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Gear Review: Backpackers Oven

Thursday, September 19, 2013
Two weekends ago we headed upstate to hike the infamous Devils Path. Two days on one of the toughest trails in the Northeast meant we had to keep our energy and calories up. Luckily, our supply van brought in delicious food and even a camp oven on Saturday night. This was the first time we had brought this oven out on the trail so we were excited to test it in natural conditions. Here's the report.

The model we got to test was the eight-inch BEMCO Backpackers Oven. Discover Outdoors guide Brian came with a "Gruters Family Specialty": chocolatey brownies with crunched up espresso beans. Brian began heating up the oven with his WhisperLite which seemed to work until the stove broke halfway through. Luckily there was a fire pit at the campsite so Brian and Ben carried the stove there to lay it on hot coals inside the pit. Though the temperature dropped temporarily, they were able to get it back up to about 350 degrees with the coals. Unfortunately, with this direct heat at the center of the oven, the sides of the brownies burned a bit. Hopefully the next go around we can use a stove the whole time through.

While our guides premixed the ingredients for the day and kept it in a cooler in the supply van, another good option for desserts would be to freeze butter or eggs and let them thaw throughout the day (so you're ready to bake by the time you get to camp at night).

The oven was great for cooking brownies and seems like the perfect size for baked goods and desserts on the trail. Especially for our groups though, it's a bit small for dinner. We decided not to eat the brownies Saturday night but instead saved them as a treat for the next day on the trail. After a tough morning, brownies and espresso was the perfect pick-me-up to power us through to mile 26.

A great trip is created by many things one that we'd recommend is the Gruters Family Specialty: Espresso Brownies.

Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Backpackers Oven for free from Bemco as coordinated by Deep Creek PR an Outdoor Retailer Public Relations Company in consideration for review publication.

Thanks to Brian Gruters and Ben Rausch for trying out the oven. Review written by Sarah Knapp.

Categories: Gear