BRM 2017 August 2017 - Page 40

The Gear You Need to Eat Well While Camping

Food & Wine Food & Wine/ - By Hannah Walhout

When you’re camping, delicious food isn’t always a priority—and it doesn't need to be, especially if you’re carrying everything on your back or cramming all the tents for a family reunion in the back of a station wagon. We typically draw on our stockpile of reliable recipes, cooking vegetable skewers and hot dogs on sticks over the fire (and waiting an hour for the water to boil in the morning). But does outdoor adventure always mean instant coffee and canned chili?

Author Linda Ly—the writer-photographer behind slow-food and outdoors blog Garden Betty—wants to change the way we think about eating while roughing it. In The New Camp Cookbook, out now from Voyageur Press, she provides recipes and tips for cooking delicious, thoughtful meals in the great outdoors. This is for the car-camping set: families and groups of friends who set up around a fire, by a lake, under the trees and spend time enjoying the fresh air—who want to feed a crowd, and feed it well.

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Part of the challenge, of course, is having the right equipment. It might feel like an expensive and unnecessary project to buy a bunch of gear you’ll only use a few times a year—but don’t worry. Ly says you probably own most of the things you need for camp cooking, even if you you don’t use them. Old pots, pans, knives and dishware can have a “second life” in your camping arsenal. And when it comes to legacy items like dutch ovens and cast iron skillets, antiques shops and flea markets are treasure troves of cheap pre-seasoned and well-loved equipment.

Here’s Ly’s definitive checklist for setting up a crackerjack camp kitchen:

The following excerpt from The New Camp Cookbook by Linda Ly has been reprinted with permission from Voyageur Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

Cooler. "If you frequently camp with a group, it’s handy to have two coolers—a large one for food and a medium one for drinks, or one for raw meats and one for prepared foods. On longer trips, it may help to have a separate cooler just for ice, so you can refill your food cooler as needed." [Check out our guide to The Best Coolers.]

Plastic storage bin. "You’ll need one large enough to contain all of your cooking gear, or a couple of bins to separate pots and pans from smaller items. Look for heavy-duty models that can take a beating in camp." [Here are a few to get you started.]

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