Going On A Camping Trip…

CampingYep, that’s me in the picture at the right there. Me before marriage, that is. You see, I married an outdoors man. And I adjusted. I’ve learned to not focus so much on the mosquitoes and lack of facilities as much as on the breathtaking scenery and that nothing tastes so good as food fixed over a cozy campfire…

Suffice it to say: I want a chuck box! I’d love to have a sturdy wooden box that holds everything we need for a spur of the moment campfire experience. An outdoor kitchen in a nutshell. The box would hold my cooking things and double as a work surface for chopping and assembling foil packets among other things. Don’t worry, I’d make dh use something else to filet fish on…

Here are some of the things I’d keep in it:

  • cast-iron skillet or dutch oven (I have neither, but will borrow one for this trip) and plastic scraper to clean it with
  • potholders/oven mitts
  • matches
  • grill grate
  • sharp knife and cutting board
  • long handled slotted spoon and/or ladle
  • long handled tongs
  • can-opener
  • mixing bowl
  • seasonings
  • aluminum foil
  • garbage bags
  • dish towels, washcloths
  • tablecloth or old quilt
  • paper goods: towels, napkins, plates, utensils, cups

With our upcoming camping trip in the Black Hills of South Dakota (doesn’t that sound more romantic than we-have-to-save-money-by-camping-because-gas-is-so-high), I’m plotting fix-ahead meals and ways to make the whole experience a blast for my family. We’ve only a small tent, hey we bought it as honeymooners, and our Chevy Suburban, but a whole lotta love to go around.

So…what do you all like to grill when camping? I’m taking ingredients for S’mores (of course!) and scrubbed potatoes/ carrots/onions/butter/seasonings for my foil-wrapped side dishes. I’ll probably cook up a beef stew and freeze it then thaw and cook it in a dutch oven or cast-iron skillet on the grill. My friend Jana suggested I brown some ground beef ahead of time to use in tacos…Coffee Pot Steaming over a Campfire

Any breakfast ideas?

Please share your tips! And as I use them, I’ll remember you fondly in between 3-4 nights of biting bugs and pine trees and gurbling streams…

17 thoughts on “Going On A Camping Trip…”

  1. When I would take trips with my parents we would leave at three and four in the morning so my brothers and sisters would sleep the day away. Mom always brought cinnamon rolls and muffins so we could just stop at a rest stop. To get dressed and not have to worry about waiting for a rest stop.

  2. Another breakfast idea…brown ground sausage beforehand as well. Then scramble eggs on the fire, throw in the sausage and throw on a tortilla for breakfast burritos! My favorite!

  3. Andrea, I’d be scared I couldn’t transfer my toddler successfully from bed to carseat at 3 A.M. She sleeps lightly in those early hours, at least lately. I like the idea though. And I love the idea of taking muffins or sweet rolls! I’ll have to do that…mini-muffins would be especially handy! Thanks so much for the ideas!

    Jana, we love breakfast burritos here too, only I have to make them with ground beef as dh isn’t a sausage lover. I haven’t made them in a long time either, so thanks for jogging my memory. We’ll have tortillas along anyway for tacos, mmm!

    Keep the ideas coming! :)

  4. Scrambled eggs and bacon, great over a camp fire, it tastes so much (don’t ask me how), maybe the flavor comes out better.

    And of course, ham sandwiches with chips.

    Basically no new suggestions, hee.

  5. Hats off, Mary.
    No earthly power would drag me out to spend several days in the wilderness – unless I had internet out there :)

    But yours sounds tempting, I must admit.

  6. How about I freeze 2 gallon jugs of drinking water to use as ice in your ice chest. As they thaw, you can have cold water to drink. Solid ice lasts much longer than cubes.

    For breakfast, how about taking a box of cereal along, or a box of pancake mix that uses only water to mix up? Or frozen o.j. from which you can scoop a tablespoon into a glass with water to fill and let the girls spoon stir it. Even bacon that you’ve cooked well ahead of time and frozen. It heats up beautifully in time for companioning (?) with eggs. Freeze it in small batches of 4 or 5 slices so the rest will remain frozen. French toast would be great over the fire too. Get some almost green bananas and use as they ripen.

