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blbst36

Cooking while Primitive Camping

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In an effort to save money, but still have getaways, I am going to be camping for the first time ever this year.  My state of NC has LOTs of parks with camp sites and hiking trails, so I am focusing on those for now instead of back country camping.  They are considered primitive campsites, but some of them have grills and all locations I have looked into have at least a fire pit.  I will have a backpacking-like stove with me, too.  All of them are drive up sites, so I don't have to worry about weight restrictions.  I am not looking to buy a whole bunch of equipment until I decide if I like it, so buying a portable grill is not an option

 

I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll probably have to go get bagged ice every day and use a cooler for fresh/leftover foods.   BUT, I am still looking to keep it mostly minimal.  I don't want to come back from the trail and worry about whipping up a four course meal.  It's only going to be me, so no leftovers or very few is preferred. 

 

I was thinking of trying to figure out some dried food that I can reheat in the morning with just some water for breakfast/lunch.  Like some canned meat and cous cous or something.  I'm ok eating the same thing for breakfast and lunch.  I have a food jar to put the lunch in, so it can be kept warm or cold as needed.  I am not stuck on "breakfast" foods.  Then, for dinner, cook an actual meal.  Maybe a foil packet or something simiilar. 

 

I am trying to think of veggies and fruit that don't actually need to be kept cold (not dried)

 

If there is anyone out there with any suggestions or tips on the food part of camping, I'd appreciate it. 

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Posted (edited)

When we used to camp with the kids, I would fill two-liter plastic bottles with water, freeze and cap. Use those in the cooler and they keep food colder for longer, plus you have fresh water to drink or cook with when they thaw.

 

I would, at a minimum, buy a stove-top percolator. Coffee is NEVER better than when perked and enjoyed outdoors in the early morning. A Dutch oven is a good multi-purpose implement, particularly if it's one of the old style ones with the lip and legs, so you can set it in the coals and pile coals on top. You can cook about anything in that, up to and including baking bread. It would be worth buying one of those should you happen across it at a thrift shop or some such.

 

If it were me at this stage of my life, I'd probably make up some single-serve meals and package in foil pans, freeze and take with me. Won't hurt them to thaw as long as they stay cold. The pans can go in the coals or on the grill, or inside that Dutch oven.  Big baker potatoes and canned chili or stew are a good choice, too. Wrap a potato in foil, nestle it in the coals, let it bake, split it, top with chili or stew. Fine dinner.


Edited by kayb to add left-out word. (log)
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Do not skimp on protecting the food and minimizing food odors, you do not want to be confronted by bears or mountain lions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBnGe9HDGBI Some newer coolers do a much better job than older ones, check reviews before buying one.

 

 

For breakfast, old fashioned oatmeal (maybe with some chopped dried fruit) is good. What a lot of people don't realize is that the oats are ok, not great but edible, dry, from the package. I always use less water and a shorter cooking time on my oatmeal because I like it to have some texture. Anyway, oats provide an inexpensive and nutritious breakfast.

 

Another trick is to bring some hard boiled eggs, they'll last a couple of days in the cooler and are a quick, easy, non-smelly source of protein. That said, you'll probably be taking a hard look at cleaning out your fridge right before leaving, so cooking up anything which is decent when served cold is a good idea for the first days' consumption. (frittata anyone?)

 

Also, many fruits and vegetables don't really need to be kept cold. They may last longer when cold, but they won't rot in 3 days' time, either. Some herbs (and vegetables like celery and fennel) can be given extended life by trimming ends and placing in a cup of water, or, by trimming ends, wrapping the ends in wet paper towels and then placing the towel parts in plastic wrap or plastic bags with zipper seals -just close the sides tightly around the towel or use a rubber band.

 

Tomatoes do not need refrigeration at all, they loose flavor components when chilled. Same for peaches and apricots.

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Posted (edited)

I would encourage you to take seriously Lisa's advice about protecting your food (and yourself) from bears while camping. We spent many years car camping and backpacking in the Colorado mountains and securing food was always a high priority. It's a lot harder when backpacking--you have to rig up a rope around the food container and haul it up between 2 trees--but it was possible to do without too much trouble. Put all your food back in the cooler and put it in your car at the end of the day. Take your garbage to the campground dumpster, which should be bear-proof, every night. Don't leave any food lying around your campsite while you're off hiking. Not only might it encourage a passing bear to come back later but it could attract dogs or other critters who would have no shame in snatching that bag of potato chips off the picnic table.

