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Who goes camping?


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I guess we're camping "tweeners" since we either car camp (literally, we sleep in the back of the Outback) or sailboat camp. Before you get any ideas, the sailboat is the floating equivalent of a pop-up trailer - small, lacking in all amenities except some 12V electricity and damp. The car, well, you probably drive one. :)

We do go out for long stretches, however. We've done a couple of 10-day outings in the sailboat (Gulf Islands, BC) and several month-long jaunts in the car with a cat and large dog. All I can say is that I'm always thankful for the bear boxes because we don't have to fit everything back into the car in the "sleeping position".

The most helpful item is our thermoelectric cooler as it plugs in to the cigarette lighter of the car or the adapter in the boat. We've used our Coleman model for a couple of years, but it's dying and have decided to upgrade a little bit. More on that when we figure it out. The great thing is no need for ice. The drawback is no ice for drinks, so we drink wine or porters.

Beyond that is the prep work that I do at home. This depends on how long we're going for, our estimated distance between/from civilization (that's getting farther sometimes as I insist on organics), and guesstimated weather conditions since we camp off-season.

If we're going on a long trip on the boat with limited amenities (and a shortage of water) available at the islands, I make a menu. I will bake a batch of small sourdough loaves and vacuum-pack and freeze them. Other homemades will be a trail mix, cookies or granola bars, pancake mix, and parboiled rice. I will buy UHT milk and evaporated milk. I pack canned beans, canned tomatoes, frozen vacuum-packed meats (for a couple of days), olive oil packed tuna, and various other sundries. I make sure that my "pantry stock" in the camping tote is topped up: flour, brown & white sugars (in old honey containers), homemade chocolate milk mix, and my vast array of 35mm film canister herbs and spices. I also empty out the fridge into the cooler and sheath my favorite chef's knife and slip it into the tote. When we can remember to get them, I pick up 2 dozen never-refrigerated eggs so we can keep them at room temp for the duration.

I know that I can replenish our stock of fresh produce usually in August (when we go sailing) by foraging and at farmer's markets on the islands so I just take along whatever I already had and some cabbage since it keeps so well ... and you never know. You always pack for that "3 hour tour". We also take along as much water as we can fit, some of it frozen for the boat's semblamation of an icebox. I pack a gallon/person per day for everything so it's tight. Water can be scarce at the end of summer on the islands so we try to bring all that we need. For washing we have Costco's baby wipes.

Car camping is more lenient and you can often drive to get something like water or

replenish supplies more easily along the way. It's taken me a long time, but I've learned to pack light. :shock: Basically, I don't pre-prep too much and I empty the fridge. I will bring along the equivalent of one of each repast per day so I will be covered. It also depends on where we go (ie are there any organic food stores around). Our desert camping experience had us squirreling away a Costco flat of water bottles in never-before-found recesses of the Subaru!

We like to camp in the out of way places so we don't necessarily have access to water or anything else despite our relative comfort. We don't usually know where we're going either so it's good to be ready to be self-contained for a few days in case you run up a mountain or a creek. We're also always stopping at the roadside stand so we find unexpected treats (salalberry jelly or the lone anasazi bean in Utah) and new destinations. For washing we have Costco's baby wipes.

My advice is to prepare well, bring a couple of extra plastic bags, and space out the showers for the week prior to leaving. :)

Our next challenge is camping in the Triumph Spitfire - no trunk space and no range in distance. :blink:

ETA: clarification of distance with the Spitfire as opposed to packing along the stove. The edit is here in the note.

Edited by Saara (log)

--
Saara
Kitchen Manager/Baker/Dish Pit

The C Shop

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I know it's usually illegal in most places, but when backpacking on the westcoast of Canada, provided it's the season, there's nothing better than harvesting your own mussels off the beach and cooking them up with some white wine (bag-o-wine, of course, save the weight).

Bannock - actually saved me once. Weather conditions caused our multi-day trek to take longer than expected and my bag of bannock and raisin mix (blend with water and cook on a stick over the fire), provided the group with the energy required to finish without disaster. Everyone mocked my bannock before we left and didn't they feel stupid when they had no food left and I had bannock!

