Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Camping 102: Food!

Another question in the comments of our camping posts was about food: prep, storage, simplifying things while camping.

I'm not necessarily known for keeping things simple - but I do like to at least make an effort to save some time and energy where I can especially when it comes to cooking while camping.

I like to do a lot of prep before we leave home to make our meals that much simpler while out in nature.

For example - some of our favorite camping breakfasts are:

Biscuits and Gravy: cook the sausage before leaving home and pack in a small container; I buy the tube biscuits and cook in the dutch oven. If they are really thick, I have to split them open and cook again on the inside or they are still doughy but really this is so easy. And those crispy edges taste so good.

Pancakes and Sausage: Mixing up the pancake batter before we go and putting in Ziplocs or canning jars makes this breakfast simple and low prep as well. Browning the sausage and serving syrup on the side are super fast.

Bagels: I like to toast these with a little butter face down on the cast iron skillet.

Breakfast Burritos: small tortillas, eggs, cheese and bacon make another great breakfast. My favorite way of simplifying this is to buy pre-cooked bacon and just cut it up and sprinkle over the eggs and cheese. Super quick.

Lunches may include:
Sandwiches {pbj, blt's {use pre-cooked bacon!}, ham/turkey}
Canned fruit and/or applesauce pouches make a very easy side that is non-perishable and easy to travel with
I like to bring one homemade dessert {brownies or apple pie or something} and then usually bring Oreos since they don't melt.
Pringles are another favorite because they don't get crunched in the car!

Dinner Ideas:

Chili: I make the chili ahead and freeze it - this helps keep the cooler colder and also helps me by having it done ahead of time.
Tacos: same, I will make the meat ahead and freeze it in a block.
Smoked Sausage
BBQ Chicken: either canned chicken or already cooked and chopped make this super easy meal quick to pull together
Hot dogs

We don't have a huge cooler so I like to bring as many canned/pantry items as possible. Canned goods are especially handy to pack as they don't take up much room.

I usually pack dry goods in either boxes or reusable grocery bags. If boxes, I can break down and recycle as we finish with the box and if a grocery bag - I can fold it up and it takes up less space. It takes so much space in the car to bring all the things needed for camping so as we consume our food, I love opening up some of that space.

For the cooler, I like to freeze empty milk cartons or jugs to get a big solid piece of ice. The bonus of a milk jug is that when it melts, we have a gallon of water to use as well. We typically stop at least one time at a gas station or grocery store for a bag of ice to throw in the cooler when it needs it.

Don't forget s'mores ingredients, hot drinks and snacks! I think it also depends on the time of year what I might pack - in the Fall one time I wanted apple cider and beef stew so think about what your family likes and if there is any way you can prep at home. When I did the beef stew, we like ours with mashed potatoes so I pre-made all of that and just heated up when we got there.

Snack ideas:
Fruit leather {I've recently discovered this kind and we all like it, the only ingredient is fruit!}
Trail mix {Wal-Mart stopped making the kind we liked so I'm making my own now: pretzels, peanut butter chips, peanuts and Reese's pieces}
Granola Bars

A couple of other helpful things:
I always bring salt/pepper - I try not to bring a lot of spices as it takes too much room for the little amount I'd use, but s/p are always nice to have!
Cooking spray or butter are nice to have too if you are going to make something that could stick to your pan, it helps clean up!
Save travel sizes of things from when you eat out: I love having a few extra ketchup or bbq sauce individual servings for camping. If you have leftovers from eating out, consider saving them for this use, they work great!

Here's another post I wrote a couple of years ago about our camping menu!

Let's hear what has worked for you!

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becka said...

Once when we were camping a neighboring camper showed us how she cooked biscuits in one of those omelet pans that fold in the middle. I often see them at thrift stores. :)

Elise Reagan said...

You're brilliant and that second sentence is totally my life! :)