BWCA Cookin' in the Q Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
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trailchief
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04/12/2020 06:21PM  
Do the campsites usually have a grate of some sort? Or do you guys haul your own in? Or do you just perch stuff on rocks?
 
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marsonite
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04/12/2020 06:34PM  
Most people bring their own grate. You will occasionally see one someone's forgot or left behind, but don't count on it. Campsites almost always have a fire ring made of rocks, some of them quite spectacular representing years of additions.
Wables
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04/12/2020 06:46PM  
If you are planning on cooking on the fire, bring a grate. I’ve used a grate from a smoker with ok results. I now bring a couple Purcell trench grills.

Purcell
Wables
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04/12/2020 09:33PM  
Here are some Quetico fire cooking examples.




tumblehome
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04/13/2020 06:58AM  
There are no fire grates in the Q.
I pack a small grate in a couple of plastic grocery bags to keep the soot off my gear. When people ask what's the most important gear in your pack, a fire grate in the Q never comes up but it's way at the top of the list as an essential piece of equipment and easily overlooked.
Tom
Eyedocron
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04/13/2020 07:09AM  
On many trips, we would balance the pot or fry pan on two small logs with the fire between, with resultant tipping and dumping as the logs burned, so we bring a small fire grate to balance between rocks. With the cattle raising we do, I just cut a 2 ft by 1 ft piece out of an old cow panel with my wire cutters.
24kGold
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04/13/2020 10:41AM  
No fire grate cooking for me. I love cooking over a fire but half of the time when we go to Quetico, there is a fire ban. I always cook on gas burners. Sure, the single burners and fuel add weight, but we don't have to worry about dry conditions or rain.

Terry
trailchief
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04/13/2020 10:49AM  
Thanks for the responses. I have been looking at the Purcell trench grills. Pricey, but titanium always is. Man Wables! Is that bacon wrapped walleye? That's is an awesome Idea. Thanks for the pics. I have a June 5th trip planned. But more than likely wont be happening at this point. Still prepping like it's going to happen until I hear different .
04/13/2020 11:39AM  
Unlike the BWCA, Quetico does not provide a fire grate/grill or a toilet/throne. If you are planning on cooking over the fire you will want to bring a grill. The Purcell Trench Grate Company makes an excellent quality product and I personally have the Streamside Voyageurs Grill, but there are many less expensive options out there.
Wables
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04/13/2020 04:25PM  
trailchief: "Thanks for the responses. I have been looking at the Purcell trench grills. Pricey, but titanium always is. Man Wables! Is that bacon wrapped walleye? That's is an awesome Idea. Thanks for the pics. I have a June 5th trip planned. But more than likely wont be happening at this point. Still prepping like it's going to happen until I hear different . "

Yes, that is bacon wrapped walleyes! I usually do it twice per trip. And I suffer through carrying the cast iron pan. We try to cut weight every trip, but the pan always comes with.

Where are you going? I’ve got a Sarah permit for the 6th.
trailchief
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04/13/2020 09:17PM  
We are doing the falls chain, up to Kawnipi. It will be my friend's and my first time in Quetico. From what I've read, it shouldn’t be hard to find some Walters to bacon wrap in that lake. Such a great idea! Can’t wait to try it! I love a cast iron at home but that’s where it stays. I bought a Frybake last year. Works pretty well. We'll keep our fingers crossed so the borders and park will be back open by then.
Wables
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04/13/2020 10:49PM  
trailchief: "We are doing the falls chain, up to Kawnipi. It will be my friend and I first time in Quetico. From what I read shouldn’t be hard to find some Walters to bacon wrap in that lake. Such a great idea! Can’t wait to try it! I love a cast iron at home. But that’s where it stays. I bought a Frybake last year. Works pretty good. Well lets keep our fingers crossed so the Borders and Park will be back open by then."
Email sent.
Springer2
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04/14/2020 01:19PM  
We carry a couple one-burner propane stove heads which we do most of our cooking on but if the weather and the fish cooperate we love to grill.











04/15/2020 03:02PM  
Your Quetico fire grate should look something like this...

04/16/2020 03:08PM  
Trailchief, if you are doing the falls chain for the first time print out this map and bring it with. You will find it to be most helpful. Have a good trip and be safe!
04/16/2020 07:58PM  
Wables what is your bacon wrapped fish recipe if you don’t mind sharing? Looks good!

