Silver Turtle

1:37 p.m. on March 19, 2012 (EDT)
179 reviewer rep
192 forum posts

Hey everybody!

Ya know, looking over this page I see an awful lot of posts here about stoves, but surprisingly little about the food ya cook over ‘em!

So, I figure I’m just the fella to be doing something about that! I’m gonna start off with a little camp fire cookery which I figure all old boy scouts should be familiar with. Maybe not directly applicable to most backpacking trips, but it is something I have done a time or three on hiking trips, mostly impromptu when somebody had some meat, some other fella has a potato, that guy over there has an onion and we happened to have aluminum foil on hand, and it also works great on canoe trips where you can easily carry the heavier “Real Food”.

So -  Time for a Winters Picnic!

Not long ago The Wife told me I was gonna have a few of the nephews over again on Saturday, to which I said something intelligent like “Huh?”
“Yep” She said, “So figure out something fun for them to do with you in the woods”.

Uh, OK….
I didn’t feel like spending the day out in the woods hacking apart the scenery teaching the kids to build lean-tos, although I do need to get around to that someday.
So I decided to teach them yet another fine trick for cooking with a fire. This way I get out of allot of work and get a great meal in the process!
I’m sure some of you Ex-Boy Scouts remember the Silver Turtle?

It’s pretty straightforward. You burry your food in the fire, usually but as we will see not necessarily wrapped in aluminum foil ( hence the name Silver Turtle. They are also called Hobo Dinners, but I very much doubt hobos eat this well! ).
Ingredients can be pretty much anything you happen to have on hand but meat and potatoes are traditional.

It’s a good idea to always add a dollop of butter or margarine, or best of all olive oil, about two tablespoons per sachet. It’s said that other oils are not as heat resistant as olive oil ( or as healthy for you ) and the oil is what helps prevent things from burning to bad.
And don’t forget to add spices – We used onion soup powder, , Worcestershire sauce, powdered vegetable soup mix, soy sauce and whatever else was close to hand. For meat we had goat sausage and bacon bits, and of course we had potatoes, onions and carrots to round things out –



Everyone got to build their own of course, the kids gotta learn how to cook. One kid had mostly meat, the other potatoes! Heh, they will learn.




A completed meal ready to be wrapped -




Everything was double wrapped in foil. Of course you don’t have to use foil. I my cleaver wife stuffed apple cobbler fixin’s into a soda can and smacked down another soda can on top to seal it. -




And a fruit and nut cobbler mix into a big Fosters can. A canned chicken tin fit perfectly over the Fosters can.
Amazing what you can do with the stuff in the recycle bin! Who says the only use for old cans is making stoves! 



Out we hiked into the woods to a big ‘ol tree that has fallen down in a recent storm this winter. I’d already built a little camp there.
Naturally our goats tagged along as well.


We built up a big fire in our cozy camp and let it burn down while we played around with this and that -



When the fire had been going good for about an hour we scrapped it aside and placed the food for burying –
Note that I have had a fire here maybe a dozen times before, so I had a good pile of ash and the snow and ice was melted away from this spot. Otherwise burying the food in the frozen ground might have been a little more difficult.



The fire was built back up and the kids and goats played around some more. We made a big pot of hot apple cider with a soda can alcohol stove and in general I occupied myself with the very important task of tending the fire –



In about another hour or a little less we were getting pretty hungry. Time to dig up the food!
This is what we got. Mine was good and a little burned, the way I like it!




So we sat and munched –



Desert came next, first the apples were uncovered, then the fruit and nut mix –





Mixed together in the mess tin this is what we each got


Another pot was boiled up on the soda can stove, this time tea. Before long we were all stuffed to the gills and happy.
Even the goats got a taste as they cleaned the plates!



2:53 p.m. on March 19, 2012 (EDT)
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1,341 forum posts

Nice, Back to the basics. It's my opinion that we see way to many stoves in comparison as to what is to be cooked on said stoves. That's not to say that I don't enjoy stoves review's, stories, legends, and the such but there isn’t not much talk of the food we cook except which is the least offensive freeze dried stuff that I just cannot myself palate.  I do find it interesting that people bring all kinds of unnecessary stuff into the back country and then to save weight pick and pack the worst tasting freeze dried food on the planet. 

12:06 a.m. on March 20, 2012 (EDT)
280 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

If you ever need any help taste testing let me know

10:41 a.m. on March 20, 2012 (EDT)
6,158 reviewer rep
1,625 forum posts


Makes miss the goats we raised as kids

2:41 p.m. on March 20, 2012 (EDT)
2,155 reviewer rep
2,130 forum posts

Very cool Bob! I only have a fire about half the time these days but foil packets are a great way to go. Great pictures!

7:29 p.m. on March 20, 2012 (EDT)
3,760 reviewer rep
948 forum posts

Love this topic idea. As someone who often packs real food into the backcountry I am always looking for new recipes or ideas. Made me hungry!

12:17 p.m. on March 21, 2012 (EDT)
179 reviewer rep
192 forum posts

I like real food as well, the dehydrated stuff just doesn't seem to fuel my body very well, and after a few days I start to run down no matter how much of the stuff I'm eating.

I plan to start experimenting with a reflectoir oven soon, I'm looking forward to that! 

May 28, 2018
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