How to plan a real food camping trip
A couple weeks ago I wrote about how I was getting ready for the 3 day Bhakti Festival in Madison by planning my camping meals. I used the book Basic Essentials Cooking in the Outdoors (this is the 2nd edition, I have the first edition) by Cliff Jacobson who is from my parents’ town of River Falls, Wisc.
- dehydrated beef
- beef jerky
- farm-fresh eggs
- raw cheeses
A few days before I left, I browned two pounds of ground beef and used a Food Dehydrator to preserve my protein for the three days. After the beef was dehydrated, I put it in a plastic baggie and, using a straw, sucked most of the air out so it would keep longer. According to Jacobson, dehydrated beef can keep for 2 weeks in a double sealed baggie.
I also took bacon and summer sausage with me. Jacobson suggests buying summer sausage with preservatives (nitrites and nitrates) but, since I want to be worm-food when I leave this world, I buy nitrite- and nitrate-free bacon and summer sausage. Which means I needed to keep this meat cold. So I brought a tiny lunch box cooler. To avoid packing ice or freezer packets, I made little baggies of correctly-portioned protein and froze them individually. When it was time to make breakfast, I opened one baggie for my first breakfast and had two more baggies for the following two days.
I suggest doing this as much as you can: chop all your vegetables and cut all your meat before so that you don’t have to spend much time during your trip. And separate them into baggies for each day.
Oh, farm fresh eggs are great because they do not need to be refrigerated! As long as their shell stays intact, they will last for at least a month. There are plastic camping cartons that you can buy, but one of my friends made her own using a cardboard egg carton and dipping it in rice syrup to harden it and make it water resistent. Jacobson wraps his cardboard egg carton in bubble wrap and vacuum-seals them lightly.
- sprouted nuts
- nut butters
- raw cheeses
Well, you can see I had plenty of bacon! I also brought a jar of peanut butter, a stick of butter (it started off frozen in my cooler), and a sprouted nut mix.
If you are going to be gone for longer than 3 days or a week, I suggest using Ziploc Baggies for almost everything–don’t bring a jar of peanut butter, but it in a ziplock. It will take up less room in a baggie and the baggie can be re-used when it is empty.
- pita bread
- dehydrated fruits
- vegetables like onions, green pepper
- hot cereal made from oatmeal, quinoa, steel cut oats, etc
One idea of Jacobson’s that I really like is the use of Pita Bread! Ezekiel 4:9 is a sprouted grain bread and they have a pocket bread that I used during this trip. It can turn a fork-and-knife meal into hands on event. As you can see, I had a breakfast of bacon, onions and tomatoes in a pita bread. (Pita bread will stay fresh in a double-sealed ziplock baggie for 2 weeks.)
All in all it was a fun camping trip and I met some sweet people (this is Winter, Joanie and Mat picture with me). I could use a lightweight stove, like this Coleman Stove… but before I use it I’ll have that Instruction Manual memorized so I can avoid a huge fire next time.