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Camping advice...PLEASE!!!!!

So, I don't camp. I don't do wilderness, bugs, peeing in the woods or wild animals. Hell, I barely even go in my backyard. However, my other does and is going camping next weekend and we are in charge of food. This is what I know:

No electricity, strictly tents and a fire
4 men, no women
Alot of muskee fishing to be had

What do I send for food? How do I package it and keep it fresh? What are some basic guidelines? What the heck is he thinking?

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  1. I have only been camping once- in my younger days! Went camping on Martha's Vineyard, and did not have a car- bicycle only! We ( BF & I) actually ate pretty well. We had two small coolers, and kept them filled with ice. Hot dogs, cold cuts, bacon and eggs. We brough lots of potatoes- and used to put the potatoes in the fire after we ate, and they would cook for the next morning breakfast. For snacks we had cheese, crackers and PB. If we wanted something special, we picked it up during the day-.But- we were not in the deep woods, and our bikes gave us acces to stores, etc.
    Note: that is the only time I ever did- or ever will- go campping. No electricity, no bed, no stove (or grill) for a week was enough for me.

    1. Definitely send aluminum foil and lemons for the fresh-caught fish. Trail mix, granola/energy bars, crackers, oranges, apples, etc. don't have to be kept cold. I don't know how much of a hike they'll have, so a cooler may not be easy. But if they can carry one, hot dogs and cheese are a good idea. Bottled water. Friends of mine take those Lipton rice & sauce packs where all you have to do is add water. Make sure to send a cheap pot and a knife along!

      1. As a frequent camper that prides myself on never bringing hot dogs to a campsite, I have many tips to offer. (Not dissing the dogs, you just camp enough and they get old.)

        First, a few questions:

        1) how far will they have to walk with gear to the campsite?
        2) will they be able to get more ice during the weekend?
        3) how many meals are we talking about?
        4) how much do they enjoy cooking...are they looking for good food or easy/cheap/quick with minial prep?

        5 Replies
        1. re: creativeusername

          I'm a camper too - I agree, a little more info would be useful. We're canoe trippers, so no cooler which can be a bit more challenging.
          Here are some tips off the top of my head. Pre-cut everything, and store in zip lock bags. I think muskee covers lots of dinners (unless they aren't biting - in which case I suggest curries, chili or pasta if coolerless - burgers if not!). Easy breakfasts for us have been pancakes (assemble all ingredients in zip lock - just add water in the morning). If lunch is likely to be out on the water, then, bagels are mobile, keep well for a while, and peanut butter is filling. We also like to keep some apples handy - they keep, they're full of sugar (which is great if you've spent too long in the sun) and they hydrate...
          I'll keep a look out to see if you post more info, then maybe I could be more helpful...

          1. re: tochipotle

            >..."unless they aren't biting" Good point. I spent a weekend on a fishing trip counting on catching most meals and went hungry because they weren't biting. Won't make that mistake again.

            1. re: creativeusername

              there is alot of things you can do, if only you had more info like what you have
              access to. and how about the other guys as far as experience camping. and
              one thing you don`t want to fall back on is we sill catch our dinner. as the boy
              scouts always do be prepared. alot of people think I am crazy but I have the
              latest edition of the boy scout manuel in my glove compartment of my pick-up.
              and I have over the years have become thankful for having that for reference.
              you will surprised how much info that book has in it. especial for first-aid that
              alot of people don`t think about. or different types of food you can get on the
              trail if you are far from home or your vehicle. its something to think about.

              1. re: bigjimbray

                Sorry, I should have been more specific. I wasn't hungry, I just didn't eat as well as I'd have liked. After more than enough years in the military camping not-so-fun-style, I camp now because I like to which includes a fire and good chow.

            2. re: tochipotle

              Is the fire the only source of heat and cooking? Many people I know who camp, will be equipped with small portable propane stoves and coolers, unless they are doing backcountry camping which limits the type of food you can bring and cook. Since this appears to be a fishing trip, I presume that coolers will be brought along, no?

              One of my husband's tricks is to freeze some of the food beforehand (sandwich meats, juice boxes, pita bread, wraps, water bottles, etc., try to pack them together in a cooler, perhaps wrap in newspaper if the food is to be used the day after. This allows the food to last into the next day as it thaws.

              First use up the food that is most perishable such as meats & fruits, then leave the non-perishable foods for the later days. My camping experience is that lunches are usually non-cooked (sandwiches/wraps, trail mix, fruit, granola bars) and taken along during the dayhikes, while breakfasts and suppers are cooked back at the site.

              But definitely (as noted already), the Lipton packages of noodles/rice where you just add water are always handy and should be brought along. Powdered milk, sugar, salt, seasoning can be brought along in ziploc-type baggies. You can pre-make certain foods, like bacon and cheese muffins, and leave them in a ziploc for the first breakfast. Pita bread for sandwiches or wraps work well because you don't have to worry about squishing them.

              Don't forget to add a number of old cloths for cleaning and as potholders for hot pots simmering over the campfire - everything gets heated up over the fire including handles and lids.

          2. Okay, here is more scoop on the issue...

            They will be in a state park and will not have a very long hike to the campsite. They are mainly going for fishing only. No pleasure hiking or anything like that. Muskee are not good eats. Its a catch and release kind of thing. They will be able to get more ice to replenish. They all love to eat but realistically haven't made more than mac n cheese in their lives so are depending on me for sending something other than burned hot dogs on a stick. My others dad (Poppy) is bringing his camp stove, whatever that may be! There is a small cafe kind of deal near by that they may grab their outgoing meal at on the drive home Sunday. The only thing I have for sure is the goods for S'mores!

