By Isa Nellos
The idea of designing an NM Wild cookbook came to me one day while I was sitting in my Forest Service house in Pecos. The weather was unpleasant to be out in the field due to the rain so we had extra time on our hands to do office work. For about a year, I had been wanting to design a cookbook because I enjoy cooking and reading cookbooks on my pass time, but I had no real incentive to do so. Therefore, I took up the rare opportunity of having a lot of time on my hands and an interest for backcountry cooking to design the Wild Munchies Backcountry Cookbook. I remembered on our first backpacking trip to the Gila Wilderness how hard it was to meal plan for the trip and I wanted to learn the strategy for packing and cooking delicious food. So, I took on the challenge. I did research on backcountry cooking tips, studied other cookbooks, and asked the NM Wild team to send me their favorite backcountry cooking recipes. To my relief, everyone was stoked by the idea of the cookbook and contributed with 1-2 recipes.
I designed the cookbook through an Adobe Creative app called InDesign, and with the help of wilderness ranger Jesse Furr, I was able to test the recipes, take pictures, edit them, and tie the whole recipe book together. Eating is one of my favorite parts of working hard in the outdoors after hours of backpacking and clearing the trail. I also enjoy the challenge and creative process of crafting a gourmet meal in the middle of the wilderness. I hope this cookbook inspires others to try new recipes for a delicious and nutritious treat in the backcountry!
If you like Isa’s cookbook and want to try your hand at backcountry cooking, head over to New Mexico Wild’s Backcountry Cooking Recipe Contest!