Yamnuska Mountain Adventures has been in business since 1977. You wouldn’t think starting out as a mountain school and professional mountain guiding company has much to do with food except that it has a lot to do with food…
Over the course of these many years, we have developed meals, menus and field packaging that works for all kinds of wilderness and backcountry adventures. From multi-day outings and long alpine routes to day-tripping from a base camp, our meals and menu plans have been field-tested and improved to deliver the performance needed in the backcountry. They also taste great!
Yamnuska Backcountry Kitchen recipes are cooked in small batches in our commercial kitchen in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. We use high quality ingredients in our recipes which are designed to balance nutrition, calories, flavour and ultimately, carrying weight of the dehydrated meal.
Fresh from the stove, the batch of sauce, curry or stew is loaded into our commercial dehydrators to remove moisture using gentle heat. The batch remains for several hours under these monitored food-safe conditions until just the right level of dryness is achieved, thus ensuring the dried product’s stablity at room temperatures and its rehydration performance when prepared in the field.
We are an adventure company who has wonderful dehydrated dinners…not a food company that never gets out in the backcountry!
Fun Facts About our Food
- Yamnuska Backcountry Kitchen dehydrated dinners entrées are lightweight and ideal for use anywhere a pot and a heat source suitable for cooking is available. We offer individual or group servings in a variety of flavours to satisfy all tastes and common diet requirements.
- The advantages commonly cited for dehydrating food is that it packs up smaller and doesn’t negatively impact taste or nutritional content. We sample a lot of freeze-dried foods for taste and while there are some okay tasting boil in a bag freeze-dried foods on the market, we made the decision when we opened our backcountry kitchen that dehydrating our dinner entrées delivers the best overall combination of texture, taste, and packing size & weight. And we do not add preservatives to any of our dehydrated food.
- We believe you will appreciate our focus on quality when you prepare and eat one of our dinners in the field. Every dried batch of product is tested multiple times to ensure that our standard food-safe moisture level is achieved This guarantees we deliver the right balance between being able to store our dinners safely outside of the fridge & freezer, and their rehydration performance in the field.
- Our meals are hand-crafted in small batches on a stove top, and in our opinion that’s the most important attribute of our exceptional dinners, and it’s what distinguishes us most from the freesze-dried products sold by international companies. When comparing Yamnuska Backcountry Kitchen dinner entrées to freeze-dried packaged options, please read product nutrution information carefully because what many of the packaged freeze-dried products advertise as enough for two people, is often barely enough to satisfy an average person who is really hungry after an active day in the backcountry!
- Our single meal dehydrated portions and custom food services assume you are active and hungry while in the backcountry so our portions are generous. Read our calorie planning entry in our blog for great information about calorie needs while active in the backcountry Also, each of our packaged dehydrated dinner entrées comes with the nutrition information you require to make the best food decision for you.
- Yamnuska Backcountry Kitchen’s delicious dehydrated backpacking and camping meals are hand-crafted from fresh high quality ingredients in our commercial kitchen by our red seal chef. It seems pretty straight forward to us that high-quality ingredients yield high-quality real food. The ingredients of our meals are carefully selected and are constantly under review and imporovement based on feedback from the field.
- Alberta is arguably North America’s beef capital and with an abundant and diverse agricultural industry we have access to exceptional organic and non-organic fresh foods. We buy locally and regionally as much as possible and many of our dried herbs and spices come from all over the world.
- All of our recipes are designed to balance taste, nutrition and carrying weight to meet the rigourous physical demands of mountain adventure activities. You can enjoy Canadian Bison Stew, Lamb Curry, Shepherd’s Pie, Beef Chili, various vegetarian selections and many other dehydrated dinner entrée selections on our backcountry food menu.
- While others may be eating a handful of freeze-dried ingredients tossed in a bag by a machine in a bulk production factory outside of Canada, you will be eating our meals knowing that each of Yamnuska Backcountry Kitchen’s dehydrated dinner entrées has been hand-crafted with care and attention and in small batches to ensure quality, your safety and your enjoyment!
The Oldest Mountain School in Canada Opens a Kitchen
Yamnuska Mountain Adventures has been in business for 44 years and since opening in 1977 we have been a strong presence in the Canadian Rockies becoming the oldest and largest mountain school in Canada. From our home office in Canmore we do guiding, training, and instruction for our civilian & military clients from all over the world.
During four decades of running guided and instruction trips, our guides and guests have travelled extensively and our food has gone along for the ride. Then many years ago, we introduced our full food program on some of our local public trips, when eating logistics became too complex with all participants packing and preparing their own meals. Sometimes people brought too much food, or not enough, or brought the wrong kinds of foods needed for the nutrition and calorie demands our bodies have while active in the backcountry. We also recognized the benefits of group meal time as a highly social component of our backcountry adventures and an important group experience!
With this in mind, we applied our decades of backcountry food knowledge with our in-house recipes and officially opened the kitchen to design and provision group menus for our mountain school, and for our public and private guiding programs.
Fast forward to today and Yamnuska Backcountry Kitchen offers a diverse menu of flavourful & nutritous dehydrated dinner entrées in our online shop, plus a range of professional backcountry food services from our commercial kitchen in Canmore, Alberta Canada. We remain a premier provider of mountain skills training and adventure guiding in the Canadian Rockies. Our guides and guests go everywhere with our food so we have a continuous feedback loop after field testing what works and what doesn’t.
We live in the mountains and spend all of our time in the backcountry. We combine that extensive field experience with high-quality ingredients; our delicious recipes; and, with the skills and professionalism of our passionate chef. As a result, we are able to offer you a menu of flavourful dehydrated dinner entrées that satisfy a wide range of tastes and dietary requirements. They are field-tested and ready for the demands that your backcountry adventures places on your body for calories and nutrients. We hope you enjoy them all!
A Diverse Portfolio of Happy Clients
Yamnuska Backcountry Kitchen serves a wide range of clients and guests with our packaged-to-order dehydrated dinner products and with our custom backcountry food services. In addition to our hiking & mountaineering guests, and our mountain school semester students, the following list is a sample of the types of clients we serve:
- Twenty-one-day Youth Backcountry Expeditions
- Military Training Exercises
- Military Expeditions
- Backcountry Ski Expeditions
- Backcountry Ski Lodge Guests
- Hunters in Large and Small Backcountry Camps
- International Mountaineering Expeditions
- Staff Professional Development Exercises
- High School Outdoor Education Trips
- High Arctic Geological Surveyors
- Arctic Ultra Marathoners
- Survival Minimalists
- Emergency Planners