            11 Replies
            1. re: chelleyd01

              In that case, I'd stick with a lot of the above suggestions and say maybe in addition to regular hot dogs and burgers, you can provide bratwurst, sauerkraut and mustard for one meal. You can par-bake potatoes and wrap them in foil to be added to the fire to finish. Butter and sourcream aren't great in a cooler, but cheese will be fine and they can melt cheese on the potatoes. Send some salt and pepper with them, maybe those disposable shakers you can get in the spice aisle. Fruit, bagels, and cream cheese are great for breakfast. Lunchmeats will hold in the cooler on ice, and bagel sandwiches could be tasty. Maybe even some carrot/celery sticks and peanut butter and jelly.

              1. re: chelleyd01

                Breakfast and lunch are easy...trail mix, protein bars, fruit, pb&j, bagels, beef jerky, whatever.

                Night one: steaks (pre-marinate), potatoes (par-bake as mentioned by mojo), canned veggie of choice (transfer to ziplock)
                Night two: bag o' frozen chicken, bbq sauce (amount needed in baggie), canned veggie of choice (ziplock), artisan bread to toast.

                They'll need a couple of utensils if they're going to cook this way but they will be happy campers.

                Coffee. Lots of coffee. I camp with a percolator, if they don't, go [shudder] instant. Don't forget lots of water.

                1. re: chelleyd01

                  Funny story and you tell it well. Your guys have the opportunity to really, really eat well while "camping" and fishing. I love backpacking, camping, fishing..and eating while doing so. Food in the outdoors is a bit of a challenge, but done well, there is nothing better--everything tastes better than it is. But its really too bad if your guys don't know how to cook (i.e. "...but realistically haven't made more than mac n cheese in their lives...").

                  What to do: multiply mojoeater's suggestion--do a bunch of dump in a pan and heat packets, like the brautwurst and kraut.

                  Just a question, however: everyone I know who goes from car camping to scaling the big rock faces on multiple day climbs does so with quite a bit of thought to the food. What's with your guys?

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    I've actually been on camping trips where folks eat raw hot dogs, granola bars, premade mixed stuff that needs only water, PB&J and that's about it. In fact, I've never been camping with people who put much thought into the food. They just take little that needs cooking and drink a lot. Perhaps that's part of why I have chosen never to camp again (and the bathroom thing).

                    1. re: mojoeater


                      Went beach camping with a load of good friends who are British and get rowdy and stop making sense eventually. At some point in a typical evening, I just check out.

                      I pitched my tent far enough away for peace and quiet. Knowing the communal food might not be so great and might not even end up being available, I snuck in a small, secret bottle of half-and-half on ice with some coffee tea bags and a little tin pan and some bottled water (and my own matches because I try to not be too reliant on the crowd). [<---an only child]

                      I remember waking up in the middle of the most beautiful misty morning just around sunrise, and padding over to where the fire pit was, starting a little fire, boiling my little tin of water and retrieving the half-and-half from ice to have a lovely cup of morning coffee just sitting there watching the mist and the seagulls... surveying the mayhem and damage (broken flimsy camp chairs where an impromptu rugby game might've broken out - and various other actually comical messes... that they eventually were very good about cleaning up).

                      I didn't bring a china cup for the coffee but it was a wonderful little respite from the fray.

                      Say, to keep this discussion on track, let me pitch that point in... if your guys drink coffee, little single-cup coffee packs embedded in filters would be good - either make some yourself with ground coffee or buy a small pack of the Folger's coffee (like tea) bags. (The Maxwell House are awful, in my opinion, while the Folger's are pretty good if not gourmet.) Likewise see what you can do to provide single-serving actual creamers and/or sugar depending on what they use... if there's no refrigeration, a small can of evaporated milk (not condensed milk, evaporated milk) is quite good in coffee.. that's what they routinely put in coffee in The Netherlands, anyhow.

                    2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      We are in Northeast Ohio...about half an hour from Mosquito Lake and an hour and change from Lake Erie. My other and his dad are Tournament Bass Fisherman (actually, that is where he is at as we speak...a 2 day tournament for 10k....say a little prayer, Chowsers!!!!). After ALOT of complaining, whining and budgeting, we made a major bass boat purchase this year. That's his passion, I guess. I'm just interested in the fresh Walleye they bring home!

                      1. re: chelleyd01

                        Quite early in my marriage I decided it was better to learn to love fishing than to lose my husband every weekend. I do enjoy fishing, I only wish Bass tasted better. Usually when we go I try to catch some pan fish (bream, crappie, etc.) for eating, let him do the lunker catch-n-release.

                        Got my fingers crossed for you that he brings in the big one today...

                        1. re: chelleyd01

                          i agree with the suggestion for steaks for the first night. The most foolproof steaks i can think of (even those who are grill-challenged or cooking-challenged can make them) are Korean beef short rib (kalbi), available at some groceries/meat markets or Asian markets (if there are any in your vicinity). These are real bone-in steaks (not ribs), usually less than 1/2" thick and so heavily marbled that you can brown them a couple minutes (no more) on each side and they're done, guaranteed tender/juicy unless you way overcook them. In side-by-side comparisons on a backyard grill with "conventional" steaks, the kalbi steaks came out better (assuming you like your steaks juicy/fatty as opposed to lean). If you get them from a Korean grocery, get a jar of kalbi marinade to go with them, otherwise salt/pepper or your steak sauce of choice are fine. Try them at home first.

                          1. re: barleywino

                            A great suggestion, I always buy large quantities and freeze batches for later. You can't overmarinate and the caveman fire cooking will make them feel like they're accomplishing something.

