Camping food

Well this is pretty self explanatory. What do we eat while we are living in the camper? Well, we probably don’t eat very different from most, but we feel we have so many delicious meals and tips and tricks we can share, so a two part blog should cover some of the basics!

Camping is one of my favorite things to do and a significant portion of why, is because we eat so dang good!

Forewarning. You will not find any exact recipes or measurements or any of that jazz here. I am not a food blogger, so this is quite unorthodox! Just some simple ideas of what you can make on a campfire. Take them and run with them people!

So I will get started with a few of the basics:

We do have a propane Portable BBQ that we use on the regular. We use it for bacon and eggs, burgers, just about everything. I know a lot of people drag along tons of cooking appliances while camping. We do not. We have a microwave in the camper, but we almost never use it. Even when we have power sites (I currently store bread in it). In the past few years we ( Or Troy if you really want to get technical here) have taken a shine to cooking on the campfire.

This can be tricky and heat can be hard to figure out. It can take longer to cook your food, but with a little patience and lots of trial and error you can get some pretty stellar results.

Breakfast:

Our tried and true breakfast on the campfire is hashbrown and egg cups.

  1. Shred your potatoes or buy these handy dandy Shredded hashbrown carton from Amazon or Costco and save yourself a ton of prep work.
  2. Spray a muffin tin with Pam. Add shredded hashbrowns to the muffin tin. Press out with your fingers to create a bowl.
  3. Create an oven with your campfire with some tinfoil over the top (and sides if necessary)
  4. Bake hashbrowns until golden brown around the edges
  5. Add some chopped bacon, or veggies here if you’d like
  6. Crack egg into middle of hashbrown bowl and return to oven.
  7. cook until eggs are done.

Viola! hashbrown/egg nests.

Lunch:

Bush Pies!

If you don’t have Coghlan’s Cast Iron Camp Cooker makers I would suggest heading over to Amazon and Priming yourself up a few, or you can shop at your local stores! (We suggest local stores!) We love these things. The possibilities are endless, and for a quick lunch you can not go wrong. Two slices of bread and whatever your heart fancies for fillers. Some of our favorites are:

  • Ham and cheese
  • pizza (pepperoni, cheese, pizza sauce, pineapple etc)
  • peanut butter / jam
  • fresh fruit
  • nutella and strawberries
  • eggs and bacon with veggies
  • peanut butter and banana

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Supper:

Chicken wings and Ribs

Pretty simplistic.

Ribs:

  1. Get a big pot of water boiling on the fire. Throw your prepped ribs into it with some garlic, salt, and pepper for about half an hour to get them nice and tender.
  2. Put them on a grate over the fire, bone side down for what ever time you want! (It will depend on the heat)
  3. Then flip and crisp up that delicious meat side, add your favorite BBQ sauce!
  4. Eat like barbarian at chow time

Wings:

  1. Heat up a Skillet over the fire.
  2. Toss some wings in salt and pepper (or whichever flavors you choose)
  3. Add wings to skillet
  4. Flip often until done.

We usually serve this with some corn on the cob wrapped up in some tin foil and a salad.

Fish Tacos

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Make these with your catch of the day. There are two ways to do these really. Either batter and fry your fish, or cook and shred it. You can also shred the battered fish! We like to batter it up and deep fry.

  1. Fillet your fish
  2. Add some cooking oil to a Cast Iron Skillet and get it heating on the fire.
  3. Batter fish with your favorite batter
  4. Once pan and oil are hot add the fish to it and let it brown up nicely.
  5. Meanwhile, mix up some coleslaw and chop up some avocados
  6. Once the fish is done, add coleslaw, avocados and fish to a tortilla fold in half and enjoy!

**Sorry, there is no ‘after’ photo, because, well.. we were hungry and ate them too quick!**

Campfire Poutine (Yes that’s right my Canadian friends, Poutine!)

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For this one you need to create your campfire oven again with some tinfoil. This one can be tricky because fries burn quickly!

  1. Spray a sheet pan of some sort with some Pam.
  2. add french fries and pop into your homemade oven.
  3. let cook, rotating the pan often (be sure to try and disburse your heat evenly through the entire pit)
  4. Meanwhile, cook up some gravy and shred some cheese. ***Sidenote, really you can create any type of poutine you’d like. Add cheese, meat, veggies, dressing whatever. Just get it ready here.
  5. Once your fries are crispy add your topping and melt the cheese and you have campfire poutine.

**Again, no after photo… because.. poutine…**

Taco in a bag

This one may require some preparation. We never do. Just chop everything and cook our ground beef that day. However, you can precook and season your ground beef and freeze, and have veggies cut and ready to go.

  1. Get your skillet preheating on the fire.
  2. add your ground beef (and veggies if you are going to want any of them cooked)
  3. brown ground beef and add taco seasoning
  4. shred some cheese
  5. add all your favorite taco fixings to individual sized Doritos bag.

