Clearwater BC: John’s BBQ Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs


Hello everyone,

So John and I were able to get out and do some camping over September long weekend. We each took a day off work to extend the trip a little. We headed to BC, and stayed at the North Thompson River campground in Clearwater, a place that my family has visited as long as I can remember. From there, much of the trip was focused on trout fishing. We headed up to Bridge Lake, a beautiful mountain lake where John was able to try out his new motor for the first time. Near town, we went down to the river, where the salmon run was in full swing. The bright red salmon jumping out of the water was a real treat to watch. Finally, on the last day, we drove up through Wells Gray Provincial park, viewing beautiful waterfalls and fly fishing in the crystal blue-green Clearwater river. The fishing weren’t biting much, but we had a wonderful time nonetheless, just enjoying the serenity of nature.

So as you can probably guess, John and I take our cooking while camping as seriously as we do at home. John does not skimp on the cooking equipment either, as he bought a portable BBQ/smoker to bring on the trip. Below, you can see it in our camp set up: pretty plush hey? It rained on and off all weekend so the gazebo was nice to have, as we were able to make dinner even in a thunderstorm!

So for this edition, I want to share a couple of our camping dinners from this last trip to Clearwater. The recipe of the week is something we came up with from a trip to Kelowna a couple years back, but we will get to that later.

First was our best breakfast. We took peaches we purchased at a local farmer’s market and wrapped them in foil with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, and cooked them on the grill. The result was basically peach pie filling. We served this on pancakes with a raspberry syrup that my Nana made for us. Delicious!

We set out to find some steaks at the local grocery store in Clearwater, but as spoiled Albertans, we weren’t blow away by the steak selection. But much to our excitement, by some sort of Christmas miracle, we were able to find thick cut short ribs! Sitting about 5 feet away from the meat section were bottles upon bottles of Maui rib marinade. After marinating the ribs for a full day, John threw them on his smoker, and after a nice slow cook, the result was delicious. The bonus part about this meal on my part was that there wasn’t very much prep work to be done. So this gave me some time to jam out on my guitar in front of the camp fire sipping on a Okanagan Spring beers while John kept an eye on the ribs.

Funny story. When John was sitting next to his smoker, he said a couple walked by our campsite. They stopped, looked, and then did a double take. They whispered among themselves, started to walk, then stopped and looked again, whispering and pointing. John figures either they couldn’t believe he had a full-sized smoker out camping, or that they had no idea what he was doing and thought he had some kind of large smoking  bomb sitting in front of him.

As delicious as they are, the above mentioned meals we had don’t really cut it as far as a ‘recipe’ goes. So for one of our most memorable camping meals to date, I am going to look back to a trip we took a few years back.

It’s not easy to find a replacement transmission for a 1985 Volkswagon camper van. After quite a while searching, John got the van up and running which was a great surprise for me.We took it on a trip to Kelowna. Me in a hippy van?! Hooray! All of my fantasies of living in the 1960’s were finally to come true! (minus the pot and tye-dye of course.) We found a nice little lake, uninhabited by other campers with no campground even close by, and set up there for about a week. We spent the days fishing for trout in the nearby lake, cooking up our catch, having campfires and just relaxing in a beautiful isolated setting in the Okanagan. We were even visited by a couple of black bears, which John gallantly shooed away while I hid in the van. Such a good boyfriend, protecting me from bears and all.

It was a lovely relaxing trip, and unlike any I had experienced before. Staying in the same spot, soaking up mother nature with no other humans around was a lovely time indeed. This is where we came up with this week’s recipe, Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs! We made this on the first night there, before we had caught any fish. We had purchased thighs for dinner, and bacon for breakfast and the result was both a succulent and crispy treat.

Now we made these again in late August this year, and that is where the pictures are from. But this is a camping meal we enjoy from time to time, and I really wanted to share the experience in which these were originally created.
To complement the meat, we served potatoes in foil, wax beans from the farmers market, and grilled zucchini and gypsy peppers from our garden

–          Use thin cut bacon, it crisps up nicely

–          Use a sweet rub – John recommends a mango chipotle rub

–          Use a sauce of your choice. Try your favourite BBQ sauce. We like using Thai Sweet Sauce

–          This only works with boneless skinless chicken thighs

Bon Appetit,


Click here to view printable Word version of recipe:
Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs


Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs


Boneless skinless chicken thighs
Thin cut bacon – 1 slice per thigh
A sweet rub of your choice (try mango chipotle)
Your favourite BBQ sauce or Thai sweet chili sauce


  1. Season chicken with sweet rub
  2. Wrap with bacon, with the thighs laid out flat.
  3. Use the skewers to secure the bacon on the chicken thigh
  4. One wrapped and on the skewer, add a little more rub on the bacon


  1. Pre-heat grill to medium.
  2. While grilling, baste everything with the sauce, once or twice.
  3. Takes 30 – 45 minutes until chicken is ready.
  4. If at the end, the bacon is not crispy, turn up the heat and give a quick crisping.

Helmkcan Falls

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