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A Clif Bar and a Camelbak might be all you need to survive a Nordic ski trip to a local shelter, but why stop there?

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A Clif Bar and a Camelbak might be all you need to survive a Nordic ski trip to a local shelter, but why stop there? As long as you're carrying a pack, you might as well fill it with something delicious to beat the bonk. Since local ski shelters have woodstoves, creating a gourmet feast in the forest is actually quite simple.

Start a fire: The ski shelters are stocked with split firewood, but you still need kindling. Before you leave the house, wrap a small bundle of sticks in a section of newspaper. (I'd be honored if you used this page, in fact.)

Take along a thermos: Or two, if you've got 'em. Fill the first Thermos with homemade hot cocoa, or pick up a chocolate & peanut butter latte (my favorite) on the way up the hill.


Fill a flask: Hot cocoa is delicious by itself, but it's even better when it's spiked with bourbon or brandy. So, break out the flask and fill it with something from your liquor cabinet. If it's coffee you're drinking, bring along some Bailey's Irish Cream or Kahlua. Or if you prefer liquor in its pure form, go for Patron, and be prepared to pass it around the shelter.

Wrap something tasty in tin foil: What goes better with hot soup than a grilled cheese sandwich? Slap some cheese between two slices of bread with some butter, and wrap it all up in a double layer of tin foil. If you prefer quesadillas, fill a couple of tortillas with shredded cheese and a little hot sauce before wrapping them in foil and stuffing them in your pack. Place it on top of the woodstove and wait for the cheese to melt. Turn frequently to prevent burning.

Grill on the woodstove: During a recent evening cross-country ski trip to the Nordeen shelter, a fellow skier unfolded a piece of tin foil, laid it on the woodstove, and tossed a flour tortilla on top of it. From his backpack, he pulled plastic containers and Ziploc bags filled with grilled pork, refried beans, shredded cheese, sliced onions, and diced tomatoes. These, he scattered onto the tortilla, then sliced avocado over the top. When the cheese was melted, he folded the tortilla, handed it to another skier, and asked, "Who's next?"

Bring extra: Mom always said it's rude to eat in front of other people when you don't have enough to go around. Sharing food and drink is a bit of a tradition in Central Oregon shelters, and it's a sure-fire way to meet new friends. So bring along extra, and keep passing the flask until it's empty. - Renée Davidson

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