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In two weeks we will be heading off to enjoy a weekend in the woods. My parents gave me the camper, so hopefully, this will be a regular thing. I'm working on a list of easy meals I can make with a limited kitchen. I will be coming on a 3 burner propane stove, over a camp fire, or in a camp Dutch oven. I have a fridge in the camper, but it is not reliable for keeping food below 40°. Given this, I plan on cooking meatless until I can reliably keep food cold.

 

Below are a few of the meals I am planning.

 

Breakfast:

Pancakes

Oatmeal

Muffins

Cereal

Eggs (plain, omlets, migas, rancheros, etc)

Sabich?

 

Lunch & dinner

Pasta, bean, or grain based cold salads

Hummus, babaganouch, etc with pita

Sandwiches

Soups

Dutch oven lasagna

Fajitas

Foil packs

Pie iron sandwiches

Pizza

 

 

I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton. I'm also planning on cooking ahead and reheating on site when possible. What else should I consider that is easy and reliable with limited equipment and space for ingredients?

 

Thanks!

 

Dan

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Cooked beans should keep with minimal refrigeration if it's just a few days and doesn't get too hot. Or pack them in bags and freeze--they do double duty to as cold packs, then when they're all thawed you eat them. Ditto cooked grains.

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Cooked beans should keep with minimal refrigeration if it's just a few days and doesn't get too hot. Or pack them in bags and freeze--they do double duty to as cold packs, then when they're all thawed you eat them. Ditto cooked grains.

 

Cooked beans around the campfire. All I can think of is Blazing Saddles.

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Done lots of camping and a couple of summers ago spent nearly every weekend outdoors while our cabin was being built. I used to do a lot more prep before we left but now I actually enjoy cooking with the limitations you get while camping.

 

My first comment is that if you've got a couple of good coolers, I wouldn't worry about needing to stay meatless. Bring two coolers so you can separate the groceries from the drinks because the drinks cooler will get opened a lot (A LOT) more. Good idea to bring bring things like bacon and sausages frozen because they will help keep the cooler cool.

 

Make (or buy if you can find) a tripod that supports a grill over the fire. Mine was really simple to make out of three pieces of electrical conduit and a little hardware. This will simplify your open fire cooking. Be sure to soap the outside of pans to make the soot cleanup easier. And pay attention to how you build the fire if it is primarily for cooking: low and wide.

 

Your breakfast list looks good. We often do steel cut oats because we are masochists and don't like the single-serve packets. I eat a lot of yogurt with muesli on warm mornings. Sometimes we make a hash with potatoes and veggies and scrambled eggs in the same pan.

 

Quesadilla (either over the stove or over the fire) is a really easy lunch for us.

 

I like sweet corn roasted in the husk over an open fire. A bit messy but you are outside.

 

I'm a big fan of potatoes and onions in foil packs but foil-wrapped potatoes that you cook in the embers of a camp fire can be pretty great as well. Oil the skin.

 

If you get past your meat cooler fear, so many ideas from chili to steak sandwiches to brats to pork chops. Paella is pretty easy to make outdoors and has the benefits of a single pan to clean up.

 

Pie Irons are great, particularly for kids. Grilled cheese, grilled ham and cheese, etc. Also, if you really want to impress the kids, put a quick pie filling (canned or make your own) between a couple of slices of white bread and you've got a campfire apple pie.

 

Another winner of a dessert if you have a small dutch oven is to make an upside down cake. Line the bottom with some chopped pears or apples or pineapple tossed with sugar and cinnamon, pour in cake batter, and set into the coals. If you can, really bury it in the coals and monitor the steam.

 

Desserts (pie, cake, smores, scrambled brownies, etc) around the campfire make sense because you can do them without quite so much kitchen impact.

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I'm eating with Bunge. Meat keeps well enough for several days, especially if brought frozen. Bacon and ham are no-brainers. And don't forget classic Spam (you might want to choose the low salt version) which works for breakfast or in campfire sautes with potatoes and onions. For us, the hardest part was keeping a supply of fresh fruit and veggies.

