So, everyone that reads my blather knows fairly well that George and I live on the edge…usually the edge of poverty. Instead of falling into the depression that goes along with all and endless work with no money to play…………….
We prefer to ascend into the Heaven on Earth of fields and forest…lakes sides and mountains…in a freaking tent! Yep….we go camping.
Not just any camping either. I am far too old and far too annoying when I have to sleep on the ground or get dressed in a stuffy crawlspace of a tent.
We have an “instant” tent that sleeps ten, a shower/bathroom tent that…well heck you can figure that out on your own.
We use oversized cots and take along a futon mattress to lay atop two of them for an instant queen sized bed. It isn’t complete until it has a set of sheets, blanket and big comforter on top. We take along a small rug for each side of the cots……….no freezing feet for this girl! The bedding is stuffed into a “space saver” bag that all the air is sucked out of to compress it. I do the same with all the pillows we take along. Four pillows take up a LOT of space until you suck the air out. (sorry, couldn’t resist saying suck)
Then there is our Kamp Kitchen…a folding table with storage and a sink for washing up…..our propane grills and utensils go onto a second folding table. I have a shoe hanger for all the “stuff” one needs around the campsite.
I took a fishing tackle box and turned it into a complete first aide kit..there is even a snake bite kit in it.
Now I know that sounds like a LOT of stuff to take into the boonies…and it IS. BUT, since we can’t afford an RV (which seems to be the way MOST retirees go camping) we have the next best thing…and it all fits inside the back of our truck with space left over for a bike or two.
The hardest part of all this is the food prep. After several trips and many mistakes, I have come up with the best way for us to eat well and pack lighter.
First I take one large cooler. We used to take one for drinks, one for food, one for whatever else we thought we might need and never used them right. Food would get wet or warm when the ice melted and drinks never stayed cold. My cooler came with two small tubs that sit on an indentation near the top and a large open space on the bottom. Throw out those worthless tubs first. Make a menu before you even THINK of packing any food in that cooler.
Once you have your menu, you can figure out the exact ingredients you will have to take along.
My menu this coming week is basically Tex-Mex…so I won’t need any bread or buns to take along. We’re having chicken fajitas, beef kabobs (no they aren’t tex-mex), burritos, a beef stew….I pack the hamburger meat into a ziplock baggie..cut up steaks for the kebobs and cut up chicken breasts for the fajitas. All meats PLUS their marinades go into zip-lock baggies. All veg are cut to an appropriate size for the individual meals and also into baggies. I have one big baggie with all the veg for the stew already cut into the right sizes.
For breakfast, it is breakfast burritos, or eggs with cheese, bacon, and fruits. I put the eggs already beaten into a container that is marked for portions on the side, then I can just pour them into their skillet. Sausage remains in its little sleeve, and bacon is cut in half and into a baggie. Spices go into a weekly pill container.
I don’t use ice to keep the cooler cold..instead, I freeze water in old quart juice containers. These work extremely well as they are tall and once placed in each corner of the cooler, keeps all food cold for up to 4 days. They can also be used as emergency drinking water.
The meats and veg are all stacked up in their individual baggies according to the meal they will be used in. The drinks all go on the other side. Fruits and cheeses go in the middle. A large baking rack goes on top of everything and the bread, tortillas, whatever go on top of the rack.
If you have managed to make it all the way to the bottom, then congratulations! You have some hopefully new ideas for camping. I’m all done with my prep work, so now I am going to go plan the route we will take on Tuesday!