 

That said, unless there are bears who have become accustomed to raiding trash cans in the area, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. In fact we've never actually seen a bear in a campground or back country site. We now camp, princess style, in a small RV so we aren't as rigorous about this as we used to be. As I told my husband, I'm too old to sleep on the ground anymore.

 

Have fun with this. It is wonderful to get away from the lights and sounds of the city. I assume you'll be doing this when the weather warms up. Winter camping is not for the faint of heart--we only did it once and did not enjoy it.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro


Edited by Nancy in Pátzcuaro to add content (log)
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8 hours ago, blbst36 said:

In an effort to save money, but still have getaways, I am going to be camping for the first time ever this year.  My state of NC has LOTs of parks with camp sites and hiking trails, so I am focusing on those for now instead of back country camping.  They are considered primitive campsites, but some of them have grills and all locations I have looked into have at least a fire pit.  I will have a backpacking-like stove with me, too.  All of them are drive up sites, so I don't have to worry about weight restrictions.  I am not looking to buy a whole bunch of equipment until I decide if I like it, so buying a portable grill is not an option

 

I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll probably have to go get bagged ice every day and use a cooler for fresh/leftover foods.   BUT, I am still looking to keep it mostly minimal.  I don't want to come back from the trail and worry about whipping up a four course meal.  It's only going to be me, so no leftovers or very few is preferred. 

 

I was thinking of trying to figure out some dried food that I can reheat in the morning with just some water for breakfast/lunch.  Like some canned meat and cous cous or something.  I'm ok eating the same thing for breakfast and lunch.  I have a food jar to put the lunch in, so it can be kept warm or cold as needed.  I am not stuck on "breakfast" foods.  Then, for dinner, cook an actual meal.  Maybe a foil packet or something simiilar. 

 

I am trying to think of veggies and fruit that don't actually need to be kept cold (not dried)

 

If there is anyone out there with any suggestions or tips on the food part of camping, I'd appreciate it. 

 

Peanut butter.

 

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I've done similar excursions, most often with my ex and our two big dogs.

 

We/I found that having a quick way of sourcing hot coffee in the morning was REALLY important. He was always the early riser and got a fire going first thing, but later when I was solo (plus dog), a Turkish coffee pot with a small butane camp stove did the trick.

 

What worked best for us/me was a staple list of bacon/summer sausage/cheddar/eggs/rice/potatoes/frozen broccoli/frozen spinach. Kind of monotonous in the long term, but tasty and satisfying. I also brought a small kit of spices/herbs/hot sauces. The frozen veg helped in the cooler, and none of them are susceptible to short term spoilage.  Sometimes we splurged with a steak on night one, which was always wonderful.  Once I tried gumbo, which was a total fail because I got the reduced proportions totally wrong

 

I would recommend a (fire safe) small cast iron skillet, 1 qt pot, and a kettle/caffeine generator. as a minimum.

 

Booze, of course, and s'more fixins if you have a sweet tooth (I don't, but I remember them being good).

 

Reinforcing that ALL FOOD and FOOD TAINTED DISHES should be bear/wildcat-secured before bed time. In my experience, no dishes that are camp-washed are exempt.

 

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I haven’t camped in a while, but couscous is easy. Boil some water and soak the couscous while you cook something else. 

 

 

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20 hours ago, heidih said:

You might want to take a look at Linda Ly's new book. She and her husband are frequent rugged campers so I think she speaks from experience.

 

The New Camp Cookbook: Gourmet Grub for Campers, Road Trippers, and Adventurers

 

 

 

I will check it out - thanks!

 

19 hours ago, kayb said:

When we used to camp with the kids, I would fill two-liter plastic bottles with water, freeze and cap. Use those in the cooler and they keep food colder for longer, plus you have fresh water to drink or cook with when they thaw.

 

I would, at a minimum, buy a stove-top percolator. Coffee is NEVER better than when perked and enjoyed outdoors in the early morning. A Dutch oven is a good multi-purpose implement, particularly if it's one of the old style ones with the lip and legs, so you can set it in the coals and pile coals on top. You can cook about anything in that, up to and including baking bread. It would be worth buying one of those should you happen across it at a thrift shop or some such.