    How about packets of gravy mix to use with your skillet potatoes? Or to add to chopped meat once you’ve cooked it. Fix up a batch of your favorite salad dressing and spoon out just what you need when you fix one of your great salads.

    If you can’t find a wooden box, you might consider one of the medium sized plastic storage boxes. Don’t forget a small 1st aid kit…bandaids, disinfectant, tweezers, baby tylenol, motion sickness pills…and even some quart sized zip lok bags for barfing (!!) You can seal the smell inside until you can dispose of it. Are you taking the potty chair for d3? I’m so excited for you. Don’t forget the s’mores stuff!!
    Binoculars? Bird book? Wild flower book? Love you, Mom

  7. I’m actually a bit of a homebody and camping isn’t exactly on my list of things to do but we do have a caravan that we use sometimes. We mostly cook barbeques or I use our crockpot alot while we are out.

  8. My mom emailed me this one, had to share it here it sounds SO yummy:

    Just checked some aluminum foil websites and there’s lots on camping…check Camping Source Outdoor Cooking Tips and others. There is SO much. For instance on a square of heavy duty foil, put one/half peach. In the depression put a tablespoon of brown sugar and top with miniature marshmallows. Wrap tightly and put on the coals. Good dessert. What a fun thing to research.

    Mmm! And I’m so glad you did, Mother-dear! :)

  9. I believe you, Leticia! The first camp-cooked meal I ever ate was fresh fish, minutes from being caught, skewered on sharpened sticks and roasted over the fire…we only had salt to season it with and I’ve never ever had fish that good since. Simply amazing.

    Ann, I’m thinking there won’t be internet access! :)

    Mom, thank you so much for posting so many great great ideas!!! Yes, freeze me some water (for those of you who wonder, we buy all our water in town at the grocery story…we have a well that’s too near a river), what a great idea! I’m going to reread your comment and take notes… :)

    Amy, by “caravan” do you mean camper/RV? That’d be nice!

  10. I’m not much of a camper as an adult, but one of my favorite memories as a child was eating single serve cereal right out of the box. They came w/ aluminum sacks so you could pour the milk right in. Plus we got to eat sweetened cereal that we never got at home! It’s the little things, isn’t it? Do they still make those little cereals?

  11. Jessica, I know they make individual cereals, my kids are always begging me to get them and I never cave! That would be a great treat for them…I bet they’re in wax paper nowadays though…wonder how that would hold up with milk?

    Thanks for the idea, I love it. And yes, it’s always the little things…esp, I think, with our generation. Remember how thrilled we were at Christmas with a new book to read?

  12. Mary, you are a brave woman to have married an outdoorsman. Camping is so not on my todo list because I found that it’s a ton of work and not much rest. However, since you are organized and planning, it probably will be fun. Sorry I have no food tips. :(

  13. Georgiana, I can’t wait to meet you in real life! :) Maybe in Dallas? I can only hope…

    I love camping in hotel rooms to be honest, but I love the look in my dear man’s eyes when he knows I’m roughing it to suit him and our pocketbook. He’s so appreciative! Makes it worth it!

  14. Um, we have a pop up camper and I’m still a camperphobic. Last time we went it took me days to pack the camper and then I freaked about all the ticks my kids were getting. Then after two nights, we went home and spent the whole day camping. Give me a beach anyday, or better yet a nice resort by the beach.

    Though I heard camping is better with friends and if you stay longer than a couple of days. Not sure I care to find out!

  15. We have a stocked pop up camper and I’m still not a camping lover. We haven’t been in over a year and I wanted to sell the camper, but we’re going for 3 nights and 4 days over fall break. Another family will be there for two of the days which should make it more fun for me, but after that it’s just me, the outdoors & family and maybe a good book or two!

  16. We were so busy sightseeing on our camping trip that I wouldn’t have had time to read. But someday I’d love just a lazy camping trip…sitting in a lawn chair by a mountain lake, or creek, reading and watching the kids play. Ahhh… I wouldn’t have described myself as a camping person at all, not before this last trip made me a believer! :)

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