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Camping with Family--what to eat?

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Old 07-09-2009, 02:39 PM   #1
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Default Camping with Family--what to eat?

We will have a camp stove with a frying pan and a pot. We will have a cooler--but refreshing the ice everyday is a huge hassle. We will be near a gocery store--though going into town and buying our food for supper every night is also a huge hassle. However, we will be in bear country and will have to carry all our food with us at all times in the back of the vehicle (in the cooler and boxes).

My husband says we should just buy everything canned and pick up fresh meat for supper at the grocery store. My kids (8 and 11) can't see past s'mores.

We used to take that instant oatmeal for breakfasts and snacks--I'm afraid if I eat that I'll gain a million pounds. The kids don't really like it anyway. I suppose I could fry an egg for everyone in the morning--but what a hassle that is to clean up!

In the past I have packed cut up veggies and sandwiches--and granola bars and trail mix for our picnic-hikes. I can continue to do that, I suppose but, geez, louise, denying myself trail mix and granola bars is going to be difficult.

Supper is usually some sort of meat, and something cooked in the pot. Food prep (and clean up) is a major chore--and so we don't eat anything like salads or soups when we're camping. Leftovers--because of limited space--are a no-no.

So, any ideas how to manage this? The food and everything that goes with it has always been my least favourite part of camping. I love being out in the fresh mountain air 24 hours a day and hiking....but it would be so much easier if no one had to eat!
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:01 PM   #2
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We just got back from camping and we are going camping again in a few weeks.

Pre-prepped salads - I made a coleslaw type salad and a quinoa/black bean salad before we went and took them with us.

Fresh veggies - I took tomatoes (were a bit too soft on the last day), corn, zucchini, portobello mushrooms and bell peppers. We grilled all but the tomatoes.

Fruit - Pineapple (we grilled it) and watermelon

Veggie burgers - I don't eat meat so I took a couple veggie burgers to grill one day.

Whole wheat buns - for the veggie burgers.

Tortillas - I made grilled veggie tacos for lunch

Beans - Took some pre-cooked beans with us for dinner/lunch

"Emergency meal" - I did take cans of beans, tomatoes and diced chile peppers along with various spices so that I could make a pot of chili beans if we wanted. We ended up eating other things though.

We did do leftovers though, like we would come something one day and heat it up the next. It helped to take a couple tupperwares with us to stash stuff in the cooler once the food cooled down.

For breakfast, why not take something like oatmeal or other hot cereal that you just need to add some hot water to? You can also take something like frozen blueberries to add. Last camping trip we went on, I did make pancakes for breakfast because it was something we normally don't have but for our next camping trip, I'm thinking hot/cold cereal with some unsweetened soy milk.

Instead of trail mix, why not take some nuts with you? I take raw nuts with us when we go hiking and sometimes bars as well.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:08 PM   #3
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That's an impressive menu, Nelie. How long was your trip?

The kids hate oatmeal, so that's out. But I'm curious--how would you keep blueberries frozen?

What sorts of beans are you referring to? Brown beans (like Libby's) or kidney beans, pinto beans, romano, and such?

Trail mix is usually something I make myself from nuts and dried fruit. Too many calories to eat by the handsfull!

See, part of my problem is this: Should I try to stick to my eating plan--and NOT eat anything "off plan" (like calorie dense but low volume (and thus easy to over-eat) foods like trail mix) or should I simply "do my best" and not fret? Say, have one s'more instead of none (on plan) or 15 (off plan).

I'm not sure what to do.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:56 PM   #4
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Hope you have fun camping. Before you go you could make up some calorie breakfast muffins & wrap individually & have with fruit for breakfast.
Bacon/tomatoe sandwiches, wraps with peanut butter & banana.

Have fun!
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:58 PM   #5
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maybe the blueberries could be fresh so you wouldnt have to keep them frozen
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:02 PM   #6
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We recently went camping in bear country ourselves! I was fun! We took fruit; apples, oranges, bananas - peels can go into a zip lock bag if you're packing it out too... we had trash available to us, so it wasn't an issue.

What about hard boiled eggs instead of frying them? No added fat. you can also mix up a quickie egg salad, put into a tortilla & add lettuce for a lunch.

Snacks; pre-cut veggies are always a hit for my boys (11 & 8 also). I also buy granola bars instead of trail mix so it's pre-measured, only allowing myself one when I think I've put out the energy to "earn" it. Wrappers can go back into a backpack easily or I like to cram them into an empty water bottle to keep them from floating out of the backpack.

Dinner, ya got me. Ours must not have been very good for me to not remember it.

Great job on the planning in advance!
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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We camp a lot during the summer. I too worry about gaining weight during camping. Breakfast scares me the most since it can be very high in calories. We do omlets in a bag, which sounds weird, but they are very good and you can put anything you want in them. And I've used egg substitute with peppers, mushrooms, onion and any other veggie I have on hand and low fat cheese. I try to have everything cut up before we leave, saves time and space. Use a quart size freezer zip lock bag and put 2 eggs and all other items in the bag. Mix well, seal baggie and boil in water for about 11-13 minutes. The kids love them too, they're fun to make and taste great and clean-up is simple! Good luck!
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mntcfan View Post
We camp a lot during the summer. I too worry about gaining weight during camping. Breakfast scares me the most since it can be very high in calories. We do omlets in a bag, which sounds weird, but they are very good and you can put anything you want in them. And I've used egg substitute with peppers, mushrooms, onion and any other veggie I have on hand and low fat cheese. I try to have everything cut up before we leave, saves time and space. Use a quart size freezer zip lock bag and put 2 eggs and all other items in the bag. Mix well, seal baggie and boil in water for about 11-13 minutes. The kids love them too, they're fun to make and taste great and clean-up is simple! Good luck!