 

If it were me at this stage of my life, I'd probably make up some single-serve meals and package in foil pans, freeze and take with me. Won't hurt them to thaw as long as they stay cold. The pans can go in the coals or on the grill, or inside that Dutch oven.  Big baker potatoes and canned chili or stew are a good choice, too. Wrap a potato in foil, nestle it in the coals, let it bake, split it, top with chili or stew. Fine dinner.

 

Good idea about the 2 liter bottles.  I was going to have some water gallons - not frozen - for random usage like hand washing/rinsing things, etc.  Frozen ones would be good, too.  Especially to refill my hiking water bladder

 

I don't actually drink coffee, but I do have a camp stove for water for tea in the morning if I wanted to indulge.

I have a cast iron dutch oven but I don't have the tools to use it in a fire.  I think I'll look into that more when I've gone a few more times and decide that I like it :)

 

Single-serve sounds good.  For some reason, I didn't think of freezing them, but that's a great idea.   OOooh fire potatoes.  Nice!!  Thanks for the suggestions!

 

18 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

Do not skimp on protecting the food and minimizing food odors, you do not want to be confronted by bears or mountain lions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBnGe9HDGBI Some newer coolers do a much better job than older ones, check reviews before buying one.

 

 

For breakfast, old fashioned oatmeal (maybe with some chopped dried fruit) is good. What a lot of people don't realize is that the oats are ok, not great but edible, dry, from the package. I always use less water and a shorter cooking time on my oatmeal because I like it to have some texture. Anyway, oats provide an inexpensive and nutritious breakfast.

 

Another trick is to bring some hard boiled eggs, they'll last a couple of days in the cooler and are a quick, easy, non-smelly source of protein. That said, you'll probably be taking a hard look at cleaning out your fridge right before leaving, so cooking up anything which is decent when served cold is a good idea for the first days' consumption. (frittata anyone?)

 

Also, many fruits and vegetables don't really need to be kept cold. They may last longer when cold, but they won't rot in 3 days' time, either. Some herbs (and vegetables like celery and fennel) can be given extended life by trimming ends and placing in a cup of water, or, by trimming ends, wrapping the ends in wet paper towels and then placing the towel parts in plastic wrap or plastic bags with zipper seals -just close the sides tightly around the towel or use a rubber band.

 

Tomatoes do not need refrigeration at all, they loose flavor components when chilled. Same for peaches and apricots.

 

I am not venturing into bear territory yet.  It is also required that all food is secured in the car when not eating it at the mountain site I booked.  I will definitely up my protection if I get more into mountain camping.

 

I am trying different ways of making oatmeal, but it seems to be that I only like oatmeal in the form of cookies.  I haven't given up yet.

 

Thanks for the tips for the veggies, I'll give it a try.  And it looks like I need to try some stone fruits again.  I think I did that once, but I don't remember where I wrote it down....  Thanks!

 

18 hours ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

I would encourage you to take seriously Lisa's advice about protecting your food (and yourself) from bears while camping. We spent many years car camping and backpacking in the Colorado mountains and securing food was always a high priority. It's a lot harder when backpacking--you have to rig up a rope around the food container and haul it up between 2 trees--but it was possible to do without too much trouble. Put all your food back in the cooler and put it in your car at the end of the day. Take your garbage to the campground dumpster, which should be bear-proof, every night. Don't leave any food lying around your campsite while you're off hiking. Not only might it encourage a passing bear to come back later but it could attract dogs or other critters who would have no shame in snatching that bag of potato chips off the picnic table.

 

That said, unless there are bears who have become accustomed to raiding trash cans in the area, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. In fact we've never actually seen a bear in a campground or back country site. We now camp, princess style, in a small RV so we aren't as rigorous about this as we used to be. As I told my husband, I'm too old to sleep on the ground anymore.

 

Have fun with this. It is wonderful to get away from the lights and sounds of the city. I assume you'll be doing this when the weather warms up. Winter camping is not for the faint of heart--we only did it once and did not enjoy it.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

 

 

I will definitely clean everything up before sleep and hiking, thanks.  I have one site booked in April and one in May.....so far :)  I would like fall hiking, but I don't think I'd fare well in winter hiking.  I moved south for a reason :D 

 

12 hours ago, bokreta said:

I've done similar excursions, most often with my ex and our two big dogs.

 

We/I found that having a quick way of sourcing hot coffee in the morning was REALLY important. He was always the early riser and got a fire going first thing, but later when I was solo (plus dog), a Turkish coffee pot with a small butane camp stove did the trick.

