One of the best parts of camping is teaching my kids about camping and camp skills. On this years birthday trip to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, my daughter, Sandy, learned how to make Backcountry Pancakes.
It was brought to my attention while we were driving out to the NP that she was missing apple cinnamon pancake day in Home Ec. class. No worries! I assured her that she most certainly would not miss pancake day. No losing participation points here! The perfect opportunity to teach an important camping skill.
On our first camp breakfast of the trip, we had a pancake lesson. Sandy learned how to mix pancakes in a bag, start the camp stove, grease the pan, and fry up some flapjacks.
I like to keep things as simple as I can with as few dishes as possible while camp cooking. The easiest way to prep pancakes before camping is to measure out as much pancake mix as your party will eat in a meal into a ziplock bag. Write on the bag with permanent marker how much water is needed per your pancake serving amount. Example: Kodiak Pancake Mix (our favorite) takes 3/4 cup water per 1 cup of mix. This feeds our family of 4.
2. Gather Cooking Items
You’ll need a few items to successfully make pancakes at camp. Your kids can help gather materials, a good job for younger campers.
- Camp Stove
- Lighter (if stove is not equipped with an igniter)
- Coconut Oil
- Pancake Mix
- Rubber scraper or spatula
- Plate & Spork
- Soap & Sponge
- Clean Water
3. Mix Pancakes
Pour clean water into the bag of mix a small amount at a time. Adding all of the water at once may result in runny batter. This will turn your pancakes into crepes. It’s not as appealing as it sounds, it’s a mess, trust me. Mixing the batter in the bag eliminates a dish and offers an easy squeeze method in placing the batter in the pan.
When the batter is mixed to your preferred consistency, cut a small slit in the bottom corner of the bag. Set aside with the slit corner up to prevent leakage.
4. Light’m Up
This was Sandy’s first time starting the camp stove. She wasn’t completely new as she knows how to ignite the gas stove at home. We talked about safety and order of operations per our stove mechanics before lighting it. If you’re teaching a new camp chef, be sure to give safe, clear instructions on how to operate your stove. (Her angle is goofy in the photo, but she did well.)
Once the stove is lit, place the pan over the burner with a slice of coconut oil.
5. Frying Flapjacks
As soon as the oil is melted in the pan, add the pancake batter. Use the easy squeeze bag and make a circle of batter in the pan. Watch the cake carefully and adjust fuel flowage as needed. When the bubbles begin to rise to the top of the pancake, it’s time to flip. Use the rubber scraper to loosen the cake from the pan and flip the cake. It won’t take long for the other side to cook, so keep an eye on it.
Apply some sweet syrup and dig in!
Slick Tip: It’s a really good idea to reapply coconut oil between each pancake. When I don’t reapply, my cakes stick to the pan.
6. Clean Up
After enjoying some delicious flapjacks, use warm water, soap and a sponge to wash dishes. If the kids are old enough to learn how to make camp pancakes, they’re old enough to clean up camp breakfast. Put those hands to work!
Tip: We cut a standard sponge into thirds to make them camp sized.
Overall, Sandy’s pancake lesson went well. A couple “hey, don’t touch the pan, it’s hot” moments, but otherwise she did great! Looks like some of the camp work load is off of my shoulders.