Camp Chow: Easy Meals for on the Trail

Minnesota Company Makes Meals for the Trail

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Whether it’s camping for the weekend with the family or planning a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters, sometimes deciding what to pack for food can be a challenge.

In this week’s edition of Great Outdoors, we take a look at a Minnesota company, Camp Chow, simplifying food on the trail.

“It doesn’t taste at all like rehydrated food, it tastes better than can(ned) food. It’s kind of a little bit gourmet, actually,” said outdoor enthusiasts Kate Lambert and Jodie Soderlind of Melbourne, Australia.

The duo called Camp Chow luxury camping at its finest and tested it out in the Boundary Waters.

The unique line of trail food is made at Trail Lodge Center on the Gunflint Trail.

“It’s just a line of foods we made with a wonderful array of dry products and spices,” said Camp Chow’s creator Sarah Hamilton.

For more than two decades Hamilton has been cooking up recipes for hungry customers at her restaurant on the Gunflint, and now she has taken her culinary skills to the great outdoors.

“It’s just an add water only product you can do it right in the (plastic) bag, you can do it for hiking, you can do it for anything,” said Hamilton.

In a little room in the back of Trail Center Lodge Hamilton’s recipes come to life.

It is there that the ingredients are put together in a bag, sealed, labeled, and ready for sale.

“We have a line of 177 items. We do a whole line of soups, side dishes, entrees, quite a few desserts, a few vegan – we are doing more. A lot of vegetarian, and more than half of it is gluten free,’ said Hamilton.

While the meals can be warmed over a fire or stove they don’t have to be.

Camp Chow’s newest product, instead of 2 to 4 person serving sizes, is a single serve product.

In order to make the meal, all you have to do is add hot or cold water to the bag of food, shake it, and let it sit for a few minutes.

“Some of them are just your everyday meal for if you’re out camping, relaxing or fishing, but some of them are going to be super high calorie, high sodium, we use sea salt on purpose to add electrolytes to your athletes, people climbing mountains,” explained Hamilton.

She has prepared meals for some athletes in the Northland including Musher Nathan Schroeder and Jared Munch, the young man circumnavigating Lake Superior on a Standup Paddleboard.

“It’s nice to hear people come in and say, “I would eat that at home it was so delicious.” That is exciting for me, as a cook,” said Hamilton.

Her goal is to serve Camp Chow at outfitters nationwide.

Right now the products are available at select stores in the Northland including Duluth Pack, you can also purchase the products online.

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