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blbst36

Cooking while Primitive Camping

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Oh I totally understood the different ends of the spectrum,  where she is carting around a pretty well loaded kitchen , fridge, freezer, appliances, utensils, vessels, fresh and frozen foods and a well stocked pantry,  you have much planning with what will and will not keep for a set amount of time, along with the items that will or will not be worth the effort to carry to the site.  I only meant that she has opened my eyes to the vast array of foods that can be cooked while traveling and camping out... it's not all about burgers and dogs anymore.:P  

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, blbst36 said:

 

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 :) 

Wow--Are these state parks? That seems extreme to me, but then I've never been to NC and don't know how things work in that state.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro


Edited by Nancy in Pátzcuaro (log)
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Yes - state parks.  Beaches are much more lax about enforcement, but again, for camping, not worth the risk.

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5 hours ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

Wow--Are these state parks? That seems extreme to me, but then I've never been to NC and don't know how things work in that state.

 

Yes, it's extreme, but unfortunately the tales @blbst36are not exaggerated at all. In the 80's and I was an avid tent camper and then a boat camper in NC in the 90's. I spent a lot of time at the State Park run campgrounds at Jordan Lake and have seen the confiscation of alcohol many times. They usually would not make arrests or even write tickets back then ... usually. All you need to do to draw the attention of the officers is speak in over a very quiet voice, or God forbid, laugh! Had a friend who RV camped at the same time and they kept the alcohol inside the vehicle and never had a problem. One time when eight or ten others at my campsite had their coolers that were sitting around the campsite gone through and their alcohol stolen, my beer was safe because it was locked in the cooler in the trunk of my car. And yet another time, I had already walked out of the campsite because I had to work the next day and hitchhiked home. My friends had started drinking before breakfast (a habit I never picked up, thankfully) and were getting on even my nerves by lunchtime, which for them was more beer. I wasn't there when it happened late that afternoon, but someone must have mouthed off, because they were all taken to jail in Pittsboro. So ... yes, be careful. 

 

We started going up to Kerr Lake which is a larger, cleaner, less-crowded lake. More of a drive, but worth it. Especially since the Fun Police are much friendlier up there too. We only had one hassle and that was just checking a friend's fishing license at the campsite.

 

I found that I liked to make up stuff like potato or macaroni salad at home in my kitchen and then keep it on ice all weekend. Eggs and bacon or sausage was cooked for breakfast. I have one of those Coleman propane stoves and a camp toaster contraption that folds flat and pops up to toast four slices of bread at a time right on the Coleman stove. It does one side at a time, so you have to flip the toast over, but it works well. There's nothing better than a rib eye cooked over an open fire after a day of swimming and boating. Potatoes don't need cooler space. Wrap in foil and cook directly in coals or cut up and season and make foil packets for the grill.I like grilled zucchini, eggplant and peppers and those do okay for a few days without refrigeration too. Never forget foil, paper towels or salt and pepper.

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Another idea....

Look into making flat breads etc. Takes hardly any time, and there is nothing like some fresh chapati, pita or even pizza while camping

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Good news!  My mother brought hot dogs and kielbasa from up north!  I can't find anything like it down here.  I am now prepared with a fork to put over the fire and roast some weenies.  

 

@nasi goreng - That's a good idea!  I bet it would go good with hot dogs and kielbasa, too.  Have any grilled flatbread recipes?

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FWIW, the best naan I ever had was at Quincy Market at Faneuil Hall in Boston, grilled over a fire in a 55-gallon barrel, draped over a couple of metal rods. That stuff was marvelous.

 

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Plenty of options for flat bread.

You can look for unleavened (not using yeast) or leavened.

Have a look at https://www.kingarthurflour.com/ and  https://barbecuebible.com/2013/02/18/bread/

 

Personally, for flat breads, I just mix and match, generally looking for 60% hydration (60 gr water per 100 gr flour), and some salt.

Knead, and divide in portions. Reast for 10 minutes or so, roll out and either rest or bake straight away.

