Casa Beebe

Camping Food Prep

We are getting ready for a weekend of camping and boating with some great friends! We are really looking forward to getting away, hanging out with some fun people and getting back to one of our favorite lakes from “back home”.

I must tell you that I am not what one would call a “roughing it” kind of camper. In fact, I was chatting with my mom earlier today, and I was telling her that I am good for a couple of nights or a long weekend, but I would not be having fun if we were camping for say a week or longer.

There are several reasons why.

First of all, we car camp. We don’t have a camper or a trailer or anything like that. We sleep in the back of our suburban (very comfortable actually), but not having a kitchen somewhat limits what I can do with food. And of course, the food is a priority for me!

Also, no kitchen and no refrigerator means that I have to pack all my cold food into coolers with ice…which eventually becomes soggy cold water. I don’t care how carefully I pack, at some point my food gets soggy and gross. And then there is the issue of cross contamination in all of that water with meat, vegetables, dairy and more. Gah! The mix of germs could be enough to fell a healthy horse!

Second, still relating to food, I am kind of OCD when it comes to my hands. I have to wash my hands a zillion times when I am cooking or doing something messy. Well, washing your hands is difficult when you are out in the woods in the dirt and no running water of nature.

Plus, how annoying is it to try and prep good yummy food at a picnic table with bugs and pine needles everywhere?

Another reason I am not much of a long-time camper? No showers. Oh, sometimes a campground will have a shower, but it just isn’t the same. I am only good for a couple days without a shower. After that I start to feel super nasty, my hair gets super greasy ( I do NOT know why…it’s gross!), and I just feel like shlub. I do brush my teeth every day….I can’t stand to have nasty teeth.

So, maybe I’m a little bit of a diva or princess when it comes to camping. I know. I can’t help it. I try to be a good sport. We just compromise. We just go for short periods of time that I can handle. 🙂

Anyway, we are getting ready to go and over the years I have discovered some tips and tricks to help me deal with some of my food related issues for camping.

First thing is I do 99% of the prep work at home before I leave.

For example, for this weekend I made my Shamelessly Stolen Pasta Salad, which is great for camping because it makes a lot and travels well. I made the whole thing today and tossed it into a big gallon zip lock bag. DONE. Now when we go to eat it all we have to do is shake up the bag and add a little extra dressing if it needs it. We can serve it right out of the bag; the bag stays pretty well sealed; and if we do happen to eat it all, the bag can go in the trash instead of having dirty dishes to deal with or take back home.

Tomatoes and cucumbers from my garden!
Also, I made my famous Mediterranean Turkey Burgers. Again, I did all the prep work here at home, in my fully functional and clean kitchen. I mixed the ingredients all together, made the patties and then put wax paper between each patty and put them in a big gallon zip lock bag. The bag went into the freezer. The meat patties will now be frozen when they go into the cooler and will take that much longer to defrost, reducing time in the “danger zone” for bacterial growth, and they also will help keep the cooler colder longer. WIN! They will be defrosted, or mostly so, by the time I want to use them.

We are having steak and veggie (separate) kabobs one night as well. The steak got cut up and skewered and seasoned here at home. They are in a large sealed tupperware (because the skewers will poke holes in a zip lock bag), also in the freezer. Again, it helps keep the meat out of the danger zone and keeps the cooler colder longer. They will be defrosted by the time I want to use them. The veggies are also already skewered and seasoned and in a separate tupperware container (no cross-contamination). They are not frozen.

We are going to make some stuffed poblano peppers while we are camping, too. Again, I did almost all the work here. Halved and seeded the peppers, washed and dried them and placed in a zip lock bag. Made the seasoned cream cheese filling and placed it into a tupperware. Took a cooked rotissiere chicken, shredded the breast meat, to go on the peppers later, put that in a zip lock bag and stuck that in the freezer, too. It is important to me to keep the meat cold as long as possible. All we will have to do at the campsite is assemble the peppers and then grill them They will be SO yummy.
Stuffed poblano peppers (from the garden) that we made a week or so ago. DELISH!
I also made a big ole batch of salsa. I used a bunch of stuff from our garden and it is all chopped and mixed and in a big tupperware ready to go. 
Banana peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes and garlic from the garden for salsa!
Tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapenos, banana peppers, cilantro, lime, salt, pepper! SO YUM!
I get tons of compliments on my salsa…even from avowed salsa haters!
I also made some tzatziki sauce for my turkey burgers and that is all prepped and mixed and in a tupperware ready to go.
Doing all of this prep work at home makes the actual camping experience so much better for me. I worry less about my food going bad; I worry less about getting my hands messy; it is so much nicer to just be able to cook when I’m ready to cook instead of having to prep and cook!
We are having: zucchini muffins for breakfast! Haha…yup…they are frozen from my batch making session earlier this summer and I will just throw them in the cooler and they also will be defrosted and ready to eat by the time I want to munch on them. Chris is not much of a breakfast person and I find trying to make breakfast while camping EXTRA annoying.
What kind of things do you do to get ready to camp? Do you have any special tricks or tips to make the food prep easier? Do you cook gourmet food or just do burgers and dogs? What is your go to breakfast for camping?? Let us know in the comments!!

2 comments on “Camping Food Prep

  1. Corrie
    August 25, 2011

    Well see…that is a great idea! I will have to try that for next time! Thanks for sharing Shore!

  2. shorey
    August 25, 2011

    Get some dry ice put in a plastic bag then put some ice around it. Your food will stay colder longer or not put much ice because somethings will actually stay frozen. I had a friend try this and it kept her food pretty cold for a few days without having to buy a ton of ice. Just be careful her milk and OJ became very slushy when it was next to dry ice. 🙂

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This entry was posted on August 25, 2011 by in camping, food, recipes.
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