Camp Food

  • By: John Gierach
  • Photography by: Judith O’Keefe
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IN ERNEST HEMINGWAY’S 1925 short story “Big Two-Hearted River,” the protagonist, Nick, sets up camp after a long hike with a heavy pack that makes him desperately hungry. So before he goes fishing, he cooks a reckless meal: He mixes a can of pork and beans with a can of spaghetti and eats it slathered with ketchup. He says to himself, “I’ve got a right to eat this kind of stuff, if I’m willing to carry it,” something every backpacker who’s lugged cans of food miles into the woods has thought.