Camping, car or pack \ meals

We are planning our paddle week at Lake Plansee in late July.

We have never used this tent because normally we have a Roof Top Tent and are off-road. This cheap tent was 99 dollars and we have never tried it so today we set it up in the driveway.:expressionless:

I saw a You Tuber that my husband says everyone makes fun of his terrible cooking and he made chicken parmigiana with frozen Tyson chicken patties. But I can get ground veal at the butcher shop near our house and then season it up, even precook it and freeze it. Then he pours spaghetti sauce (Newmans or Ragu from a jar and puts quality shavings of parmigiana on top.

I’m always looking for something new to make with minimal prep. We have a Dometic refrigerator and a large battery pack we used in the Italian Alps off-road for ten days.

If we were floating we would use the big Yeti soft cooler and the small two man tent.

Normally if we have the roof tent it’s wild camping and there is no way to take the kayaks.

Cooking on Jet Boil:

Prep the vegetables ahead and put in bag, throw them on the pan at the end.


A really great tent trip is the Alaska Ferry from Bellingham up the Inside Passage.
People put their tents on the deck!:face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:

We had a cabin but there are very nice communal showers available for campers.

Lots of kayaks on the ferry.

1 Like

You’ve got Aldi (Hofer) grocers in Austria, right? They have some good camping foods. I highly recommend their small jars (6.7 ounce) of both green and red pesto sauce – very tasty and more compact to pack than the bulky 32 ounce standard Ragu type jars. In fact I save the glass jars at home and they are a good size for packing stuff like olive oil, marinades and even sugar and butter. They hold just enough for a two or 3 serving dish so you don’t end up with leftovers that need refrigeration. And unlike plastic containers, they are easy to clean and don’t retain odors.

The green pesto, tossed with bowtie pasta, grated Parmesan or Asiago and (optional) a can of drained baby clams or mussels is ambrosial. The red pesto has more “bite” than most commercial red sauces and makes a tasty sandwich spread as well as pasta sauce – I like to dump well drained canned albacore tuna or white chicken on a lavash flatbread or soft tortilla, spread the red pesto over it and add whatever greens I have either brought with me or picked from the landscape and roll it up. Aldi also has small packets of grilled chicken strips (refrigerated section) that are just enough for two or 3 servings for main dishes or sandwich roll ups.

The Aldi/Hofer packaged precooked rice and grain side dishes in vacuum pack are also handy. Their big oblong pizza crusts from the bread sectionhold up well for days camping/travelling without getting stale, likely due to the olive oil content. I cut them in thirds and they are good for open face sandwiches or frying pan pizzas on the camp stove .

I’m also an omnivore like you guys and usually take the precooked bacon (another item I find at US Aldi’s) along to add savor to my camp casseroles and salads. If that is not an option in Europe, Prosciutto ham can be crinkled up and fried in the pan and provides the same crisp saltiness. Aldi’s inexpensive no-salt herbal mixes in the little plastic shakers are a staple in my kitchen at home and in the camper, especially the blue-topped one that has garlic, onion, black pepper, parsley, fennel, bay leaf, marjoram, oregano, savory, thyme, cayenned, coriander , cumin, mustard, rosemary, celery seed and dried orange zest. Wonderful on eggs or sprinkled on any vegetables or salads. That one and the yellow or orange topped blends are also good on fish like salmon or trout fillets.

I hear Aldi Sud has some Trader Joe products in their European stores so maybe they carry the TJ single serve foil pouches of artichoke hearts. I keep them around for sandwich and salad additions and even to stir into pasta casseroles. I was addicted to the lemon flavored curly pasta TJ’s stocked for a while but that went missing a few months ago. That lemon pasta tossed hot with olive oil, diced sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, chicken or shrimp and grated hard cheese is also quick and delicious.

1 Like

Thanks Willowleaf! That’s what I was looking for because I get tired of the same food.

You sound like a great cook :blush:

sun dried tomatoes are delicious in everything.

A favorite camp dinner that we still make at home sometimes.
Eckridge beef sausage sliced.
Diced potatoes
Canned green beans.
Greek seasoning
Texas Pete
Heat the precooked sausage with the onions and potatoes until the taters are done. Flavor to taste while simmering.
Finally, Add the green beans until they are warm.

1 Like

Duct tape lots of duct tape required so the tents don’t become kites.

1 Like

I like these silicone bags from Amazon

This post reminded me of something else.

Yes, another controversy.

I don’t use plastics with food (I’m a bit woo) and someone saw a picture of us using olive oil in a glass bottle at camp and gave me a lecture.

We are very careful and have never broken anything and of course would clean it up. I feel glass is more environmentally friendly and healthier. We are proud of “leave no trace” and I mean “nothing.”

I try and avoid buying things in plastics and we are only allowed a tiny amount of trash each week aside from the recyclables.

When I first heard about the bag situation for climbing Rainer I was a little horrified they put it in their packs for the duration.

And now here I am. We bought this big canvas trash bag that attaches to the spare tire on the Defender.

Here are a couple of single meals I got off the internet that I keep going back to.

