If you're planning a weekend campout or a large family reunion, how about pulling out some of your food storage and giving your camp meals a delicious new twist? Food storage may not currently be on your list of things to bring to the great outdoors, but it should be a part of every camp cook's list—if not for its convenience, for two other reasons: learning to use your food storage, and rotating it.
Better camp meals isn't the only benefit from using food storage on camping trips. Your food storage should be rotated on a regular basis to maintain freshness and to familiarize your family with the foods you store. It is often difficult to wait until an emergency or a time when your family must eat food storage, to introduce them to it.
Some of the common hassles of camp cooking include lack of refrigeration, excessive weight (in packing the food), and the lack of a full functioning kitchen for cooking multiple foods at a time and having measuring equipment handy. Most of these inconveniences can be lessened or solved all together by using some of the dehydrated foods frequently found in food storage.
Here are four ways food storage makes camp cooking more convenient:
No refrigeration required.
If you're tired of constantly worrying about coolers having enough ice in them and keeping your food at safe temperatures, you'll love using dehydrated foods. Dehydrated foods—even things like butter, shortening, vegetables, meats, fruits, and even textured vegetable protein (TVP)—do not require refrigeration before reconstitution. Camp meals can be delicious—and you can leave your cooler at home.
Make-ahead/ just-add-water mixes.
Imagine not having to worry about chopping vegetables, measuring spices or leaving a main ingredient 50 miles away at home. Dehydrated foods allow you to assemble meals at home so all you have to do in the great outdoors is add water. One pot, one measuring cup, and your camp meal is ready to go. For some delicious recipes that use common food storage foods, check out the recipe section of BePrepared.com.
If your camping plans include going to more remote areas and carrying all your food in your pack, you know that every ounce counts. And when you compare the weight of regular canned goods to just-add-water mixes stored in plastic bags, it only makes sense to use your food storage as part of your daily camping menu. Measure out food into resealable plastic bags to avoid bringing more than you need, or bring single-serving Mountain House pouches along with you.
Makes large camp meals a snap.
If you have a large crew--say for family reunions--cooking in the outdoors is that much more of a hassle and inconvenience. But again, dehydrated foods can become a part of your plan. Most dehydrated foods come in #10 cans (approximately one gallon), and were originally designed to feed large groups of people. They are now used in an efficient manner for food storage.
Cooking in the open is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and prepare for cooking without electricity during emergencies. There are a variety of ways you can make meals outdoors. Choose the method that will work best for your family. Ask friends and neighbors what they use and make an informed decision. There are many types of camp stoves (propane, butane, kerosene), Dutch ovens, and grills available. If you are planning on cooking over an open fire, find out current fire regulations in the area you will be traveling. Certain areas may not allow you to collect firewood, create a fire pit, or have open fires.
Some dehydrated foods that rotate well into camping meals:
Assorted Hot Chocolates, such as: Creamy Hot Chocolate, Gourmet Mint Truffle Hot Chocolate.
Provident Pantry Fruit Drink Mixes, such as: Apple, Orange, and Peach
Provident Pantry Instant Fat-Free Milk
Provident Pantry Freeze-Dried Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Provident Pantry Scrambled Egg Mix
Provident Pantry Freeze-Dried Ham and Sausage
Provident Pantry Textured Vegetable Protein, such as: Sausage, Ham, and Bacon Bits flavor
Provident Pantry Potato Chunks
Provident Pantry 9-Grain Cereal, Instant Oatmeal (Quick Oats), Cracked Wheat Cereal, and Creamy Wheat Cereal
Provident Pantry Blueberry, 6-Grain, and Buttermilk Pancake Mix
Provident Pantry Low-Fat Granola
Provident Pantry Freeze-Dried or Dehydrated Fruits, such as: Apples, Bananas, Strawberries, and Blueberries
Lunches and Dinners
Provident Pantry freeze-dried Ground Beef, Roast Beef Shreds and Pieces, White Chicken, and White Turkey
Provident Pantry Textured Vegetable Protein including: Taco and Imitation Beef, Chicken, Ham, Sausage, and Bacon Bits
Provident Pantry Freeze-Dried or Dehydrated Vegetables, such as: Mushrooms, Onions, Peppers, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Corn, Potatoes, and Peas
Provident Pantry Mixed Vegetable Stew and ABC Soup Mix
Provident Pantry Creamy Soup Base and Mixed Vegetables for Stew
Provident Pantry Chicken or Beef Broth
Provident Pantry Freeze-Dried or Dehydrated Potatoes, such as: Diced, Sliced, and Mashed Potatoes
Provident Pantry Refried Beans
Provident Pantry White Rice
Provident Pantry Peanut Butter Powder
Provident Pantry Instant Pudding Mixes, such as: chocolate, vanilla, and banana pudding.
Provident Pantry Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
For recipes that use these products, check out the Recipe Section of BePrepared.com, or use your favorite recipes and substitute food storage items whenever possible.
Eat what you store and store what you eat! Outdoor cooking and food storage really can go together.