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    Camping Mealplans
    • #1
    • 7th Jun 09, 9:20 PM
    Camping Mealplans 7th Jun 09 at 9:20 PM
    Hi all- really hope you can help!

    I am taking two teenagers camping for the first time in a few weeks and haven't a clue how to go about mealplanning. We won't have a great deal of money, so I want to avoid eating out, or relying on expensive camp shops, and take as much as I can with me - but obviously with all the camping stuff in the car space will be a premium.

    We will have:
    2 X Basic gas one ring butane gas stoves.
    Some disposible BBQ's
    A cool box (not sure how long stuff will stay OK over a week?)

    Any mealplanning ideas or recipes would be great and I'd love to hear any tips from experienced campers out there.

    Many thanks in advance.

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    Last edited by Former MSE Rose; 09-06-2009 at 6:05 PM.
Page 1
    • Bitsy Beans
    • By Bitsy Beans 7th Jun 09, 9:28 PM
    • 9,433 Posts
    • 65,784 Thanks
    Bitsy Beans
    • #2
    • 7th Jun 09, 9:28 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Jun 09, 9:28 PM
    Do you have any ice packs to go with the cool box? Milk won't keep fresh very long without them, especially if it is warm. Many campsites will refreeze ice packs for you during your stay.

    when we've gone camping we've stuck to simple meals such as meatballs (tinned yes but very easy to heat), new pots and peas or carrots. You can boil pasta and add say cooked bacon or chicken to this with creme fraiche. I've done cajun chicken and salad and wraps (cajun sauce is from a jar) with rice. There's pasta with a jar of tinned tomatoes as the sauce which you could just have with cheese or add some tuna to.

    with a two ring burner your meals will be limited (if you have a steamer part to your camping saucepans it helps) but it's possible to do some basic meals as you can see from above.
    With the BBQ the usual fare of burgers, sausages etc with salad.
    I have a gift for enraging people, but if I ever bore you it'll be with a knife Louise Brooks

    All will be well in the end. If it's not well, it's not the end.

    Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars
  • Olliebeak
    • #3
    • 7th Jun 09, 9:43 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Jun 09, 9:43 PM
    Worthwhile trying to find out where the nearest large town is and which supermarket is there.

    May be a good idea to get some savings cards with credit on (say Iceland/Asda/Morrissons etc) so that you will have shopping funds available in advance.

    Tins are always useful, but weigh very heavy to carry. How about packs of Savoury rice/pasta in sauce/couscous/packs of noodles - quite easy to reconstitute on site, much lighter to carry AND don't need refrigerating.
  • eselt
    • #4
    • 7th Jun 09, 9:50 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Jun 09, 9:50 PM
    Hi- thanks for that. I will check with campsite re: refreezing icepacks- good tip. I suppose if not I will have to plan to go through the cool box stuff in the first couple of days, then leaving tinned stuff for the end of the week.

    Can you keep bread and salad in the coolbox too?
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 7th Jun 09, 10:01 PM
    • 3,432 Posts
    • 9,192 Thanks
    • #5
    • 7th Jun 09, 10:01 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Jun 09, 10:01 PM
    take a bucket and fill it with cold water and put it in the shade will keep milk and wine better then in a cool box, super noodles are great and pasta packets, the kids love it because i buy those tins of all day breckfast and hot dogs (its the only time they get them horrid mother that i am) i found the moo milk doesnt taste so uht as some other brands, tho i cheat a lot when camping and buy fish and chips etc if im on a proper site(well its my holiday too
  • Olliebeak
    • #6
    • 7th Jun 09, 10:02 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Jun 09, 10:02 PM
    How about some of that bread that's guaranteed to stay fresh for a week? Mind you, with two teenagers, it probably won't last a week !

    Powdered milk? Not fabulous tasting, but useful in an emergency - same with long-life milk (doesn't need refrigerating until after being opened). Coffee whitener?

    Back in the days when we didn't have a fridge, my nan and mum used to fill a bucket with cold water and stand bottles of fresh milk in it. But that may not work in a warm/possibly stuffy tent :confused:.
    • Bitsy Beans
    • By Bitsy Beans 7th Jun 09, 10:24 PM
    • 9,433 Posts
    • 65,784 Thanks
    Bitsy Beans
    • #7
    • 7th Jun 09, 10:24 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jun 09, 10:24 PM
    Hi- thanks for that. I will check with campsite re: refreezing icepacks- good tip. I suppose if not I will have to plan to go through the cool box stuff in the first couple of days, then leaving tinned stuff for the end of the week.

