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Old 12-09-2017, 08:55 AM   #1
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New Years Celebration, Camping style

OK my cooking friends, this is a bit of a tough nut, but I think you are up to the challenge. I need a recipe for my new years dinner, but there are some considerations of course....

After another fine year in retail sales, I have decided this year to put all my holiday celebration energy into a week long trip starting after Xmas. We are leaving 12/27 on a jet plane.

Where are we going? I don't know. My wife and helpmeet has challenged me both in adventurousness and whimsy. She bought the tickets as a Christmas gift, I'm taking the ride. My guidance on this is a backpacking trip of seven days, warm weather. The destination is a mystery until we show up at the airport.

I Suspect, given warm weather, and that we are going to be in the Continental US (she hasn't asked for my passport), we are desert camping. So I won't have a lot of water to play with.

So I want a New Year's meal that I can put into a quart freezer bag, and which can be prepared using a MSR XGK stove, and a single pot. Minimal water. Has to survive an airplane trip. Has to be backpack friendly.

On the plus side I have whatever resources to throw at it in prep we leave on 12/27, so frozen is kind of an option. I have access to freeze dried chicken and beef.

My Beloved Wife is really working on this mystery trip, I want to reward her effort with something spectacular for New Years.

Any thoughts?

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Old 12-09-2017, 11:03 AM   #2
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This does seem to be a bit of a challenge at the outset. Where I’m coming from -- is my idea of camping these days involves a blow up sleep # bed, a natural heated pool and a blazing campfire at night to scare the bears and keep the skeeters at bay. Toasty marshmallows too. Also imagine not having to trug along heavy 35mm camera equipment complete w/ zoom lenses and tripods etc, and this lightens your backpack tremendously. Overall, it seems like a great Christmas holiday for you both.

I’ve never had cuppa noodles, but it seems to be practically h2o free. What else is there like this.

I was just looking at Rei.com, type "camping food" in the search box as it doesn’t have its own category. Lots of ideas and camp food has certainly evolved since our days of camping with tuna and betty crocker box potatoes. I was especially intrigued with their Thai/ ethnic foods, ready made guacamole and bagged beef stroganoff. Anyway, this site may give you some ideas.
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:02 PM   #3
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Sounds like my kinda camping trip.....except for the "Leaving on a Jet Plane" part..... :)
I was going to mention something about carrying your stove fuel on board but then your stove burns anything so you're all set.
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Old 12-09-2017, 01:22 PM   #4
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Yep. I looked at your stove on line. Looks like a light weight all purpose stove, Can't imagine the TSA would allow fuel in transit, but it's easy something to pick up.

Celebratory? slice some fresh fruit and a bottle of good wine while looking at the stars.

RF, I forget what all you have brought when you go bicycle camping. Hope you may be willing to let TBS know what works well.
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Old 12-09-2017, 07:36 PM   #5
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The stove will work with anything remotely flammable. I really love the MSR. There is a reason it is the stove of choice for travelers. We are in CONUS, so we have access to napathene almost everywhere. Or Diesel, or avgas. For those of you with a prepper mindset, go MSR.

So I have dehydrated food, and good food, if anyone has used Mountain Home. good stuff.

I want to do something special for Beloved Wife, and we will be four days in.

Limited resources for cooking. I'm also posting on a hiking specific place, but wanted to hear what you thought.

Everything aside, it is going to be epic, and I will post the recipe when I come up with it.

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Old 12-09-2017, 09:12 PM   #6
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Can you pick up ingredients near the airport before you start the backpacking part of the trip?
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:42 AM   #7
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Got Garlic, I can pick up *fuel* for the stove near the airport definite. I am trying to do a good 7 day menu with dried and canned stuff.

So I have a bunch of dehydrated chicken coming by mail. There is that. And I have a lot of barley and oat groats, like a barrel of it. So that again.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:52 AM   #8
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My backpacking days are long past. I used to work for REI, many years ago, which owns MSR. I have a lifetime membership from it. I also did camp cooking classes at my local REI, but of course, I was promoting products we sold in the process.

I have a Foodsaver machine, and wish I would have had one in my wilderness backpacking days. Cured and/or smoked meats vacuum sealed would have been awesome to take along.

