Author Topic: Camping, meal ideas  (Read 6594 times)

skyler

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Camping, meal ideas
« on: August 30, 2013, 07:23:40 AM »
Looking for MMM ideas for camping meals (large group).
Will have a fire ring available and a small camping stove, possibly electric hookup on the camp site.

Also, what do u do about refrigeration?
For us, bringing ice is a "melting" proposition, usually it's gone by next day on the account of people opening the cooler frequently for drinks.
What do you do when camping for a few days in a row??
If it was just me and my spouse--no problem, but we have friends joining with kids...
Your ideas are appreciated!

spider1204

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2013, 07:39:29 AM »
Quote
For us, bringing ice is a "melting" proposition, usually it's gone by next day on the account of people opening the cooler frequently for drinks.

For this one I just accept that my drinks will be at air temperature and only put the items that will perish over the length of the trip in the cooler.  Meaning stuff like cheese, yogurt, and eggs go into the cooler but stuff like carrots and garlic wouldn't.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2013, 08:25:15 AM »
Use 2 or more coolers. One for drinks, one for food. The ice will store for a good time. Also pack plenty of food that doesn't need to be cooled of course.

sassy1234

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2013, 08:25:31 AM »
Chicken sausages (already cooked), and wrap a small tortilla around it.  Yum!  I have not found a way around the ice issue. 

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2013, 09:02:45 AM »
I forgot to add, get a case of bottled water... freeze it and instead of using ice use the frozen bottled water.. it keeps everything cool and lasts a LOT longer than loose ice.

I usually place the frozen water bottles on the bottom of the coolers, put the food over that and then a small bag of ice on top. One for food, one for drinks... works great.

Matt K

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2013, 09:18:00 AM »
Best trick - don't bring things that need to be kept cold.

Pre-prepare your meals in advance and keep each in a zip-lock bag, so when you cook you just dump into boiling water and go.

Here are two such examples:
http://returntoroots.krull.ca/2013/08/backpackers-food-gnocchi/
http://returntoroots.krull.ca/2013/08/backpackers-food-oatmeal/

Meat options include canned tuna/chicken/turkey (just remember you need to bring your cans out with you). Some come in easy to open peel-top cans and are preflavoured.
A great lunch option is (per person) 2 tortials, 1 80g can of flavoured tuna, 1/2 a fresh avacado, several prechopped sun-dried tomatos. Costs under $2/person, fills you up and gives you lots of energy, is pretty darned healthy, can be prepared in the field with nothing more than a pocket knife, requires no refridgeration, and holiest of holies - it tastes good.

Other meat options are jerky or other cured/dried/smoked meats, but I tend to skip those simply because the jerky costs a lot and I'm allergic to most smoked meats.

RhythmKats

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2013, 09:35:49 AM »
Freezing water bottles is a great idea. I also make my own ice a few days before. Fill whatever size container you want and you can customize your ice experience. I've found homemade ice lasts longer than store bought.

galliver

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2013, 09:48:07 AM »
Best trick - don't bring things that need to be kept cold.

This.

My family's typical camping fare (adapted from backpacking habits):
Breakfast: hot cereal (sometimes instant); tea&coffee; cookies; hard cheese (not refrigerated); salame/sausages

Lunch: ramen or other instant soup if we're at camp or a picnic area. Trail mix, dried fruit, nuts, crackers/crispbread (Wasa), salame, cheese, etc if on the trail. Apples or clementines.

Dinner: Pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes from a box (we usually come back hungry so we never baked potatoes on the fire, although one easily could!); dehydrated soup (Bear Valley (?) makes a damn good chicken noodle); canned vegetables (peas, corn); canned fish or SPAM tastes good on pasta or rice after a long day of outdoors! Sometimes on short trips we'd be fancy and grill out--you can bring marinated meat just fine, or pick it up at a local grocery in some places. At the beginning of the trip we'd also have some fresh veggies. Cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers do just fine unrefrigerated for a few days, but may not like bumping around.

Secrets:
-Dried milk. Look in the Mexican food aisle. Not good enough for drinking, but great in oatmeal. Get whole milk.
-Butter. My mom would melt down and re-solidify butter (Is this clarifying?) and we'd take it backpacking for multiple days. No one ever died. Also good in oatmeal.
-Everything tastes better outdoors and when you're hungry. One roadtrip we were down to a head of cabbage in terms of car snacks and in the middle of nowhere (no gas stations, restaurants, etc for hours). Best cabbage I've ever had.
-Gatorade (powdered) is a nice change from water sometimes. Also covers less-than-optimal taste. You can make it at half-strength. Water from campground taps may be pretty cold.
-Freezing water bottles as someone mentioned. Then your ice doubles as nice cool water when you're done! Stress the importance of not opening the cooler. And you don't need cold beers/sodas every night you're camping. Rough it!

pirate_wench

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2013, 10:00:18 AM »
Put block ice on the bottom. That will keep longer and should be fine for food.  For beverages, block ice combined with crushed on top to cool it fast. You can freeze your own blocks in large tupperware, or break a large block in half or chunks. Ditto on separate coolers for food and drinks, maybe even have a kids-only cooler, that way they aren't making your beer warm.

