This page contains a simple list of tips that should improve your cooking skills on your next canoe or kayak camping trip. It is not a "how to" for preparing delicious meals or make quick meals or actually how to cook anything at all.
Do take a gander at the list - the better you plan and organize before your trip, the better you'll eat while at camp. And we all like that!
Preparations - Before you go
- Some foods, such as meats, spaghetti sauce and chili you can prepare at home. After cooking, freeze them solid. Pack with other foods in cooler and use this instead of blocks of ice. Cook these items the first night out.
- Repackage most prepared foods, replacing bulky boxes with self-sealing (ziplock) plastic bags. This saves a ton of weight and space.
- Measure loose ingredients for each meal and pack in self-sealing plastic bags. Be sure to label each bag.
- Flat breads, such as pita and tortilla pack much easier and tighter than a loaf of bread.
- Unless you are making margaritas, freeze bottles of water instead of using ice cubes in your cooler.
- For items like carrots, onions and peppers that will be used within the first day, pre-chop them at home. If you're not planning on using them in the first 24 hours, leave them whole and chop the veggies at camp.
- Put like items in color-coded stuff sacks, for instance, all cooking equipment is in red bags, all foodstuffs in blue bags.
Don't forget to pack these items
- Aluminum foil
- Fuel for your stove
- Between meal snacks
- Salt, pepper and sugar
- Tall kitchen trash sacks (for trash!)
- If you are going to have an open fire, bring along a few charcoal briquettes. They will keep the fire going a lot longer than just using wood.
- Get a multi-tool - one of those things with a pair of pliers, knife blade, screwdriver, can opener, scissors, etc.
- A small plastic cutting board is very handy. Something like 8x8 inches should work fine and it certainly beats using the deck of your boat for chopping onions.
- Use your stove in well-ventilated areas only.
- If you are using a grill, apply oil to grill grate to keep foods from sticking.
- Before starting a campfire, make sure you have at least 5 feet of space free from combustible material. Having a pan / bucket / container of sand nearby to extinguish the fire should it get out of control is good too.
- Cover pots when cooking as food cooks faster, use less gas (for stoves) and keeps the bugs and dirt out.
- For items cooked directly in coals on the fire, such as baked potatoes, wrap them three times with aluminum foil to make airtight and keep food from burning.
Cleanup after your meal
- If you are cooking over an open fire, put a pan of water on the fire while you eat so you'll have hot water for tea, coffee and cleanup afterward.
- Forgot the environment friendly dish lotion? Try using baking soda or a bit of sand to wash your dishes.
- To remove burnt food from a skillet or pot, add a bit of dish soap and water and bring to a boil.
- Re-wash all camp cooking equipment when you get home from your trip. Dry thoroughly before storing.
- Avoid attracting animals. Read our page on Unwanted Camp Visitors.
One final tip for you outdoor cooks - always leave your campsite in better shape than you found it. Go ahead and pick up that piece of trash that someone else left behind.
If you have tips you'd like to share, add them in the comment area below.
Last update Monday, June 18, 2012
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|jerzeedivr on 6/18/2012 9:48am|
|The best camp stove is the Camp Chef stove if you have the room for it! I sold my old Colman stoves because they can't get hot enough to cook a steak on cast iron ribbed skillet!|