Campfire Oven Pizza:

I saved the best for last. Campfire pizza is Troy’s specialty. Think Firecrust Pizza. If you’ve never had Firecrust Pizza, think pizza made in a wood burning oven. This is what he creates on the campfire.

First you have to make a pizza oven. Cover the top and sides with tinfoil. Make sure you have lots of coals already established, and only add in minimal small logs as needed while cooking.

  1. Roll out dough on your pizza pan. We use refrigerated dough, so all we do is pop it open and shape it to the pan.
  2. pizza sauce. Use as much or as little as you’d like
  3. Parmesan cheese.
  4. Add whatever toppings you like. The kids split one pizza three ways between them, troy and I get our own.
  5. Cheese
  6. ……. more cheese
  7. put pizza into oven and close up the top
  8. let cook, spinning often and managing heat regularly.

Results: flippin fantastic!!

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Well, I’m sure you are getting hungry so we will end it here! Be on the watch out for Part 2. We have many more meals, and we will be getting into foil pack meals, and some better ways to eat hot dogs. So, until next time…

What are your favorite camping meals?

Do you cook on the fire, BBQ, or both?

Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button to follow along! And of course share share share!

Winter camping!

Yes we did it. With three kids in tow. “I could never!” Is what one of our friends said to us when we got back. When you think “winter camping” you may think that we pulled out our camper went out for a weekend. NOPE! We decided to tackle this adventure in a homebuilt 8 x 12 ice shack.

Those that know us know we love the outdoors. In the summer you can usually find us camping. When days off come we hit the road with our camper and spend the week hiking, fishing, boating, kneeboarding, kayaking, and just about anything else you can find to do outside.

So when fall rolls around and it’s time to put away the camper for the season, needless to say it is a pretty sad day. I mean yes we have all of our outdoor winter activities that we do, but we still miss the days spent away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

A few years ago Troy built an ice shack. Ever since he’s been talking about camping out in it. This thing is a tiny 8 x 12 structure. Only insulated by some bubble wrap and tarp and heated with a tiny wood stove. After spending a few nights in it on his own without the family, he discovered there were some obvious improvements needed to it if he planned to take his wife (who thoroughly enjoys being warm) and three kids with him to camp out on the ice with it.

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Our humble abode

Obviously there are some pretty big considerations to take into account when your planning on winter camping. Some of the biggest issues we faced were heat, sleeping arrangements for five, (remember 8×12), food preparations, power supply, and entertainment for the kids, because let’s face it, fishing is just not enough entertainment for the kids!

Bunkbeds! Things are happening!

The first issue we tackled were the sleeping arrangements. Troy built the kids some basic bunk beds (that can be removed easily everyday for more space) and we used the mattresses out of our camper for them. Two of the kids had to sleep in the same bunk, and this plan actually worked out pretty great. They were comfy and warm. (We actually had complaints for being too hot!) For our bed we decided our easiest option was an air mattress on the floor. This turned out to be a not so great idea. What’s one thing we know? Heat rises folks! The floor was cold. Very, very cold. And because it was so cold, our air mattress deflated at a rapid level and left us sleeping on the floor. Lessons learned. We need to build a structure to keep our bed up off the floor. Even a foot up would have made a world of difference in our comfort level. We also need a small fan to circulate air from the roof down. More on this in the next section.

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Cozy

Heat! Absolutely unequivocally a top priority. No one wants cold whiny kids (or a cold whiny wife which undoubtedly would have been me had I gotten too cold). So we knew without a doubt we needed to upgrade the tiny little wood stove that was currently in the ice shack. Troy (being the ultimate handyman he is) fabricated a new wood stove from an upcycled 20lb propane tank. The results are pretty epic. It worked amazingly well. It kept the shack toasty warm, cooked all our food and dried out boots and mitts! We brought along a fan that we used on our wood stove at home, it would help circulate some of the heat. It worked well, however as previously mentioned we need to figure out a quiet fan to hang from the roof to push some of that heat back down. If using a wood stove for your winter camping experience bring ample amounts of wood along. Too much is a million times better than running out. We used a mix of fast burning wood and slow, hot burning birch.

Food was pretty basic really. We made a meal plan, pre prepped a few things and brought some extra snacks. We did bring a camp stove with thoughts that we would use it to cook, however everything we made, we were able to cook on the fireplace. Our cooler sat outside, this is something that may have to change as we did run into some things freezing. So in the future we may need to figure out a space for the cooler in the shack itself.

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For power Troy hooked up two batteries to our solar panel. This provided a trickle charge to them, and we were able to power the LED lights in the shack, the fish finder, and charge Ipads and cell phones. This system works extremely well for us. We use it in our camper during the summer as well when we are camping without power.