If you think you will be going someplace where you can catch some fish, bring some string and hooks. Fresh fish is always good over a campfire. It doesn't even have to be great fish, from a sportsman's eyes.It still tastes good, because you caught it, and you are cooking it over an open fire.

Foil packs are always a good way to cook stuff that doesn't need refrigeration. Using smoked/dried meats to flavor durable veggies is nice.

My number one thing to pack on those wilderness trips were lots of herbs and spices. They weigh next to nothing, and can turn things you normally wouldn't cook for dinner into something pretty good -- especially if you are very hungry, LOL.

One of my favorite things was to multi-task. I'd bring oranges along to eat at breakfast instead of orange juice, and use the half cut "skins" to cook eggs right on the smoldering hot coals of last night's campfire. It gave me something like poached eggs. And, believe it or not, fresh eggs are not that difficult to pack.

My number one thing about camp food is, everything seems to taste better when cooked over a fire, and eaten after a long day of hiking. It is all mental, but still very real.

Good luck, and enjoy.

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Old 12-10-2017, 09:21 AM   #9
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My number one thing about camp food is, everything seems to taste better when cooked over a fire, and eaten after a long day of hiking. It is all mental, but still very real.
Hunger is a great sauce, and yes, there is definitely something about the outdoors that adds savor to the fare.

Nice to hear from an REI guy. I have a lot of respect for that company, and am a member. A lot of that is because of of its policy of being quite closed on Black Friday, and encouraging their employees to spend the day outside. As a retail slave, B&N currently, that gets some mad respect. Plus they have great camping stuff.

My Beloved Wife's pack is from REI, they worked with me quite well on getting it, she is tall for a girl, six feet, so I had them put together a guy's pack with a woman's hip belt and shoulder rig. Actually got a pack for her that has the right center of gravity, but sits right on her hips and doesn't pinch on her lady stuff. Word.

Seven days of backpacking food for an unknown destination, that also have to be taken through TSA is a considerable challenge. I'll probably be posting the menu. Thanks for your suggestions. Also love the orange idea with eggs. Gonna use that.

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Old 12-10-2017, 11:10 AM   #10
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This was camping for me in the summer of '77 in The Bridger Wilderness, Wind River Mountains. We were not particularly accomplished camp cooks... just mostly freeze dried meals from Mountain House, with cheese and hard salami with crackers crackers for most lunches:



This is camping for me now - I don't think I can offer much help for your current dilemma:

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Old 12-10-2017, 12:20 PM   #11
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Nice truck and trailer. We love RV campers, as long as they don't keep their generator running all night and keep us up.

Yes, Mountain House, cheese and hard salami are definitely on the possible menu. I kind of want it good, particularly our NY eve diner, I have a fantastic wife who I adore, and who set up this trip. Doing the research to make New Years dinner special.

Hey, that's a good truck and trailer. While we do Serious Backpacking trips, our camping a lot of times is a weekend, in a state park, tents and grill. We are always happy to hang out with the RV crowd, there are Giant Bus people that stay in their land yacht watching tv, but you have a nice truck and trailer rig there. I generally cook up some extra chilli for the RV folks that come down and hang out by the fire.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:02 PM   #12
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Nice truck and trailer. We love RV campers, as long as they don't keep their generator running all night and keep us up.

Yes, Mountain House, cheese and hard salami are definitely on the possible menu. I kind of want it good, particularly our NY eve diner, I have a fantastic wife who I adore, and who set up this trip. Doing the research to make New Years dinner special.

Hey, that's a good truck and trailer. While we do Serious Backpacking trips, our camping a lot of times is a weekend, in a state park, tents and grill. We are always happy to hang out with the RV crowd, there are Giant Bus people that stay in their land yacht watching tv, but you have a nice truck and trailer rig there. I generally cook up some extra chilli for the RV folks that come down and hang out by the fire.
Chili is one of the meals that I usually cook ahead and freeze for camping trips. I even did that for a week long wilderness whitewater kayaking trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in ID back in about 1981 or 82. We had raft support, so frozen premade meals packed in dry ice made the trip a bit more luxurious than the typical back country camping excursion. It was still frozen solid on day 5 - had to take it out at lunchtime to be thawed by dinner.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:49 PM   #13
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frozen premade meals packed in dry ice made the trip a bit more luxurious than the typical back country camping excursion. It was still frozen solid on day 5 - had to take it out at lunchtime to be thawed by dinner.
Dry ice is a wonderful thing if you pack it correct. It is a tool a lot of campers and backpackers don't know about.

