I must tell you that I am not what one would call a "roughing it" kind of camper. In fact, I was chatting with my mom earlier today, and I was telling her that I am good for a couple of nights or a long weekend, but I would not be having fun if we were camping for say a week or longer.
There are several reasons why.
First of all, we car camp. We don't have a camper or a trailer or anything like that. We sleep in the back of our suburban (very comfortable actually), but not having a kitchen somewhat limits what I can do with food. And of course, the food is a priority for me!
Also, no kitchen and no refrigerator means that I have to pack all my cold food into coolers with ice...which eventually becomes soggy cold water. I don't care how carefully I pack, at some point my food gets soggy and gross. And then there is the issue of cross contamination in all of that water with meat, vegetables, dairy and more. Gah! The mix of germs could be enough to fell a healthy horse!
Second, still relating to food, I am kind of OCD when it comes to my hands. I have to wash my hands a zillion times when I am cooking or doing something messy. Well, washing your hands is difficult when you are out in the woods in the dirt and no running water of nature.
Plus, how annoying is it to try and prep good yummy food at a picnic table with bugs and pine needles everywhere?
Another reason I am not much of a long-time camper? No showers. Oh, sometimes a campground will have a shower, but it just isn't the same. I am only good for a couple days without a shower. After that I start to feel super nasty, my hair gets super greasy ( I do NOT know why...it's gross!), and I just feel like shlub. I do brush my teeth every day....I can't stand to have nasty teeth.
So, maybe I'm a little bit of a diva or princess when it comes to camping. I know. I can't help it. I try to be a good sport. We just compromise. We just go for short periods of time that I can handle. :-)
First thing is I do 99% of the prep work at home before I leave.
For example, for this weekend I made my Shamelessly Stolen Pasta Salad, which is great for camping because it makes a lot and travels well. I made the whole thing today and tossed it into a big gallon zip lock bag. DONE. Now when we go to eat it all we have to do is shake up the bag and add a little extra dressing if it needs it. We can serve it right out of the bag; the bag stays pretty well sealed; and if we do happen to eat it all, the bag can go in the trash instead of having dirty dishes to deal with or take back home.
|Tomatoes and cucumbers from my garden!|
We are having steak and veggie (separate) kabobs one night as well. The steak got cut up and skewered and seasoned here at home. They are in a large sealed tupperware (because the skewers will poke holes in a zip lock bag), also in the freezer. Again, it helps keep the meat out of the danger zone and keeps the cooler colder longer. They will be defrosted by the time I want to use them. The veggies are also already skewered and seasoned and in a separate tupperware container (no cross-contamination). They are not frozen.
|Stuffed poblano peppers (from the garden) that we made a week or so ago. DELISH!|
|Banana peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes and garlic from the garden for salsa!|
|Tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapenos, banana peppers, cilantro, lime, salt, pepper! SO YUM!|
|I get tons of compliments on my salsa...even from avowed salsa haters!|