                            Any butcher can slice beef ribs up for you if you ask. For marinade soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and hot pepper sauce will get you started if you can't find a bottle of pre-made. I make my own since most of the bottles are high in sugar which makes the ribs burn a little fast for me.

                            Chicken wing pieces marinated in lemon garlic and oregano are more easy fun on the grill food. A pasta salad made with vinagrette instead of mayo will keep in a cooler and fills hungry stomachs.

                            Garlic bread can be made ahead and placed next to the fire in foil to cook. Step up from hotdogs and throw in some italian sausage and go for a sandwich that will scare off the local wildlife.

                            Weird as it seems, fondue is good camp food. Everything precut and in zip locs, cheese melts in one pot and it takes almost no time to make and as long as you want to eat.

                        2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          Everything tastes better when you've paddled all day and hauled all of your belongings on portages! Food is so important to the trip (can I carry that around for 5 days?). The good thing is, the food bag gets a lot lighter as the trip goes on... Plus the challenge is fun - no cans/bottles, nothing perishable etc - you get pretty creative.
                          chelleyd01, they can have pretty much anything! I'd suggest that one pot meals are easiest - chili, hamberger helper type meals, casseroles etc packed in zip lock bags. A camp stove is only one small burner, and that means there's only one pot to clean as well.
                          I'm assuming lunch will be on the water - Sam Fujisaka's suggestion below isn't bad for lunch! But I would make sure that they have some containers for water - they should try to drink some water if they're going to be in the sun all day... Also, somebody suggested bacon cheese muffins - that's a good idea. If they're really there for the fishing, then they'll want to get up early and get on their way and not have to fuss with making an intricate breakfast - and cleaning up after it...
                          Hope they have a great time!

                        3. re: chelleyd01

                          I've camped quite a bit in the past couple of years and one thing I've learned is that even if we're only camping for two nights, we all crave hot meals. It's easy to plan out 6 or 7 no-cook meals but we prefer cooking every meal except maybe lunch. We have a camp stove and a huge non-stick pan just for camping. Most of the camp sites we've been to have firepits with grates to cook on (pack LOTS of foil and paper towels). I also find that a French press is the easiest way to make coffee while camping. It has become a bit of a competition btwn my friends and I over who can plan and execute the best meals and snacks while we camp and we really enjoy the challenge. There's a recipe on this board called boozy campfire cheese (or something close) that's excellent.

                        4. There's an easy way to make this gourmet.


                          Pasta Sauces Or Toppings for Fish:
                          Pesto sauce in ziploc, frozen in freezer grade ziploc -- great for topping fish, or for pasta
                          dry pasta in ziplocs, fusilli is good
                          red marinara sauce, again frozen in ziploc, can reheat easily in bag in boiling water, the same water used to boil pasta
                          green olive tapenade, fresh or jarred, but repackaged in ziploc, great topping for fish
                          any jarred bruschetta topping, repackaged in ziploc, topping or pasta sauce
                          other sauces, etc, frozen in ziplocs

                          plain ole corn meal for polenta, not the stone-ground coarse grain, in ziploc, 5 min. cooking time
                          grated parm for polenta and pasta sauces -- ziploc
                          rice, in pouches, with seasoning already added -- the Uncle Ben's "Flavorful" line is quite good, Garlic Butter especially -- cooks quickly because it's converted (perverted) rice, or the UB Ready Rices (don't normally eat but these pouches are great for camping)
                          chopped veggies -- baby carrots, broccoli, etc.
                          potatoes, even instant potatoes (never do otherwise)
                          corn on the cob
                          Ample fresh fruit that won't bruise too badly -- can wrap apples in bubble wrap
                          buy other fresh fruit, veggies, at roadside stands

                          Condiments for fish:
                          salt, pepper, hot sauce, garlic, soy sauce in packets, wasabi in sqeeze tube
                          lemon juice in fake plastic lemon -- you get the idea, or pack fresh lemons

                          pre-made homemade soups -- frozen in ziploc
                          ramen or other packaged soups -- just add boiling water

                          coffee: grind beans at home into ziploc, cremora, sugar in separate ziplocs -- I always use the Melitta funnel and filter, a snap
                          pancake batter, dry ingredients measured out, just add water
                          granola, dried fruit, nuts
                          freeze water bottles (empty out a little water first) as ice, drink water when ice melts

                          aluminum foil, heavy grade, lots of extra ziplocs, Scott Job towels on a roll (like paper towels on a roll but sturdier, blue-colored), real coffee mugs (bring your own), otherwise plastic cups that don't split easily, heavy duty plastic forks/spoons that can be re-used.

                          Actually, doing the prep on these sauces and toppings makes the cooking extra fast...
                          I am the mistress of the hearth when out in the wilderness, an expert forager and alchemist
                          of tasty things, lousy at lots of other things...after dinner, I drink alcohol i normally never drink
                          (tequila or spirits) and howl out the moon.

                          1 Reply
                          1. It seems to me there was a discussion last year on camping recipes, but maybe I dreamed it. If you go to the Home Cooking board I will post a very simple and easy camping recipe that can be done in the coals and you can have basically prepared ahead of time for the night.

                            Oatmeal is good for breakfast...it can be cooked easily on a camp stove, it keeps well, and its filling. Pack some dried fruits and almonds to swirl into it. Pack some instant hot chocolate for those cool mornings....

                            When I was a freshman in college two of the guys in my dorm convinced me to go on a bicycle trip with them from Davis to Lake Berryessa. I was a veteran camper, and wanted to bring food...but they wanted to go light. So they packed peanut butter and crackers for our overnight trip and promised me they would catch fish for dinner. Yep, you guessed it, dinner was peanut butter and crackers....

                            I still camp a fair amount, and although I keep the meals simple its always tasty...and being out in the woods helps!

