Sunday, June 23, 2013

Trailer Camping :: 6 tips for Meal Planning

So... we bought a trailer! Ok, so we bought it over 6 months ago, but we haven't gotten to use it until this summer! So I'm pretty excited! Like I had mentioned, my husband and I spent the night a few weeks ago for our anniversary and although we've been up since, this will be the first time with the kiddos overnight! Yikes! :) Anyways, I've spent the week planning meals and I thought I'd share a few tips with you!
We are no strangers to cooking in the wild outdoors, we stay in cabins many, many times during the summer, and most of the time it's not too different than cooking in our trailer. We do have a generator, thankfully, that runs our microwave, but most of these tips are for no-heat or outdoor cooking.

PLAN!-- I am a self-proclaimed OCD planner. And in this case, it works to my family's advantage! ;) I have an extremely detailed list of the meals we will have, snacks and drinks.

PREP!-- Prepping what you can ahead of time will be a huge help when you are up on the mountain and all you want to do is relax with your family! For instance, I am cooking Broccoli Cheese Soup this morning, and after it cooks and cools, I'll pack it up and keep it in the fridge until we pack the cooler. Then tomorrow, all I'll have to do is heat it up on the stove (or camp-chef) or throw it in the microwave! I'm also pre-baking some rolls, and I'll just throw those in a bag to have with the soup.
But whatever you can do; chop veggies, pre-bake potatoes, make sauces, assemble tinfoil dinners... anything helps! You'll be SO grateful later!

Have Emergency Meals on hand-- Sometimes things don't go as planned. That's just how life is! What if my soup spilled in the cooler? What if it's 10 billion degrees and the mere thought of hot soup sends us into a heat coma? ALWAYS have a backup plan. a can of refried beans and a package of tortillas doesn't take up too much space, and may save your butt! I always keep cans of chili, salmon, boxes of 'suddenly salad' and a few other go-to's in the trailer cupboards, just in case!

Appliances can be your friend-- If you do have a generator, or solar panels, or some form our power hookups, I suggest bringing a few small appliances. We don't have much room in our trailer, but I bring a sandwich (grilled cheese) maker (use for grilled cheese, calzones, stuffed French toast, ham and cheese pockets, etc.), a small crockpot (for freezer meals, meat and/or soups), other good ideas are a small toaster oven or waffle maker.

Single servings are the way to go-- If we can afford it, and if it's available, I always buy single servings! I love juice boxes, small boxed cereal, and my personal favorite... mustard and mayo packets! I have yet to find somewhere to buy those (any ideas?) but whenever we eat at subway, I ask for an extra, or grab one or two extra at the gas station. Grabbing just one more than normal can add up and it's SO much easier than packing big containers of everything, and bonus, you can leave them up on the mountain!

Don't beat yourself up-- Camping is not the place for gourmet food. Since we do camp so much, I try and keep most of our meals as healthy and 'home-ey' as possible, I like to fix grilled chicken, raw veggies, fruit salad, lean red meat, and things like that. But sometimes, hot dogs for lunch, and doughnuts for breakfast just have to do. And that's okay! As long as you're not feeding your family that every single day, there's no harm in my mind!

Here's a look at a few things I'm taking up with us this weekend (all these things will stay at the trailer, none of this is for my planned meals)
I have:
Tortilla chips (I already have a jar of salsa up there)
pizza crust mix
cornbread mix
baked beans
peanut butter
garlic powder (I already have a few spices up there)
hot chocolate mix
canned chili
box pasta dinner
spaghetti sauce
pizza sauce
spaghetti noodles
cooking spray
pringles (our family favorite)
packaged salmon
fruit/veggie juice boxes
muffin mix
Hopefully this gives you a little help next time your family is headed out into the great outdoors!
I'd LOVE to hear all of your ideas for camping food and recipes!! I'm always in search of new tips!!


April said...

We used to have a vintage motor home (pre-kids) and we would camp at a nearby campground with electrical hookups. Even so, when we went camping it was always tradition that the men cooked most of the meals and we usually just cooked outside over the fire or on portable gas stoves. One of our favorite camping dishes (for breakfast or supper) is just plain ol potatoes fried in oil in a cast iron skillet with salt and butter. It just tastes better when you're camping I guess. LOL I also love to do soups in the crock pot while camping (especially in the fall). When we camped in the summer we usually just hit up the grocery store on the way out of town and bought sandwich stuff and sometimes we would splurge and get a couple of pounds of BBQ from the local pit to eat on for lunches. I love to do a big breakfast when I camp so we would buy bacon, canned biscuits and lots of eggs and just make it all up on the portable stove too. We never went overboard with our food and just bought stuff that wouldn't go bad or would get eaten up within a couple of days. My advice is to put those hubbies/men to work on cooking some when you camp. You shouldn't have to do it all.

The Stratton Family said...

April, I totally agree! And don't worry, I don't do it all! :) My husband helps with almost everything! But a lot of the time, he is out taking care of the property, so it's easier for me to prepare dinner and have it ready for when he gets back!

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