Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Cooking while Primitive Camping


Recommended Posts

I just saw this notice on the New York Times this morning and thought of your camping plans. The book looks good enough to me that I think I'll order it myself even though our RV has a small kitchen and I don't often cook over a campfire. Hope this helps--

 

"Emma Frisch, the author of a new guide to eating well in the woods, has strong professional credentials as the culinary director of Firelight Camps, which offer fairly luxurious safari-style accommodations in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Those planning a camping trip will find in this guide a detailed equipment list; how-tos for packing a cooler and building and dousing a campfire; and key campsite cooking essentials, like condiments and cooking oil. Among the recipes are beet salad with dill, lemonade made with scorched lemons, grilled corn with feta and cilantro, marinara pasta bake with capers and tuna (the convenient kind that comes in foil packets), salmon in foil and grilled stone fruit with bread crumble. Sandwich recipes include a shelf life for how long they’ll last, and Ms. Frisch offers three-day menu planners: “Feast by Firelight: Simple Recipes for Camping, Cabins and the Great Outdoors” by Emma Frisch (Ten Speed Press, $22)."

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

  • Like 5

Formerly "Nancy in CO"

Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I booked another campsite before July.  It's just for an overnight trip, so the planning will be a little different.  I'll have to reign it in a bit.  I don't want to bring EVERYTHING, but I also don't want to have to worry about buying food to eat.  I'll be out of the house all day Saturday and most of the day Sunday, but only at the camp site for dinner and breakfast, really.  I've got some ideas.  The most nerve-wracking part is not to over pack, but not under pack so much that I screw myself over - lol.  This goes for both food and camp stuff!!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Update - the most nerve wracking part is the weather.  Forecast for 30% chance of rain.  Hot as the devi'ls buttcrack here in NC.  Heavy foods and lots of cooking are not welcome.  I am trying to figure out interesting things to eat, but also some cooking so you aren't completely bored/let down :P 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We always took some country style pork ribs and put them into leak proof freezer bags with what ever marinade sounded good at the time. 

Fired up the smoky Joe and cooked them with sliced, foil wrapped spuds and maybe some corn on the cob. Pretty easy. 

 

Breakfast was usually bacon, frozen hash browns (that had thawed in the cooler) and eggs on a Coleman campstove.

  • Like 2

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if you have one of these already, but I find a stir-fry basket very useful. I use mine on our gas grill all the time, but you could pop that puppy down on the firepit grill and prepare some good vegetables without losing any through the grid. It's a 4-sided tapered metal vessel with holes all around that could be filled with other items to save space when packing. Look for it at Home Depot or Lowes in the grilling section. Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure I bought mine at Walmart. Here it is on Amazon--https://www.amazon.com/BEST-Vegetable-Grill-Basket-Accessories/dp/B00ZQ9A3L6/ref=sr_1_8?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1529687394&sr=1-8&keywords=stir+fry+basket

 

There are plenty of other accessories, some more useful than others, and you'll have to decide just how much you want to pack.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

  • Like 1

Formerly "Nancy in CO"

Link to post
Share on other sites

If it was just me on a shorty like that, and since I'm all about savory versus sweet - I'd pack a muffaletta or Pan Bagnat type sandwich and just feast on it in between  enjoying the outdoors. 

Edited by heidih (log)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nancy in Pátzcuaro - Thanks - I'll remember that for future trips

 

@heidihMostly, I am taking picnic foods cause I have an awesome cooler.  It would be nice to cook something on my little camp stove, though.  I am contemplating using it not necessarily to cook, but heat up breakfast and dinner.  I will look up the sandwich to see what it's like.  It could be a good option!

Edited by blbst36 (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone's going really primitive ... backpacking and without a budget for freeze-dried climbing dinners, the NOLS Cookery is a classic ancient text.

 

Its main audience is backpackers or expeditioners who are carrying everything for many days, but probably not going ultralight/high-tech/expensive. And much of the content presumes you'll have time and energy to cook interesting things once you set up camp. So it gets into fairly outrageous stuff, like how to bake a cake in a #10 can on a camp stove, but also covers all the basics. And it gets a bit into foraged food and how to deal with fish you catch, and even includes recipes that take advantage of beer that's sometimes lost by day-hikers when they stick it in the creek to cool off. 

 

I have an early edition of this, and haven't used it in years (my overnight trips have been of the light/fast/freeze-dried variety in recent years). But I remember it being a treasure of collected wisdom, and most of it is built on ordinary dried food from the supermarket bulk bins.

  • Like 1

Notes from the underbelly

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/3/2018 at 3:29 PM, 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.

 

 

I want to second every one of these excellent suggestions. A legged Dutch oven with a flat top is a must. So versatile. You can even put that lid upside down onto the hot coals & use it as a griddle. And an old-fashioned percolator  coffee pot is also great for heating up hot chocolate or tea for non-coffee-drinkers. 

  • Like 2

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A trick you may not know about, tinned food.

 

no need to open and put in a pan, Give the side of the tin a ding and then put the whole thing in a pan of water (do not pierce the tin), boil until you think the contents are hot.

