Campfire cooking – French onion soup

This easy to prepare version of the timeless French classic provides perfect warming lunch respite during chilly spring or autumn sea kayak expeditions.

Whole onions keep well in the hold of a sea kayak as long as they are kept in a dry bag and the crunch of fresh vegetables can provide a welcome break from dried boil in the bag foods.

The following recipe feeds 4 people.


– 2 onions, sliced
– 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup
– 8 cups (2 litres) water
– 2 beef bouillon cubes
– ½ tsp pepper
– ½ tsp salt1 ½ cups croutons
– 200 gm cheddar cheese, grated
– Fresh chives to taste


  1. Heat the oil and brown the onions and garlic
  2. Add the maple syrup to sweeten the onion
  3. Add water, salt and pepper, beef bouillon cubes and simmer for 20 minutes
  4. Serve topped with fried croutons, grated cheddar cheese and chopped chives
  5. A large thermos flask will keep the soup hot for 8 hours whilst kayaking


Huddle under tarp in the lee of your upturned kayak and drink the soup from a mug using both hands. Bask in luxury as the feeling returns to your fingers.

Eating wild – the lost craft

A century ago oiled kilted highland drovers managed to bleed their sheep, combine blood with barley grain and invent a globally respected phenomena to be called Black Pudding. Today baked beans, biltong and instant coffee seem to satisfy – where’s the craft gone in wilderness camp cooking?

Stornoway Black Pudding is so respected by food lovers it has even been granted Protected Geographical Indicator of Origin (PGI) status putting it on a par with Champagne, Parma Ham, Mozzarella and Parmesan. The recipe originates from the days of sheep droving from the Scottish western isles and distant Highlands to the burgeoning industrial market cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. On the drove, sometimes with hundreds of animals and taking many days, herdsmen would bleed their livestock and mix the rich blood with oats or barley to make what was later to become known as Black Pudding.

Although Black Pudding, when served with bacon and eggs, makes for the king of wilderness breakfasts we have a perfect compliment called Tin Tin breakfast.

Tin Tin breakfast

The recipe requires only a few disused tin cans making this the perfect simple wilderness campfire breakfast.


Whole grain bread, 12 slices, crust removed
Eggs, 1 dozen
Bacon, 6 streaky rashers


  1. Preheat Dutch Oven 
  2. Grease tin cans and place one slice of bread into each, pressing down at centre
  3. Crack one egg directly onto each slice of bread
  4. Fry bacon separately, cut lengths in half
  5. Place one cooked slice into each egg
  6. Bake multiple Tin Tins at once until egg is just cooked, or until desired consistency
  7. Remove from oven, remove from tin and plate
  8. Serve Tin Tin with black pudding and half a fried tomato for the ultimate wild camp breakfast