Camp Kitchen - ideas to share

I have been celebrating this way for 40 years. We have served a lot of buffalo, the American meat. Only 2 guests this year. We have had up to 28.
Pumpkin bread pudding with pecans, raisins and bourbon sauce.

ppine - I am a huge fan of bison as well, two guests or more, sounds like a wonderful time with scrumptious food. Thanks for sharing

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I use a Optimus terra cookset and a pocket rocket. I use a foodsaver a lot. I get the smaller and larger bags and use them together and food plan. For example,

bfast. 1C oatmeal, raisens, dry milk and sugar in a ziplock. (add 2c boiling water to ziplock, shake a bit, let stand 5 min)
lunch. food save a bagel (they look pretty funky when you suck the air out, but they are still good), summer sausage, block cheese
Dinner, Uncle Bens red beans and rice ready to eat, a small can of spam. (heat rice and beans on pocket rocket with spam, makes a fair trail jambalaya, you can bring canned shrimp but I havent found it has a lot of flavor)
Snacks, granola bars, water flavoring, coffee bags (folgers, not great but recognizable as coffee and not instant) 2 per cup, dehydrated apples w/cin and sugar, jerky if I get venison to make it with and it lasts till I go camping… I will put some apples in the boat in their own bag so I have fresh fruit and because I like apples. You cant foodsave them real well.

Put all of that into a large foodsaver bag and seal it. That way you have the whole day in a bag, it wont get wet or dirty, and you have a garbage bag for each day to pack the messy stuff out in.
For dinners that are not MT house, MRE, or C rat, that is kind of a goal once you eat enough of them, just get a little creative. I like the Knorr Pasta Sides. Take an alfredo one and buy canned or better yet for weight and size, bagged chicken and you have chicken alfredo from a pocket rocket in the middle of the woods.

Wonderful reply thank you so much.

I think the apples you would have to either dehydrate them or treat them with the citric acid or some other preservative.
I love some of your ideas and I’m going to have to put them in my toolbox and try them out myself, I appreciate it thank you

Did you ever try dehydrating ground beef for the stew? I have used it with noodles to make stroganoff and it is ok.

Whole apples you leave alone. Dehydrated ones you wash with lemon juice. Its been a couple years since I went but I need to start thinking about it again. Headed out for probably a 3 day trip in early spring. I have done up to 5 nights. That is when foodsaving the full days meals day gets important.
Block cheese that is airtight is safe after a couple days, the texture gets a little weak if its warm out so that becomes a mid trip meal. You can take a steak or burgers w/o a cooler for the first day. Wrap them in your sleeping bag while frozen. When you camp that night you can use them. I always found that to be a PITA but it is an option.

I paddle with a fellow that always brought steak for first night and frozen lasagna in his cooler for second night. Lasagna was the “ice” in the soft side cooler.

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Boy there are some ingenious people here frozen lasagna to use as “ice”…amazing. I know if a guy who is off routing for a week and his friend pulled out ice cream on the third night which was kept cold due to dry ice. I’m not sure I would go that far but they were in the desert and I’m sure that ice cream tasted amazing.
I’m saving up for a dehydrator it’s gonna be a while before I can manage to afford one but when I do I’m sure I’m going to be making really good use of it I was thrilled to see Matthew Posa (YouTube video outdoorsman an avid canoe paddlers), Making and dehydrating his own spaghetti that sounds wonderful for out on the water as well as in a campsite

One of the stack up dehydrators for well under 50 bucks work fine.

Warning…Years ago we launched out to race week in a thirty-three foot sailboat. At the last moment one of our youngest crew members showed up with dry ice from work. We put it on the top of the ice chest…!!.. It froze everything!!! We were on can goods for three days untill I could chip some other food out of the box.

Overstreet, :flushed::flushed::flushed: I think this guy was familiar with dry ice and he definitely didn’t pull it out until day three of them being in 100+ degree weather

If you were the one doing the chipping, did you know the youngest crew member REAL well… :thinking:

Much as I like properly done coffee, to get rolling quickly we use filter packs. Boil the water, remove pot from heat and throw one in like a tea bag. No equipment to carry or to clean. It ain’t fresh ground press coffee but it does the job.

I haven’t yet. Just the veggies. From what I’ve read, the secret to doing the ground beef is you mix bread crumbs in. Otherwise it rehydrates like little pebbles. I should give it a try soon.

Dehydrating any meat is just like making jerky, most jerky is done in strips, only rehydrated to eat, however there is a business in Texas who does jerky in cubes (like kebabs), I am uncertain of how long that would take or if rehydrating would be horribly tedious or not. You bring up a great question and I will see what I can come up with and share here.

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It is a bit pebbley, but it still have decent beef flavor. I am not sure how you could mix bread crumbs in unless you dried it as a patty… I just seasoned, then browned, drained and dehydrated.

Jerky is different. It is cured, not cooked.
For example I salt cure venison before I dry it. Raw meat in a pot with salt and flavorings, then dried bagged and the kids eat all of it.
Drying ground beef uncooked would not be safe. It would have to be cured like jerky or cooked.

@Mazer - as some on this list know, I’m preparing for a circumnavigation of Lake Superior. Dehydrating food at home is going to be a must for the journey - purchasing the stuff is expensive.

A friend sent me this link: I’ve ordered a couple of his books and really enjoy his newsletters. There’s some small backpacking food companies out there as well that offer high quality ingredients. Check out Garage Grown Gear ( They support small/start up companies that offer lightweight, compact and well thought out gear and food. I found Skratch Labs through them. Chris from Greenbelly ( is another interesting source for food and info.

All of the above sites are thru-hiker focused but there’s lots of good info to be had. While weight may not be as critical for kayak expeditions, room is still a consideration.

How do you like your FoodSaver? I’m leaning toward the NOLS pantry method in an effort to limit the amount of plastic waste but am reconsidering after reading Chef Glen’s methods. Having food sealed in small packages might help contain smells that attract non-human visitors.


I will add this, when you dehydrate you will undoubtedly include snacks. You have to watch your intake of things like dehydrated apple chips ( as I figured out ). Snacking on those throughout the day without drinking a ton of extra water will leave you feeling a bit on the crappy side since it ends up dehydrating you. I am re thinking my snack mix.

Thank you for the heads up on snacks and sharing the link.