When preparing for a camping trip, how much prepping do you do at home? Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking in camp and after a hard day of play and adventure, nothing beats sitting down to a great meal. But when I go camping I don’t want to spend all my time cooking. I also want to hike, fish, canoe, hunt, spend time with my family and friends, and enjoy the outdoors.
I also want to pack efficiently and I don’t see the sense in packing a 5-lb bag of flour to camp if all I’m going to use out of it is one cup’s worth.
Many ingredients can be prepped at home and stored in resealable bags, plastic containers or plastic bottles and transported to camp in your cooler or food tote. Whatever you use for transport, make sure it seals up tightly. It’s not fun to get to camp and find that a glass container has broken or a plastic bottle or bag has leaked and now the entire contents of your cooler are contaminated.
When we are planning to bake in camp, we prep all our dry ingredients at home. I use resealable bags and write what it is for on the bag with a sharpie so there is no mistaking the flour for the sugar.
Vegetables can be washed and chopped at home.
If you don’t need whole eggs for frying or boiling, you could crack and lightly beat the eggs and pour them into a plastic bottle for transporting in your cooler. That way, you don’t have to worry about breakage or a cardboard egg carton getting soggy in your cooler.
Speaking of eggs, if you are planning on serving hard boiled or deviled eggs, you could boil them at home and transport them in your cooler. For more ideas for deviled eggs, see my blog post: “The Devil is in the Eggs.”
Most meats can be pre-cooked at home; however, I would not recommend pre-cooking steaks. By the time you get them reheated in camp, they’ve turned into shoe leather. I also wouldn’t recommend pre-cooking any meats that you’ll be making gravy from. You’ll want all that those savory drippings in your skillet and you’ll lose too much if you pre-cook the meat at home.
Many sauces can be made ahead of time. Some sauces even taste better if they are made a day or two ahead of time and all the seasonings have a chance to marry together.
Marinade and meat can be combined at home in a resealable bag or plastic container and then the meat marinades all the way to camp.
Pie, pizza and cookie dough can be made ahead.
Pasta can be cooked at home and brought to camp for combining with other ingredients. Slightly under cook the pasta as it will cook more in camp.
There are many ways you can make camp cooking easier so that you can spend more time enjoying the outdoors.
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