                            1. Well, if you're "car camping" and not hiking a trail and camping along the way (and therefore packing light), here are some fun suggestions for recipes. I especially recommend the strawberry shortcake on a stick and the boozy campfire cheese!
                              I also recommend bringing along some good quality boxed wine.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Regan B

                                Thanks so much for the link...since I am not attending the affair, there will be no Riesling to be had. They MIGHT get through a case of Rolling Rock or Amstel between the 4 of them in 3 days. None of them are huge drinkers and I am more than okay with that one!!!!

                                1. re: chelleyd01

                                  Nobody mentioned bacon and eggs! Just slap a light frying pan on the Coleman (or whatever stove he has) and you're good to go. Trail mix etc. sounds good but when you are camping you need a hearty b-fast. JMHO, Linda

                                  1. re: Linda VH

                                    I'm with ya'. Skillet homefries too. But if they don't cook...that might be a hassle. Not everyone jumps out of the tent for the opportunity to cook breakfast in the wilderness like we do! (Not sure why. That's living life at it's best as far as I'm concerned.)

                                    1. re: creativeusername

                                      I absolutely agree with you. My husband always makes breakfasts when we've camped - always a fruit salad, skillet eggs with bacon, sausage, peppers, onions, etc. He's even made eggs benedict for a group of a dozen campers - were they ever happy that morning! But it does take planning and some experiences to determine what works and what doesn't.

                              2. for eating, they need to take:

                                1 ice box for beer, and 1 for food

                                a Coleman stove (do a test run before they leave) and fuel in a pourable container

                                a Coleman lantern (uses the same fuel as the stove;also do a test run) NO fun trying to cook or play poker in the dark.

                                box of matches in a mason jar

                                frying pan and 2 lightweight (but not flimsy) pots, i.e.: heavyweight aluminum.

                                cooking spoons, a good knife or two, a spatula, a can opener, ziplock bags, small plastic cutting board, and eating utensils. You can pack these in a smallish tackle box.

                                Clean up kit in a small pillowcase or ditty bag:
                                small (cosmetic size) squeeze bottle of biodegradable dish soap, small sponge, tuffy pad, floursack dishcloth. (basic cotton bandanas make good all purpose neck protectors, dishcloths, and napkins) 1/2 doz clothspins.

                                collapsable gallon water jug and 3 gallon pourable plastic bucket

                                If they drink coffee, plenty of grounds, cone filters and a plastic cone. real COFF-EE!

                                pantry staples:
                                peanut butter
                                loaf of hearty bread
                                Dinty Moore Beef Stew
                                canned chili of choice
                                sugar, salt, pepper, hot sauce
                                blocks of cheese
                                good dry salami chubs
                                canned smoked oysters/sardines
                                crackers of choice
                                rum/brandy/tequila for the
                                cocoa mix
                                hershey bars--keep in the icebox
                                Bazooka gum

                                Not about food but make sure they take:
                                Poker deck
                                Ripstop nylon drop cloth and lanyard
                                first aid kit and boy scout manual--no joke

                                1. You guys are the BEST! So, as my mind starts to twirl, should there be other non-food type items that I should be worried about as well?

                                  Thank God for Chow.com!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: chelleyd01

                                    Hi Folks. Sorry for the interruption, but please keep the discussion focused on chow and chow-related topics. We removed some non-chowish posts because general discussions of what is useful to have on a camping trip are too far afield.


                                    1. re: chelleyd01

                                      Only saw it mentioned once. Be sure to bring a couple of pot holders. Without fail, someone will grab a hot handle and almost nothing is more miserable than a burn on a camping trip. Also, if you're in Ohio, you should be able to catch some nice bluegills for a terrific breakfast, lunch or dinner. Muskies aren't good table fare and should be released unharmed. Have fun - don't forget bug spray and ALWAYS wear (not just have) a PFD!

                                    2. I am assuming 2 coolers (one for food, one for drink)
                                      1 large decent pot w/ lid (I like 12 qt)

                                      Boiled shrimp, bagged, packed in cooler w/ container of sauce
                                      Chopped or pulled bbq in bag in cooler (straight up or sandwiches)
                                      whole cooked turkey breast (I like mine smoked) broken up, in bag in cooler (ham too)
                                      crab legs (get the good ones)
                                      sandwich stuff (pimento cheese, pb&j, sliced meats, etc)
                                      steaks (grill top for fire can be oven rack)
                                      one pot meals (pork loin cooked over sauerkraut and apples, crab legs with fresh asparagus steamed, low country boil, fish stew)

                                      apples (or other fruits-mangos yum) / dried fruits / cheeses / boiled eggs w/ mustard and hot peppers / summer sausage / breads / yogurt with whatever (I like dry o.f. rolled oats) = no-cook breakfast! Hot summer camping, I take a large container of premade coffee, keep in cooler and drink it chilled.

                                      1. 48 bologna and cheese sandwiches (American pre-sliced cheese, white bread, no mayo or condiments) wrapped in plastic wrap. Two per person per meal.

                                        1. I have taken my sons fishing and camping since they were little, Taught them how to clean fish and gather crawdads.
                                          When I go, I can't help but bring everything. Potatoes for hashed browns at breakfast, sausage or bacon and eggs. Steak and baked potatoes for dinner, chicken and salad in a bag, and always mac and cheese. We just pack the cooler well, making sure water can't permiate the packaging. Hamburgers, hotdogs, canned beans and corn on the cob.
                                          Bread for p & J. My fishermen would stop by camp only to pick up a sandwich.
                                          Every summer a few weekends a month , we had what we called a "Mom and Sons" weekend (sometimes 4-5 days) and we had a blast! I'm not sure how far your guys have to pack the goods into, but a good cooler and stove will take you far. Just don't forget a cutting boardl! Cut the onions and peppers ahead store in a big baggie. Package dry seasonings like garlic powder. We totally got into the cooking thing, and of course fresh coffee perking away every morning!

