_Camp Kitchens

Serves: 5



Look around just about any place or any time and you will see people making certain difficult tasks look easy. Camp cooking falls in that category. Like any job or profession, having the proper equipment, and being well organized, makes the difference in how happy the campers are after supper.

It doesn't matter whether you're car camping, back packing, horse packing or rafting down a river, if you put the right stuff in your kitchen, the cooking part of the camp chores will be much easier. Basically, your camp kitchen should have everything you would use to prepare the same meal at home. Once your menu is planned, then figure out what pots, pans, bowls, and serving utensils you need. Always include extra serving utensils in case the game warden or some other unexpected guest shows up. Once the meal is over, don't forget a couple of wash basins for doing the dishes.

It would be easy to list everything I think one should have in a good camp kitchen, but everyone who reads this would probably add something they just can't do without. If you do much camp cookin', your kitchen will be a reflection of you. To some people who will here remain nameless, that might be a can opener and a Boy Scout camp kit.

One time on a stakeout the other officer I was with didn't even have a can opener. This adventure started about 2:00 am. one spring morning when I came home from a part time job. Another officer needed help on a stakeout and asked me to meet him at the Salmon office by 4:00 a.m. Some surplus adult steelhead had been planted in a spawning stream where they would be very vulnerable to illegal harvest. The logistics were complicated by the fact we had to drive by the houses of some individuals we suspected might try to take the fish. So, I took a shower, changed clothes and headed for Salmon.

Joe, the other officer, told me not to worry about grub, he would take care of it! Now I classify that comment right along with "The check is in the mail"! Anyway, we left the office and headed out a little after 4:00 am. We arrived and found a concealed observation point in a little patch of timber. By the time we arrived, I had been up for almost twenty-four hours.

We shot the bull and drank coffee until noon. There had been no activity at all. I asked Joe what he had for lunch. He got out of the truck and rustled around in his duffle box and came up with two cans of beef stew, some crackers, and a little one burner stove to heat the stew over. I dropped the tail gate and fired up the stove, then asked Joe where he kept his can opener? "Damn" he said, "I knew there was something I forgot"! I (at the time) had a real nice knife on my belt, but I had no intention of using it for a can opener. So then we spent the next twenty minutes searching every nook and cranny looking for a sharp object with which to access our lunch.

We ended up settling for a hatchet! By this time I was tired and cranky but I managed to open both cans without spilling too much. Just an old military P-38 can opener on a key ring would have save a lot of aggravation! The lesson here is simple. Put some time and effort setting up a kitchen which will meet your needs.

Today's catalogs now tout a suitcase contraption which sets up into an adult version of a doll house kitchen. I tend to be more of a traditionalist. For car camping I have a couple of plastic duffle boxes and for horse packing, a kitchen box made to carry my kitchen.

When I choose my pots and pans, I select those which will nest together whenever possible. These same two plastic duffle boxes load onto my rubber raft and provide the kitchen on raft trips. For doing dishes, I use two new metal oil change pans, which I purchased at the local auto parts store. They also nest together which conserves space. I use small plastic containers with snap on lids for table service, spices, etc. My larger utensils usually fit in one of my larger pots or Dutch ovens. My basic car camping/raft kitchen is set up for about 20-25 people. If I end up having to cook for more I just add more Dutch ovens and more table service. If I plan a meal which requires something that isn't in my kitchen, I make sure to add the extras before I leave.

My horse packing kitchen is altogether different. In the early 70's my folks gave me a Kangaroo Kitchen for my birthday. It consists of two metal halves which clamp together. It's outside dimensions are 16 ½" x 14" x 4" thick. Inside is a two burner propane stove, a grill, and aluminum griddle. With everything out, the two halves can be clamped together to make an oven or separated and used as dish pans. By packing the quart size gas bottle elsewhere in the pack box, I have room for utensils, plates, spices, soap, dish towels, hot pads etc. Everything for four people except coffee cups will fit in it. In addition I will take a ten inch aluminum Dutch which nests inside a twelve inch Dutch. My whole kitchen weighs about fifteen pounds. I haven't seen one for sale since the early 80's.

When you're car camping or on a raft trip, the bulk and weight considerations are not as critical as when horse packing. As you plan the meals for a trip think of what prep work can be done ahead of time and what utensils, pot and pans you'll need in camp to prepare the meal. Whatever type or types of camping you do, the kitchen you choose should be tailored to the job. Like many other things in life there is a line between not enough and too much.

A Back Country Guide to Outdoor Cooking Spiced with Tall Tales

This _Camp Kitchens recipe is from the Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin' Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

More Recipes from the Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin' Cookbook:
_A Lasting Gift
_About The Cooks!
_About the Author
_As Close To Heaven As One Can Get
_Barbeque Texas Style
_Bread And Horse Wrecks
_Brother-In-Law Duck
_Camp Creations
_Camp Crock Pot
_Camp Kitchens
_Camp Robbers
_Campfire Cash
_Chicken ala S*#T
_Chili, The Controversy And The Recipes
_Common Sense And Cards
_Cookin' With Kraut
_Cooking From Cans - Menu For Day 16
_Culinary Bombs
_Don't Critize The Cook...
_Dry Camps
_Fanny Pack Snacks
_Game Meat
_Game Warden Dog
_Game Warden Scramble
_Garlic & Her Poor Cousin "Onion"
_Getting Bread In Camp
_Good Cooks / Bad Cooks!
_Good Humored Cook
_Hank's Spaghetti Sauce
_Hank, Jack And Me
_How To Cook A Coot
_Hungry Ridge Chicken
_Jerky And Smoked Fish
_Las Piedras
_Making Do
_Middle Fork Spareribs
_Modern Day Pilgrims
_No Name Creek Baked Beans
_Pitch In And Pitch Out
_Potatoes aka Taters, Spuds
_Redhot Rhubarb Upside Down Cake - The Story
_Religious Bedroll
_Roast Coot
_Rubs For Meat, Not Backs
_Shoestring Bull
_Something Soft For Dinner
_Sugar And Spice And Other Things Nice
_The Adventures of 'Two-Story Tom'
_Things I Don't Care To Eat
_Twas The Week Before Elk Season
_Two Reluctant Cooks
_Veggies For Camp
_Warden Stew
_Where Do You Buy Scratch

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