DIY Portable Backpacking Oven

DIY Portable Backpacking Oven, trail baking, backcountry portable oven

For trail foodie as I am, the portable backpacking oven is not a luxury, it’s an absolutely must-have device. In addition to pies and breads I can make in it almost anything that can be prepared at home. By the way, it’s not necessary to buy special devices for baking on the trail. Using gear from your own camp cooking set you can easily make backpacking oven yourself.

You’ll need:

How to bake

There are two main methods for baking in the backcountry: steaming and dry baking. You can choose the one best suited to your individual preferences.

1. Steaming

Put the gingerbread cookie form on the bottom of the pot. Pour enough water just to cover it.
Pour the batter into a greased mug or silicone muffin cup. Put the mug with butter on the cookie form.
Light the burner to high. Set the pot on and cover with lid.
Steam for about 10-15 minutes, or until ready.

2. Dry Baking

All as described above, except for adding water.
Flame should be regulated very carefully. If the flame is too high,  food will burn on the bottom; if too low  food will be undercooked.

Tips for cooking with portable backpacking oven:

– You can use any stove you have in your camp cooking set, however, stoves with simmer function (ability to maintain a low flame) work best for trail baking;
– Place the oven in a windless area or use a windshield to increase efficiency. Caution: Do not use an oven with a windscreen that encloses fuel tank and stove together (top-mounted stoves);
– Always try new recipes at home for the first time;
– Never leave an oven unattended while cooking;
– Use toothpicks or wooden sticks to test readiness – if a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake will come out clean, the cake is ready to be taken out.

Baked goods recipes:



  1. Simon Knight on July 7, 2021 at 3:26 am

    Correction to my last msg:

    Meant to write “Ultralight Outback Oven”


    steam baking. 🙂

  2. Anonymous on July 7, 2021 at 3:16 am

    This is brilliant! I was thinking Bemco backpacking oven as the Ultralight Outdoor Oven is no longer sold, but this is much simpler …and lighter.

    I have a nice (Vango) simmering “spider” stove and am upgrading to an MSR Alpine 2 Pot (with lid) stainless steel set. As I am buying a (Vango) XL windshield also anyway, all I will require will be a suitable inner (baking) cup. So simple and light a solution. Never thought of a cookie cutter or steam backing before. I will also look into improvising a flame/heat diffuser (under pot) too, for dry baking

    Thanks for such an inspiring article!

  3. Kyle Grey on September 13, 2017 at 11:18 am

    These are some awesome tips.

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