Vantage Rock Climbing, The EcoZoom Dura Lite, & Dirtbag Jambalaya May 22 2013

Vantage Rock Climbing, The EcoZoom Dura Lite, & Dirtbag Jambalaya

A weekend of rock climbing in Vantage, Washington spawned a new camping recipe for the ages: Dirtbag Jambalaya. Typically Memorial Day is the kick-off to the summer camping season, but we took the liberty of jumping the gun by one week because we couldn’t wait any longer. The forecast this past weekend called for rain here in Portland, OR (surprise, surprise) which meant staying local wasn’t the best option for getting outside for some fun. Luckily, the Cascades act as our natural defender against rain when we want to head East and escape. Being that it had a been a few weeks since our last rock climbing trip we decided to pack it up and head East to Vantage, Washington and the Frenchman Coulee. Most people know this area for the Gorge Amphitheatre and the music festivals that thousands of people flock to each summer. While it is an amazing venue for outdoor music festivals, it’s also one of the premier venues for rock climbing in the Northwest. This area is made up of tall basalt columns that offer great photography opportunities with a mix of lichen growing on the columns and the wavy cracks that separate each column.

vantage sunshine wall

Looking up at a few of the many basalt columns of the Sunshine Wall

After a day in the  sun climbing routes that were mostly made up of balancing moves along arêtes and ledges, we rewarded ourselves with only the finest beer, Rainier (aka Vitamin R), and some Dirtbag Jambalaya that we cooked using two Dura Lite stoves. The Dura Lite stoves are great for car camping because they are lightweight (13 lbs), easy to use, and put out enough heat to cook just about anything. Fuel is never an issue either since firewood or sticks nearby work as fuel. In case you are wondering, here is how one arrives at Dirtbag Jambalaya:

Dirtbag Jambalaya

Prep time: 10M Cook time: 15M
  • Vegetable Pasta: 1 box
  • Tuna: 1 can
  • Hot Dogs: 4-5 Links
  • Jalapeno peppers: 2 chopped
  • Onion: 1 chopped
  • Mixed Greens: 1 cup
  • Vegetable oil: 1 tablespoon
vantage_ecozoom

 The Dura Lite made for the perfect camping stove. Lightweight and easy to use with the fire wood we already had.

One Dura Lite was used to boil water and cook the pasta while the other Dura Lite was fired up to simmer the tuna, hot dogs, jalapeno peppers, onions, & greens in vegetable oil within a skillet. Once all that was done, we mixed it together in a bowl and bam, Dirtbag Jambalaya was born! The people of New Orleans would probably not allow us to step foot in their city after this dinner, but when life gives you pasta, tuna, hot dogs, jalapenos, onion, and greens…now you know what to do. Cooking on our Dura Lite was easy, it took just two foot long sticks of wood roughly 1.5” x 1.5” to simmer the Jambalaya and a third to boil our water for the pasta. All in all it was a great weekend full of rock climbing, camping and cooking! We hope everyone is able to get outside to enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend, and if you do cook a meal on an EcoZoom stove we would love to hear from you! About the Author: is an EcoZoom employee and likes to cook outdoors with his EcoZoom stove on camping trips or sunny days. You can email him directly at tom@ecozoomstove.com.