Camp Kitchen - ideas to share

It has been quite sometime since I’ve posted here that’s because I suffered a major injury (not kayak related) and have had complications as a result I have not been able to get out on the water in two years, but I’m making plans for the near future, fingers crossed!!
That said I’ve been spending much of my time researching water trails in my area and watching YouTube videos on overnight paddling canoes and kayak trips and gathering information on either homemade DIY projects to enhance a camp kitchen or Just way cool stuff that I think is awesome enough to share here.

My last kayak camping trip was multiple nights in Tahoe and I was thrilled to help out a fellow kayaker who was having problems with their stove (I tend to bring duplicates especially when I’m camping with somebody else or paddling with somebody else who might need gear especially if that gear doesn’t take up a lot of room and doesn’t weigh a lot).

It was her turn to make up the dinner and her stove was not working at all, I happen to have packed two pocket rockets with me I was able to provide enough fuel for the trip plus extra, if needed.
This “JIC” (just in case) packing proved to be a positive experience because of my friends stove breaking down, She made a great dinner that night. I also had brought an extra tarp that trip and my friends niece actually needed it because she didn’t anticipate it being so cold at night. I just thought I’d start out with that we didn’t have to suffer because I bought extra gear which didn’t take up a lot of room and worked out to everyone’s benefit.

So back to the kitchen.

I found a YouTube channel called “Simon a bloke in the woods” and was amazed at some of the products that were available to him in the UK. Some we can get here in the US and the one thing that I really liked was available on Etsy and only from the UK.
He is an outdoor enthusiast and actually built his own canoe which is beautiful.
One of the things he did was take a canvas type tri-folded shotgun cartridge case, and he added small 5 mL fliptop plastic containers to carry around his spices in. I thought this was a great idea because each trip can be customized spice wise, There’s no waste, no major bulky containers and it’s all light weight.

He also used a number of Nalgene bottles in different sizes because their food grade plastic in order to store his cooking oil or salad dressings in. These come in screw lids so as to not leak all over the place, They could also be put in their own plastic or zip type bag so if they do leak the content basically stays in the bag.
The most exciting thing I saw from him was a portable standing moveable grill pole and hook. Simon got the idea from another YouTube channel called “Zed outdoors” another outdoor enthusiast. This product is available on Etsy and it comes with a pole that breaks down into two parts, A wraught iron hook and grill, This all can get stored in a custom bag which of course is a separate price.
It’s all handmade it’s not like wait but it breaks down into something very small and affords you the opportunity of boiling water in a pot or a tea kettle and using the great right over the fire. You can use either just the hook or the hook and the grate in combination at the same time, both arms are adjustable up and down the pole so you don’t have to worry about your stuff burning or not cooking.
This system can be used over a fire pit as well as just a regular ground fire. I prefer this over using a great that’s at a campsite because you never know what’s been on them or how well they’ve been cleaned if there even is one.
The grate comes in two different sizes. The smaller great is big enough to hold a pot or a pan or a good size steak.
I was wondering if you had any DIY projects that you have used for overnight camping or just for your boat to enhance your outdoor cooking experience.
I would love to hear what you’ve done to enhance your overnight or just day trip paddling experience.

Have you seen this? Its minimalist cookery to be sure, but it works every time, is small, and you can’t beat the price. For a spartan camper boiling water (for coffee, oatmeal, freeze dried or dehydrated stuff, instant soups, etc.) is all that is often necessary for shorter trips. A modest little DIY project and if you don’t like the end result , you’re not out much…

PS: There are a bunch of variations on this - some that pressurize, for example, and others that use “fingers” of AL from the top can to carry heat into the alcohol and cause it to gas-off - so it works rather like a manufactured Trangia stove.

I use a simple MSR isopro stove and primarily eat freeze dried food while camping, including long canoe trips. It packs easily and the packaging is water proof.

I have been trying to collect some freeze dried meals for this next spring. Do you have any favorite brands or particular meals?