And, nutella, always bring nutella for dessert and a dry hungarian sausage

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I know it's usually illegal in most places, but when backpacking on the westcoast of Canada, provided it's the season, there's nothing better than harvesting your own mussels off the beach and cooking them up with some white wine

It's not so much the illegal part but the fact that there are sporadic outbreaks of PSP (paralytic shellfish poisoning) during the camping months and you are putting yourself in grave danger by eating them as cooking can't destroy this affliction.

Please check locally before you attempt this the next time for outbreaks of PSP as there is no cure for it and it will slowly kill you over a period of 2 weeks.

Just want you to be careful, is all.

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I used to go w/ a group of neighbors who were, to put it bluntly, scary in how un-prepared they were for any thing. After the first trip I learned that no matter who promised to bring what I always brought a back up "just in case". Nine times out of ten we wound up using the back up. (One of the guys got two five-gallon water jugs fr/ work and re-filled them so we would have water. Half way to where we were going they turned over in the back of his truck. He had failed to put caps on the jugs and did not bother to set them up-right when they over-turned so by the time we got to where we were going we had about two gallons of water left for the w/e. Luckily I forced the neighbor w/ whom I was riding to pack the five gallon jugs of water I had prepared. Another time some one was supposed to bring wood and "forgot". Luckily I had stopped by my parents and had picked up lots of wood for the smoker and just did not un-pack it on purpose. Yes it was green but we had wood for a fire. By the third trip I was bringing every thing. By the fourth trip I was not going. I keep waiting to hear about a half dozen guys lost in the north Georgia mountains b/c of stupidity.

Any way......the first year we brought our own steaks for dinner (every one pitched in for collective side items) but some one forgot the grill for the camp fire. After much cursing and grumbling fr/ the group I walked down to the stream and got a large flat rock (not shale). I took it back to the fire pit and set it right in the middle of the hot coals . Amongst calls of "the rocks go on the out side of the fire, moron" and "what are you doing putting that thing in the fire?" I waited and proceeded to mix a martini. About ten minutes before I thought the potato I had buried in the coals would be done I placed a pat of butter in the middle of the rock and then set my seasoned steak right on top. "Sizzle, sizzle, pop, pop!" and I waited a few minutes then grabbed the steak and turned it over. "Sizzle, sizzle, pop, pop!" as I poured a hint of bourbon over the searing meat. I pulled my steak off the rock and let it rest while I fished the potato out of the coals. After adding the usual condiments to the potato I poured a glass of red wine and wandered over to my camp chair and proceeded to enjoy my steak.

There was a lot of fighting over my rock.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I started a thread on eating in the outdoors a while back, might be fun to link to it here for reference.... CLICK

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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MSR Whisper Lite stove, Mountain House dehydrated packages, instant oatmeal. Yep, I'm lazy, want to eat quick, and don't want to pack a lot of bulky stuff.

We once went camping for a weekend with a CIA grad. He made us pack a lot of raw ingredients, which he used to make pretty good, somewhat labor-intensive meals (we got to help as prep cooks of course). I was kind of amazed we had managed to cook so much with a bare mininum of equipment.

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When I go out, it tends to be for 3-4 days with a backpack (v car), so for me its about high energy and small space/low weight. I typically pack with two key foods. The first is tortillas filled with peanut butter and honey - they can be smooshed in a pack. The other is the Indian MREs. Any Indian market has them - I use SWAD, but they are foil pouch meals (they actually just made them some type of plastic) with very spicy Indian foods. I use these because I can boil water with a tea bag in it. Eat my meal, drink my tea and have no clean up at all.

My best hiking meal was when we hauled in the cast iron and chateau briand (sp?), and a bottle of nice wine.

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We bought a Pleasure-Way Sprinter B camper van and camped last week in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, first at Tahquamenon Falls State Park and then at Porkupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. It was kind of ad hoc for us. We were planning on just touring and at the last minute decided to return to Minnesota via the UP. We weren't setup for complete camping but the van had a microwave and a refrigerator. So we stocked up on a variety of pasties at various shops on the UP and had a taste test of pasties over two nights.

Davydd

It is just an Anglicized Welsh spelling for David to celebrate my English/Welsh ancestry. The Welsh have no "v" in their alphabet or it would be spelled Dafydd.