 

What worked best for us/me was a staple list of bacon/summer sausage/cheddar/eggs/rice/potatoes/frozen broccoli/frozen spinach. Kind of monotonous in the long term, but tasty and satisfying. I also brought a small kit of spices/herbs/hot sauces. The frozen veg helped in the cooler, and none of them are susceptible to short term spoilage.  Sometimes we splurged with a steak on night one, which was always wonderful.  Once I tried gumbo, which was a total fail because I got the reduced proportions totally wrong

 

I would recommend a (fire safe) small cast iron skillet, 1 qt pot, and a kettle/caffeine generator. as a minimum.

 

Booze, of course, and s'more fixins if you have a sweet tooth (I don't, but I remember them being good).

 

Reinforcing that ALL FOOD and FOOD TAINTED DISHES should be bear/wildcat-secured before bed time. In my experience, no dishes that are camp-washed are exempt.

 

 

I have a small butane stove for the express purpose of throwing something together in the morning.  No coffee, though.  Possibly tea.

 

Thanks for the food suggestions, there's some stuff I can use!!  I do have a whole set of cast iron that I can use, but I might try the grill first.  I can have summer sausage and cheddar for breakfast!

 

No booze.  It's not permitted in the parks.  It's a good chance for me to stay dry.  I may have to get s'mores fixins just for posterity.  I don't actually like them, but I've never made them over a fire.  It has to be better, right?  LOL :)

 

11 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

I haven’t camped in a while, but couscous is easy. Boil some water and soak the couscous while you cook something else. 

 

 

 

That was one of the first things that came to mind.  Thanks for the suggestion!

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Well, my first camping trip starts tomorrow night.  I have actually made some friends, so I invited them to come with.  They are experienced campers, so they can show me ow to build a fire.  We've planned out all the food.  Since there's 3 of us, we are using some recipes from the book mentioned above.  I also sprang for an injection molded cooler that's supposed to keep ice for 10 days, so I am less worried about fresh food.  My friends are doing the breakfasts.  I am doing lunch, dinner, and a snack.  I am pretty excited.  I will have some challenges with walk in sites, but I think I can lug some canned foods for that.  I am even trying to figure out how to make chicken and dumplings with dried/canned foods (no milk or bisquick, etc).  I think that would be an AWESOME meal after hiking on a mountain all day.  

 

I'll post the food adventures here :)

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31 minutes ago, blbst36 said:

Well, my first camping trip starts tomorrow night.  I have actually made some friends, so I invited them to come with.  They are experienced campers, so they can show me ow to build a fire.  We've planned out all the food.  Since there's 3 of us, we are using some recipes from the book mentioned above.  I also sprang for an injection molded cooler that's supposed to keep ice for 10 days, so I am less worried about fresh food.  My friends are doing the breakfasts.  I am doing lunch, dinner, and a snack.  I am pretty excited.  I will have some challenges with walk in sites, but I think I can lug some canned foods for that.  I am even trying to figure out how to make chicken and dumplings with dried/canned foods (no milk or bisquick, etc).  I think that would be an AWESOME meal after hiking on a mountain all day.  

 

I'll post the food adventures here :)

Can't wait to see :)  Good luck and be safe!

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If you're planning on fishing for trout or whatever's available locally, some odds-and-ends -- a bit of flour, maybe a small tin of Old Bay -- can be nice. I got the tent thing out of my system when I was a kid, but even when I'm staying in a cabin somewhere I'll pack that. 

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When I hike and such, I go stoveless—simplifies things in so many ways.

Especially if you're keto—nutrient dense and calorie dense foods are essential—and relatively light.

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Those coolers claiming to keep ice for a week or so only do that under specific conditions and if they aren't opened. Make sure to have a plan before you open the cooler and get in and out quickly.

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I survived!  I definitely need practice cooking over a fire.  I have a feeling it's because of the grate that was installed at the site.  I think it's mostly the standard used here.  I see it in a lot of the campground photos for the state parks.


Sadly, we didn't do much cooking because camping buddy seemed to not be hungry.  She made breakfast both days and I cooked chicken over the fire.  The guacamole was made in the normal way because the other camping buddy stopped by to visit and hanging with her and snacking was more important than making the grilled guacamole (she wasn't feeling well, so didn't stay over night at all).  That was basically all that was cooked/made.  I threw the beef skewers over the fire on the last day, but that was more to get them cooked.  I still haven't eaten them.  

