I am leaving on a 6 day camping roadtrip on Thursday. I’ll be “off-grid” most of the time, limited grocery re-stocks available. I am trying to come up with a basic meal plan and I like hearing what other peoples go-to camp meals are.
My cooking equipment is an 8" cast iron, a pot, and a good propane stove.
I don’t have a good plan for breakfast, maybe oatmeal with some sort of protein? Lunches, I am thinking sandwiches, either lunch meat or PB&J. Dinner I was planning on rice, kielbasa, and vegetables. I’m fine to eat the same thing multiple days in a row so no worries about making it varied. I enjoy cooking but on this trip it is not my focus, so preferably easier meals.
I’ve done a few simple but good things when camping.
breakfast tacos with eggs, chorizo and cheese. I’ve done this with a single pan: fry the chorizo then take it off and add the eggs and scramble them, then set aside. Then put some cheese down in the pan, wait until it melts and pick it up with the tortilla. Add on chorizo, eggs and some salsa and you’ve got a pretty nice breakfast
pancakes are another, I just use a pancake mix for this, pretty easy
eggs & bacon/sausages
oatmeal is probably the fastest breakfast I’ve done. Whenever I’m camping only with my jetboil it’s what I do
Risotto with tomatoes or mushrooms: pretty easy since it just cooks slowly mostly by itself and all you need is rice, parmesan and whatever veg you want
Put some frozen shrimp in some foil with vegetables and spices when you leave, by the time you want to cook them they should have thawed a good amount and then just throw the foil packet into the pan
Grilled cheese or hot dogs are some other easy good ones
You can scramble eggs, salt, and pepper in a mason jar, add cut onion and peppers—makes for a super easy breakfast w/ cheese added while cooking. Way easier to do the mason jar vs trying to pack eggs in your cooler.
I think my biggest tip is to prep before you go. We will precook things like bacon, other meats, and precut veg if we take a much of it. Basically we take what were would typically meal prep. I like tortillas instead of bread, less bulk and they don’t get smooshed.
One of my favorite tricks I learned from a Co Worker who would take college kids on trips into some remote wild horse ranges is to vac pack entrees and then reheat the packets in warm water. No clean up, quick, super space efficient and uses a fraction of the fuel that it would have taken to cook it all. Pulled pork, mac and cheese, sloppy joes, taco meat, scrambled eggs, bratwurst.
This asian style peanut sauce is different and I’ve found it very addicting. I usually just make it in my blender at home and just bring the sauce camping, but if you finely mince the garlic ginger, should be fine. Goes great with rice, veggies, chicken/tofu etc. I keep it in a canning jar, store in my Dometic, and I add to my stir fry after it’s plated. It burns easy, so don’t add to a hot pan. I’ve added links if it’s a special ingredient. Btw, I greatly prefer the light soy sauce below when making home made fried rice.
I’ve also really enjoyed this titanium rice cooker pot. It’s like a mini double boiler. Works well for steaming veggies too. Works great on small, single burner backpacker style cookers that can simmer well.
the pot has little marks on it for the rice and for the water. I usually add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the outer pot, slide in the inner pot, and then top off to the water mark. It’s vented, so in the last 5 minutes of simmering, you can CAREFULLY open it and add raw veggies to steam as the rice finishes. When I do that I add a smidge extra water, like 1 tablespoon. It’s not under pressure, so you can open it. It’s just frikkin hot, so be careful. Burns are one of the most common reasons backpackers need an evac,
My dads “after school special” (kielbasa, bell pepper, onion). He somehow always had these ingredients on hand at home and would make it as his/my afterschool snack lol. Made mine with rice for extra bulk
So pretty basic, but I was happy. I am going on a 9day trip in July and am 100% going to try the “pre-cook and vacuum seal” method!
I’ve always been super happy with my Keith multicooker. If anything, the rice sometimes comes out a little wet, but thoroughly cooked. When it’s a little soupy, I just pull out the inner pot, carefully drain the excess water using my fork as a strainer, fluff the rice, and let it rest a couple minutes with the lid off. The inner pot has little holes, so the excess water will drain. As long as you don’t set it on cold stone, it holds its heat really well.
With its double boiler design, you can’t really burn the rice. Worse case would be if you didn’t add enough water and the rice is still too crunchy when you think it’s done. All you do is add more water to the bottom of the outer pot, a couple tablespoons of water to the rice, reassemble and throw it back on the burner and get it steaming again. Check again in a few minutes. Once venting steam, you lower the burner to its lowest setting. If you have to cook something else while you wait,you can set it aside and just reheat the Keith every few minutes to keep it steaming. I’ve cooked steel cut oats and lentils with it too.
After you get it venting steam, white rice takes 5-10 minutes on low, brown is 15-20 on low, oats 20-25. I have an old Coleman 442 and a Primus Omni, both simmer well and sip fuel on low. When backpacking I’ll also cold soak during the day, which cuts down on the cooking time a fair bit, but you have to guess the water level in the Keith when you do that. I just always add a half inch of the water to the outer pot first. It takes too long to drain through the tiny holes if you do it per the official instructions. It’s fun to experiment with, but probably it’s for people who enjoy cooking.
My favorite easy camp dinner lately is Momofuku tingly noodles and a Gilbert’s Aloha sausage. Throw sausage slices in a skillet then put on top of noodles with the sauce, add some veggies if you like more prep work. The bonus with Gilberts is they’re individually packaged so no leaky messes in your cooler and good shelf life.
I make a few days worth of overnight oats in 1/2cu or 1 cup sized rubbermaid containers for breakfast. oats, milk, peanut butter, banana protein powder, chocolate chips or whatever you like. I mean it’s basically cold paste, but easy to prep a batch in a blender and good fuel for activities.