So smart!!!! Will have to try this - DBF will be SO excited!!

Great thread! Lots of great advice, love love love it!
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:31 PM   #9
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Hi there!
I LOVE camping -- hopefully it will be out in the Rockies...

I'm not sure what kind of eating plan you are on other than high volume, low calorie? so I'm kind of stabbing in the dark here, and take from this what you will...

It might be easier to cook just once for everyone, to avoid the dishes/dishes/dishes that are a pain in the bottom while camping, so I'll base my recommendations on that:

Fresh fruit - oranges and apples - in particular last a long time and don't require refrigeration. Bananas aren't too bad, either.

Milk can be bought in tetrapacks, and cooled as required.

Breakfasts can be whole-grain cereals or scrambled eggs and turkey bacon for everyone. Canned fat-free baked beans are also an option.

Lentils, rice and beans are great staples. Lentils cook up quickly, as does rice, and I would go with tinned beans (well rinsed) too.

Tinned tomatoes are always helpful.

So you can make a one-pot chili using beans and tomatoes and spices. You can add ground turkey if your DH needs his "meat fix".

Or you can go with tacos, and avoid the shells for yourself.

TVP can act as a meat substitute, and doesn't need refrigeration.

Cut veggies are a great idea (mentioned earlier) because carrots/celery will last a long time in a tupperware and won't need refrigeration.

I personally would avoid prepacked meals. I would go to the library and check out some books on camping and menus because to go Off Plan might be easier in the short run, but difficult to deal with in the long term. You'll be camping again, I expect, so it might be a good time to experiment and see what works.

Have an AWESOME time!

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Old 07-09-2009, 04:40 PM   #10
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For the blueberries, I put frozen blueberries into a tupperware and took them with us. They defrosted enough but still stayed cool being in the cooler. I didn't expect them to stay frozen but they started frozen.

The beans were canned like black, pinto, kidney, etc.

As for diet, it does depend what diet you are on but my suggestion is follow portion control and try the best you can.

Oh and next time we are going, we are going to take whole wheat couscous. It is awesome as you just need to pour boiling water on it, stir, wait a few minutes and then fluff.

I'm also thinking of taking lentils and/or tempeh for a meatless sloppy joe filling.

Our last camping trip was 4 days, our next one is a week.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:09 PM   #11
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I double wrap the following in foil (to prevent leakage):

cut up carrots, already cup up at home and in baggie ready to use
cut up potatoes, already washed at home and in baggies NOT cut up
string beans, fresh or frozen (thawed and drained of excess water)
1/4 lb hamburger, broken up, or cut up chicken pieces (yep, I've cut up the chicken at home and stored it in a baggie, ready to use!)
canned corn, drained
1/2 to 1 tablespoon olive oil per package
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning per package

mix well, wrap in foil. You can mix all of the above in a large mixing bowl first, then distribute evenly or mix on the foil to save from cleaning up an extra bowl, which is what we do. Make sure to double wrap them in foil. Cook over the fire grill or fire coals for 40-50 minutes, turning several times to cook evenly and prevent burning. Make sure meat is cooked thoroughly before eating. Eat them off of the foil to save dishes, serve with ketchup, rolls, and a side salad if desired.

Simple, easy supper with almost no clean up! Enjoy!
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:08 AM   #12
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I'd still take granola bars and trail mix but preportion the baggies yourself so you can measure and just grab what you need.

Take some fresh fruit, applesauce cups are helpful as well. Precooked meat that you have portioned out would be good.

I think I'd just focus mainly on portion control. Have what you are all having but measure it out for yourself and round out your meals with as much fresh fruit and veg as you can. And if all else fails? Eat mostly protein for the entire time.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:22 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone. We're not sure how long our trip will be--at most a week, unfortunately, as there have been difficulties in getting away.

I'm also not sure how long we will be gone.

My plan is a portion based whole food plan. It's OK to work with--but difficult if there's mixed foods (like canned stew) and extra sugar (like canned baked beans is a no-no).

I'll try a library book. Thanks for the suggestion.

Lots here to think about. Thanks everyone! I'm a big picture person and we're talking details here, so it'll take a bit to wrap my head around the whole thing. If you think of anything more to add, that'd be fine!
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:31 PM   #14
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I've never had baked beans but the canned beans I buy are generally just beans and water. Sometimes beans, water and salt. The only exception is kidney beans for some reason! Goya is the only brand I know that sells canned kidney beans without sugar, all the other ones seem to add sugar.

For our next camping trip, I'm also thinking of premaking some beans, freezing them and taking with us. They won't stay frozen but they'll last a few days.
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:34 AM   #15
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Nelie--I would think frozen beans would act like an ice pack for your cooler!
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