 

Lift the tin out of the pan and put it on the ground, quickly dash cold water on the tin, put a cloth over it and pierce then open the tin, the contents will be hot and ready to eat.

 

I have used this method for over 30 years, a French Guy showed me this way in an Auberge De Jeuness

  • Like 3

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to update on my overnighter!  It turned into a 4-hour-er instead.  I was being eaten alive by bugs, so I had to bail.  I was wearing 3 applications of bug spray, but they kept at me.  If I had a bug net for my hammock, I would've stayed, but I knew I would be a bug magnet all night.

 

I still managed to cook one meal.  I made bulgur over the camp stove and reheated some chicken and broccoli over the same stove in a skillet.  Mix together and bam!  Dinner.  It was definitely missing some taste, though.  I forgot the butter and the soup base I was going to use for the water and in the skillet.  It did work well, though.  It will be a nice meal when I have all the flavorings and am able to grill the chicken.  I think it will also be nice if I use canned chicken for a more pack friendly meal.

 

@paulraphael - thanks for the book suggestion!  I think it wold be fun to try and do it backpacker like, but there's so much information out there that I don't know where to start.  Some of it is just not economical for a single person like dehydrating your own meals.  I would love to be able to build meals form bulk bins

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I have ordered some books from thriftbooks.com on the subject of camping/backpacking, but I am not going to receive them before this weekend's camping trip.  Fortunately, I will be in the mountains, so I shouldn't have a problem with bugs.  UNfortunately, rain is forecast again.  I am still going to go.  I think I am prepared this time.  I will absolutely hang the tarp over a spot (need to get more rope).  I am going to put my grill under it if I need to so I can cook without getting rained on.  I will take a few cans of soup in case I just want something easy over the camp stove.  At the worst, I'll be eating soup in my hammock, under a rainfly, reading a book.

 

Wish me luck!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, blbst36 said:

I have ordered some books from thriftbooks.com on the subject of camping/backpacking, but I am not going to receive them before this weekend's camping trip.  Fortunately, I will be in the mountains, so I shouldn't have a problem with bugs.  UNfortunately, rain is forecast again.  I am still going to go.  I think I am prepared this time.  I will absolutely hang the tarp over a spot (need to get more rope).  I am going to put my grill under it if I need to so I can cook without getting rained on.  I will take a few cans of soup in case I just want something easy over the camp stove.  At the worst, I'll be eating soup in my hammock, under a rainfly, reading a book.

 

Wish me luck!

 

Good luck! You seem to be having the opposite experience of my darling, who learned to camp and became seasoned campers before they ever experienced bad weather. By then they'd learned some basics like digging a trench around the tent in case it rains, even without rain in the forecast. Since he and his first wife had their children along, the food situation was different from yours. I haven't been able to think of things they did that would help you, except things already suggested.

  • Like 1

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/17/2018 at 11:16 AM, blbst36 said:

I have ordered some books from thriftbooks.com on the subject of camping/backpacking, but I am not going to receive them before this weekend's camping trip.  Fortunately, I will be in the mountains, so I shouldn't have a problem with bugs.  UNfortunately, rain is forecast again.  I am still going to go.  I think I am prepared this time.  I will absolutely hang the tarp over a spot (need to get more rope).  I am going to put my grill under it if I need to so I can cook without getting rained on.  I will take a few cans of soup in case I just want something easy over the camp stove.  At the worst, I'll be eating soup in my hammock, under a rainfly, reading a book.

 

Wish me luck!

 

Please don't assume mosquitoes and other bugs won't be a problem just because you're going to be in the mountains. Make sure and pack your insect repellent. Unless you are above a certain (very high and cold) altitude, at this time of year, you are fair game in the mountains too.

 

Have fun. I hope you have a great time!

  • Like 1

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

 

Please don't assume mosquitoes and other bugs won't be a problem just because you're going to be in the mountains. Make sure and pack your insect repellent. Unless you are above a certain (very high and cold) altitude, at this time of year, you are fair game in the mountains too.

 

Have fun. I hope you have a great time!

 

Thanks for the heads up.  I was out that way last weekend and didn't have a single bug bother me.  I will definitely still be doing the same bug repellent regimen when I am camping.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I went, I camped, I didn't bail - what an accomplishment!  LOL

 

I have some photos to post later, but I managed to get a bit of a shelter up, so even though it rained a lot, I was protected.  Since there was so much tree cover, even when it was raining, I didn't get soaked like I did on my first solo trip.  I just felt more prepared for this one.  I kind of wish I had one of those fancy shelters to set up, but they aren't cheap and I want to focus that money more on sleeping items or other stuff.  I think I'll get better at it or maybe DIY some stuff together to make it better.

 

I only received 4 bug bites.  Sadly, I think most of them were from the last night.  The buggers got into my tent.  Even with the rain, I manage to hike approx 5ish miles.  I went to the peak of Stone Mountain, NC and saw the Stone Mountain waterfall.  I wanted to do more, but hiking on the stone there is dangerous when wet.  You could tell that it would be difficult by just paying attention to the rock surface.