                                          1. Get one of those little pepper grinders that comes pre-packaged with peppercorns...and a little disposable salt shaker with salt. Also, you can buy real milk (that may be the name of the product!...but anyway, its not evaporated) that comes in boxes (like little juice boxes) that don't need refrigeration. They are the perfect size for cereal or oatmeal and coffee in the am.

                                            Don't forget a small bottle of biodegradable soap (an all-purpose one can be used for both dishes and hands), a couple of good knives, and a large pot for boiling water. And a small bottle of cooking oil. (Hint for camping: get smaller bottles of stuff...just enough to use on the trip. Makes it easier getting it to the campsite. And don't forget garbage bags...)

                                            You didn't say where you'd be camping, but if its in a state park anywhere in the west they usually have a "bear box." (A box that keeps the critters out from the food.) Use it!! Even to store coolers. It sounds like you may not be in the west because the species of fish you mentioned is one I'd never heard of, and I live with fishermen....Ooppss...never mind, I just read that you're in Ohio. Well, anyway, if there is a way to keep food from critters make sure they do it.....

                                            If you can find it, an old-fashioned metal percolator (the type your grandma used on the stove) is perfect for coffee.

                                            And don't forget the individual packets of hot chocolate and lots of trail mix!!

                                            I doubt that they'll go hungry with all these suggestions :-)

                                            1. I lked a lot of these suggestions particularly the ones involving food prep done ahead. I take a lot of my food sealed in food saver bags. i can then drop in boiling water - and then no clean up. I even send scrambled eggs that way - seasoned and ready to go ( raw,beaten )- I work the bag a couple of times while its in the boiling h2o and I get nice scrambled eggs without crunchies and no egg pan to clean. pasta and sauce .....meatloaf, gravy and mashed poatoes - fresh veggies - seperate bags of course. Many ways to apply.....

                                              1. So here is the way the trip went....

                                                They ended up getting a "primitive" cabin. 30 bucks a night, gets you 4 walls, a roof, 4 wooden slabs to lay your sleeping bags on, a small dorm refrigerator and a picnic table around back with a fire ring. Praise God because they couldn't find the directions to the tent!

                                                I pre-cooked hot italian sausage with oven roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions. I packed it in Ziploc and sent a double foil roaster to reheat on the campstove. They ate all 12 links. I pre-baked salt rubbed russets, double wrapped in foil and they tossed them around the edge of the fire ring. Packed small tubs of butter and sour cream to be tossed at the end of dinner. I also made extra buttery/marshmallowey rice krispie treats, cut, wrapped and bagged.

                                                Breakfast was a baked fruit and oatmeal casserole that re-heats beautifully with a splash of milk or can be eaten room temp by hand. They also made bacon and sausage and some sort of egg the second morning.

                                                Lunch was kept simple...good lunchmeats and cheeses, a ziplock of pre-washed red leaf lettuce wrapped in damp paper towels and they sliced romas there. Pickles and chips completed it. Of course, s'mores topped it all, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

                                                Thanks hounds...I can never do it without you!

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: chelleyd01

                                                  Hi chellyd01,
                                                  Glad you had a good time...now, next time, keep in mind, camping does not mean life has to suck.
                                                  I became a wilderness guide after many years of camping alone on my own terms, having people asking me what I eat on my trips, then having them say: 'hell, if I got to eat the way you do on camping trips, I would probably like it..."
                                                  So, because of popular demand, I started doing trips with friends, then for paying groups, then guided kayak tours incorporating wine/cheese pairings for the sunset/moonrise paddles.
                                                  I always eat well, even bring some sort of stemware on full-on backpaciking trips.
                                                  You can always go to ControlledBurnFitness.com and contact me and I will be happy to send you some great advice on food selections for your trips if they start to get more rugged.
                                                  I always say, if you can eat it with champagne, it's gonna do well outdoors.
                                                  Charcuturie (sp) is the best thing to keep in mind...you can "assemble" a beautiful meat/cheese plate w/dried fruits, nuts, and if you're car camping, bring the f-ing champagne, beer, prosecco, anything...backpacking and no ice box, bring sake and a stainless steel can of Saporo (if you're by water-the can cools well in the ocean within 10 minutes)...all champagne-appetizer-food packs well, requires little to no refrideration or cooking, has great nutritional value for high-energy outdoor activity, and tastes great if you have a hangover if you guys get carrried aways with the icechest full of booze.
                                                  Keep camping, do it on your terms with comfort...I am a true girly-girl, but when I'm in the outdoors, I have no problem being dirty, carrying very little, and staying in the same clothes for a couple of days just so I can carry even more yummy food, and a good boozey treat.
                                                  Have a great summer.

                                                  1. re: tatertotsrock

                                                    Silly girl! Me? Camp? NEVA!!!! Unless of course, it is a cabin with septic, central air and running water! Thanks for the advice though... I will use it on my others camping trips in the near future! If there isn't Egyptian Cotton involved, I'm not interested! LOL!

                                                  2. re: chelleyd01

                                                    Let's hear the recipe for the oatmeal bake!

                                                    1. re: chelleyd01

                                                      chelleyd01, Thank you for the feedback. You did a Hellenic job. Good work! But, what was the feedback from the fishermen? They should be kissing your feet.

                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                        Well, my guys loved the food. All of it, in fact and were all impressed with all the things I packed that they would have never remembered in a million years! Sadly, the fishing wasn't as fantastic as the food. The muskee like it hot and humid and while the sun was hot, the humidity was down, so they ended up with some nice bass both days. They are planning another trip soon and guess who is in charge of the food again???