    Can you keep bread and salad in the coolbox too?
    Originally posted by eselt
    We keep bread and salad in ours. One night whilst camping the Lake District we had a noctural visitor in the form of a badger who snaffled our loaf of bread and managed to leave the plastic bag behind
    I have a gift for enraging people, but if I ever bore you it'll be with a knife Louise Brooks

    All will be well in the end. If it's not well, it's not the end.

    Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars
  • chnelomi
    • #8
    • 7th Jun 09, 10:43 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Jun 09, 10:43 PM
    pasta n sauce is a good thing to have on stand by. different flavors are available and are a tasty snack. take rice and smash if you like it tinned stuff is good and can be made better with a couple of herbs put your favorite herbs in little bags because the bottles drive you nuts and take up space.

    when we are away i add the odd peace of bacon to dishes for flavor frying an egg and adding to rice makes it more interesting etc.
    and dont be afraid of just doing noodles with meatballs and tinned veg you'd be surprized how they love it when camping but would go in a right strop at home lol
    slowly going nuts at the world
  • geordieaussie
    • #9
    • 8th Jun 09, 6:30 AM
    • #9
    • 8th Jun 09, 6:30 AM
    Why don't you make a couple of meals that can be frozen (say chilli and sausage casserole, for ex). Leave one in the cool box and one out of it. The one out of the cool box will be defrosted in time for the first night and the one in the cool box will be defrosted in time for the second. Also, having a big frozen lump in the box will keep the rest of the contents fresher longer.

    I would say pasta, rice and tins will be your friend. How about a tuna curry made with tinned toms and tuna? Tastes a lot nicer than it sounds. Or a corned beef hash with fried potatoes (or even Smash) and loads of ketchup. Or tins of soup/big frozen tub of homemade that will take ages to defrost. Tinned tuna, tinned creamed corn and pasta all mixed up together is yummy.

    Little cartons of UHT milk will last well and taste fine in tea and coffee.

    A none food tip, but whenever we camp I always try to take a couple of naff plastic trays with us. Invaluable when you're trying to cook and have nowhere hygenic to put stuff. And don't forget your washing up bowl to put the dirty/clean dishes in!
  • Penny-Pincher!!
    You could buy the ready cooked or rotisserie chickens and grab a bag of salad, french stick and tin of new pots?

    To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
    requires brains!

  • JayJay14
    The real OS way to keep milk cool is to thoroughly soak a teracotta plant pot, stand the milk bottle in it and drape over a wet cloth. Keep the pot and cloth wet - could stand it in a bowl with water in the bottom with the cloth dangling in the water.

    The evaporation of the water draws heat out of the milk bottle (see, science lessons have their uses and this was how my DDad used to do it when he was a scout master in the 60s)
    Last edited by JayJay14; 08-06-2009 at 6:58 AM.
    • howskint?
    • By howskint? 8th Jun 09, 9:11 AM
    • 96 Posts
    • 195 Thanks
    Whenever we go camping I normally take bbq stuff for the first night. Then always take a spag bol/ chile for the second night. I take it out of the freezer just before we leave and put it at the bottom of the cool box. It stays frozen for quite a while and helps keep everything else cool. Another good one is kabanossi (sp?) - vacuum packed smoked sausage from Lidl - so it doesn't need to be kept cold. I do this with pasta, tin of sweetcorn and a tin of tomatoes.

