Backpacking Fare: Wild Blueberry Pancakes

Backpacking Fare: Wild Blueberry Pancakes

Whether you’re enjoying the gentle warmth of the sun on your shoulders while gazing out over a calm lake or huddling under a tarp to escape the rain, there is something inherently comforting about the sound and smell of sizzling pancakes in the wilderness. Although this is at least a two-dish meal (a bowl/pot to stir the pancake mix in, and a pan/pot for frying), it’s a meal that’s worth the extra effort (I’ll take a hot pancake over a cold energy bar any day). When you mix in a handful of juicy wild blueberries, you can even forgo the tiny bottle of syrup!

Wild blueberry plant

To find wild blueberries, you will need to camp at the right time. In the Boundary Waters in Minnesota, we are always able to find them around the month of July. Berry picking IS allowed in the BWCA and Quetico, but make sure to leave some behind for the wildlife and other campers. Wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) is a short, spreading, deciduous shrub, which grows best in wooded or open areas with well-drained acidic soils. This is another plant we have no trouble finding along the trails.

Ingredients for Wild Blueberry Pancakes:

  • Pancake mix that only requires you to add water (this is key – do not get a mix that requires milk or eggs, unless you are camping from your car with a cooler)
  • purified water (for information on purifying your water while camping, read this article)
  • oil for frying (I prefer canola, but vegetable will also do)
  • wild blueberries
Make them like you would any pancake: stir the water and pancake mix together according to the package directions, toss in blueberries, and fry them up in the frypan. Make sure that there are significant bubbles all the way through the pancake before flipping it, and thoroughly heat the oil before frying the first cake.
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