 

I think I'll have a lot more cooking adventures on my next couple trips.  The next one is with a group of people, but I figure I'll still do a lot of cooking on my own.  The one after that will be my first adventure in camping alone!  I am overwhelmingly giddy about that one.  I hope the photos are true to the site.  If so, it's going to be a dream.  Woo.  ;)

 

Some notes:

 - The cooler worked wonderfully regardless of how much we were in and out of it.  I had a thermometer in there and from the time I loaded it it Friday, late afternoon, to the time I unloaded it Sunday afternoon, the warmest it got was 55 degrees.  The bottom area, near the ice packs, stayed in the 30s the whole time.  It was perfect.  Meat at the bottom, veggies on top. 

 - Foil was a life saver.  In my chicken skewer disaster, I was able to wrap the partially cooked skewers in foil and cook them slower, but all the way through.  Camping buddy used it to make potato packets for breakfast.

 - I definitely need more drinks.  I only brought 2 nalgenes and 2 gatorades.  There was potable water in the campgrounds, but it got annoying filling them up all the time.  Both of us were drinking from them because camping buddy didn't bring anything to drink

 - I loved having a hot breakfast over the fire both days.  I think I want to continue this, but it may change as the weather gets hotter

 - I have a gift for fire starting

 - Cooking bacon over a fire makes me think about fire safety

 - I may have an overloaded kitchen container, but we seemed to use almost everything in it.  I had salt, pepper, seasonings, knives, cutting boards, basin for washing, towels, handkerchiefs, bowls for prep, bowls for eating, silverware, and much more.  Camping buddy had no items for prep, so it worked out well.  I may take some stuff out when I go on my own.  I'll know exactly what I am eating and what I will need.

 - I do not like marshmallows/smores.  So, I will be needing at least 1 dessert recipe for camping.  No bananas or cooked fruit of any kind, either (suggestions are welcome).

 

I am not sure what the pictures look like as I haven't checked them yet.  If there are some decent ones, I will share them :)

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My first camping meal was from a grocery store :D

DSC_0008.thumb.JPG.5661b00a132eda56f842da0d714b5ea0.JPG

 

My camping buddy insisted I take a picture of the most perfect garlic bulb she'd ever seen

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The first real meal - breakfast of scrambled eggs and potatoes from a packet

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I MADE FIRE!

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Prep station

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Chicken cooking

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Chicken done cooking

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Chicken not done cooking

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Guacamole dinner

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Bacon on skewers

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Back up bacon plan

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Finished breakfast with leftover potatoes from the previous day

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Taking advantage of the fire to finish the kebobs

DSC_0179.thumb.JPG.61b37f32a8854d7db43db61a32a5ea42.JPG

 

As you can see, my kebob cooking game needs help :/

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Thanks so much for the writeup and the pictures, @blbst36! They remind me of my earlier days of primitive camping, either from a backpack or a kayak...or in some cases, a sailboat. I've seen those fire ring/grate arrangements. They look like they should work well, but they can require a lot more wood than one might expect.

 

I thought your skewers looked like a great idea, well worth doing again for dinners. We used to do eggs for breakfast, or packets of cereal (boil water, toss into the bag of your choice: oatmeal, cream-of-wheat, etc.) or boiled eggs with cheese. We also "splurged" on things to supplement breakfast eggs, like Jimmy Dean sausage that had started out frozen and had thawed during the trip. It sounds like your cooler worked perfectly.

 

As for dessert...well, I admit that for the most part our desserts were of the liquid, alcoholic variety. We probably also packed chocolate and nuts to be shared around. I don't remember anything exotic...

 

...except...

 

...there was one memorable kayak trip in which most of us went paddling with the unsuspecting girlfriend while the prospective groom and a few close friends prepared dinner...and dessert. I don't remember what dinner was: beef stroganoff? Something impressive. The dessert was even better: a cheesecake. We were kayak camping. Maybe he'd smuggled it in amongst his gear, but I believe he made it from scratch, using a then-new "oven" that fit atop his backpacking stove. This story shows how much room for creativity there is when roughing it, if you're so inclined. :) 

Please do keep us posted as your camp cooking evolves!

