I am planning my two daughters, ages 5 and 2, long-term tent/car camping. We will be out for at least a few weeks. We will have a cooler and a basic stove, but no refrigeration, and a very tight budget. Can you give me some ideas for basic, simple, nourishing staples that we can subsist on? So far I have thought of the obvious: oatmeal, peanut butter, bread, fruit, rice, quinoa, maybe lentils?
I feel that if we had just a few basic meals to rely on, we would be fine. Variety is not important.
Thank you in advance for sharing ideas!
Canned veggies are actually good for camping. At least you can get some variety and they don't need to be refridgerated. My husband makes a stew with canned veggies and ground beef that is good. Pasta and ramen noodles are easy because you just need to boil water.
If you can get fresh produce while you are out camping, foil packets are good. You can do potatoes or zucchini or other veggies. We just got back from a week of camping and the kids ate bagels and cream cheese and fruit for breakfast and I had yogurt and fruit. We always bring salami and cheese sticks. Easy and portable. Good luck!
There was a GREAT thread about camp food a while ago....going to see if I can find it....
We did this last summer and we're about to do it again this summer.
Our daughter was almost 2 then, and she's almost 3 now. We ate a lot of avocado/canned refried bean sandwiches, we ate a lot of fresh raw foods, subsisted on watermelon and pineapples quite a lot, and oranges, (we were in S. Florida). That was a cheap, calorically dense/filling and yummy way to eat. We also grilled corn, zucchini, onion, a decent bit, and ate salads and snacked on celery, cucumber, and ate whole delicious tomatoes mono meal style... we drank orange juice if we didn't have a lot of fruit, and sometimes got mangoes or whatever else was on sale, but dates and making our own simple trail mixes lasted really long and were quite cheap for the calories/energy/fulfillment, and we didn't eat that much of it, so we were able to have it for emergencies. We stayed away from energy bars/granola bars etc. except once when we got a box on a huge discount, and I think we didn't even eat them all, we didn't like them too much, it as an odwalla flavor. We did get rice cakes too, and my daughter ate them quite a bit while driving in the car... a low mess food that was quite cheap and filling.
beans, crackers, pastas/sauce, sprouts are awesome for some fresh veggies while camping.
Cheese does not have to be refrigerated either, but often won't have the same consistency you're used to if you usually take it out of a fridge. And if it gets a bit of mold, you can just cut that part off. Generally if you buy a big block of cheese and cut it into smaller pieces, just make sure your hands are uber-clean when you cut it, handling as little as possible- then use a clean rag to wipe the smaller pieces with white vinegar (to stop mold growth) before repackaging. This works great- we used to pack cheese like this for month-long trips with no refrigeration.
I've got a few trips coming up so I'm going to be doing a Paleo version of having my own food. I'll do my own jerky (cheaper that way) and nuts and will buy fruit. Tons of filtered water from home (5 gallon jug comes with me on trips).
When I don't pack almonds and raisins, I usually go for organic MRE's. My favorite site for MRE's is Backpacker's Pantry (All sorts of Camping food) http://www.backpackerspantry.com
, they have several organic options for MRE's. I'm an Army Veteran and hands down, their food beats anything I have ever had. Like my drill sergeant told me, drink lots of water. Happy Camping! Plus Quinoa keeps well for a long time and canned green beans. Good luck!