good ol’ camping fun {CAMPING TIPS~PART TWO}

Here are a few more tips for camping that I am hopeful will help make your experience more fun! If you missed yesterday’s Camping Tips PART ONE check it out!
::camp cooking::As I mentioned yesterday {but I will say it again}prep for your meals at home {if possible}. Plan out your menu down to the snacks. Plan to cook your most perishable foods the first part of your trip {so if you are having salmon…make it the first night and canned chili…make it the last night}. My goals is that whatever can be done ahead should be done and zip-locked before it goes in to the cooler/food bin. Make sure to write out your menu & your shopping list down to the last detail and be sure to check your lists twice. And remember, you do not have to pack light {unless you have a small car}.

::how i set up my camp kitchen::
I set up the prep area {utensils and cutting board} & stove for my camp kitchen in the same zone. I put it at the end of the picnic table or on a separate table. To make the cooking as easy as possible I hang a trash bag, keep a large bottle of water {with a spout} close by, set my utensils up in a basket & keep my camping bin with all the extras close by. We try to hang paper towel rolls and clothes pins on a rope nearby. There are a bunch of tricks for this kind of thing so do your homework or just do what makes sense to you. Just be sure to make this is set up easy to clean and keep tidy {see my notes below about animals}.

 


::must-have’s for a camp kitchen::
good stove
fuel for stove
pots & pans
salt & pepper
oil/butter
basic pantry items {depending on your menu}
basic utensils {such as wooden spoons & spatula’s}
tongs
a good knife or two
cutting boards
foil
matches/lighter
paper towels
zip-lock bags
tea kettle {for cooking and for heating water to wash dishes}
rags/sponges {for clean-up}
dish soap {biodegradable}
container for washing dishes
dish towels/sponges/rags
rope for hanging towels to dry
citronella candle to keep the bugs at bay

::camping menu ideas::

::Breakfast::
Simple:

  • Cereal, Milk & Fruit
  • Instant Oatmeal {store-bought packs or proportioned at home} & Fruit

More Complicated but Delish:

  • Pancakes, Bacon & Eggs
  • Omelets {with leftover veggies & cheese from the night before} & Hash Browns {store bought}
  • Breakfast Burritos {with leftover cheese, hash browns, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, bacon and large flour tortillas}
  •  Orange Cinnamon Rolls

::Lunch::
Simple:

  • Sandwiches, Chips {individual bags} & Fruit/Veggies
  • Quesadillas with Salsa & Guacamole {Add beans, chicken and or leftover Fajita meet and veggies chopped up} {For basic quesadillas you just need flour or corn tortillas and cheese…large flour tortillas are great for breakfast burritos the next day…add Spanish rice to the menu if you have enough time to make it that night but you will need more time than you think}

More Complicated but Delish:

  • Salads/Sandwiches w/chips & fruit/veggies {bring deli meat or use leftover protein from the night before such as steak, salmon or fajita chicken}
  • *Orzo Pasta Salad {make at home to bring} or Potato Salad {Store Bought or Pre-made at home to bring}

::Dinners::
Simple:

  • Canned Chilli w/ cornbread {store-bought or pre-made at home} or w/ Frito’s/corn chips {great with pre-shredded cheese & onions chopped or sliced plus sour cream}
  • Protein {such as *Flank Steak, Salmon or *Chicken Breasts} w/ Potatoes or Corn on the Cob & Garlic Bread {the Lipton soup dry mix box comes with a great onion potato roasting recipe that we often use and it comes with two packs so we use the other for some onion soup dip…make it in a large foil pack and put on the fire-pit grill…yum. Corn can be cooked in the husks on the grill or boiled in a large stock pot on the camping stove. Also, garlic bread can be bought in a foil bag and put on the grill or make your own and be sure to wrap in foil before putting on the grill}{see pics below for how we made this meal w/ salmon}
  • Pasta w/ pre-made sauce {make *Panfi’s Pasta Sauce or *Katrina’s Spicy Sauce at home or bring your favorite store bought sauce and then you just have to cook noodles and heat all together} & Garlic Bread & Salad {grab a pre-made bag salad such as Ceaser}
  • Hamburgers & Hot Dogs w/ all the fixin’s along with chips and baked beans and/or potatoes

More Complicated but Delish:

  • Fajitas w/ with Salsa, Guacamole, Tortillas & Spanish Rice {chop & marinate the chicken or steak, peppers & onions at home if possible}
  • Veggie & Meat Kabobs over rice {chop/prep & marinate the chicken, shrimp or steak at home if possible} {we like to add peppers, mushrooms, pineapple, zucchini & onions to our kabobs. Some people have each person make their own kabobs and eat their own while others make them family style buy grilling a large batch of skewers and scraping all the cooked meat and veggies onto a large platter of rice}
  • *Mama Morse’s Prize Winning Chili {bring a home-made version like this one} w/ cornbread {if you don’t want buy store-bought or pre-make cornbread from home you can try skillet cornbread with an iron skillet but again you may need a lot of time for this and make sure to bring all the ingredients necessary to make it} {great with pre-shredded cheese & onions chopped or sliced plus sour cream}
  • *Mexican Mountains {one of our family favorites}

::Snacks::
Simple:

  • Store-bought Pretzels
  • Store-bought Pub Mix
  • Store-bought BBQ Potato Chips
  • Chips & Salsa
  • Store-bought Popcorn {or premade at home}
  • Store-bought Cookies {such as Oreos}
  • Trail Mix
  • Fruit/Veggies {pre-washed and chopped if possible}
  • Watermelon
  • S’mores {OF COURSE}

More Complicated but Delish:

  • *Stove-Top Popcorn {a great thing to make when the stove is first on…to curb hungry appetite’s while making the rest of dinner}
  • Homemade cookies or bars such as brownies {pre-made ahead}
  • Onion Dip or Hummus & Veggies
  • *Road Trip Chick Dip or *Roasted Red Pepper & Basil Dip {make at home to bring} w/ chips and veggies for dipping
  • Apples & Peanut/Almond Butter
  • Celery Sticks & Tuna prepared to your liking
***

*don’t forget to grind your coffee at home*

*a few dinner options*
 *s’more set-up*
 
::divide and conquer meals with friends::
If you are going with friends or other families it can really lighten the load to split up meals. We have done this several ways. One family did all breakfasts, one did all lunches and we traded off on the dinners. Or you can have each family do their own breakfasts and lunch {sharing what is left on the last day} and trade off who cooks per night. You can rotate cooking and cleaning too {one family cooks and one cleans up} or something along those lines. However you decide to do it is fine…but I’m telling you it can really make things fun and more simply knowing you don’t have to cook and clean up every meal.::don’t forget about packing-up the food at night::Depending on the kind of animals in the area you are in be sure to clean up your camp kitchen really well at night. Each camping area will give you specifics about what this looks like. In some areas there are special food lockers and trash bins to keep out the animals {like bears} and in other areas putting everything back in the car and just making sure trash is in normal camp dumpsters/bins works. Be sure to check it out when you get there so you don’t learn the hard way by allowing a raccoon party outside your tent while you are asleep!

Hope these tips help…and you come home Happy Campers!

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