Buenos Aires, by Noelia Diaco. Photo is not visible, used only for sharing on social networks.

El Chalten: Camping out

March 21, 2012
campamento poincenot llamas argentina camping
Some people hire llamas to carry their stuff.

Start from the beginning of our Patagonian adventure.

Our first night of camping was surprisingly seamless. It probably helped that we had camped on our motorcycle trip and so had the division of labor down pretty well — we both set up the tent as soon as we arrived, then Ben cooked while I laid out the sleeping bags and organized everything.

Before leaving on our trip, we had made a miraculous discovery — real, delicious Mexican food in Buenos Aires from a delivery company, Tortilla Pancho Villa (we’ve avoided Mexican here since our early trip to La Fábrica del Taco). We had brought with us flour tortillas (we can’t find prepackaged wraps in store) and refried beans, and made ourselves a delicious dinner of tortillas with rice and beans, and hot chocolate to drink. By the time we finished, it had started drizzling, so we climbed into our tent, which we had secured with our newly-learned knots. (For Christmas both I and Ben bought him a copy of The Morrow Guide to Knots.)

The next morning, however, our camping luck didn’t extend so far. It was freezing cold when we woke up at 8:30, but finally we got out of the tent to make pancakes. Cue Ben complaining about my dislike of oatmeal (since I’m writing this part, you’re spared his ranting for now). But since I steadfastly refuse to eat oatmeal, and since we figured we would want a warm breakfast at least a couple of mornings on the trail, we had brought premixed pancake batter. We had tested the milk-less, egg-less recipe out at home and it was pretty good. Just add water and oil, and cook.

Easy, right? Well, no. It was, as Ben called it, “a horrible unmitigated failure.” Our Whisperlite International camping stove has only one temperature setting: very very hot. So our pancakes burned. Then we tried just cooking all the batter, rather than trying to make individual pancakes. We ended up eating half-cooked pancake slop. It was disgusting.

Thank goodness we had coffee.
backpacking food trail pancakes

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