I feel it’s also important to note that we built in storage. Lots and lots of storage! We added shelving for food and games and whatever else may land there, each of our helmets has a hook to hang on the wall, troy installed a fillet table that folds down (this also doubles as a counter space when needed). We installed a bunch of coat racks on the back wall by the door to hang jackets and ski pants (these also double as some extra insulation at night.) With three kids in tow there is ALWAYS ample amounts of crap laying around, so we absolutely needed to have places to put things!

Entertainment for the kids. For us, we must keep our kids occupied with something, otherwise things can hit the fan pretty quickly. Of course we decided the perfect camp out weekend would be during an extreme cold warning. Overnight temps dipped to -40 with the windchill. For those that don’t know this means that frostbite can occur to exposed skin in as little as 6 minutes. Yes, we brought their Ipads along so they could watch some movies. There is no way we could just kick them out to play outside. This would have of course been the ideal situation. Go outside and play, head out snowmobiling for the day (which was our original plan). That didn’t work out so well. So they watched some movies, and fished a bit. We brought some games along as well (checkers, a deck of cards, and Uno). This kept them entertained and generally well behaved. Very surprising for being in an 8×12 box for two days! They didn’t even fight all that much. To me this is a great success!!

All in all, even with the cold we had a fantastic time. We didn’t have any horrible mishaps, and everything went pretty smoothly. Would I do it again? Yes, I would. I would hope to resolve our sleeping issues if using the ice shack again to camp out in. This experience was one for the books. It has me thinking about maybe not putting the camper away for the winters. Why can’t we use it year round really? If we can figure out a way to keep it warm without power. Which really shouldn’t be too difficult, I would definitely head out winter camping with it, especially on the warmer weekends.

Do you head out winter camping? We would love to hear everyone’s tips and tricks, that you have found to make it successful! Leave a comment or shoot us an email! Got questions for us? Let us know!

Adventures at Abraham Lake

Some people may get fancy hotel rooms, go for quiet dinners, or get some relaxing massages in some high end resort spa for their anniversaries. But us, well that’s just not our style. For our anniversary we decided to take on our first crown land camping experience. Our anniversary is October 8th, but we decided to head out the last weekend in September. Abraham Lake (Bighorn Dam) was our destination. We had read many wonderful things about it.

trailer

So here’s the thing with crown land camping. No power, no water, no bathrooms, no showers. You just pull up to a vacant fire pit you like and make camp. We nustled back in some trees that still gave us a gorgeous mountain view. When we pulled in there was a total of only 4 other people there (and this place is massive) the peacefulness and quiet was amazing. Now don’t get me wrong. I am sure that during the busy season it can get extremely full. We lucked out being end of season and the weather was quite cool. In fact the first night it snowed and we woke up blanketed in fluffy white goodness. That didn’t deter us any though…

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After many,many “debates” back and forth we decided to bring our quad and our kayaks. Let me tell you for once, the husband was right! There is an endless amount of quading trails! Our first day we set off to do some exploring closer to our campsite just to check out the area. The views were incredible. The lake itself is pristine. Glacier blue water, rocky beaches and white capped mountains surround it.

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So here’s a little history on Abraham Lake. Abraham lake is an artificial lake on the North Saskatchewan River in western Alberta Canada, in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. It lines the David Thompson highway between Saskatchewan River Crossing and Nordegg. It was created in 1972 with the construction of the Bighorn Dam. Although its man made, it possesses the breathtaking blue waters of other glacial lakes which is caused by rock flour.

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Day 2 we decided to make a trek up the highway a bit and hike Crescent Falls. This is a gorgeous hike, and in some areas not for the faint of heart.  ( I most definitely did not look down at some points!)  We parked at the upper look out and started there. The trail head can be hard to spot but look for the two big boulders to the right. This is where it begins. There are some steep cliffs and some sketchy points at the beginning, however these level off and leave you with a beautiful hike through the woods. The views at the end are worth the scary beginnings!!

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Later that day we decided to try out the kayaks and fishing. While we had no luck on the fishing point the quick paddle around the lake was awesome! We launched from what appeared to be a boat launch of some sort near the entrance.  The water isn’t overly deep where we were but the wind can pick up quickly and things can get challenging pretty quickly.  So make sure you are prepared if you decided to venture out on the water.

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On our third and final day, we decided to make it an all out quading adventure. We loaded up and headed out. The amount of trails in this area is endless. So much to see and explore. Cross the damn and there is a trail head with all your maps and signage. The trails are signed and easy to read. The trails we took were mostly easy, though a few spots had our hearts pumping a little quicker. I’m sure if you are a quadder who loves to get muddy and stuck there are endless opportunities for that as well.

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Overall we had a fantastic anniversary road trip! Abraham Lake has taken a top spot for one of our favorite places we have visited. We can not wait to go back and explore some more.  If you plan on visiting the area, please remember to leave it as you found it.  These crown land camping areas may be harder and harder to come by if we are not taking care of them, and what a disappointment that would be.

#dsgouterwear #outdoors #camping #lakelife #quadding

 

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