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Things I can make ahead for a long camping trip

I'm going to be essentially camping (living in a cabin with access to some sort of kitchen) this summer. In the month before this, May, I will have time off for lack of a job and access to cheap groceries (I will be staying near the food coop I am a member of). I am looking for suggestions of things I can make ahead while I have time and access to cheap food. I may try my hand at making jam, but that will probably still not be economical since berries won't be in season yet. I need things that keep well in a pantry (or cabin...) that do not require refrigeration (until after opening, I will have a bit of fridge space).

So far all I have in mind are
- home made granola
- GORP
- stocking up on crackers and dried fruit!

Any further suggestions will be greatly appreciated

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  1. Will you be sharing a kitchen/pantry with others or are you starting from scratch? Will you be able grow vegetables yourself? Will you have access to a store or are you bringing all your food at the beginning of the summer? I think the answer to these questions will help people supply solutions.

    If you'll have at least one burner to cook on and water (with no pantry to get you started), I would suggest home canned or store-bought canned vegetables; rice, pasta or cous cous; dried beans, canned tuna/ salmon; oil, bullion cubes- items that can be combined in myriad ways to create a meal.

    If you won't be able to "cook" very often then beef jerky, canned meats, dried fruit, nuts, etc. are good options. I don't mention canned veggies here because I don't know if you have to bring everything in at once.

    If your cooking situation is not as basic as your post suggests, especially if you'll share a kitchen that can be stocked with basic pantry supplies, then I think you'll eat well this summer without having to plan too far ahead.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lhb78

      There will be a kitchen, shared. I don't know how much fridge space I'll get though. I'm planning to buy my fresh veggies at the farmer's market and go to u-pick places on the weekends. I'll also have a camping stove for the weekends I'm actually camping.

    2. What lhb78 said. Also, what's this co-op you're a member of? What will you be getting there? Fruits, veggies, meat, bread...? Is the camp where you can work for services?

      1 Reply
      1. re: nemo

        The Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn, NY

      2. On the assumption that your "kitchen" will be pretty primitive:
        my coop sells instant humus mix - it doesn't make bad humus (freshly made is way better) but it is tasty as a topping for veggies or pasta - use like grated cheese. I almost always take some backpacking.
        If you are going to have an oven or fire mix up some home made "Bisquick" for pancakes and such
        Take lots of good chocolate - it makes one feel very pampered in any situation
        If you can get inexpensive fruit/veggies you can dry them in a drier or in a low oven. You can get a lot more variety that way then you can by buying commercially dried produce. My 2 daughters hiked the Appalachian Trail on shipments of dry produce from me. You can also cook beans, spice them and dry them to make a kind of instant "chili" mix.
        As you get ready and start storing food -BEWARE OF GRAIN MOTHS!!!! Grain moths can ruin a food stash pretty quickly. Seal everything up well and put dried bay leaves in with everything - it seems to help but it is not fool proof.
        I hope this helps.

        1. If you want to make things before hand preserved lemons and variety of pickled veg, like fennel, onions, carrots, green beans, etc. Very easy and can go w/ all kinds of pantry staples like beans, rice and grains or canned tuna.

          1. Since you're not backpacking and do have a cabin - a step "up" from car camping:

            Dried fruits, nuts, dried beans, dried lentils, rice, couscous, canned "chile con carne," canned tuna & sardines, smoked fish, salt cod, dried cured sausage, boullon cubes, tins of anchovies, olives, capers, tomato paste, jar of caviar, different types of dried pasta, Asian noodles, bonito flakes, ... and dried African game meat if you can get it.

            And remember to take cooking oil, salt, peppercorns, garlic, balsamic and/or red wine vinegar, spices & chile, spices for curries, fresh chiles, flour, ....

            Have fun!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              Excellent pantry suggestions, thanks!

            2. A major thing will be your supply of drinking water---be sure it is safe or you could get so sick you won't much care about food. Powders that dissolve in water, hot or cold, can give you lemonade, fruit punch, broth, tea, coffee, milk, and hot or cold chocolate. The more primitive the situation, the more welcome a hot drink; it seems to bring calm with it.

              1. I like to make potato patties with instant mashed potato flakes, eggs and a bit of milk. The milk would be canned. The other camping essential is boxed pasta. I will toss in a can of tuna or meat, a can of vegetables and a chopped fresh chili. I will also put on a can of stew and then put over the top some preprepared biscuit mix in the form of dumplings (cook with the lid on). Hard cheese is good to have on hand for nibbling or to make cheese toast. I will also pregrate it to toss into boiled tortellini or a package of gnocchi (trader joe's). Don't forget the olive oil, peanut butter, and jam. A nonstick skillet is good to have.

                1. I can't believe no one has said kimchi! ;)

                  1. Ended up camping entirely too long in California one time. Thank God I had pasta! Got fresh veggies and made the best pasta / veggie dinner ever!

                    1. was just brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed when i thought of a few more items you might want to bring:

                      1. bulgur wheat for tabouleh. you mentioned that you have a rudimentary kitchen. all you really need for tabouleh is to boil water. you could concoct your own tabouleh mix if you want. mix bulgur, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders, dried parsley, chives and mint, and bits of dehydrated veggies of your choice.

                      2. meat sung (since i see you're in brooklyn, in close proximity to places that sell the stuff). if you can make fresh rice and bring along nori sheets you could make omusubi stuffed with sung (or kimchi or pickled something or another) -- one of my favorite foods for hiking.

                      3. instant cereals -- i.e. rice baby cereal and oatmeal -- premixed with seasonings like cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, ginger powder, sugar, salt, dried fruit (or in the case of savory porridge, onion and garlic powders, salt and pepper, dehydrated corn kernels and other veggies)

                      4. home mixed muesli

                      5. powdered milk

                      6. mung beans. you can sprout your own bean sprouts all summer long.

                      7. homemade horchata mix using rice flour (or almond flour for almond horchata)

                      8. parmesan or romano

                      9. and... i hope i can say this w/o getting whipped with al dente spaghetti... mashed potato flakes, premixed with salt, pepper, etc...

                      zzz...