The Glampeur’s Guide to Spicing it Up


Reuse Stackable Tin Containers for Your Backcountry Seasonings Kit!

Text by Lizzy Scully, Photos by Steve Fassbinder

I prepare food in the backcountry just as I cook at home, using lots of spices to ensure my food is varied and tastes delicious. But, inevitably, I haven’t been able to take as many kinds of spices car camping or backpacking as I want because the six-quart plastic seasoning bin in my camp kitchen kit just doesn't hold that much (see photo at the bottom of this post). However, I recently found a simple, effective and tidy solution to my problem. Read on…

Heavy, bulky and often expensive, 2oz. to 4oz. jars of savory, thyme, salt and cinnamon typically fit badly in my six-quart plastic seasoning bin. I fail at my efforts to Tetris them in place, and the lid inevitably pops open, allowing the spices to fall into the depths of my camping tub. Plus, the caps open and the spices spill, leaving all other items in the near vicinity sticker and grittier. Spices in plastic bags fair even worse, the bags inevitably break, which makes a big mess. And when I’ve put the few extra jars of spices in my camping tub that I’ve wanted to bring for a specially-prepared meal, I regularly lose them. Dumping every single item out of my cooking kit tub in the dark, when I’m hungry and trying to put a meal together annoys me. 

But, I recently discovered a perfect solution to my dilemma. I transferred all my spices into clean, empty Green Goo salve tins. They work perfectly—large tins hold the spices I use almost every day (salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, cinnamon and cumin); and smaller tins fit just the right amount of mustard seed, cloves and other seasonings I don’t use as frequently. They are easy to open, yet the lids won’t pop off even if they rustle around in your bin a bit. I stack the on top of each other, and place a rag over them to keep them in place. Now I enjoy a few dozen spice choices and don’t have to leave anything at home.

Here are a couple tips to add a bit of flavor to your next glamping meals.

  1. Cumin tastes good with almost anything. Sprinkle a tablespoon of cumin on your fried potatoes or with any mixed vegetables, along with a bit of salt, pepper, a healthy dose of olive oil and some Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce).
  2. I love dill weed. Mix a teaspoon in your scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese in the morning. It’s a nice change from the standard egg breakfast.
  3. I often prepare almond meal pancakes when I camp. Delicious, nutritious and complete with more protein and fiber than wheat flour pancakes, you won’t be hungry until lunchtime. FYI, the recipe: 1 cup of almond four, ¼ cup of coconut milk (or water), 2 eggs, a couple tablespoons of butter, pinch of salt, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (if you have it), and ½ teaspoon of baking soda (don’t forget to add that to your kit!) I always bring some nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon to add to the main ingredients. Yum.
  4. If I’m making tuna salad or coleslaw, lately I’ve been adding a heaping teaspoon of mustard seed to the mix, along with salt, pepper and soy-free mayonnaise.
  5. If I’m making a garlic, buttery spaghetti squash (which I usually cook at home first), I’ll use all the green herbs in my kit—oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram, parsley, salt, pepper and sage.
  6. For pork chops, you really don’t need anything else except oil, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. However, I use these green herbs for cooking more often than any other spice, as they are tasty with fish or chicken cooked in a cast iron skillet with a lid.

The New & The Old!

The new spice kit!