Introduction: Camping Muffin Maker

It's always the same old camping meals you repeatedly have over and over again. In order to pioneer the fight against this reality I have designed, made, and documented a compact muffin tin for camping and backpacking.

To fully grasp the necessity of such a tool, please consider the following highly probable scenario:

It’s summer, you’ve dusted off your boots, pulled your backpack out of storage, and cleaned out your pantry looking for those extra freeze dried meals you accidentally over packed from last season. So you decided to drive 5 hours away from home, to your favorite campground. As soon as you unpacked all your equipment, it was time for dinner. However, as you look through your array of hardy equipment and tasty(ish) meals, you realize you are missing one essential component, without which your meticulously planned trip is ruined: the oven! Now there is no chance of making cornbread to go with your stew!

The following recipes will be included in this Instructable:
Each recipe comes with directions for preparation at home and on the trail. Additional recipes are available in the attached PDF in the Materials section.

  • Chocolate Chip Muffins (Step 5+6)

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Here are the materials and tools that you will need to complete this project.

Recipes are also available in a PDF attached below.

Standard-Size Muffin Pan
Small Aluminum Pop Rivets

Pop Rivet Gun
Drill with 1/8in. Drill Bit
Jigsaw With Metal Blade
Heavy Duty Tin Snips
Coarse and Fine Files
Bench Grinder (Coarse and Fine Discs)
Permanent Marker

Step 2: Cut the Muffin Pan

Trace the templates (print out PDF file) onto the muffin pan using a permanent marker. Arrange the templates on the muffin tin so you have room for all three cutouts. Cut out the individual muffin tins, as accurate as you can, using a combination of the jigsaw and tin snips ("either or" is fine - I preferred the tin snips). Use the above pictures for reference.

Step 3: File the Edges

Start by briefly using a coarse file to file down all the sharp edges and corners. Switch to using the bench grinder, starting with the coarse disc, and moving over to the fine disc. You can also round the edges of the tabs that are sticking out from the tin using the bench grinder. Finally, use a fine file to perfect the tins.

Step 4: Secure the Pans Together

Start by arranging the tins the way I have in Picture 1. Use a permanent marker to make a small dot in the center of the tabs lying on top of the pairs (use Picture 1 for reference). Drill a 1/8" hole using the dots as a drill point. Arrange the tins how you had them in the first step. Use a permanent marker to make a small dot through the tabs lying on top of the pairs (use Picture 3 for reference). Drill a 1/8" hole using the dots you just made as a drill point. File down the sharp edges of all the holes. Insert the pop rivets into the tins as shown in Picture 5, and use the pop rivet gun to secure the tins together. Now, just give your Backpacking Muffin Tin a quick wash how you normally wash a muffin pan.

Step 5: Chocolate Chip Muffins: at Home

Here are the ingredients and tools that you will need to make your own Chocolate Chip Muffins with your new Muffin Maker!

1/2 cup Complete (just-add-water) Pancake Mix
1/3 cup Chocolate Chips
Oil, Butter, or PAM Spray to Grease Muffin Maker
1/3 cup Water (used in the field)
2 Re-sealable Plastic Bags

Muffin Maker
Camp Stove with Fuel
About a 10" Pot With Lid

At Home: Start by measuring out 1/2 cup of Complete Pancake Mix and pouring it into a re-sealable plastic bag. Measure out 1/3 cup of Chocolate Chips and pour it into a different re-sealable plastic bag. The at-home preparation is done, just remember to bring all the tools, and bags with ingredients, to bake your delicious muffins!

Step 6: Chocolate Chip Muffins: in the Field

In The Field: Pour the Chocolate Chips into the Complete Pancake Mix bag. Pour 1/3 cup of water into the bag. Be careful not to add too much water! Mix with hands until batter is fully mixed and there are no clumps of dry mix present. Lightly oil or butter muffin tins. Snip bottom corner of bag and squeeze the mix out - add equal proportions to each muffin cup.

Place in pot and bake (low heat) checking every 2-3 minutes after an initial 8 minutes.
Muffins are ready when top looks cooked.

Pass muffins out and enjoy. Careful-can be hot!

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