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Thanksgiving On The Trail (Including DIY Cranberry Sauce)

A recent blog entry on Packit Gourmet’s blog reminded me it was time to start thinking about Thanksgiving for the lucky ones who will be outside. The recipes below have been very popular over the past couple years and I have added more to them with every year passing!

This article is archived at Trail Cooking.

Thanksgiving On The Trail: Easy, Trashy & good!
This isn’t one of the “it is good for you” meals. But, eh, you get it once a year, no? The meal is designed to feed 2-3 and it will make quite a bit. You can double the meat and use a 10 to 13-ounce can. If you do this, use the liquid in the can, and cut the water back to a generous 1/2 cup (instead of 3/4 cup) in the gravy.

You can leave the butter out of the stuffing, it does add a nice flavor and texture…and if you are hiking in November, the fat is a good thing for staying warm. Butter is easy to carry in the colder months as well, so take advantage!

Being a meal to share this is one of the rare times I will suggest “bring bowls!”. It makes the cooking easy to do as well as sharing the meal.

Turkey Cranberry Gravy:

In a pint freezer bag:
1 package Roasted Turkey Gravy mix
1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries

Mark: Add can of chicken & 3/4 cup water.

In a quart freezer bag:
1 package instant stuffing (usually between 6-8 ounce box, Stove Top or similar)

Mark: Add 1/4 cup butter and 1 1/2 cups water.

Mashed Potatoes:
In a quart freezer bag:
3/4 cup instant mashed potatoes
2 Tbsp dry milk
1/4 tsp diced dried garlic
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Mark: Add 1 1/4 cups water.

Also take:
1/4 cup butter
1 5-ounce can turkey or chicken

Trail Directions:

The stuffing:

Add the butter, diced up, and 1 1/2 cups near boiling water. Stir well, and make sure the water gets mixed in. Seal tightly, pushing any air out carefully.


Add in the can of turkey along with the liquid and 3/4 cup of near boiling water. Stir very well and seal, pushing out any air carefully.

Mashed Potatoes:

Add in 1 1/4 cups near boiling water, stirring well. Make sure to get any powder in the corners. Seal tightly, pushing out any air.

For all:

Put the 3 bags into a cozy (you may need two cozies) for 10 minutes. Fluff up the stuffing, stir the potatoes well.

Plate up and eat!

One pot option for the meal:

Boil the water for the stuffing and potatoes. Proceed as directed.

For the gravy, add 1 cup water along with chicken and juice to your pot. Stir in the gravy mix and bring to a boil. Lower heat to low and boil gently for a minute.

Let sit till everything else is ready.

DIY Instant Cranberry Sauce

1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries

1/4 tsp dried orange peel

At home pulverize the cranberries and orange peel in a mini food chopper or blender till a small chunky paste (it will be sticky). Pack in a pint freezer bag.

On trail add 1/4 cup near boiling water. Seal the bag tightly and let sit in a cozy for 15 minutes.

Serves 1.