menu planning for boondocking?? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-21-2018, 11:02 PM   #1
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Name: Fredrick
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Red face menu planning for boondocking??

For us newbies here, [that's us fer sure]..we have wondered how you "old hands" plan meals/menus for places where you plan to "boondock"............... especially if water is going to be at a premium...

Our Casita "resources" include the 4 cu ft frig, propane, 120w solar panel and a 2200W B&S generator.plus various coolers we can bring along...and a propane grille w 5lb refillable tank...for outdoors cooking as needed..!!

FWIW we are headed to T H Stone St Park next week [in hot weather ] and they are having a low water pressure problem @ that park..Thanks! Fred&Hiolly
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:36 PM   #2
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Haunt the grocery store aisles and you'll find lots of stuff you eat that's easy to fix, doesn't require much refrigeration and is easy to pack.

One of the joys of camping is NOT over planning.
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:57 AM   #3
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My wife's idea and mine are very different on menus. I have been a hiker and I cam buy and pack a weeks worth of food in about an hour and get everything at the grocery store. Not only that I can fit it all in a box about 14 inches square.
I can still buy all that dried goods from the store but with the campers fridge can bring along some things like meat, to have for suppers, cold cuts for lunch and milk to put on my oat meal.
If going out for a week I will make a menu just to make sure I have every meal taken care of.
Water is the key to making most of the stuff so if you can not carry it I suggest you make sure your near a Mt. stream and treat the water with iodine or other purifiers on the market.
I have hiked 40 years in the North East and never carried water and never got sick.
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Old 07-22-2018, 06:32 AM   #4
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Looks like you won't actually be boondocking, park appears to have electricity. If so, leave the solar and genny at home and carry a couple of extra 5 gallon containers of water. Fill your on board tank before you get to the park. With the portable containers you can drive off the peninsula to refill w/o moving the trailer. Avoid foods that require extra water to cook (pasta) and plan for minimal dishwashing (paper plates.) You could prepare some meals at home ahead of time. We eat lots of sandwiches
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Old 07-22-2018, 07:36 AM   #5
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We generally eat cereal/oatmeal in the morning, sandwhiches for lunch ( peanut butter & jelly, the tuna fish salad in foil packets, turkery pepperoni & cheese). Start out with fresh milk, but have a container or two of the shelf stable milk. Start out with using up the fresh veggies & fruit on hand from home (stored in a bin under the bed - only works ok when warm) and move to canned fruits & veggies after that.

For dinner for a week trip or the first week of a trip we eat frozen leftovers. I make a lot of soups,stews, etc. that I freeze in the square pint freezer containers. Stays frozen pretty well for the first 5 days in our cooler with extra ice). But we tend to go north where it's cooler in the hot weather and live in MI.

Always have on hand some rice, canned beans, dried lentils, dried pasta, canned tomatoes, onions, garlic & cornmeal(polenta) to make meals as necessary if we go through the frozen food.

Have an old trailer with an old fridge so move containers of frozen water from the freezer at night to the fridge during the day. But generally have cool nights when we camp so that works.

We also get our drinking/ cooking water from a 5 gallon igloo water jug on the picnic table.

There are only 2 of us camping, and DH is not fussy about food as long has he doesn't have to cook it and there is cold beer
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Old 07-22-2018, 07:38 AM   #6
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Also we put a weather station remote in the fridge to make sure that it is staying at a safe temperature
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lisa in Michigan View Post
Also we put a weather station remote in the fridge to make sure that it is staying at a safe temperature
Hi Lisa, that is the best tip that Ive ever heard! Thanks
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:20 PM   #8
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When we go camping I am the cook so I get to decide so we have a full breakfast
Bacon or sausage or steak with eggs , toast , juice and potatoes or pancakes
A snack during the day crackers , sausage , cheese , wine
For supper we cook on the grill , Hamburgers ,brats , pork chops , ribs , chicken plus a couple of side dishes or salad
We freeze a lot of our food ahead of time then place it in our Yeti cooler with dry ice
The food is still frozen solid after 5 days
We do keep some dried food in the trailer but only for emergencies
When I was younger I survived on pork and beans with hot dogs when we camped but at almost 70 years of age those days are over .

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Old 07-22-2018, 01:51 PM   #9
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cooking for boondocking

One of the best things we have found is a 12V small slow cooker. I have made pasta bake, beef stew, oatmeal, biscuits etc in this. It will work in the trailer or attached to a 12V plug in the tug which is always on (don't need to run the engine so you can have a $36,000 slow cooker) You can get them at larger truck stops.
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bjsmitty View Post
One of the best things we have found is a 12V small slow cooker. I have made pasta bake, beef stew, oatmeal, biscuits etc in this. It will work in the trailer or attached to a 12V plug in the tug which is always on (don't need to run the engine so you can have a $36,000 slow cooker) You can get them at larger truck stops.
Is this similar to what you are speaking of?
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Old 07-23-2018, 02:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Fred762 View Post
For us newbies here, [that's us fer sure]..we have wondered how you "old hands" plan meals/menus for places where you plan to "boondock"............... especially if water is going to be at a premium...

