Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Camping Dining 101

by Granville Wood | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Culture | May 29th, 2019

Camp food

As a boy scout the phrase “Be Prepared” was hammered home at every turn. Guess what? It worked. 

Now I tout to anyone who will listen “Preparation is the Key to Success,” and guess what? That works too. Coming from an avid camping family I learned early in life to enjoy being out in the woods and to appreciate the old adage, “everything tastes better outside.” I think that is true because you are hungry as hell after hauling all that gear to the campsite and getting everything set-up.

So, with years of camping experience in my backpack, after high school I set out hitchhiking across Canada and down through California and back up to Banff National Park where I pitched my tent for a while. All-in-all I lived in a tent for about a year and a half before the first snows forced me off the mountain and into town.

Winnipeg 2017 - photograph by Raul Gomez

And during that whole time, I never had a bad meal. I transitioned from cooking over a wood fire to my trusty Coleman stove when I bought a car and along with the stove came a cast iron fry pan, a big one, big enough to hold a meal and a proper grill grate. The key to a successful and enjoyable camping outing is say it with me... preparation. You bet as you eat that can of cold baked beans out of the can, preparation can make a weekend so much more fun and frankly you a hero, a camping God.

The second step is an equipment checklist, OK it sounds nerdy, but you don’t want to forget the can opener for those baked beans, slamming the can against a rock won’t get it open and put that pen knife away unless you are camping near a 24-Hour Urgent Care. Why second you ask, because you have to plan the menus first, savvy? Whatever you plan to cook will determine what you will need to get it cooked. As a rule, I always pack some pre-made sandwiches for something to munch on at arrival at the campsite. Nobody likes a grumpy husband / wife or heaven forbid children while setting up the tent. Please note there has not been a mention of those mobile units called “campers”, no this article is for serious campers those of us who like the pitter-pat of rain drops on their tent.

Winnipeg 2017 campers greet the sun - photograph by Raul Gomez

Just because you are in the woods doesn’t mean you cannot “dine” well. Your personal tastes will drive what you eat. To make the whole experience enjoyable plan and prep accordingly. I love to grill shish kabobs over a wood fire so I will make them up on the skewers before leaving home, same with chicken breasts, I will season them and put them in zip lock bags. What can be done ahead of time and brought along makes life a lot easier and you don’t have to drag along every seasoning in your kitchen cabinet, just don’t forget the salt. Pancakes in the morning no problem make up the batter and put it in a plastic container with a screw on top (and don’t forget the Maple Syrup). If you are not the fishing type bring along some trout or salmon steaks and give them a turnover the fire, keep in mind they are highly perishable so unless you have a Yeti cooler put them on the menu early in the trip.

Sitting around the fire while camping in Xinjiang, China - photograph by C.S. Hagen

My aforementioned big cast iron pan is great for a pan grilled chicken dinner with peppers, onions, garlic and cherry tomatoes. Marinate the cut chicken at home, cut the pepper and onions on site or at home either way it’s a great one pot dinner. The more adventurous campers can spit that whole chicken leaving it whole and splaying it on the grate right over the fire for that real woodsy flavor.

Grilled cheese sandwiches or quesadillas can be prepped at home and brought along with salsas and other condiments for lunch. If you haven’t forgot the can opener bring some soup for chilly evenings or to go with those grilled cheese sandwiches. Now you can start to see how that second step is falling into place, frying pan, tongs, cutting board, knives, paper towels, aluminum foil, kitchen towels, TP, garbage bags, pot soap, sponge, plates, cups, coffee (instant) pot to boil water for the instant coffee and the list goes on. Make a checklist for your menu as well nothing sucks more than forgetting a key ingredient like mustard for the hot dogs or the marshmallows for the s’mores.

Hiking - on horses - in Xinjiang, China - photograph by C.S. Hagen

Highly recommended is a tarp or popup tent to cover the eating area in case of inclement weather. Nothing like a snuggle on a rainy afternoon in a tent. Keep your campsite clean unless you like varmints of all sizes and pack your garbage out, leave the site how you would want to find it.

And like Smokey the Bear says, “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires” and don’t forget the kids. 

Recently in:

News

Birds of a Feather

by Jim Fuglie

It’s time for an update on Meridian Energy Group and the Davis Refinery. You probably remember them, although it’s been a while since I last wrote about them. Meridian is the California/Texas company that wants to build an oil…

by Taylor Markel taylormarkel@cableone.netWhat began as a single weekend of wintry activities, has now, for the first time in its history, snowballed into a multi-week celebration of all things winter! With countless, exhilarating…

Thursday, January 30, 7- 10 pmThe Fargo Theatre, 314 N Broadway, FargoKevin Smith is coming to town to show his latest and greatest motion picture, “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.” Followed by a Q&A. Can you believe Jay and Silent…

by Erin Thostensonphoto by Erin Thostenson, Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.ErinAT@far.midco.net I've lived most of my life in Fargo, but I attended La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia last year to finish my degree in…

Whatta Deal! A Heart Transplant Only Runs $1,698,831.13!Ten years ago our life expectancy plateaued—and then we started to lose years of life. Every other industrialized country has gained years. A study claims this has happened…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

by Jill Finkelsonjsfinkelson99@gmail.comHave any good stories from Ralph’s Corner Bar? The Historical Society of Clay County wants to bring us back in time to the Moorhead favorite and they need the local’s help. Musicians,…

Music

Here’s to the ladies

by HPR Contributor

by Jill Finkelsonjsfinkelson99@gmail.comDeb Jenkins returns for a 23rd year of celebrating Fargo’s Women- and their music. The story is old news now, Deb tells me over the phone as I ask her- how did this start? 23 years ago, she…

Nearly one year ago, Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov’s stunning documentary “Honeyland” collected a trio of awards following its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Those accolades, including special jury…

“Surrealism permeates--there’s a legacy there with contemporary art where they’re still trying to capture or convey something that can’t quite be fully understood without the existence of that thing that you can’t fully…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comHigh Plains Reader spoke to Act Up Theatre board member Jackie Shaw, about the fundraiser "Kabaret for Kaleidoscope" at the TAK Music Venue.High Plains Reader: How did the idea for this show come…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

Even though it didn’t officially open until February 1st of last year, Moorhead bar Harold’s on Main had been under discussion for several years beforehand by its owners. Longtime friends and musicians Eric Odness, Rob Pope,…

Wellness

Yoga on the Farm

by Ryan Janke

Every Thursday evening during the month of June, Mara Solberg is inviting people to come out and try Yoga on the Farm. It is a unique yoga experience that was born from an idea that was proposed to Solberg.“I’ve been with Red…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

by Karen Andersonkartcone@gmail.comCongratulations to the Fargo School District for opening up a discussion regarding today’s students as covered in the January 7, Barry Amundson article “Social, emotional learning a forefront…