Forest Service fire lookouts are a hardy, self-sufficient bunch. In 1965, the Forest Service published this brief Cook Book, a fascinating look at the tips and recipes offered to help new lookouts get through their first summer without starving.

(USFS photos, from left: Camp Bellville Lookout, Lassen National Forest, California, 1938; Cold Mountain Fire Lookout cabin with lookout tower behind it, Krassel District,  Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, Idaho; Santiago Peak Lookout, Cleveland National Forest, California, 1916.)

(USFS photos, from left: Cleveland National Forest lookout, California, 1962; unloading Ford Trimotor at Moose Creek Ranger Station, Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho, 1940; Weitas Butte Lookout, Clearwater National Forest, Idaho, 1961.)

If you’re curious about recipes, you can view the entire Cook Book as a PDF.

Cover photo: view from inside the Granite Mountain Lookout, Payette National Forest, 2008; McCall Digest.

About the author

Rebecca Wallick

Rebecca is a freelance writer and publisher living near McCall, Idaho. A Seattle native and recovering attorney, she much prefers the quiet, slow pace, and distinct seasons of the West Central Mountains, enjoying the skiing, hiking and running opportunities provided by the nearby Payette National Forest. Rebecca is a Contributing Editor with Bark magazine, and the author of Growing Up Boeing: The Early Jet Age Through the Eyes of a Test Pilot’s Daughter (Feb 2014).

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