Our Casita "resources" include the 4 cu ft frig, propane, 120w solar panel and a 2200W B&S generator.plus various coolers we can bring along...and a propane grille w 5lb refillable tank...for outdoors cooking as needed..!!

FWIW we are headed to T H Stone St Park next week [in hot weather ] and they are having a low water pressure problem @ that park..Thanks! Fred&Hiolly
Planning starts with how much water you have on hand for washing dishes
The less water you have the less cooking you will want to do. In low water situations the cooking you do plan on doing should focus on one pot meals. Try to do most of the cooking at home ahead of time. Freeze what you can. That will help you with your refrigerator staying colder too.



If you watch cooking shows from grill masters you will often see that they have precooked meats in the oven and then put them on the grill to heat up and get coated with sauce to get a nice char on them. You can do that pre cooking at home. This is also useful as you won't be dealing with sanitizing tools and surfaces after working with raw meats. That helps reduce water useage.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:11 AM   #12
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It's great to get ideas from other people, but in the end, you'll come up with your own method. Most people I "camp" with bring a bunch of special stuff they wouldn't do at home. Frozen tubes of cinnamon rolls, dutch oven casseroles or stews, all that sort of stuff. Some people go closer to backpacking meals and do boxes of stuff you just need to boil in some water.

Personally because I am hauling an entire home behind me, I just eat the same way I do at home. Oatmeal for breakfast most mornings (I mostly do steel cut oats. A little extra propane use won't run the tank dry), maybe some eggs & veggies & potatoes on the weekend. Lunch is often just some sardines on crackers, maybe some peanut butter or crackers and some fruit or veggies. Dinner is a grain, lots of veggies and maybe some meat. A few good squares of dark chocolate for dessert

With all this stuff, it's more the method you use, rather than what ingredients you pack, that determine water use. You'll learn to conserve water. It means either pre-rinsing veggies at home or rinsing very minimally in the camper, using only a pint or two of water for dishes, and generally making things in a way that doesn't require a huge cleanup the way a lot of baking does (multiple mixing bowls covered in sticky stuff, measuring cups, whisks, measuring spoons, counter covered in flour and egg etc).

But you can also do super messy stuff. Just means more water and more cleanup. Pick some easy stuff and have fun. The more you get out and use the camper, the more you'll dial in your own preferred method.

Easy thing to do would be: Oatmeal in the morning. Cold sandwiches for lunch. Grilled meat with a steamed veggie and maybe rice or some other grain on the side. I'm personally ok with repetition. I keep things interesting by just changing the veggie, the way I cook the meat, a different grain, or very very simple sauces that are slightly different each time. That's enough variety for me.
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:49 AM   #13
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We take frozen containers of barbecue, chili, hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage. Things like that. We stop along the way at a convenience store/gas station. Pick up a hoagie or two, or buy some cold cuts for that evenings meal. It is way after lunch before we get where we want to be, so we want something easy to do after setting up. Then, RELAX. Carl
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:15 AM   #14
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Hi: Fred 762... Put wieners in a Thermos and fill with boiling water. Cap it and place the thermos in the sink and when it's time to eat just add buns, condiments, and your fav chips for a quick meal.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:54 AM   #15
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Menu

This is the Mrs. I like things that won’t go stale when not stored in fridge. Fruit, tomatoes, canned fish, beans. Oranges, apples, cukes. Meats like bacon that make a mess, I prepare at home then refrigerate, same with breakfast sausages. Rice, potato toes always a nice side. Heck, we even had crab legs, rice & veg
Just a matter of planning.
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:08 PM   #16
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Boondocks chow

I am an avid home canner so a lot of our meals when we are out there are simple meals based on my canned beans with ham, beef and peppers or such. We find they work well for us and minimize leftovers and ice consumption.
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:31 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Denece View Post
I am an avid home canner so a lot of our meals when we are out there are simple meals based on my canned beans with ham, beef and peppers or such. We find they work well for us and minimize leftovers and ice consumption.
I also can at home. One of the best things that I can is chicken. It's very versatile and with a little imagination can really help in my meal planning. I also like to can vegetable soup. The only downside to bringing can foods from home is how to safely pack my pint jars. The best that I have come up with is to use old socks on each jar.
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:08 AM   #18
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As said in my original post my wife's menue is quite different them mine and we often will need an extra cooler to carry our refrigerated foods. we do this by keeping meats that will eaten later in the week, frozen and we pack this on bottom of cooler. We do not own none of those expensive coolers but by having the frozen meat when we leave and also pack some ice in the cooler it will keep things cool for a week.
On the 4th or 5th day your meat may still be frozen so take it out in the morning and place in fridge and check during the day to see if it's defrosting. This way your fridge keeps cool too.
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Old 07-29-2018, 05:21 AM   #19
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Congratulations on your new Casita! I wish it brings you many great and safe trips and memories.