 

Oh, to finish the story: as she was marveling over the dessert he proposed. Ring, knee and all. She accepted, we all wowed and cheered, he popped the cork on a bottle of champagne, and the entire group celebrated at one of the most memorable camping trips of my life. Assuming they stayed together, they should be celebrating their silver anniversary about now.

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@Smithy - what a wonderful story!  I could have a nice frosty cocktail, but alcoholic beverages are forbidden in the State Parks :(  I don't want to risk it, much to the annoyance of someone who may have gone with me on future trips.

 

I'm glad you liked the post!  I am definitely going to keep updating as I go along.  There are 7 more trips planned just this year.  I am sure that there's going to be some spectacular failures AND wins - lol!  There are some hike in sites that I've reserved, so those will be a much different menu.  That's going to be interesting to figure out so I am not just eating canned soup and dehydrated meals.  Or maybe buying dehydrated items separately and coming up with my own meals that way.  I've found a wide selection of shelf stable cheeses and meats at World Market, which was surprising to me.  I was also contemplating getting one of those sandwich irons.  Bread, shelf stable cheese, iron, and fire?  Perfection!  :D   

 

I'm already planning the food for my next trip over the May 11th weekend :x

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Looks like you did a great job, and I applaud the gusto with which you went into this! I don't camp, nor do I grill, although I do ;prep items for our grilling.  The only suggestions I have for you are:  precook the bacon to a partially rendered state before going on the  trip,  no where near done, say still pliable, but not crispy and then  finish on site.. This will eliminate some level of flair ups, and allow you to save the rendered fat if you chose . 

 

Also, picture perfect kabobs are a beautiful thing, but hard for some people to cook all the ingredients well at the same time.  I usually do like things together according to cook time.  I like to skewer just beef, just chicken,  maybe combine onions w/ peppers, and mushrooms w/ grape tomatoes.  That way skewers can be grilled, pretty much in this order according to doneness desired. (actually, do chicken before beef, if serving in the same meal.)

And, precooked potatoes can be thick sliced or wedged, oiled and tossed on the grill, with or without foil or grill pan to heat and crisp up.  

All in all, i'd say you had a successful outing! I look forward to your future adventures.

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Looks like you did well and the food doesn't look bad at all!

 

Just some random thoughts:

If the weather gets hot,  it helps to put a wet towel or other cloth over your cool box to help keep it cool (evaporative cooling)

The idea mentioned somewhere above of freezing your water is a very good one!

 

Try to get some jaffle makers (think they are called pie irons in the USA). Great for toasted sandwiches, left over stew pie etc etc and good fun

 

I have a little foldable tripod that came with my dutch oven. It works a dream when cooking over wood fire. A dutch oven works well over a braai grid as well.

I find a flip over  grid (I don't know what their proper name is) very useful for things like toast, meat etc. I thought I had a picture somewhere but I can't find it. Anyway, I mean something like this (copied from braaishop.com)

1347955541_107-4-500x500.jpg

Take some packs of 2 minute noodles. I tend to soak them in hot water and then use in stir fries.

 

Good luck with your next camping trip

 

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11 hours ago, caroled said:

Looks like you did a great job, and I applaud the gusto with which you went into this! I don't camp, nor do I grill, although I do ;prep items for our grilling.  The only suggestions I have for you are:  precook the bacon to a partially rendered state before going on the  trip,  no where near done, say still pliable, but not crispy and then  finish on site.. This will eliminate some level of flair ups, and allow you to save the rendered fat if you chose . 

 

Also, picture perfect kabobs are a beautiful thing, but hard for some people to cook all the ingredients well at the same time.  I usually do like things together according to cook time.  I like to skewer just beef, just chicken,  maybe combine onions w/ peppers, and mushrooms w/ grape tomatoes.  That way skewers can be grilled, pretty much in this order according to doneness desired. (actually, do chicken before beef, if serving in the same meal.)

And, precooked potatoes can be thick sliced or wedged, oiled and tossed on the grill, with or without foil or grill pan to heat and crisp up.  

All in all, i'd say you had a successful outing! I look forward to your future adventures.

 

Thanks!  Yea, the bacon wasn't me.  It was unprepared camping buddy :D  I would probably use thick cut, too.  It would stay on the skewer better.

 

I think my biggest problem with kebobs is that I didn't make chunks with the chicken.  I did strips.  It never works, but I never stop trying.  I need to just learn!!  The beef ones were premade :)  I think the fire was just too hot when I threw them on.  I need to learn to wait for the wood to turn more into embers than just fire.

