Advice for Baking on Kayak Camping Trip

I have some old Outback Ovens that I’ve used on camp trips in the past. I use them to bake cakes, fruit crisps with berries we foraged, and other treats. The stoves are in disrepair and replacements no longer available. Any thoughts on what to replace them with to use with whisperlite stoves? Thoughts on the BEMCO backpacker oven?

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Fruit crisps or the like work well with dutch ovens.


The BEMCO oven sounds like it ought to work and it is well reviewed.

It is unclear to me how the ovens maintain a consistent temperature. I experimented with camp bread making and succeeded in a baking a lovely loaf of bread after several tries. I used a DIY pot inside a pot on an old Coleman Peak1. The inner pot was held off the bottom of the outer pot by some 1/2" high pieces of aluminum tubing, so, within the larger pot, the smaller pot had air all around it. I learned to bake bread but it demanded constant attention to maintain the temperature. I could never perfectly adjust the stove so that it maintained a steady temperature–it was always getting too hot (turn it down!) or cooling too much (turn it back up!). How do the store-bought ovens keep an even temperature?

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I have a stove of sorts from decades ago called the bakepacker. It’s just an aluminum grid that is a couple inches tall and designed to fit inside a pot. Friends have even used it to make muffin cakes inside of plastic bags so there’s no cleaning required. Probably healthier to use a smaller pot inside of a larger pot.

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The NOLS Expedition Fry-Bake pan is basically a dutch oven that I think would work well over coals with more coals on the lid.

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The restraining factor in this equation is the use of the whisperlite stoves. These stoves don’t really simmer. They are difficult to moderate. They don’t work with dutch ovens or reflector ovens, but both of those options could work well with a well controlled open fire.
If you are able to get two higher quality pots and using small pebbles, hold the pot inside the larger pot away from the bottom of the larger pot on the burner, you may be able to do some baking. A lot of “ifs” there.

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I am also in the Dutch Oven camp. Just about anything you can cook in your home oven you can cook in a Dutch Oven. I paddle a canoe, so I can usually find room in the boat - not sure that would be the case in a kayak. Just to make it more difficult to travel with, I also bring charcoal, which makes it much easier to regulate the temperature. Kind of a pain to lug around, but you can’t beat the results.

I’ve thought about trying a reflector oven, but haven’t yet.


I second the Fry-Bake….except @paddles is right. Most canister stoves aren’t designed for low dispersed flames. I’ve seen flame dispersing shields that spread out the heat, that might help. But the Fry-Bake works great on campfires and it comes in two sizes.

Trangia stoves work quite well for dispersed heat cooking except for the need to refuel it for long baking times. You get about 15 minutes per fill which is fine for most meals. But it’s easy to turn the kit into an oven by simply inverting a larger pot over the top. I don’t bake much on camping trips so not a lot of experience but bannock does come out fluffier when there’s top heat.

I have a Trangia. If you want to bake on it, get the gas burner. The alcohol burner is good for backpacking meals, but if you have space for a small canister you can do a lot more with it.

Dutch Ovens are just the thing. Aluminum ones save some weight.

Erik, I just knew you’d have some advice! (Caryl)

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I’ve used a Banks Fry Bake Deep Alpine for years and absolutely love it for camping out of a kayak. I’ve made biscuits and gravy, pizza, seafood paella, jambalaya, roast potatoes w/ octopus, the list goes on. For baking it works best with a fire built on top of it in addition to a heat source from the bottom. The lid is designed for this.

I pair it with an Optimus Polaris Optifuel stove. It offers simmer functionality like the MSR Dragonfly but packs down smaller, has sturdier legs, a more stoutly built pump, and can burn canisters in addition to white gas w/ no nozzle changes.

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We did an overnight camping trip this weekend, and did baking a couple of different ways.

Nachos in a reflector oven

Biscuits for strawberry shortcake in a Camper’s Cook All “Camper Kitchen” baking pan (great pan, but you have to catch it when they are in stock)

Cinnamon rolls in my Dutch oven

Lots of options. The toughest part is getting it to fit in the hatches of a kayak. Maybe you should switch to a canoe. :wink:



Some people just know how to live.
Friends are coming over for a fire and some drinks and appetizers tomorrow.
We will have a warming fire and a big canvas lean to set up. Little chicken tacos in the Dutch Oven. 20% chance of snow. Just get out there.

Yum is right - here is Bob finishing off the strawberry shortcake made with those biscuits - everyone says things are better cooked in camp, but these were really good.


We didn’t have snow - actually had rain on Saturday afternoon, but it dropped to the high-20s Saturday night, so I guess it counts as winter camping. Few more pictures:

I agree - get out there.

Enjoy the fire.

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I do have the adaptor although I’ve not used it. I found that I can manage to make bannock (Kevin Callahan’s recipe) pretty easily with the alcohol burner and an inverted pot over the skillet.

I use the NOLS Panty method for my cooking. Rather than use those meals-in-a-pouch I have the dehydrated ingredients in bulk re-useable packaging. It offers more flexibility for recipes so you don’t get bored. It bothers me to create a piece of trash at each meal which happens even if you package your own meals at home. And the pouch meals are pretty expensive - $7 + per meal.

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I carry a small rack in my 10" and 12" dutch oven to use for baking. It keeps the food off the bottom, so everything browns evenly. If I am doing breaded Chicken or Pork Chops I do them right on the rack. If I want a pie of some sort, I can use a 9" aluminum pie pan. Works great


For baking in a DO, lots of top heat, and minimal botton heat. Works great also.