For baking, you can use a (pre heated) cast iron skillet, with or without lid. I normally use with. Don't walk away to far as they only need a couple of minutes per side.

You can also put them straight on the grid.

You can hardly go wrong. Make them plain first and then start experimenting.

Obviously, you can also make a batter and make pan cakes :)

 

 

 

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I have another camping adventure coming up next weekend.  It's with a hiking group that I joined, but left me behind on my first trip with them.  I would cancel, but I've already paid and offered to help the person setting up.  As of now, there is no information on the fire situation or anything.  I am planning on treating it more like the hike in sites I have reserved later in the year.  I want to see if there is any way that I can leave the cooler in the car and walk back and forth to get food or if I should depend on dehydrated/canned food.  

What I have planned so far:
Breakfast
 - Egg tacos wrapped in foil I can reheat on a small skillet on my camp stove
 - Backup - Shelf stable cheese and sausage with bread or crackers

Lunch
 - Sandwich and fruit - Only one lunch day.  Could be while hiking
 - Backup - Canned soup

Dinner - Assumption is there is at least one fire a day
 - Hobo packet with chicken and veg
 - Backup - Canned soup

Definitely taking my 5 gallon water jug.  I need a smaller container for a limited kitchen box.  Maybe just a box for now, but long term, it should be something else.  Maybe I should make a bag or something easy to carry.  Or use a duffel bag.  Experimentation time!

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Alas, I have cancelled the camping trip.  They gave me an out "because it's going to be hot" 9_9 this weekend and I jumped on it.  At this point, I am not sure I even care if I get the money back.  It will mean you have to wait a few more weeks for camping food :|

 

I still may take the same approach for the next one, though.  If it's still hot, I am going to want to keep the fire to a minimum.

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Maybe use the time to perfect your flat breads, by using a cast iron skillet on the stove :)

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7 hours ago, nasi goreng said:

Maybe use the time to perfect your flat breads, by using a cast iron skillet on the stove :)

 

True, true.  I was hoping to have a recipe I can cook directly over the fire, but better to start something than nothing.

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So, NEXT week is going to be my second camping trip. Since the temps have been in the 80s+ this week, I was contemplating getting a portable gas grill. I don't need a stand. Every where I'll take it has a picnic table. I want gas so it will be easier to cook for just me. I don't think I need a large cook space, though. I don't want a stove, I want fire. That way I can cook my wieners properly :P

I was thinking of the Weber Q. Reviews say there's a problem connecting the tanks and with the regulator. It also only has one burner.

There's also a multitude of coleman grills. I haven't looked into these too much. I started getting overwhelmed

I be lost. HELP! :S

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All our car-camping gear is Coleman, so I tend to trust their stuff. Their little portable grills look nice. That said, I haven't investigated any of them closely and I don't have experience with any of them. The things I'd look for would be ease of assembly/disassembly, simplicity of cleaning, and whether there are mess-making design features like no grease trap. The BTU's could be an issue - if not now, then later. 

 

I hope someone with experience in the newer portable grills will pop up and help.

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6 hours ago, blbst36 said:


I was thinking of the Weber Q. Reviews say there's a problem connecting the tanks and with the regulator. It also only has one burner.

I be lost. HELP! :S

 

I bought a Weber Q last year, thinking that it would be a good solution to my living situation not allowing a charcoal grill without a 3 floor trek down and up to check on any progress.  I had significant issues getting a Coleman propane tank (the small, squat ones) attached, and was always a little nervous about the connection. Once I got it going, it worked fairly well for most high or medium heat things, which was nice.  As BBQ season finally is ramping up here in the PNW, I am finding myself just committing to just schlepping downstairs for the afternoon because it's less daunting than replacing the fuel canister and doing the soap test etc.

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I don't know why  I didn't think of this before, but foil packets would be a great option for you. They can be cooked directly over the fire on the grate, and most importantly can be made ahead and stashed in your cooler. Hint--brush the foil with oil to keep the food from sticking, and leave some head room to allow for steam.