 

 

3 hours ago, nasi goreng said:

Looks like you did well and the food doesn't look bad at all!

 

Just some random thoughts:

If the weather gets hot,  it helps to put a wet towel or other cloth over your cool box to help keep it cool (evaporative cooling)

The idea mentioned somewhere above of freezing your water is a very good one!

 

Try to get some jaffle makers (think they are called pie irons in the USA). Great for toasted sandwiches, left over stew pie etc etc and good fun

 

I have a little foldable tripod that came with my dutch oven. It works a dream when cooking over wood fire. A dutch oven works well over a braai grid as well.

I find a flip over  grid (I don't know what their proper name is) very useful for things like toast, meat etc. I thought I had a picture somewhere but I can't find it. Anyway, I mean something like this (copied from braaishop.com)

[pic removed by me]

Take some packs of 2 minute noodles. I tend to soak them in hot water and then use in stir fries.

 

Good luck with your next camping trip

 

 

Thanks!  That's a good idea about the towel.  I'm in the south, so it's gonna get hot.  I'm only camping on the mountains in the summer, so I am hoping it provides some relief.

I TOTALLY want a pie iron.  I just don't know what kind to get.  There's so many options.  

I kind of want to try cooking with a dutch oven, but since it's mostly going to only be me, I think it will make too much food.

I used to have one of those basket thingys, but I got rid of it when I got my grill.  I was thinking about getting another one.  I think it would work so much better because you can never tell how rusty/dirty the grates are going to be when getting there. :)

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Posted (edited)

Another use for the flip over that nasi goreng mentioned a couple of posts earlier is to cook fish over a fire without losing too many pieces that fall into the fire. I also recommend a stir fry basket--sorry don't know the name for either the basket or the flip over thingy--that allows you to stir fry vegetables and meat. Look for it near the grills and other tools for grilling. The one I have is square with small round holes on all sides and the bottom. A flat bottomed wok with a handle would also be useful. Take a potholder or 2--they don't weigh much and take up very little space. Use them to cushion breakables.

 

At some point you have to edit the amount of equipment you haul around, especially when you start using walk-in sites, depending of the distance and how many trips you have to make to and from the car. The cooler alone will require a trip of its own. If you're in a state park or national forest campground the tent site may be a very short distance from the car and you can pack more gear.

 

By the way, it's true that most government campgrounds, whether state or federal, have rules about liquor consumption. They are routinely ignored if you're quiet about it and consume your beverage in an opaque plastic cup or glass. We now use a small RV and keep the bottles inside. Just be discreet. No one will get worked up about a beer or glass of wine.

 

Now that I've encouraged you to break the rules, I hope your future camping experiences will be as positive as this one. I think you're already getting good advice about the food. Have fun!

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro


Edited by Nancy in Pátzcuaro to add content (log)
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And don't forget to read Smithy's Princess camping thread. There are lots of great meal ideas  for cooking over an open fire on there. 

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1 hour ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

By the way, it's true that most government campgrounds, whether state or federal, have rules about liquor consumption. They are routinely ignored if you're quiet about it and consume your beverage in an opaque plastic cup or glass. We now use a small RV and keep the bottles inside. Just be discreet. No one will get worked up about a beer or glass of wine.

 

This is actually not true at all in NC.  There are many stories of people being forced to dump all of the booze when only a single is in view.  I even read one where someone got a ticket while cleaning up/moving the empty bottles to the car.  It can result in a ticket, fine, and even being charged with a misdemeanor.  In NC, the rangers are a separate law enforcement officers.  Not sure if this is the same every where.  Not really worth the hassle in my opinion.

 

Thanks for the other tips, though.

 

@caroled - that's actually why I started a separate thread.  There's a lot of differences having an RV and just camping with a tent.  I do read it, though :) 

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25 minutes ago, blbst36 said:

There's a lot of differences having an RV and just camping with a tent.

 

Truer words were never spoken. :) 

 

We have gotten a lot of use out of both our campfire basket (for trapping chicken thighs, burgers or even sausages and being able to flip at will) and our campfire wok, which is great for tossing vegetables or smallish bits of meat - meatballs, chunks of meat I'm too lazy to skewer - over a campfire. As you note, the campfire grates can be rather unsavory looking, and these implements allow the flame to come up but keep your food off the grates.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing how your camp cookery develops!

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