I usually dry camp on dog training grounds or hunt test sights. I enjoy a good dinner. But at the end of a the day I want my dinner easy, tasty, healthy and ready within 45 minutes.

All the previous posts are great, and gave me some new ideas. Let me add some thoughts:

Keep a journal of this trip so you can learn what works best for you: food, equipment, cookware etc.

If you have a freezer, use it!

I have a small, Corning stovetop water kettle, which is the most indispensable item in my galley. If you don’t have a kettle at home, consider purchasing a “pour over” kettle from Amazon.

If you don’t have a microwave, you should consider getting one for your trailer. They are not very expensive & worth the weight. If you plan to hook up on future trips, you’ll be glad you got one. When boon-docking, I use the generator to recharge the batteries, and start it up when cooking dinner so that I can use the microwave to defrost various dishes and cook veggies.

If coffee is vital part of of your day, give some thought to your coffee maker and the quality & storage of your coffee beans.

Instant Pot is the “it appliance”. It is electric and can be used as a pressure cooker and slow cooker. Think anpbout getting a 4Qt for your trailer. You can also get a small stovetop Pressure Cooker. I have an Instant Pot at home, and decided to purchase a stovetop PC for my trailer. I am VERY happy with that choice as I can pressure cook meals whether or not I am hooked up to electricity. Unlike the IP, a stovetop cannot be used as a slow cooker. It can be used in place of a stove, and does not heat up the trailer. It is an extremely versatile appliance. It can also be used as a stand alone pot.

I also like oatmeal in the morning. But on hot summer days, I started making overnight oatmeal (using regular Quaker Oatmeal). Take some time to research this on the Internet. You can put together endless taste combinations. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare before bedtime, and you’ll wake up to a great summer breakfast.

If you plan to be away from your campsite during the day, pack lunch and snacks. You’ll need to keep a bag of ice in your freezer.

I love, love, love the “Thermos 16 oz Thermos jar with folding spoon, stainless steel”. You can get them today on Amazon for under $20. Get at least 2 of these Thermos jars. This is what I use for “overnight oatmeal” at home & in my trailer. I also fill it with cottage cheese with cut up fruit or apple source for lunch (hubby consumes a sandwiches). You can also put chili, stew and soup in them. They’re big enough for you to add salsa, cheese.

Snacks are important: if you don’t mind the salt, Costco sells a “variety” box of individual packets of nuts. They have about 4 or 5 different kinds of nuts in the box. They also have a box of 3oz apple sauce pouches which you can suck without a spoon (like astronauts). Keep them in your refrigerator & make sure they stay cold in your ice chest. I don’t know of anything more refreshing in hot weather. I also love cheese sticks, and those mini carrots are great. Fruit-on-the-bottom Yogurt is another favorite. I also pack cans of V-8 juice, which is best drunken cold.

If you have not yet purchase camp chairs and a “cocktail height” table get them. These tables fold up and come with a storage bag and take up minimum space in your trailer. At day’s end, you’ll love sitting on either side of the table sipping something tall & cold and nibbling on appetizer placed in the middle of that table. (You also have extra surface for meal prep.)

Best of luck.
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Old 07-29-2018, 08:20 AM   #20
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When I first bought my trailer and was camping for 3-4 day at a time, I bought 'camping' food. Foodstuffs I don't normally eat. Everything from chips to hotdogs. Then I started camping for longer days. After 8-9 days, I was feeling awful. Now I menu plan and buy food exactly as I would eat at home.

Whether boondocking or full-hookups, you have the ability to eat well. Coolers or icebox or refrigerator to keep food cold. Propane stove or fire to cook food thoroughly. Proper cookware and utensils.

Convenience foods are often full of sodium, dyes, fats and chemicals. Read the labels. Menu planning takes some effort, but it also assure you that you're not overbuying food that may go to waste.

This next trip for me will be for 51 nights. My travel buddy and I have already decided we're going 'clean' eat. Lots of fruits and vegetables. Sure we'll go off-the-rails occasionally. But when we do, we'll enjoy it.
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