Kevin Callan
Credit: Kevin Callan

Sometimes you just can't improve on a classic. These two camp recipes stand the test of time:

Hard Tack

This stuff lasts for ever, in all types of temperature extremes. That’s why it was taken on long sea voyages and given other names like pilot bread, cabin bread, ship biscuit, sea biscuit or sea bread. Soldiers in the American Civil War also called it tooth dullers, molar breakers or sheet iron. It doesn’t sound very appetizing but dipping it in a warm cup of tea or crumbling it into a soup on a cold winter day along the trail is divine.


  • 3 cups of white flour
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 cup of water 


Mix the flour, water and salt together, making sure the contents stay fairly dry. Roll it out, keeping it at about a half-inch thickness, and cut it into rectangles three inches by three inches. Poke holes on the top. Place on a non-greased cooking sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for half-an-hour. Let it stand and harden for a few days, and when it has the consistency of a brick, it's ready to pack on your trip.

Deep-Fried Toutons

This is an old culinary delight from Newfoundland. You’ll feel your arteries harden the moment you bite into one of these but they’ll warm your body in the worst of a numbing cold morning. Make them before the trip or change some ingredients to dried (i.e. the milk).


  • 1 cup milk (powdered)
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 tbsp sugar .
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar .
  • 1/4 lb. finely cubed bits of fatback pork 
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour


First, you have to make the bread dough. Place flour in bowl and add sugar and salt. Mix in lukewarm water, baking powder, molasses and milk (use powdered milk if you’re making this at camp). Now, fry up the bacon. Usually rendered pork pork fat is used, but bacon fat works just as well and is less messy. Remove the bacon and crumble it into dough mix. Form dough into a small fist-size balls, flatten into half-inch cookies and then fry in bacon grease until golden brown & crisp.

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