I must warn you. My passion is the Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

Now blogging: Pork Tenderloin Sandwich Blog

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I've read this thread with interest. My sincere apologies to all but "camping" as you have defined it strikes me as being of far too much effort and I'll be the first to admit that to me "camping" means installing myself at the Badrutt Palace Hotel in San Moritz, the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, the Carlton in London or the George V in Paris. What can I say....an unrepentent hedonist.

As to camping in the way most of you define it, and again with apologies, I'll be willing to do that if ever again I have to serve in the US Marine Corps or if Armageddon comes to pass. Don't get me wrong, I think its great that you enjoy it. Just not my cup of vacationary or culinary tea.

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johnnybird left this morning for the catskills(giant ledge/panther). into the small cooler went 4 beers(2 cans of tetley, 1 can of guiness and 1 corona extra - with lime), a small baggie of egg salad, a small baggie of mayo, and a frozen bag of hamburger stew for dinner tonight. hiking he has whole wheat pita spread with peanut butter, an energy bar, and flasks of water. back up foods are ramen pride noodles and onion pitas, another energy bar and more water. small sterno stove, too.

his hiking partner, moody, is taking a can of beans and homemade 2 year old peach schnapps. hopefully i won't be a widow tomorrow morning.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I've read this thread with interest.  My sincere apologies to all but "camping" as you have defined it strikes me as being of far too much effort and I'll be the first to admit that to me "camping" means installing myself at the Badrutt Palace Hotel in San Moritz, the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, the Carlton in London or the George V in Paris.  What can I say....an unrepentent hedonist.

As to camping in the way most of you define it, and again with apologies, I'll be willing to do that if ever again I have to serve in the US Marine Corps or if Armageddon comes to pass.  Don't get me wrong, I think its great that you enjoy it.  Just not my cup of vacationary or culinary tea.

I'm with you Rogov.

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I've read this thread with interest.  My sincere apologies to all but "camping" as you have defined it strikes me as being of far too much effort and I'll be the first to admit that to me "camping" means installing myself at the Badrutt Palace Hotel in San Moritz, the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, the Carlton in London or the George V in Paris.  What can I say....an unrepentent hedonist.

As to camping in the way most of you define it, and again with apologies, I'll be willing to do that if ever again I have to serve in the US Marine Corps or if Armageddon comes to pass.   Don't get me wrong, I think its great that you enjoy it.  Just not my cup of vacationary or culinary tea.

I'm with you Rogov.

Then HERE is the thread on Princess Camping that you might find more to your liking ... not that I'm calling Daniel a princess or anything :rolleyes:

A.

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Anne, Hello...

Still not my cup of tea. Imagine all of the effort required in setting up all of those awnings, of having to do the dishes, of stowing utensils and foodstuffs in the appropriate storge places. Not my idea of vacationing. Survival perhaps but vacationing? Perhaps if someone were to drive me to the place where that camper was set up (ideally of course in a Lambhorgini), serve the meal and then drive me back to my hotel in the heart of Paris, San Moritz or wherever, but ye gods.......what does one do about the ants????

No fear. (a) I'm exaggerating a bit and (b) in a long career as a wine and restaurant critic I've been called far worse than a "princess".

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Well, Daniel,

I certainly wouldn't want to camp in Paris or Monte Carlo either :laugh:.

If there are no stars to see and no silence to relish, then you'll find me sitting by the fire in a nice hotel with a good book and a drink.

However, there's no other way to see the wild and rugged outdoors. And if all that's around is some grubby hostel or pension, I'd always rather camp.

And besides, that's where the best salmon and blackberries can be found. :wink:

When in Alaska... live as the grizzly bears live.

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Cous cous is a great backpacking food, as you only need to use enough fuel to boil water and don't need to let it simmer over the stove and it cooks very quickly. You can add any vegetables you have on hand.. sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and some onion are great. On the first couple days you can also add any fresh vegetables you might be taking with you.

Peanut butter packs well. Take some bagels to eat with peanut butter for lunch. Then for dinner have a pasta with peanut sauce sort of dish by mixing the peanut butter with soy sauce, ginger, lime juice, a bit of sugar. Even better than pasta, you can go to the Asian grocery store and get plain packaged ramen noodles.. they take less time to cook.

As someone mentioned, bannock is great and very verstaile. Make a basic mix and you can add varying degrees of water to make various quickbreads. Add more sugar and dried fruits for something sweet.

Michelle Pham

I like pie.

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