I have tended to buy at REI or cabelas, can’t remeber the brand.

Huevos rancheros for breakfast and they have some spicier stuff that I like for lunch/dinner, but I can’t remeber flavors.

None of it is all that good, but it works.

When I do car camping with my buddies, we usually eat pretty well. Just the backpacking and long canoe trips that we do freeze dried

I’ve really been looking at backpacking gear for some of my kayaking gear sources. I have several stoves, sets of cookware, tents, bags, lanterns and more to fit whatever situation. I only have propane and canister fuel since I don’t like the idea of liquid fuel in my boats. My setups range from camping from the truck to canoe to kayak trips with overnight to extended stay options in July or January. It’s nice to have a wide variety to fit the needs of the trip.

I don’t carry alcohol either, to me it is too easy to either spill or contaminate, but I know many paddlers, backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts love using it

I thought I would provide the link to the wrought iron system, since descriptions can only help so much

Thanks, I have been an REI member for a very long time (it’s like my candy store) and I also shop at a place called sports basement which I love as well. I have watched some videos on reviewing some of the newer freeze dried meals versus the older businesses and I think Mountainhouse is very popular but there’s a lot out there that’s new and doesn’t have as many chemicals or filler ingredients.
Of course when you’re burning off calories and you just want fuel and some thing hot, almost anything will do. Although I love cooking especially when I’m outdoors camping

PJC - Very cool website thank you for linking

Yes, mountain house sounds right.

I tend to do oatmeal and freeze dried coffee for breakfast. Simple and quick.

Lots of granola bars during the day.

I have done a 5 day trip in the Adirondack a few time that had a big portage on day 2. We will usually bring something good like a roast and a bunch of veggies for the first day and then eat crap for the rest of the trip.

For many there’s a song about coffee and camping.

I carry a French press. Boil water put in with ground coffee , wait minutes then press while other things boil.

I pack bag of coffee in press when packed.

I have bought smaller and lighter gear and began dehydrating my own food to pack smaller and lighter while still binging what it takes to enjoy myself, but when it comes to coffee I bring my percolator and baggies of grounds (single pot servings). It’s one area where compromise would be a last resort!


I can’t resist…

Overstreet - I see your priorities are in place, thanks for sharing

Dcowell65 - I just got a food saver and I’m saving up for a dehydrator. Do you use a specific website or Facebook page for awesome recipes to dehydrate???
Or do you just love to cook and you know how to dehydrate your creations?
To fess up, I have to say I’m not a coffee drinker. I’m too hyper for coffee, even decaf.
One of the things that I used to love to do was to go group camping just so that I could cook for a bunch of people at once!!

There are quite a few facebook pages that would probably give you some great ideas. Mostly I just dehydrate the ingredients. When I’m cooking with onions, I slice up a bunch of extra and dehydrate them. Peppers or whatever. Make extra rice and dehydrate it, slice and boil some potatoes and dry them. After that cook using the dehydrated ingredients and whatever protein I bring. You would be amazed at how good spam stew can be!! lol Cube and brown the spam, add the dry ingredients and some water and simmer. Add some instant gravy to thicken and add a beef flavor and it’s actually really good. Curry, whatever. Dehydrated apple slices with some cinnamon and maybe some sugar depending on the apples. I cook with the dehydrated ingredients at home a lot so that I know what’s what when I’m out in the woods and without a pantry, freezer, store or restaurant as a backup. Be creative and just dehydrate the ingredients you cook with, or lots of ideas for actually making a meal and dehydrating that. I just prefer to go the ingredients route and cook up something fresh. It doesn’t take long and it’s good.

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Well Overstreet, I wouldn’t sing about it but I might cry without it! Lol

Thanksgiving dinner outside on a fire in Dutch Ovens at the backyard campsite.
Breast of turkey and beef tenderloin.


ppine - Now you’re talking!!