 

Much time was spent in the hammock, but I am still struggling with warmth while laying in it.  The coldness always surprises me when I am out there.  I never expect it.  I tried one sleeping pad and it didn't work well at all.  I have another to try, but I have a feeling I'm just going to use a comforter or blanket.  That way, I can have some insulation and also keep the hammockness of it.

 

I ended up not cooking breakfast at all.  I had some egg salad in the fridge that I didn't want to go bad when I was out in the woods.  One meal was cancelled because of rain and migraine - but I got to use my full size camp stove to make some soup.  One meal was cancelled because of threat of rain.  I didn't have any signal on my phone, so the weather was kind of a guessing game.  I relied on a friend to text me and he didn't give me an update.  It was the day I was leaving, though, so I was ok with hanging out in my hammock.   I need to find something I can take with me into areas without signal to be able to get weather.

 

The one meal I cooked was asparagus, kielbasa patties, and mini potatoes on a skewer.  I cooked it all on the grill to much success.  I ended up grabbing a cheapie ceramic skillet to use on the grill.  I didn't want a traditional non-stick because if I was using it on the grill, I was worried that it would peel quickly.  If I can get my shelter worked out better, I should be able to have the grill underneath in bad weather.  I was barely finishing up eating when the first of the rain storms moved in.

 

I think I need to plan less, actually.  I seem to plan all these meals, then I don't feel like cooking them.  Like I'd rather chill in my hammock on the last day rather than cook.  The migraine was unforseen, but I knew it was going to rain.  Things more pre-prepared might be better for those situations.  I did kind of miss having a warm breakfast, though.  I think I'll continue to cook them fresh instead of something cold.  It definitely will make a difference in my hiking fuel

 

Next trip is 2.5 weeks away.  It'll definitely be a different experience.  The camp site is 125 feet from where the car will be.  Not much in the grand scheme of things, but will probably change the food choices.  My cooler almost always stays in the car, but carrying the grill may not be something I want to do.  I might have to do more cooking over the camp stove.  Or have something I can set up quickly by the car to use the grill.  I got a couple backpacking cooking books ( @paulraphael - NOLS Cookery being one of them and The Well-Fed Backpaker) that I am going through to see what ideas they have.  An extra challenge is that I am eating very low carbohydrate right now (no potatoes, rice, noodles, etc) which is the opposite of how hikers/campers usually eat

 

Do an anti-rain dance for me!!

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

For warmth...I presume you're  using a sleeping bag...get one of those aluminium "space blankets" you can wrap around the outside of it. Holds the body heat in, keeps cold outside air out. If you'll go to Amazon and type in "space blanket" in the search bar, you'll get a bajillion choices.

 

 

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, kayb said:

For warmth...I presume you're  using a sleeping bag...get one of those aluminium "space blankets" you can wrap around the outside of it. Holds the body heat in, keeps cold outside air out. If you'll go to Amazon and type in "space blanket" in the search bar, you'll get a bajillion choices.

 

 

No.  I am sleeping in my tent - not the hammock.  I am just relaxing in the hammock

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a couple of collages of my food

 

Prep table - grill with new skillet, potato skewer with tiny onions

A "genius" idea to use the tongs to prop the lid so the asparagus could cook more.  Yea, it melted a bit - Finished food before the rain

StoneMountain.thumb.jpg.59e846a5d147aea6350b97bbf2ea448d.jpg

 

Cooking the soup on my camp stove :D

Camp set up

Looks pretty, doesn't it?  Nope, there's rain there if you look close.  Jerky NC storms with shining skies

StoneMountain-001.thumb.jpg.cafa94ffac4b8fb2449b47bef8ea07a9.jpg

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

As my next nature soaking nears, I have planned out all of my meals.  I will be taking a smaller cooler to hold sandwiches for hiking (my preferred hiking meal), but everything else is shelf stable.  I decided to go adventurous and try some pre-made dehydrated meals (I don't want to hear about how much they suck. No, seriously, I don't want to hear it).  I've also got some canned chicken, dried soup mixes, dried broccoli (snack from Trader Joe's), noodles, chicken bar, back up soup.  I need to get some single packs of canned carrots and I should be good to go for the main meals.  I got some trail mix, salsa and chips, dried corn (which DOES NOT rehydrate!) for snacks.  And, of course, astronaut ice cream for dessert one night xD  I didn't get a chance to go through the cookbooks as much as I wanted because procrastination is so much fun.

 

I've abandoned the very low carb plan of eating, so it's much easier to find things to eat.  I still have to watch the calories, though, so I may need to tweak the snacks.  I'll have everything pre-portioned before I leave, so it makes it easier on site to just grab the food for that day.  I may even just pack it up some way so it's all together for each day.  I can just grab the bag I need from the car without guessing.

 

The weirdest thing is how little I will need from my normal kitchen box supply.  Like, I need a smaller box and it's freaking me out!  I need my kitchen comforts!!  LOL

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...