Backcountry Gourmet & Wildereness Camp Stove Cooking Class with Wild Chef Charlie Borrowman

Class Itinerary for 3 Northwest Locations in May:

Wilderness Chef Charlie Borrowman with his next blog post on Wild French Onion Soup & Salad

Portland Tuesday evening class at the Sierra Club building in Portland.
Tacoma Wednesday evening class at The Mountaineers building in Old Town Tacoma.

Wild Chef Charlie Borrowman is a graduate of the French Culinary School and has been with Wolf Camp and the Wolf College since 2005. He hails from Alameda, CA and currently resides in Seattle. Join us for this, our new class which arises from some of the meals Charlie prepares all summer during our camps and expeditions.

10 Minutes on Gear: Recommended camp stoves, pots, utensils, knives, etc. Class instructors Kim & Chris Chisholm along with Wolf College wilderness chef Charlie Borrowman will compare brands and share their experiences using them in the field.

10 Minutes on Stoves & Fires: Using camp stoves vs. open fire cooking. We will demonstrate the use of various camp stoves,  as well as how to cook over open fires, depending on the limitations of our class location.

10 Minutes on MRE’s & Freeze-Dried Meals: Kim & Chris will bring along a Meal Ready To Eat of military fame, discuss caveats you need to be aware of if you use them, then prepare and share it with you. We will also bring along some of the popular ready-meals sold in outdoor stores, and cook one up, showing pitfalls you want to know. Charlie will also recommend ways to improve their taste.

15  Minutes on Recommended Ingredients: Putting together your own light-weight ingredients for meals. Charlie will discuss many great lightweight breakfast, lunch and dinner options to help you look beyond freeze dried cuisine. We’ll help you learn to prepare a full and satisfying meal. Youth classes will spend half of this time making oatmeal or other breakfast grain, adding their own favorite ingredients.

15 Minutes on Spices: Recommended flavor-enhancers for affordability, weight, and health. Charlie will show you a variety of inexpensive and easy to pack ingredients to add some WOW to your wilderness dinners. He’ll start with how to make your own Italian spice mix, then French, then Mexican, the Cajun, then Asian fusion. Youth classes will spend half of this time making their own spice mix from one of the aforementioned world cuisine traditions.

15 Minutes for a Gourmet Backcountry Dish: Making a quick meal using cous-cous, orzo and other pasta. Charlie will show you his best quick meal for backcountry camping.

15 Minutes for a Collaborative Class Dish: Making a gourmet dish with student-selected choice of ingredients. Now it’s your turn to help Charlie create one of his classic improvised backcountry dishes! Youth classes will spend this time learning to use certain cookware safely, depending on age. Adults can cut and dice with our recommended backcountry knives, and choose one or more of our various cookstoves for their meal.

15 Minutes for a Wild Edible Foods Intro: Primer on backcountry wild edible foods. Chris & Kim will share the Top Wild Edible Foods for our area so that you don’t have to waste time learning unnecessary plants.

15 Minutes for a Wild Edible Dish: Making a dish using wild edible foods. Charlie will demonstrate how to fry up a tasty dish using insects and plants you may encounter on your adventures.

After Class - Feedback & Planning: Please join Chris & Kim after class to review experiences, browse resources, discuss feedback, and brainstorm ideas for the future. Email or Call us at any time with any questions and requests.


- Hats, warm clothes, proper footwear, and rain gear if necessary for the outdoor portion of class.
- Any of your favorite cooking or plant books. Wild Edible Plant books we recommend and will have for sale at class include:

1. Botany in a Day by Thomas J. Elpel for general learning.
2. Lone Pine Plant Guides such as Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojar & MacKinnon for itentifying wild plants in the field.
3. Edible Wild Plants by John Kallas for using urban greens.

To get a jump-start on the skills we cover in this class click here for an example blog post on the subject and to practice these skills in depth, check out our summer kids camps, our overnight youth camps and adult expeditions on ethnobotany and backcountry travel.


1:00-3:00 Afternoon Class Tuition: First Family Member $15.00; Additional Family Members $10.00 if paid at least a day prior, otherwise $15.00 per person at the door. Please note that there is also a surcharge of $5 per person for this class theme only due to cost of food and gear, and youth must be accompanied by an adult to help them learn proper use of cookware. There is also a $5.00 charge for toddlers too young to benefit from instruction. Although designed for homeschool families, all are welcome, and ages 7 and above may attend without parent. Tuition rates do apply to all attending family members including parents and children, no matter how young.

6:30-9:00 Evening Class Tuition: $15.00 per person if paid at least the day prior. $20 at the door. Please note that there is a surcharge of $5 per person due to cost of food and gear. Evening classes are designed for adults, but teens are welcome, as well as focused youth with enrolled parent.

Other Class Topics During the Academic Year:

January: Wilderness Survival Skills including Bow Drill Fire Demo

February: Natural Navigation, Map & Compass, Lostproofing, & Orienteering

March: Local Wild Edible Plants & Backcountry Herbal Medicine

April: Safety, Tracks & Bird Alarms in Cougar, Wolf & Bear Country

• May: Backcountry Gourmet & Wilderness Camp Stove Cooking

June: Special Week of Classes at the Wolf Campus in Puyallup

October: Climate Change Training – Lifestyle, Debates, Emergencies & Carbon Sequestration

November: Backcountry Crafts – Making Rope, Berry Collecting Baskets, Sleeping Bag Mats & More


Call 253-604-4681 with a credit card or click locations above to register for any of these semi-monthly classes. Start anytime. No prerequisites for any class. If you are unsure as to your final balance, just make a deposit of any amount to guarantee your spot, then contact us with the names/ages of those attending, and you can pay your balance at class. Thanks!