IAMC Newsletter, June 2012

A Jetboil is a great way to pack a stove with a pot to boil water in for soup, coffee and for preparing freeze-dried meals that are store purchased like Mountain House or Backpackers Pantry. Is that all its good for? Well, it really is handy to have and use it this way if nothing else.  I carry mine all the time and have enjoyed it very much over the years, of course any portable stove will do.

Don’t get me wrong, being able to purchase freeze dried meals in a bag at a local Sporting Goods store or some other place is OK if you like to spend $6 to $9 each meal.  I keep a few of these at home for convenience if they go on sale.

Truly tasty meals though are the ones I put together myself.  A few years ago, I came across a website called (now called  The website had some basic recipes that I tried and also offered a book for purchase entitled: Freezer Bag Cooking: Trail Food Made Simple.[1]

I purchased the book to read while sitting on the couch in the evenings and to see if this way really easy or not. Next, I printed out some sample recipes from the website and went to the store, WinCo in my case.  The basic principle is to combine dehydrated or freeze dried ingredients, any canned meats desired in a freezer bag, add boiling water wait a few minutes then enjoy.

You will need to make or purchase one item referred on the website as a “pot cozy.” It is an insulated sleeve or bag to drop your freezer bag into to support it and retain the heat for the appropriate cooking or rather wait time.  I made one from my wife’s automobile sunshade (after I bought her a new one of course). I used the kind that is foil looking with the small circular sealed air bubbles for insulation to keep the car interior cooler.  You can obviously make several from one sunshade and some duct tape.  I made mine 7 3/4 “ wide and 8 1/2” tall.  Basically, I cut a strip of 17” x 7 3/4” picked folded in half lengthwise and taped around the edges to keep it together and have an open top pocket to drop the freezer bag into.  You can purchase a cloth “pot cozy” from if you are not included to make one.[2]

Here is an easy recipe to give it a try.  You need to got to WinCo or somewhere where they have a bulk foods section. WinCo is near me so I have adapted.

Creamy Chicken Rice
1CMinute Rice
3TCream of Chicken Dry Mix Soup
1TDiced dried onion
1/4tDried garlic
1/4tdried parsley
1can3 to 5 ounces chicken


Open the can of chicken, dump the contents including the juice into the freezer bag, and place it into the “pot cozy”.  Add 1 cup of boiling water from your Jet Boil, stir the contents with a spoon, and set aside for about 10 minutes.  Then enjoy your hot meal on the trail. 

When you are all done, the freezer bag serves as a sealable trash container until you come to a place to dispose of it appropriately. 

Other considerations:

Don’t be afraid to experiment.  Home is a good place to try things first.  The website has been updated with lost of recipes and now they are customizable for your desired serving portions.  I had a hard time finding dried vegetables, but used some of the soup starter instead from the bulk food section.  Later, I found some freeze dried vegetables at the Boise Co-op kind of expensive, but you are only using a couple of tablespoons per bag, so it lasts quite a while.  If you like mashed potatoes, you can find the small packages of dried mashed potatoes that you can cook in the Jetfoil by itself.  Some of these are pretty tasty, especially the garlic flavored ones. 

If found that Jetfoil sells some extending handle utensils that are quite nice to have.  You can find them at REI locally.  The expendables handles make it nice to reach into the bag. [3]

If creating your own meals this way interest you, then you might be interested in going further with you adventure and look at preparing pan breaks ( also know as Bannock Bread). You will need to carry a fire pan or at least a saucepan to cook in and some oil, or better yet, some clarified butter also known as ghee. Ghee is also easy to make at home.  You can find videos on YouTube.  Ghee can be purchased at the Boise Co-op, but is expensive.  The nice things about Ghee, is it is like having oil to cook with that has a true butter flavor and is shelf stable for long periods, making it perfect for motorcycle adventure trips. You can look on for some threads on Bannock break as there are several ways to prepare it that may interest you other than using a pan. 

I was concerned at one time about any chemicals that may be related when you cook in plastic after all the information came out water bottles and BPA, etc. I found information from two of the major companies, so I stick to using them and avoid any no-name brands.  Glad says their bags, food containers, wraps, storage bags and other food contact products are not made of phthalates or polycarbonate. Nor is Bisphenal A (BPA) used as a raw material in their production. [4]. Ziplock products, according to their website, also do not contain BPA.[5]

5.SC Johnson does not use BPA in its plastic products, Ziplock Brand Bags and Containers.

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