    Pasta and sauce are good, savoury rice, tins of beans and sausages.
    I also make sure I've got plenty of cereal as my kids are always really hungry, being outside all the time and it's a good filler.
  • Aria30
    Hi, I take a box with packets of rice and pasta, instant mash and stir in sauces etc in, then when we've got settled I head off for the nearest supermarket and buy a bit more to keep us going. I find it helps to serve bread and butter with almost every meal, as my two boys (age 11 and 8) are always hungry, with being out in the fresh air and on the move. I have a 2 ring stove and a gas bbq, so do a variety of food, depending on the weather conditions. We've just invested in an electric coolbox and electric hookup, and it made a world of difference in keeping the milk etc cold.
  • eselt
    Wow-thanks for the ideas guys- my shopping list is starting to look like a plan!
  • absolutebounder
    You are camping! eat beans until you can cook on your own emissions
    • donny-gal
    • By donny-gal 8th Jun 09, 10:32 PM
    • 4,595 Posts
    • 38,147 Thanks
    One pan quick options are a tin of Stewing Steak/Mince/ etc served with either a tin or two of beans and the same of potatoes, alternatively tinned veg with the potatoes, not gourmet but fill hungry tums. Also for the morning fry up, look up tins of Bacon grill slice and fry. Tinned hot dogs mixed with a tin or two of beans and loads of bread. They also do tinned beefburgers but never tried these.
    Member #8 of the SKI-ers Club
    Why is it I have less time now I am retired then when I worked?
    • Stryder
    • By Stryder 9th Jun 09, 12:12 AM
    • 1,057 Posts
    • 1,478 Thanks
    As a relatively experienced camper I would suggest:

    1) ignore absolute blunder above
    2) Cous Cous - great, as it does not need cooking as such, just boiling water.
    3) stock cubes, improves any rice/cous cous/sauce and as its dry its easy to take.
    4) Noodles need a little more cooking but are light weight and dont go off.
    5) tins of tuna - can use to cook with and easy to store
    6) salami - can be chopped up and put in with noodles and cous cous - and if you want to go the easy option is pepperami
    7) Rice/rice is ok but a hassle to drain.
    8) kebab sticks and take good veggies to cut up and bbq - corgette, mushroom, tomatos, perrpers, etc
    9) Soup - and then add in pasta and some finely chopped veg to make thick broths - great at night or it it rains.

    In brief:
    Take a cool box with some meat (some frozen and some for first night) which will last the first 2 or 3 days. The first days are always fun for the burgers and hotdogs, although the novelty wears off quickly. Also you can take pre packed salads (bags of lettuce) just to vary the diet!

    Then take tins of fish/dried meat/cornered beef for a a few days (if you can not pop to the shop). And then on the last night treat them to fish and chips or a take away as a treat. This will also mean that on the last day you should be able to pack up early and not have any last minute tidy ups.

    As snacks muesli bars are great, as our nuts and the usual snacks.

    Take wet wipes which help keeping the hassles of cleaning yourself and sometimes dishes down although depends upon on site facilities. And depending upon there age you may want to take some drinks. However, take too much beer or cider and you will be relying on the facilities. I quite like taking some dried milk power mixed with nutmeg, and a small bottle of brandy. its easy then to make hot milk drinks with brandy, which is a great night cap -although not to be recommended if the weather will be really hot.
  • Phoolgrrrl
    I have been collectin wee pots of uht milk and sachets of mayo and sauce for campin. Handy!
    • oystercatcher
    • By oystercatcher 9th Jun 09, 8:18 AM
    • 1,803 Posts
    • 4,600 Thanks
    Some good advice above.

    I just wanted to add think about food storage. We have had mice, ants and slugs on various trips. Make sure they can't get into any open packets. I have a selection of huge boxes with tight fitting lids which all food sits in. Nothing worse than waking up and finding mice poo all over the breakfast!

    Boil in the bag rice is a bit more expensive but much easier on camping trips. Rice pasta and cous cous all much easier than potatoes. A good colander is really useful for draining pasta etc also useful when preparing fruit and veggies.
  • hermoine
    Don't worry too much about what you feed them on, quantity rather than quality will be what they want. As before pasta, tin toms, beans and tinned franks make a passable pasta and sauce.

    Serve bread with everything. You can buy the sachets of milk from Makro or Costco to take with you and these are often UHT.

    I have cooked full fry ups on two gas rings in our tent. You can do this for the first couple of nights buy taking the stuff frozen in the cool box and letting it thaw. You can also freeze some soft drinks so that they are ready for a nice cool drink after the stress of putting up the tent.

    I have never had a problem with getting freezer packs frozen even on basic camp sites the farmer will usually stick them in his freezer for you. Make sure you have plenty.

    Beware of storing stuff like bread inside your tent as wildlife will break down the tent to get at it if necessary. Especially true in places like the new forest or the forest of dean.

    Just have a great time and eat "proper" when you get home.


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