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When Ounces Kill: How to Make Hobo Packs for Camp Meals

The adage, “less is more,” couldn’t be more apt than when heading out for a camping or hunting trip.

When every ounce you carry counts, consider the Hobo Pack for a hot, healthy meal you can enjoy in minutes without lugging around a camp stove and cookware. As it is, you have that cumbersome six-pack of beer to wrangle.

The iconic hobo stew is a go-to campfire recipe that is as versatile as it is nurturing. It involves wrapping meat and vegetables in foil and creating a stew-like meal that’s transportable, easily tossed on the hot coals of a campfire, and forgotten about until it’s time to eat.

Hobo Packs

1 pound stew meat
1 pound carrots, chopped
1 pound potatoes, cubed
1 large onion, quartered
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

Prepare your aluminum foil and lay out flat. In the middle, place the stew meat. On top of the stew meat, add carrots and potatoes. Place the onion and mushrooms on top.

Add the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble the hobo pack, fold the two lengths of foil together to form a tent at the top. Try to leave an inch or so of space on either side of the mixture for the steam. Then roll up the ends, again leaving a bit of space. Repeat with second sheet of foil.

Carefully set the packet on the coals, arranging it so that the the heat is distributed evenly. Cook for 20-45 minutes until vegetables are tender. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and enjoy.

Feeds four hungry campers.

A few extra tips:

Spray the aluminum foil on the interior side with cooking spray—aluminum shards are no fun to bite down on. In preparing the hobo pack, consider cooking times: put meat in the center of the foil, on the bottom, and then any vegetables that take longer to cook, like carrots and potatoes. Chop meat and vegetables into bite-sized pieces for faster cooking.

Unless you like the acrid taste of soot-blackened vegetables, don’t be cheap. Buy only high-quality, heavy-duty foil that can stand up to the task at hand. You need a generous amount of foil to wrap the pack securely, using two or more sheets so that your dinner doesn’t end up breaking through the foil.

For a variation on the theme, any vegetable will do – think bell peppers, green beans, celery, tomatoes, corn, zucchini or summer squash. Throw in some canned beans for more substance, if you like. Add your favorite marinades or sauces, such as Teriyaki, or sweet and sour, to the mix.

NEXT: The Best Recipes for Summertime Beer Cocktails [PICS]

When Ounces Kill: How to Make Hobo Packs for Camp Meals