Cooking Camp 101: Tips, Hacks, and How

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The best camping food means different things to different people – and it varies greatly depending on whether you’re camping in the car or backpacking. Here are some pointers on how to eat well in the wild.

Summer is the season for a lot of things, including eating out. But the great outdoors can become less fun when you’re trying to dine in their midst, at least if you’re not properly prepared. Picnics are generally a little easier, since you’re transporting everything once you’re already done, but it’s not too difficult to cook a great meal while camping either, as long as you follow some general guidelines.

While planning may seem like an obvious first step, it’s important enough that you summon – and pay close attention to it, so you don’t end up in the middle of nowhere without some key component or piece of equipment (which you probably won wouldn’t be the end of the world , But will be incredibly frustrating). Likewise, you should have a backup plan for what to do if the weather doesn’t cooperate. If you only brought raw meat and it’s too rainy to make a fire, it’s best to have a propane stove and maybe a tarpaulin to protect it, or at least some no-cook snacks so you don’t get hungry.

As if you were Santa Claus himself, make a long list of everything you need to buy and/or pack – right down to the salt and pepper grinder – and double-check, then mark it while you put things in the car, your bag, etc. The laws of the universe eventually dictate that you realize that you forgot Something, but in this way, it is not likely to be of major importance. “The New Camp Cookbook” by Linda Ly has lots of great tips and general advice on planning, packing, preparing, and using a camp kitchen, plus plenty of recipes to make outdoors, so check it out for more in-depth suggestions.

If you’re camping in the car or just on a day trip, you’ll have the luxury of a cooler, but it’s not quite as spacious as you might like, especially if you stock it with drinks – which is why, for longer trips, you should bring a separate cooler for drinks only. Speaking of the old trick of freezing water bottles for use as ice packs (and later for drinking) it’s still good, although plastic bottles aren’t exactly eco-friendly. You can freeze a lot of other things too, including pre-cooked meat and rice in resealable plastic bags, which helps them keep longer and contributes to the cooling factor.

Remove anything in bulky packaging into more streamlined plastic bags so there is no wasted space, which will translate to less efficient cooling. try to cool off everything It’s pre-fed into the cooler, so it won’t lower the temperature, and try packing the ingredients you’ll last use to the bottom, so you don’t have to dig for the first day under layers of ice. Start by placing a layer of snow on the bottom, then add a layer of food (well wrapped and sealed), then another layer of snow, and so on. Fill each open and available corner with more snow so there are no empty spots. Then don’t open the cooler longer than necessary to retrieve items as needed, and try to keep it sitting in the shade.

Fresh Off the Grid has more tips, including simple (and easy to forget) things like bringing the cooler itself into a cool place at least a day before you pack it up.

If you’re camping by car, there’s pretty much no limit to what you can bring, but if you’re backpacking or even just hiking at your location, you’ll want to simplify your supplies.

Consider weight and portability

This comprehensive camping cookware guide is really useful because it not only provides detailed reviews, but recommendations based on your circumstances, so you can research the best selections for car camping or backpacking. If weight and portability aren’t a concern, bring cast iron with you, especially if you have live fire to cook with.

Reduce equipment

If you’d prefer not to do any cooking that requires a pot or pan, stick to skewers that you can grill, or even pre-made salads, pasta dishes, or sandwiches that don’t need to be preheated before serving (but are still totally gourmet). You can also cook plenty of great camp food in aluminum foil bags, which allows you to pack light and reduce clean-up.

Get camp cooking utensils

If you’re feeling cold while cooking, it’s easy to get a set of heat-resistant silicone cooking utensils including a large spatula, spatula, and tongs. And don’t forget the cutting board, unless you’re packing all the meats and vegetables that have already been trimmed. Ceramic knives are lightweight and sharp, and often come with plastic casings to protect the blade (and everything else from them, when not in use), so stash one of those in your campfire kit, too.

Invest in reusable camping dinnerware

When it comes to serving meals, paper plates, forks, and plastic spoons are tempting, but you can save space and help the environment by choosing lightweight, reusable items instead, like enameled or BPA-free tins. Melamine plates (that don’t crack), stacking cups, and aluminum utensils. It also looks sleeker and feels more elegant, which is always a plus. And since you’ll need to clean up all of this, make sure you put a pair of nesting sticks (or Collapsible) Plastic Dishwashing Sinks – More on cleaning below.