T
trailchief
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04/16/2020 08:27PM  
bobbernumber3: "Your Quetico fire grate should look something like this...


"
Well, certainly would love be eating those steaks from an amazing campsite! But that grate looks HEAVY! What does that weigh? My pack will already be pushing 65lbs. So I’m leaning towards a titanium on for that reason.
trailchief
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04/16/2020 08:33PM  
Springer2: " We carry a couple one-burner propane stove heads which we do most of our cooking on but if the weather and the fish cooperate we love to grill.











"
Man I want to trip with you guys! That’s is some impressive backcountry eats! Love the canoe table! That’s a great idea.
trailchief
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04/16/2020 08:36PM  
unshavenman: "Trailchief, if you are doing the falls chain for the first time print out this map and bring it with. You will find it to be most helpful. Have a good trip and be safe!
"


Thanks for this! I have read a lot about how dangerous the portages can be. So this is a nice little cheat sheet. I’ll print it and put in my map case.
Wables
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04/16/2020 10:22PM  
timatkn: "Wables what is your bacon wrapped fish recipe if you don’t mind sharing? Looks good!


T"


Tim, only because you asked and I owe you a ton for your BWCA Journal article on Lake Trout fishing....

Buy good bacon, 1/3 pound per person per meal, but not thick cut bacon. It takes too long to get crispy and the fish gets over done. Cut the bacon lengthwise in half at home, vacuum seal, and freeze. Once frozen, wrap in refletix. You can buy it in home improvement stores, it comes in delivered meals like home fresh, etc. It is bubble wrap coated in foil. Also purchase a soft cooler and make a reflectix liner for it.


Bring a small bundle of toothpicks, at least as many as the strips of bacon. The bacon wrapped in reflectix in a cheap cooler with an extra layer of reflectix lasts about 5 days. With 1 roughly 18” walleye per person, fillet into 1”-1 1/2” boneless cubes and wrap with 1/2 piece of bacon, securing with 1 toothpick. Heat up your pan with a little oil, and fry bacon side down until crisp. Season with salt and pepper, Montreal seasoning, or whatever suits you. Works great with trout, too!
tumblehome
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04/17/2020 09:50AM  
unshavenman: " "
That's a good map. I just read the story in the latest BWJ about Jan, the ranger at Cache Bay, and the drowning of the man and the people she saved that day. Made me choke up. Sad story.

Tom
04/17/2020 06:04PM  
Janice has had a couple "that day" experiences. I'll have to find the BW Journal and share with Bobbers #1 and #2. We were all lucky to have her on the job.
04/21/2020 07:32PM  
trailchief: "bobbernumber3: "Your Quetico fire grate should look something like this...



"
Well, certainly would love be eating those steaks from an amazing campsite! But that grate looks HEAVY! What does that weigh? My pack will already be pushing 65lbs. So I’m leaning towards a titanium on for that reason."


The grate weight is minor compare to the cast iron frying pan. We are base camp fishermen, with chairs, liquor, and double portaging is standard!
EddyTurn
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04/22/2020 01:30PM  
unshavenman: "Trailchief, if you are doing the falls chain for the first time print out this map and bring it with. You will find it to be most helpful. Have a good trip and be safe!"Thanks for this! I wonder what's a source of the map?

As for fire grill, there's an alternative: we carry 2 titanium fire Irons. They are light (about 0.7lbs including canvas bag) and very versatile. Though too long to fit inside our packs.
AirPrex
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04/22/2020 02:05PM  
Just stumbled across these grills and might give one a try. He has a few different styles and sizes - some folding ones and some similar to the larger Purcell styles.. although not quite as nice and lightweight and not made in the USA. They're still pretty lightweight, handmade in the UK, and at a lower price point. I haven't seen a lot of viable competitors to the Purcell grills so wanted to share.
04/23/2020 10:44AM  
AirPrex: "Just stumbled across these grills and might give one a try. He has a few different styles and sizes - some folding ones and some similar to the larger Purcell styles.. although not quite as nice and lightweight and not made in the USA. They're still pretty lightweight, handmade in the UK, and at a lower price point. I haven't seen a lot of viable competitors to the Purcell grills so wanted to share."
It doesn't appear that this is made of stainless steel? If that's the case then I would be concerned with it rusting.
 
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