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cooking at your campsite 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 2
Location: North Carolina
Hi y'all,
We're thinking of trying a more elaborate setup this year in terms of cooking at the campsite, and are wondering what's most important to bring. Any tips, advice, ideas etc from wimmin who usually cook at their sites rather than go to meals? In particular the past couple of years we saw 2 wim camped in Amazon Acres who have what looks like a fantastic setup -- kind of an outdoor cafe feel -- any hints?

Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:45 am

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:53 am
Posts: 7
We cook about 50% of meals at our site give or take. I use the term "cook" somewhat loosely as it's more accurate to say that we heat a lot of meals at our site.

We prepare most dinners in advance. The only one we really eat in whole from the kitchen is burrito night. We make a stir fry, chili and a few other meals. Once cooled, we put them in freezer bags, lay and freeze them flat. The day we leave for fest, we pull them out of the freezer and put them in the cooler surrounded by more ice. We ice every day to keep everything very cold/frozenish and then thaw/heat through when it's time to eat them. We supplement from the kitchen with greens, rice (for stir fry), pasta, watermelon...

We do some of the same for lunches, mostly because we can't manage to get to the kitchen at lunch time.
We eat most breakfasts from the kitchen, but we bring our own blueberries to supplement.

So, our kitchen set up looks elaborate, but there are really just a few essentials.

A good table/flat surface on which we set up the stove (stoves in our case).
A two burner Coleman stove for heating (with two large/deep frying pans).
We also have a quick boil stove for heating water for coffee/tea, but that's more luxury than anything else.
A tub for washing dishes on site (we heat dishwater with the stove as well).
A container/bag of some sort for bring water back to the campsite in volume.
A baggie with other helpful spices (salt, pepper, chili, cumin, whatever else you might like).
Cooking utensils (spatula/spoon/etc.).
Dishtowels, plates, travel mugs, cups, utensils.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but that should start the responses to the thread.

Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:41 pm

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:15 pm
Posts: 281
Location: midwest
I don't cook very elaborately at my site, but I have pretty much the same set up as above, except mine is a single burner coleman and I don't use a jet boil (tho they are very intriguing, I admit) I'll add: bring a paring knife and one of those thin plastic cutting surfaces.

My theory is, I don't want to "pack in" water or ice, if I can help it. (soooo heavy, and I've got so much else) So I don't do the cooking at home, then freeze and bring, like femmiemouse, though she probably has a more inviting menu.

I have a somewhat complicated method for packing in. I have a cooler with frozen water bottles in the van for the 3 day trip, which stays in the parking lot all week. (still icy water for trip home) But I have another cooler (with wheels) that I pack with sleeping bags, etc. In the parking lot, I unload my few cold items (Milk for tea, eggs, butter) from the van cooler into tho other, unchilled one. I hike in, and even before setting up, I buy ice, empty the cooler of gear, and put the cold things on ice. An hour max, that it's unrefrigerated, but it's still stays cold enough under pillows in the cooler to be safe.

I make oatmeal in the a.m. I fry eggs and little smokies sausages. I bring ramen and dry asian soup packets (miso, and hot and sour and others) I have brought canned chicken, which is easy to brown. I bring a baggie with crepe mix. Actually, I un-box most everything, to conserve space and weight. I have a large cookie tin full of baggies or envelopes of stuff. I've made stove top stuffing with chicken, rice a roni too. There are some pretty good dehydrated meals in the camping sections. I've made chilli, but I don't want to pack in cans of tomatoes or beans--just the dehydrated stuff.

I also use Fest resources, bread for French toast or grilled cheese, peaches for over the crepes.

Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:01 am

Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 7:01 am
Posts: 296
Location: Syracuse, NY
I cook quite a bit too and also make several things and freeze them. Not only is is far easier for prep, things that are frozen tend to keep quite well in the cooler. I make my version of Cincinnati chili and use it for two different dinners, chili dogs and nachos. I usually bring some cooked, then frozen sausages and bacon and some kind of chops or steak (all frozen) as well. For veggies, I like broccoli, cauliflower, onions, cherry tomatoes, carrots and celery because they keep well and can take a beating in the cooler. Eggs are tough, but I love them so I put an extra carton around them for safe keeping. I also freeze butter and cheese for a couple days prior to leaving. This year I am going to make my favorite dip....shredded chicken, greek yogurt, blue cheese and red hot sauce with celery sticks for dipping and freeze that. I have been out in the twilight zone/RV for the last 4 years and rarely make it to the kitchen.

I will add a recipe of shear genius that my camp buddy came up with. Prepare some sort of ramen noodle pack(s) but use only enough water to have a bit a liquid left after the noodles absorb it. Add a couple spoons of peanut butter, whatever veggies you have and some hot sauce. Viola, ramen satay. Very hearty and surprisingly good. Credit to my buddy Streetsweep :)

My set-up is similar to the above but I have a couple things to add. I never used to bring my good pans. I brought cheap pans and they were a nightmare to clean. Inevitably something would get stuck on the bottom and I would have to put water in the pans and heat it then scrub...not fun when there are 100 other things you would like to be doing. Believe it not, now I bring a good sauce pan and my best super nice griddle. If your pans are really good quality, cooking on a camp stove won't hurt them a bit and clean up is a snap.

And of course, coffee. As a special treat for fest I bring real cream because it keeps better than milk.

Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:34 pm
Profile YIM

Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:30 pm
Posts: 144
Location: kitchener on
I make coffee every morning (I like a dark roast) but only cook breakfast a few days that week. The coleman 2 burner (folds in half with a travel bag), kettle, fry pan and french press. I cook 2 eggs for me and my girl and toast a bagel which we share on the other burner, we still get fest breakfast when there's eggs. I like fest food, my system appreciates the healthy eating and no cooking or clean up.

Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:11 pm
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