Bring a water purification system (even if you don’t think you’ll need it)

Even if your campground has a safe water source, it’s always a good idea to bring a few pitchers, just in case—a great idea for adding a filtration system to your camping kit as well. this is MSR’s gravity water filtration system is great for trekking and country hiking, but it’s useful in less remote camping sites, too.

Not just the environment in general, but think about it where You will cook. in the forest? Almost anything goes. at the beach? Blowing sand can make some dishes difficult. In the snow? Choose something warm and warm that doesn’t require a lot of cutting or scrubbing (to spare your fingers the cold).

Morning routine (don’t forget the camp coffee), Image Courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images

Unless you’re backpacking in the real wild, most camp sites and day-use areas have one picnic table per spot. Instead of stacking everything you brought on top of it, take a few moments to organize it, and set aside at least a small space on it for meal prep and serving. First, place the tablecloth – it not only adds a little flair, but keeps your food pristine in case it’s dropped on the unquestionably table. The oilcloth is sturdy enough to withstand tears, easy to stash when it’s time to pack, and a breeze to wipe clean.

One end of a covered picnic table can be reserved for preparing food and washing dishes, so you’re not trying to squeeze a cutting board between playing cards, lanterns, and stray books. But take advantage of what’s around you, too—flat rocks or smooth-topped logs can be great places to put your cutting board, plate, or bowl. Then again, if possible, pack a small foldable table to use in your kitchen area so it’s completely out of the way and remains undisturbed. Get Fresh Off the Grid camp kitchen tips for more pointers.

Related reading: Essential camping gear for outdoor cooking

If you’re going to be cooking, you’ll need some type of fire, which will generally be from either a fire pit, grill, or camp stove (if you’re in an RV with electrical connections, you already know what to do).

Live Fire / Grill

If you are going to cook over a live fire and are in doubt about whether to find an ignition source in your location, don’t forget to pack firewood, and read the rules governing wood collection where you are going, as well as any burning restrictions. You should also bring plenty of matches or a kitchen lighter. If you’ve never set a fire before, be sure to read up on the best way to do it beforehand, and practice if you can (plus, bring a cheat sheet with instructions if you’re less confident in your skills). In a pinch, you can light a fire with Doritos!

If you’re not sure there’s a fire pit with a grill grate, bring metal skewers, grill baskets, foil packets, and/or Dutch ovens that you can carry around or set in flames. Otherwise, you can make any barbecue recipe over a campfire, or if you have the means and space, bring a small portable grill with you.

And don’t forget to make sure your fire is completely submerged before leaving it unattended. Dishwashing basin comes in handy for this too!

propane gas stove

For backpacking trips and any situations where you might not be able to start a fire, a A propane stove is perfect—and good to have even when camping in the car, where you can quickly boil water for your morning coffee, among other things. the The MSR WindBurner Stove System is a bit more expensive than some similar products, but works well even in adverse conditions (high winds, freezing cold), and comes with a ceramic-coated nonstick saucepan, locking strainer lid, and wok as well as the stove itself. They all live together to increase packing space.

If you are camping in the car, you can also go with it Multi-burner camp stove if you prefer. In any case, make sure you bring enough fuel canisters to cook all your meals. Find out the right amount using the MSR guide.

You may not want to think about cleaning, but it’s a necessity, so you better be prepared for that too. Pack two dish tubs (one for soaking, one for rinsing), a sponge, laundry detergent, or a rag, and one or more super absorbent tubs. Microfiber towels for drying — plus plenty of paper towels and are eco-friendly, Biodegradable soap (which goes a long way, so don’t spray on it too much at once).

When it’s time to clean up, remove as much food and food debris as possible from your cookware and dishes before actually washing them; Scrape them well and rub them with paper towels (which you can burn if the fire continues), then place them in a tub of soapy water to soak, scrub well, and transfer them to a tub of clean water to rinse. Wash any utensils and cooking utensils afterward, as they tend to be dirtier than the dishes. You can use a microfiber towel to dry, lay it on one to air dry, even use a foldable dish rack if you have one, or hang it on a tree limb in a mesh bag to dry (another great tip of the “The New Camp Cookbook”). Fresh Off the Grid also has more advice on washing dishes while camping.

It is also necessary to properly contain and dispose of all food waste; Minimize it in the first place by packing things into reusable containers whenever possible. But throw any trash you create into designated bins (and recycle what you can), or if you’re really out in the wild, pack it up and bring it with you. Seal the trash bags and hang up the food And Put trash in bear bags if you’re in an area where they live, and keep bowls of water away from camp to avoid attracting hungry critters.

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