I really like the frozen water bottle idea.  We do something similar but with our own water bottles and washed juice bottles that double as drinking water.

Meals can be anything if you are car camping with a camp stove. Of course kids always love hotdogs on a stick and smores...

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2013, 10:03:02 AM »
Freezing water bottles is a great idea. I also make my own ice a few days before. Fill whatever size container you want and you can customize your ice experience. I've found homemade ice lasts longer than store bought.

We have some of those cold packs but those dont work as well.... but freezing bottled water just made a lot sense. Plus it gets used where melted ice does not.

I don't know how others like to camp, but cooking is half the fun of it! For that reason I like hauling the goods.

NinetyFour

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2013, 10:13:43 AM »
Another vote in favor of frozen containers of water, although I just use the various containers I already have around the house.  Not very mustachian to buy bottled water, IMO.  I have learned to make sure that the containers are only about half full before I freeze them.

Another advantage of frozen containers over ice is that you don't end up with a cooler full of water--possibly getting into food and making it soggy.

skyler

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2013, 10:18:54 AM »
Thanx guys, awesome ideas, appreciate everyone's input!
Now that I have a chest freezer--I can freeze as many bottles as I want!

Jamesqf

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2013, 11:43:58 AM »
Two coolers, one for drinks, one for other stuff.

You can freeze other liquids, not just water.  As for instance, on a trip last weekend I froze milk for breakfast (granola with fruit).

patrickza

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2013, 12:45:30 PM »
I just got back from a week long camping trip with my son. Froze the meat before I left, then had just one cooler for the meat, surrounded by frozen bottles of water. Cooler kept the meat cold for 4 days, with daytime temperatures up to 28 degrees Celsius. On day five we switched to biltong (kind of like beef jerky) and eggs for our protein.

kgm

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2013, 09:04:58 AM »
Ditto freezing water in your own containers (tall rectangular ones waste less space in the cooler) and having two coolers.  We have a soft-sided cooler we pack for the day and leave the hard-sided at the camp in the shadiest spot.  Before the trip I pre-cook and freeze meals, like homemade spaghetti sauce, stews, etc.  This greatly increases the variety of foods/flavors and limits clean up -- double bonus.  For longer trips I re-stock my square tupperware with purchased ice; the cubed ice lasts longer when it is packed tight.  It also keeps the ice clean so the melt water can be used for drinking or cooking.

N

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2013, 09:31:27 AM »
http://www.campingblogger.net/gear/how-to-use-an-ice-chest.html

Two good food links:

http://www.alisonchino.com/2008/07/30/trader-joes-camping-menu/

http://arlinghaus.typepad.com/blog/2010/06/a-weekend-camping-menu.html

Some other general camping tips

http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/camping-hacks-that-are-borderline-genius?sub=2295102_1241592

http://momlovescamping.blogspot.com/2012/05/lets-go-lets-go-lets-go.html

The last time I went camping I did the ice chest and trader joe thing. I also pre-cooked all my meat so that I would just have to warm it up and not worry about contamination/hygiene/clean up. Worked fantastic.

sununderwood

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Re: Camping, meal ideas
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2013, 06:13:17 PM »
Baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum thrown in the fire for 20ish minutes, add canned chili, sour cream, cheese, ranch dressing, bacon bits.

Bear Creek powdered soup - cheddar broccoli kind - add ample tortellini and gnocchi, as well as cooked veggies if you want.

"Pizza in a pot" fill a pot with pizza sauce, veggies, cheese, etc and let it all melt down. Warm naan bread or pitas in the fire and scoop out pizza onto bread.

Mac n cheese - throw a pan onto a pot of boiling water and double boil 2:1.5 ratio of cheese and cream cheese until creamy. Cook a LOT of veggies as well and combine both with macaroni.

Thanksgiving dinner - mix instant mashed potatoes w lots of butter, gravy, sauerkraut, stuffing, and even canned cranberry, or leave that on the side.

I lived and worked in the backcountry for 10+ months, and I've seen some very unhappy campers turn into smiling little clams after these filling and hearty meals. They are cheap, versatile, and hard to screw up.