 

We logged many miles and meals in our VW camper. KISS is the rule for ease of packing, storage, prep and clean-up.

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Beans are definitely on the menu. I have a bag of yellow eye beans and a bag of cranberry beans from my CSA share that I need to use. Maybe I will make a Dutch oven bean stew and have a farting party around the campfire.

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I've never camped but, what about potatoes. I recently watched a video where someone threw potoates directly onto a fire and covered them with logs. Cooked for 45 minutes they looked so good. Doing it on my grill when I get home. I've seen people here in China do the same with sweet potatoes. They travel well.

 

Yucca would travel well and boil or steam wrapped in foil. Turnips, radishes all would roast wrapped in foil with some oil in a fire.

 

I would bring rice, some bay, maybe some tomato paste and faro.

 

Might as well bring some salt cod unless you are fishing. Couple of sausages that don't need to be refrigerator.

 

Oh and a shit load of whiskey

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<snip>

Oh and a shit load of whiskey

 

That will ensure getting the kids to go to sleep early if just being out in the fresh air, running around, doesn't do it. :P

 

I didn't mention that in the early days of our relationship, Paul and I "camped out" on trips to Tanglewood. Once that meant pulling the car off the road god-knows-where--it might have been the median of a small road. We had brought a hibachi + charcoal and used that to try to heat an opened can of bean sprouts as well as grill some meat. I do not advise trying that. (We also brought blanket rolls, but no tent. I spent the night in the car. He joined me there. Eventually.)

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Water is your most important necessity. I assume your camper has a functional reservoir. If not, better figure out your per person needs.

 

Heavy duty foil is your friend, as is a wire grill. Use as few pans as possible on the campfire.

 

Marshmallows. Never enough marshmallows. S'mores are fine as a way to slow down marshmallow consumption, but a kid and a roasted marshmallow is a beautiful thing.

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Suzanne's story reminds me of a night we spent at Eagle Lakes Campgrounds en route to Tahoe. We drove up after work and arrived very late. The guys started off cross-country to the camping area while I was still looking for a walk. Finally I joined them, probably uttering a silent scream as I thrashed through the tall grass. In the morning, we saw signs all over reminding us "This is rattlesnake country. Stay on groomed trails." Who knew snakes could read?

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Oh and a shit load of whiskey

Sadly, the pinkos that run this state decided that the state parks should be dry. Come on, who doesn't want to sit outside on a lawn chair drinking a beer after a long day!

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Water is your most important necessity. I assume your camper has a functional reservoir. If not, better figure out your per person needs.

 

Heavy duty foil is your friend, as is a wire grill. Use as few pans as possible on the campfire.

 

Marshmallows. Never enough marshmallows. S'mores are fine as a way to slow down marshmallow consumption, but a kid and a roasted marshmallow is a beautiful thing.

The camper has a reservoir, but I'm going to limit it to non potable use. I plan on taking some 2.5 gallon water jugs with us for drinking. There is a Walmart near by, just in case.

 

Foil in your friend, and so is duct tape... but that is a different story. :/

 

I have two bags of marshmallows for 3 days. I hope that is enough. One favorite is a banana roasted in a foil pack with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and peanuts... Spoon it onto a Graham cracker and you are golden.

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Water is your most important necessity. I assume your camper has a functional reservoir. If not, better figure out your per person needs.

 

Heavy duty foil is your friend, as is a wire grill. Use as few pans as possible on the campfire.

 

Marshmallows. Never enough marshmallows. S'mores are fine as a way to slow down marshmallow consumption, but a kid and a roasted marshmallow is a beautiful thing.

The camper has a reservoir, but I'm going to limit it to non potable use. I plan on taking some 2.5 gallon water jugs with us for drinking. There is a Walmart near by, just in case.

 

Foil in your friend, and so is duct tape... but that is a different story. :/

 

I have two bags of marshmallows for 3 days. I hope that is enough. One favorite is a banana roasted in a foil pack with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and peanuts... Spoon it onto a Graham cracker and you are golden.

 

Sounds like you're the man!

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