Friday, March 25, 2011

How to organize camping meals

My friend Roslyn is a food innovator. She has a website where you can find nutritionally perfect recipes and she taught me a great way to keep meal prep organized when you are camping or staying someplace like a cabin or vacation rental where you have to bring every single ingredient with you. 

Choose your meals and do as much prep work ahead of time at home. If making corn bread for instance, measure out  the dry ingredients and put them all in a Ziploc bag. Chop up the veggies for the stir fry in advance. Then, place everything you'll need for that meal in a sturdy bag (like a paper grocery bag or the kind of reusable grocery bag that has a bottom). Put any specialty equipment in the bag, too. Label the bag according to the meal that's inside. Depending on how far you have to travel, put the highly perishable items on ice in a cooler, and label each one with a Sharpie according to what meal it will be used in. 
For example, the bag for a dinner of cornbread and chili might include the cornbread dry ingredients, a container of vegetable oil, cans of beans, a pre-measured mix of spices, chopped vegetables and a can opener. The right amount of eggs, butter and ground meat would be labeled in your cold storage. You could even slip the recipe inside the bag, or the pots and pans you'll use.

The beauty of this system is threefold:
  1. You bring exactly the right amount of food. If you plan it out, you shouldn't have leftover cans or bags to schlepp home, and as long as you don't cannibalize from the bags, you won't run out of food, either.
  2. It makes it super easy for people to help you in the kitchen.
  3. You won't come in from a big hike and wonder what to make out of the hodgepodge of items you brought.

Give it a try and see how well it works for you!

Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email

No comments:

Post a Comment