I always go for 'a bit more luxurious than the typical back country camping excursion'. Sometimes I get there, sometimes we eat MREs in the rain.

Was thinking of dry ice and frozen food, turns out TSA really doesn't like it. While not good for my current problem, that is excellent camping/backpacking technique, and anyone reading this should look into it for your trips.

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Old 12-10-2017, 05:50 PM   #14
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Nice truck and trailer. We love RV campers, as long as they don't keep their generator running all night and keep us up.

Yes, Mountain House, cheese and hard salami are definitely on the possible menu. I kind of want it good, particularly our NY eve diner, I have a fantastic wife who I adore, and who set up this trip. Doing the research to make New Years dinner special.

Hey, that's a good truck and trailer. While we do Serious Backpacking trips, our camping a lot of times is a weekend, in a state park, tents and grill. We are always happy to hang out with the RV crowd, there are Giant Bus people that stay in their land yacht watching tv, but you have a nice truck and trailer rig there. I generally cook up some extra chilli for the RV folks that come down and hang out by the fire.
When backpacking and sleeping on the ground became "too old for me," I built a teardrop camper.

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Old 12-10-2017, 09:19 PM   #15
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When backpacking and sleeping on the ground became "too old for me," I built a teardrop camper.

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A little more rustic than I prefer at this stage in my life, but looks like a nice job.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:58 PM   #16
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Nice looking teardrop! I'm not there yet, but when I pull the trigger on moving from a tent camper to a trailer guy, that is the kind of vibe I'm into. Not like your rig RP is a slouch,

At the moment we still rock the tent.

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...lUV3VFUV9heDlR

hope that posts successfully, that is swamp camp.

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Old 12-10-2017, 10:59 PM   #17
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Heck you guys can see the whole trip, that was our Eclipse trip, Congaree NP South Carolina

https://goo.gl/photos/HUS4wjjuxXMVoH5e6
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Old 12-11-2017, 03:13 AM   #18
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A little more rustic than I prefer at this stage in my life, but looks like a nice job.
Hey, believe it or not, that little teardrop had air-conditioning. That's what those two vents are under my grill table -- intake and exhaust for the AC.

It also had a galley, with a view into the bed area. And, it was easy to tow. It weighed 600 pounds.

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Old 12-11-2017, 03:24 AM   #19
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You got a couple nice pics of the eclipse, Todd. Himself didn't take any when we went, except for a couple of the "crowd" where we were. We went down to Spring City, TN, about an hour or so SW of Knoxville.

Looking forward to your menu for this upcoming adventure. It sounds like a very challenging endeavor.
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:39 AM   #20
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You got a couple nice pics of the eclipse, Todd. Himself didn't take any when we went, except for a couple of the "crowd" where we were. We went down to Spring City, TN, about an hour or so SW of Knoxville.

Looking forward to your menu for this upcoming adventure. It sounds like a very challenging endeavor.
It is going to be a blast, though there are some challenges. This is going to be the first time we have done a backpacking trip that involves a plane ride and all that entails. Usually I have my car which, while not quite at the level of Casey and RP's trailers, is kind of a mobile store of random camping supplies and such stuff. We like the flexibility to just get up and go camping, I could likely live out of my car for a week just by grabbing my toothbrush and filling up on water.

We considered TN for our Eclipse trip. SC won out because of Congaree NP there. And also, who doesn't want to go backpacking in a South Carolina swamp in August? BTW I likely have Zitka, and probably malaria.

The trick is going to be the packing. I am likely going to take Craig's advice and just buy a darn vacuum sealer. I really have no idea why I don't have one already, seems such an obvious solution for many food preservation/packaging/storage issues I have.

Anyway, for everyone's general fund of food knowledge, I am relying heavy on two books, Buck Tilton's Cooking the One Burner Way and Linda Yaffe's Backpack Gourmet, both of which I heartily recommend.

It is going to be an interesting menu!

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