                                                      2. re: chelleyd01

                                                        Hooray! I'm so happy for your fishermen! You did great! :)

                                                        And I too must have that oatmeal casserole recipe. Give it up, girl.

                                                        1. re: creativeusername

                                                          Baked Oatmeal

                                                          2 cups of frozen fruit, your choice
                                                          1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, chopped
                                                          1 (18-oz.) container regular oats
                                                          3 large eggs, beaten
                                                          1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
                                                          1 cup unsweetened applesauce
                                                          2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
                                                          4 teaspoons baking powder
                                                          1 teaspoon salt
                                                          1 cup water
                                                          1 1/4 cups milk
                                                          1/2 cup melted butter
                                                          2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

                                                          2. Peel and chop apple. Spread on bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Add frozen fruit to apples.

                                                          3. Combine oats and next 10 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well blended. Pour oat mixture evenly over apples and berries.

                                                          4. Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 20 more minutes or until golden brown and set.

                                                          Sometimes, it takes a little longer, depending on the day. I have also subbed steel cut oats, I increase water, applesauce and milk a splash or 2 each and let it sit in the pan overnight before baking. I increase baking to 45 minutes, decrease oven to 300. You will just know, ya know?

                                                          If you don't eat it hot, let it cool to room temp and slice into 12 nice squares. Keeps for a few days in the fridge.

                                                      3. I have camped a lot. A LOT. MRE's are O-U-T. I lived on a river for a winter for a masters, parts were fun. so -- with all that said: coolers, lots, dry ice if you can find it, and NEVER toutch it - it will keep stuff not just cold, but frozen. BLOCKS of ice they can break into LARGE pieces and covered with a LITTLE salt will freeze beer in the bottle -- so warn them -- cover dry ice with large bag of from the store ice-ettes. into this you will put SEMI prepaired food, like half cooked beans in double freezer bags, a HALF cooked chicken -- or half fried so they get the 'joy' of drinking beer around a camp fire and 'cooking' dinner. send your cast iron with them, it won't warp as badly, you will lose your seasoning if they are stupid, but I've seen good advice here on how to season your cast iron and it probaboy needs it, besides, it's rustic. NO teflon.

                                                        aluminum needs constant watching -- so the grill from your webber of pray that someone there knows how to camp.

                                                        breakfast: oatmeal, cream of wheat, ralston (aka these days as Bulger Wheat) -- milk will go with dry ice and ice. or a gallon with SCREW ON lid, in ice with salt and beer (ice will lower the temp and make the beer form little crystals of ice -- the PERFECT TEMP) and the ice can be used for brown licker if they do that too - another reason to send cast iron.

                                                        CORN WITH THE HUSK ON IT (that's the 'skin') -- and aluminum foil. people get too fussy about bacteria - so don't worry -- SHARP knives -- pull out your Chef's kinfe sharpener and sharpen all your knives and send your worst ones with him -- remember a K-bar (kind of knife) is a knife, hammer, screwdriver, fish scalier, can opener, bottle opener, etc.and all round toy. did I say Heavy Gage (heavy duty) long boxES of aluminum foil? a box of quart and a box of gallon size zip-lock plastic bags.

                                                        pancakes sound like fun but they take too much to make -- though upon reflection, all you really need to add is the riser - so make the dough, set the right amount of bakeing soda aside, or mix it with a liquid, and pour it into the already made -- scratch that, mix dry, mix liquid (your riser is dry) pour bag A into bag B and plop on bacon and you have pancakes -- remember to tell them cast iron has a hot handle -- aluminum sucks if you are car camping.

                                                        precooking chicken etc kills off a lot of the bacteria since they are mostly OUTSIDE and they can often wash the inside but won't if sent full chickens camping. So just a quick kill the bacteria half cook will do and BBQ is an option as is dumping in your dutch oven and adding some water to your pre-mix of dumpling and pre-cut veggies for chicken and dumplings.

                                                        hint: WASHED and dried whole sticks of cellery and onions are wonderful to put in the BOTTOM of a bowl and then put the hot beans over the top and let the heat of the beans cook the cellery and onions and tomatoes (whole caned, hand crushed and put into a double zip-loc bag) will flavor the entire dish.

                                                        Salad goes already mixed into a gallon zip-loc and into the ice only or ice with no water rather than the ice+h20+salt cooler so it wont' freeze -- and there is enough preservitive in things like mayo and non-organic salid dressing it really doesn't need refrigeration at all, keeping mayo cool will keep it from seperating, but if you are doing home-made mayo and want it to keep for more than a few days, add a tea spoon of best foods or Heilsman and it will keep for weeks, but not months -- when you deal with eggs you want to be ABSOLUTELY sure that they won't spoil and kill someone, which is why mayo never killed anyone, even if left out for a few days - they make sure you won't even get the notion that you MIGHT get the notion to sue them.

                                                        THEY chose a hot sauce or two - and that's it. And remind them -- hot is a flavor not a contest. And they don't want to make it a contest or they will learn that there are far more than just 'two burn' hot sauces.

                                                        Green veggies: 7 minute rule: after 7 minutes they begin to look olive drab so if pre-cooking - 2 minutes plunge into ice and cold water sink -- let set 10 minutes to get any hot from the center, then plastic bag up and put in with water and ice or just plain ice and salt (I like stuff COLD, but ice and salt while coler, will melt faster too -- blocks melt slower than the little squares, and cold sinks, so ice goes on top food on bottom.

