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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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On 5/21/2018 at 3:50 PM, blbst36 said:

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!

 

At least it's supposed to be warm this weekend in this area, so if it rains, it won't be as miserable as it could be. I used to do a lot of tent camping when I was younger, and I have to say that when it rains, the camping experience is for die hards only. I took to taking a big umbrella for the long walk to the restrooms or when I otherwise had to get out from under shelter. Once your clothing or (in my case) long hair gets wet it WILL NOT dry in the 100% humidity of a rain shower or storm.

 

I was camped in a nice dry tent with rain fly at the Burlington, NC Blue Grass Festival many years ago. We had prepaid tickets for the several day event and it rained most of the time we were there. It was still a wet experience, especially before we figured out how to best rig one of those big blue tarps you see on people's roofs after a hurricane. What worked is to tie one side high and one side low for a while, but during really heavy rain, we found we needed a central support post. This is easy to find if you are in a wooded area with deadfall. That worked great for the cooking/gathering area for a while. It was cool to be so popular with our fellow campers because who wants to be stuck in a tent all the time? Then some really violent winds came up and managed to rip the grommets loose from the tarp. Bummer. I recommend taking the tarp down until the wind dies down before any damage occurs. The rain is usually driven under it anyway, and you can put it back up later. So this was not ideal and I remember my finger tips getting all wrinkled like if you soak too long in a bath. We managed to have fun and eat well anyway, but I was a lot younger then and perhaps more tolerant of hardship.

 

One great feature of the Coleman propane stove is the wind wings it comes with to keep the wind from blowing out your cooking flame. Just sayin' because I know you said you did not want a stove. Maybe something to think about though down the road. It sure is nice to be able to brew coffee when you get up and make some toast and eggs and bacon. I think that's the most annoying thing is trying to cook in a high wind. Your paper plates and napkins will blow off the table unless weighted down. 

 

One thing I really appreciated for camping was my Tupperware salt and pepper shakers. They have a flip up hinged lid that covers the holey shaker area so no moisture from dew or humidity can get in (or stray teeny bugs). They work well enough that I had no problem if they were out on the picnic table overnight and it rained even.

 

Yeah, I don't care for the fire pits at the state parks much either. The "grills" have the cross members spaced too far apart to support anything besides a pan. Or maybe something like this. I got one similar to grill pizza at Dollar General and it works great for shrimp and small stuff too. This time of year Dollar General stocks all kinds of accessories for the grill at super cheap prices. I got a long handled fish basket there too which is great for more than just fish. 

 

I will hope for good weather for you this weekend and that you get to cook some good food on your new grill. Happy camping! :)

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@Thanks for the Crepes - Thanks for all the tips!  I am hoping to hang out in my hammock most of the time.  Luckily, it looks like Friday is 20% chance of rain, Saturday is 60%, and Sunday is 40% (the day I leave).  The site I reserved is actually pretty covered with trees.  The tarp is just some extra protection.  I was also going to use it to have a clothesline down the middle so I can hang anything that's too wet.  Since I'm short, I don't expect it to be very high, so it will hopefully not have as much rain going underneath xD  The guy at REI did warn me that the cheaper (big blue) tarp may lose the grommets in strong wind or something, but it was like 12 bucks.  Oh well.  I don't think it's supposed to be that windy.  I'm hoping for more of a soaking rain than torrential storm.  I also bought some pants better suited for the rain and a new rain jacket.

 

I didn't even think about an umbrella for the bathroom.  I have one, though.  I'll have to take it with me.

 

I did think about baskets and such for the fire, but to be honest, I don't want a fire in the heat :/  Hopefully I can start that back up in September, October, and November.  I want to use my hot dog fork!!  I'll have to check Dollar General out.  I don't want to spend too much since they'll be a sometimes use.  I think there's one in Brier Creek.  Or Big Lots!  Although I get in trouble there with all the cheap snack food :o   I can close the lid on the grill which should help keep the flame alive, it's just no fun to grill in the rain.  Also, I don't drink coffee, so no worries there ;) 

 

For kitchen supplies, I have leftover jars from Penzey's to use for the salt and pepper.  They're glass that have a shaker lid and regular sealed lid.  I also got some nalgene bottles I am planning on using for soap and olive oil.

 

One good thing is I won't have to worry about taking a shower, I can just stand in the rain - LOL!

 

I'm pretty sure I have my menu down, but I'm not going to tell you until I get back :ph34r:

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Whelp - the rain won.  I was there Friday night to Saturday late afternoon.  It took getting soaked three times for me to say screw it and pack up. I still managed to fire up the grill and cook a few of the things I had planned.  Although the flat bread didn't work out.  I put way too much water in :(

 

So, first meal was hot dogs of course, with asparagus.  I tried to make something with the watered down flat bread, but it didn't work out.  

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Breakfast was kind of an egg, potato, ham hash

Ingredients

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In the mason jar, potatoes, cheese, ham.  In the middle jar, butter.  In the right mason jar, scrambled eggs

 

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Made a bowl with foil, coat with olive oil

 

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Put potatoes and ham in foil.  Cook for a bit

 

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Don't forget the salt and pepper

 

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Finished with a bit of cheese

 

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I ate out of the foil instead of trying to scrape it into the bowl.  All the fat worked pretty well in keeping most of the food from sticking.  I may try some of the easy release foil next time, but it kind of skeeves me out.

 

This is all I got cooked before bailing :/  No kielbasa, no pork chops with bulgur.  No flatbread of any kind.  Kind of a big fail.  And no camping trips scheduled until July.  Hopefully, that one will go better than this one.

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It's a shame about the weather, but it looks as though what you cooked was good eating, anyway. (Well, maybe except for the flatbread. ;)) I especially liked the looks of that hash, and the way you had everything measured out and pre-packaged in reusable jars. Did you opt for the foil bowl to cook the hash so that it could be closed up like a foil packet? I'm wondering about using foil vs. using the cooking pan in the top photo (that looks like a very nice pan, btw) or the pannish thing holding your dinner in the next photo down.

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13 minutes ago, Smithy said:

It's a shame about the weather, but it looks as though what you cooked was good eating, anyway. (Well, maybe except for the flatbread. ;)) I especially liked the looks of that hash, and the way you had everything measured out and pre-packaged in reusable jars. Did you opt for the foil bowl to cook the hash so that it could be closed up like a foil packet? I'm wondering about using foil vs. using the cooking pan in the top photo (that looks like a very nice pan, btw) or the pannish thing holding your dinner in the next photo down.

Thanks!  Yea, the flatbread will have to wait until July. 

 

For the hash, all the ingredients wouldn't fit in the small frypan (It's an all-clad from the first set of cookware I bought like 20 years ago :) ).  Plus, it was still dirty from the flatbread/pancake attempt.  I've tried to cook eggs in the steel pans and I just have problems with the sticking.  Initially, I wasn't going to cook anything in the pan.  Just use mostly foil.  I brought the pan more as a back up than anything. 

 

With the jars, I am trying to lose weight, so I figured if I could log all the calories and pre-pack everything, then I wouldn't have to worry about it while I was out there.  I also didn't want to have to do any unnecessary prep out there.  That meant using refrigerated diced potatoes instead of fresh.  I couldn't think of a way to get them cut and not turn black.  I use jars like that a lot to take ingredients into work, so I knew it would be ok for this.  I guess I could use plastic containers to try and lighten the load.

 

Definitely a learning experience every time :) 

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