 

There's also a nifty cookbook--The New Camp Cookbook--that would be a good thing to have on hand. $13.91 at Amazon. I wish I'd had it when we were car camping. Now I travel with a kitchen in our small RV, but I bet I'll find new ideas in this cookbook. Check it out to see if it would be useful.

 

I also like to make a simple cucumber salad that can be made ahead, and in fact it improves with age. Thinly slice a cucumber or 2, peeled or not, add a thinly sliced small red onion, and dress with a splash of olive oil, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and sugar to taste. It can tolerate a less-than-ideally-cold cooler.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

I don't know why  I didn't think of this before, but foil packets would be a great option for you. They can be cooked directly over the fire on the grate, and most importantly can be made ahead and stashed in your cooler. Hint--brush the foil with oil to keep the food from sticking, and leave some head room to allow for steam.

 

There's also a nifty cookbook--The New Camp Cookbook--that would be a good thing to have on hand. $13.91 at Amazon. I wish I'd had it when we were car camping. Now I travel with a kitchen in our small RV, but I bet I'll find new ideas in this cookbook. Check it out to see if it would be useful.

 

I also like to make a simple cucumber salad that can be made ahead, and in fact it improves with age. Thinly slice a cucumber or 2, peeled or not, add a thinly sliced small red onion, and dress with a splash of olive oil, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and sugar to taste. It can tolerate a less-than-ideally-cold cooler.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

 

 

 

I did think of foil packets, too :)  I figured I could prep them at home and even freeze them if needed to help with the cooler.  If I can figure out a grill solution, I may still try them.  The cookbook was suggested a while ago.  I did get it, but it is more for families and groups than a single person.  The recipes are actually quite involved.  I am picking a couple that can be easily adapted for just me or that can be prepared ahead of time.  There's no way I am doing any cooking in a dutch oven just for me! :D

That salad sounds lovely!  Thanks!

 

 

11 hours ago, bokreta said:

 

I bought a Weber Q last year, thinking that it would be a good solution to my living situation not allowing a charcoal grill without a 3 floor trek down and up to check on any progress.  I had significant issues getting a Coleman propane tank (the small, squat ones) attached, and was always a little nervous about the connection. Once I got it going, it worked fairly well for most high or medium heat things, which was nice.  As BBQ season finally is ramping up here in the PNW, I am finding myself just committing to just schlepping downstairs for the afternoon because it's less daunting than replacing the fuel canister and doing the soap test etc.

 

That's what I am seeing in a lot of the reviews.  That it runs hot and is difficult to attach the tanks.  I feel like whatever I select, there's going to be problems :( 

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How about just any camp stove (I do not know what is available/common in the USA) and a griddle pan?

That is, if you want to cook on gas.

You should be able to get a griddle pan that has ribs on one side and is flat on the other side.

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40 minutes ago, nasi goreng said:

How about just any camp stove (I do not know what is available/common in the USA) and a griddle pan?

That is, if you want to cook on gas.

You should be able to get a griddle pan that has ribs on one side and is flat on the other side.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't want a stove.  It's not as practical for me as a portable grill.  I'll get more use out of a grill in non-camping situations.

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I've got a grill!  I settled on a Blue Rhino portal propane grill I've got it built.  I think it'll work well.  It does have a broken locking clasp which is disappointing, but not enough for me to take back.  Hopefully, I can just get a replacement part. 

 

It's a rainy week here in NC.  Sadly, it will be the same when I go camping.  I am trying to plan for rain with the hopes that it will change (like the weather here does).  I'm trying to figure out the menu, but I think that rainy food and non-rainy food are two different beasts.  If I can get my hammock up and under the rain fly, I will be a happy camper.  I also want to see if I can get something set up over a larger area so I can cook on the grill and with the camp stove

 

Mark my words, regardless of the weather I WILL have a grilled hot dog!  If I am lucky, I will be having some kielbasa, too!

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