                                                        boy-scouts 101 A -- 'hunters stew' - hollow out bread or make dough or not, put in foil, carrots, onions, mushrooms, some herbs and/or spices (pepper is a spice) lots of cubed potatoes, tokeep potatoes from browning, though you'd never know at end, some kind of acid Lisergic Acid Diethelmide is nice, but hard to find, so go for lemmon juice or some good -- look at label, apple cider vinegar (Heinz has gallons that just have apple cider FLAVOR) -- read your labels -- or tomaotes -- and if you are afraid of the aluminum atracting alians who use various probes, put in plastic bags, then transfer to DOUBLE aluminum shiny side in (reflects heat) -- and they can cook a reasonably good stew, but slice your carrots thin since they take longer to cook.

                                                        a food processor that slices and chopps makes it easy work to make veggies for the salads -- shove in a vew carrots, put in plastic bag - done.

                                                        CLOROX -- why? because it'll kill you. everyone should remember this formula -- get a bottle and eye dropper -- and carry it with you at all times along with your knife, string, fishing line and hook, and salt etc -- 5 DROPS per canteen -- wait 20 minutes, you should smell a SLIGHT -- AS IN **SLIGHT** odor of clorox -- and your water will keep you alive. the general rule is 10 drops per gallon is max, 5 drops of clorox per gallon in 'clear' water is enough.

                                                        Don't forget coffee and cone filter and make sure the filter is taller than the cone -- so water is forced through the coffee. Fresh ground? well the big brass pepper grinders with the cup at the bottom are middle eastern coffee grinders -- but at a good food store you can buy one powered by AA or AAA batteries -- and use it for coffee beans -- I like mine STRONG so it takes two fillings to make me one cup of coffee -- about 2 minutes start to stop -- the brass or metal hand-cranked ones take me about 10 - 15 minutes start to stop. let the water heat first, then filter it -- no need to ruin coffee by percolating it because you are camping or enjoy 'turkish' coffee -- and egg shells really do 'settle' the grounds.

                                                        olive oil -- extra virigin will ruin with light and air - just think what heat will do to it -- send along regular olive oil and they will be happy.

                                                        a green salad with just lemmons and limes as a dressing is GREAT -- and they go good with beer and gin too, heck, even wine coolers NEED fresh lemons and limes.

                                                        NO fresh fruit -- I once traveled 20 miles with what i thought was very well packed peaches and nectarines -- only to find the bottom of my ALICE pack full of fruit soup.

                                                        So: pre-do most of what you do - rice is good from scratch as it's only 20 minutes and goes with nearly everything, brown is call it an hour, no matter what the package says -- get bean mix -- it has a flavor packet in it full of chemicals that taste like bacon and other stuff.

                                                        when camping you are generally limited to veggies -- unless you hunt and make jerky that can be made back into something resembling a meat like substance.

                                                        So think along the lines of binary or terciary mixes - add A to B, stir, then add C and serve.

                                                        There is so much left out -- but if you follow the above rules, you should be OK -- and there is ALWAYS PJ sandwidhes and Peanut butter now comes in plastic, and guys like sugar -- and don't forget salt. No body doesn't like brownies, even real ones. Most weekend-warriors don't know how to make an oven out of rocks and foil, so make them ahead of time.

                                                        and DEET, while not great to eat, is always nice to find here and there scattered about because everywhere has insects, and while some follow the sun up the ridges, some will be big babies and always hang out down where it's cool and damp and comfortable.

                                                        Because I'm generally not too afraid of bugs in the water and use sand to clean my dishes, pay attention and DO go get real use in the river soap. Otherwise you really WILL do damge, little by little to our water -- the only place for real soap is in your shower, if then -- sand will clean you as well, if not better than soap, and before you ask, no, it's not a good idea to clean your ears with wet sand poured into them or to brush your teeth with it -- use wood instead.

                                                        Rainbow type bread mashes and mushes, real bread like 'french' (sic!) bread holds up better, and remember that most of your 'cured' meats like salami and such were made without using refrigeration and so they don't need to be refrigerated if you get the real thing from the deli counter and there ARE a million different 'salami's' around -- so a salami sandwich is great! --

                                                        also, rope, get a couple of hundred feet of rope so they can take their ice boxes and used food and hoist it out of bear range. And this goes for mice, rats, coons, possims, ants, skunks, stray dogs, etc -- though mice, rats, and squirrels can climb down quarter inch rope or jump from a limb onto the top of the cache -- it's up to YOU to prevent the feeding, and thus the killing, of camp-ground bears.

                                                        you didn't give much info -- but then like you said, you can't tell us what you don't know -- and we need to respect that and presume certain senerios -- like cast iron, I admit that yes, even while back-packing I do carry a cast-iron chicken fryer and lid -- why? because somethings required SLOW cooking.

                                                        how about dig a hole, build a fire, take a leg of lamb (and yeah, I love mine rare, it just aint gonna happen here) and after fillingit with rosemary and garlic and some salt, burry it in a couple of wet burlap (hemp) feed sacks from a feed store which should be free or never more than $1.00US if you are being ripped off, get them wet, put in some potatos and carrots and onions into the boned or unboned leg) then burry it for the day -- put rocks over the fire while it's really blazing if you want to keep a heavy burlap flavor out of the lamb -- then burry it, mark the top with more stones and go play for the day, come back, pop a cold one, take turns digging until you hit some of the wood you threw in on top to 'charcoal' up, and warn you to go easy and not shove your shovel all the way through meat so tender that if boned, you would never know was there -- and pull it out, unwrap it right away -- so the flys can find it -- and keep the burlap from sticking to the cooling fat -- and you should be able to eat it with a fork only -- I've done this with hind quarters from deer which are VERY lean, and they still come out tender enough that you don't need a knife to cut them into portions.