Pizza with grits instead of dough:
2 pkg instant grits
small can of pizza sauce
5 oz pkg turkey pepperoni

Curry chili:
1 c instant rice
1 small plastic “can” hatch peppers
1 brick golden curry japanese curry mix

1 Like

Indeed, glass is 100% recyclable, over and over and over. In much of Europe, the vast majority of glass is recycled. In Germany and Switzerland, it’s over 95%, but in the US it’s more like 33%. For sure, part of that is due to our “convenience culture”, but it’s also economic. Glass is heavy and this is a big country. Hauling it from collection points to transfer stations, to cleaning and grinding facilities to glass-making plants can ruin the economics of recycling if the distances are too great.
One answer is to subsidize the cost of recycling. In states with mandatory deposit laws ("bottle bills), the rate of recycling approaches that of Germany and Switzerland. Yes, hauling empties back to the store or some other place isn’t always convenient. And yes, some will grouse about over-regulation and big government, but what else is new?
If reprocessing is good, re-use can be even better. Re-usable milk, soft drink and beer bottles were everywhere back in the day. Just collect, inspect, sanitize, and run down the bottling line again. That’s it. And it works - the average Canadian beer bottle is re-used 15 times! Of course, marketing wizards will complain that standardized bottles would stifle creativity, but how many consumers would care … or even notice?
So @MohaveFlyer, if you pack that olive oil bottle out and use it again on future trips, I say “Good on you!”.

1 Like

I’ve looked at silicone bags as an alternative to commonly used ziplocks for camping/packing our own food but I’ve read that they tend to have longevity issues w/ the zip closure. They’re also heavy, expensive (which I could deal w/ if they lasted for years of use), and I’m a little concerned about cleaning them out sufficiently (especially the pleated/standup ones).
I would definitely like to hear more from your experience w/ them.
We are also minimal waste/ no trace/ permaculture based and living in our rigs where our usual “trash bag” is an empty chip bag.

1 Like

The brand I bought were not as expensive as the dasher stashers. I’ve been using them for almost a year and they have held up. I put ice in them and beat them in the counter which I shouldn’t but…what can I say, I live in “ice hell”:laughing:

The way I wash them is I just flip them inside out and run them through the dishwasher (at least I have one of those)

The reason I’m forced to use bags is our refrigerator is ridiculously small and you have to cram everything in. Glass food storage containers take up too much room. I don’t cook in them but some people do the water bath cooking using them.

I’m sure they are made in China but it’s better than using so many plastic bags IMO

Our house has parking and a garden so we decided to suck it up about the kitchen.

1 Like


These seal pretty well

The price isn’t great but it was the best I could find.

You can pack a lunch in them also

Thanks! I was an outfitter guide for some years in my 20s and 30s and got pretty good at wilderness scratch cookery. At home or in the woods, my philosophy of cooking is that it should not take longer to prep a meal than it would take to eat it. Hence most of my dishes only take 10 or 15 minutes from cutting board to plate.

Another ingredient that was a staple of my outback larder, which I now have to track down since my grocers no longer seem to stock it, is dehydrated butter solids. Essentially a powder made from butter that has had the ghee skimmed off. I used to get it in little paper tear-open packets (like the sugar packets in a diner) and it adds a rich buttery taste to anything on which it is sprinkled or mixed without adding fat or significant calories. The stuff I used was called “Butter Buds”. I did a week long winter backpacking trip years ago with a younger couple who were both graduates of and instructors with Outward Bound and it is hard to get more ascetic, minimalist about gear and food and hard core than those folks. We were camping out in snow and they were sleeping under a tarp! They initially scoffed at my packets of Butter Buds that I was adding to the one-pot dishes I was concocting over my tiny Primus stove, but once I persuaded them to try a dash on their bland rice, tempeh and dehydrated vegetable goulash they were hooked and used up every pack I had with me and shared for every meal during the rest of the trip.

Just remembered my “mountain slaw” recipe too. Bagged fine- shredded broccoli stem and carrots hold up better sans refrigeration than other veggies. Mix it with a handful of Trader Joe’s orange flavored dried cranberries and the same quantity of slivered almonds (the crunchy shoestring cut, not the thin slices) and toss with a dressing made of equal parts honey, salad dressing or mayo (i regularly swipe foil single serve packets from restaurant condiment stations) and a big dash of dried mustard, Crunchy, tangy sweet and nutrient packed.

1 Like

I’d completely forgotten about Butter Buds. Great sprinkled on Jiffy Pop and corn on the cob steamed in the husks on hot coals. Good stuff.
Man, could I go for a handful of Screaming Yellow Zonkers and a cold Crystal Pepsi. Or not.

1 Like

I did a practice run on the veal Parmesan and it was “ok” but maybe better today.

Not sure how it will freeze but we will add the cheese at camp.

I look forward to making that salad because I noticed only this week that shredded vegetable like carrots last a very long time!:+1:t3:

For total conveniance i use the precooked packages of rice, quinoa blends, wild rice. I add tiki marsala sauce and precooked hamburger, top with peanuts, or vary it up with korma sauce and chicken, also do cooked ramen and red or green pesto, i do frozen tuna steaks, thaw them a nd top with lemon grass and ginger from the squeeze tubes while cooking, when im hungry and tired i like simple, also dont forget sandwiches, simple but effective- easy with a fridge

1 Like

It sounds like you are a fantastic cook also.

I love dishes topped with peanuts. I like to make Thai chili peanut beef with noodles but I’ve never done it camping.

For me food is more of a necessity than a passion when camping or adventuring. Don’t get me wrong I like a tasty, well-balanced meal, and I love fresh seafood. However, I am more likely to prioritize time when it comes to prep. I am completely happy to go the eat without cooking options, or just add boiling water when afield. That’s not to say I haven’t cooked some big meals requiring time and prep while afield in the past.

I have been using the silicon bags for several years now. One is my day use on-water lunch box. Growing up when glass was the only drink container, I hated broken glass around the beaches and in the water. Plastic however is a global problem. I do like glass for drinks, and stainless steel is a good unbreakable option. I despise disposable and single use plastic items, and they are everywhere. However, the zip lock bag is just so convenient.

Do you ever use the silicone bags for boiling water or boil-in-bag methods?