                                                        PARTLY precook
                                                        make binary meals
                                                        use three ice chests

                                                        and they will be happy -- and if they aren't too macho, they will say thank you, and then listen to what they say about 'next time' -- unless you don't want there to be a next time. then make the bean soup with 1 part beans to 2 parts water, and rice at one part rice and one part water. And forget the salt. buy them meat-bee traps and tell them to ring the eating area with them instead of setting them at LEAST 100-200 feet away -- and telling unpacking the pheromone and mistaking it with repellent and tell them to be sure to just put it on the brim of their hats and cuffs of their shirts -- "a little dab'll do you' -- and fill the traps with DEET.

                                                        They won't EVER ask you -- and heck, everyone makes mistakes, what with all the other things you had to think about that week . . . . remember you HAVE been thinking of switching wash day from Wednesday to Thursday -- and that's not a decision any man would understand the gravity of --

                                                        good luck -- and hope this helped -- also, put bacon in microwave and get the fat out, then bag it, and they can fry their pancakes in bacon fat, and the crumpled baccon can go on the salad, or in a grilled cheese sandwich as suggested in the first edition of the Joy of Cooking.

                                                        While most think of multi-tasking you now have to think of this as multi-using.

                                                        Boy am I glad i was mostly a veggie when i did my masters work -- the only things that really need to be kept cool are meat and milk -- remember, eggs used to be warm before they got cold, so look at the date -- and what's wrong with 'natural' eggs from a freind with laying hens, they don't WANT to be refrigerated, the worst that happens is he leaves you, and a few weeks later he's eating little baby chickens and I'll guarantee you he's NOT having then 'easy over' -- and if civilization is destroyed while he's out caming, he can start his own flock of chickens and have all the eggs he'll ever want in just a few months!!!!!!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: pgalioni

                                                          Don't forget to put a couple of tablespoons of the Clorox in the water from the melting ice in your cooler-- grabbing a beer with a grubby mit out of the ice can lead to illness...

                                                          Having cooked spaghetti from scratch on top of Mt. Whitney, just about anything can be cooked in the great outdoors.(I had a 'backpack' pressure cooker to do the noodles at 14,495' elevation) Pressurized fuel stoves are MUCH better than trying to cook on a campfire, and with the fire danger in the west being very high to extreme, campfires are prohibited in many areas.

                                                          Have fun and use your imagination.

                                                        2. There are so many good ideas given already. When I go camping it's in Kayaks so space is really limited. We are out for 3-4 days and i must have lots of food and some alcoholic bevvies. The trick is preparation: ziplock bags and think perishable vs non- perishable. You can prep and spice mix and toss in a baggy. Oh and hot sauce.

                                                          The first night as other people have suggested is steak, potatoes (cored adding butter, salt and garlic) wrapped in tin foil. I'll eat baby carrots for the veggie for the fibre factor. You are so hungry and have paddled all day, it is the most amazing steak. You can even marinated before-hand, freeze then ziplock. I have also ask my butcher to seal it for me. i'll freeze it and just cook as is. if it's a good steak, it needs no meddling.

                                                          Breakfast: pre-cooked bacon (ziplock) and eggs (which do not need to be refrigerated). Toss in a pan with red pepper and/or garlic and onion. toast bread on fire.

                                                          Lunch is sandwiches: summer sausage is great, pre-cooked chirizo and cheese. don't forget the baby carrots. Or soup. Again there are some great soups that are in tetra packs. Or the liptons work as well (less space taken up).

                                                          Supper: Pasta that's half cooked, the Oliveraie (sp?) tomatoe sauce. Again: red pepper,onion, chirizo, grated cheese.

                                                          Other ideas:
                                                          Indian food in a bag; boil till hot with naan. so good.
                                                          Couscous: add boiling water and spices
                                                          Lentils: soak them in the morning cook for dinner: spices and veggies.
                                                          Wine now comes in small foil, tetra packs. Great because it cuts down on space.
                                                          I like Baileys in my coffee (cream, sugar and whiskey) a perfect combo.
                                                          Chocolate, oatmeal, almond butter (not fond of peanut butter), dried, nuts/fruit + choc chips.
                                                          I somehow sneak in a bag of chips.
                                                          Butter and be stored in a small tupperware container.

                                                          This board has been great for ideas and is a great jump start for my August kayak trip to the Missinabi River near Chapleau Ontario. have fun all.

                                                          1. I love this thread! As a very frequent camper it's nice to learn a few new tricks and tips. :) Just to add a bit- on a recent multiday canoeing trip I learned to love the dry ice technique. Keeping the dry ice wrapped in a few layers of newspaper, we were able to have frozen ice cream sandwiches after three days in summer time Utah! Plus with the dry ice it's, well, dry. No icky water to deal with.
                                                            also, for car camping I find a great way to keep the cooler cold without using ice (again, that melting mess) is to freeze a couple of water-filled Nalgene bottles and place them in the cooler. That way it keeps things cool and eventually you get the water to drink as well.
                                                            I'm going to have to post a thread on foodies who backpack- I've started dehydrating meals for backpacking and I think I need to pick a few brains. :)

                                                            1. Trail mix, dried fruit, nuts, breakfast bars...

                                                              1. How different we all are. I'm a 62 year old teacher w/ kids in college and I work as a licensed sea kayak guide and regularly take 8 people on 3 day kayak tours on The Maine Isalnd Trail and love it; live for it! I buy all the food, prepare it and clean up. I freeze a lot of fresh Maine seafood and as it thaws cook it up. Lots of fresh veggies and blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Lots of wine too. Didn't Zorba say something to the effect that Heaven was a fire on the beach, some wine olives and bread?