Outfitting the Camper

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by Ken Lane, May 2, 2019.

  1. Ken Lane

    Ken Lane Active Member

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    The DW and I have been discussing the outfitting of the camper. She wants to stock it up with disposables, dishes, cups, plastic table wear. Don't need a glass for beer. Where I am falling down in this effort is cooking. You need a frying pan, a pot, cutting board, there are no disposables for those. And when it comes to cooking you will need some metallic cookware to stir the pot, flip the burger, fish out the tube steak etc. other wise plastic just melts near the heat. I was thinking that the never stick copper colored cookware, diamond something or other, you see advertised on the flat-tube would be a neat idea for the camper since it is forever never-stick so they claim and just a wipe clean. I guess we need a paper towel holder, a microwave and I bet wet wipes will come in handy too. Since I don't have an on-board shower the DW and little monkeys will have to use the bath house from time to time to shower. Any suggestions on carrying soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc.
     
  2. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    - I've got a couple of those copper non-stick pans. They are truly non-stick when you first buy them, but over time, things start sticking. They are also kind of thin which makes it hard to control heat.
    - I went through at least 10 paper towel holders, breaking each one until I decided that it was no longer worth it. Now they sit on the counter, or in a cabinet.
    - I never used a microwave while camping, although I can see the advantage if you have room for it.
    - Baby wipes are your friend for quick clean up of many, many things, including little monkeys before bed.
    - For soap/shampoo/etc., we got a little compartmentalized basket from the dollar store.
     
  3. MileHigh

    MileHigh Active Member

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    We purchased a complete set of utensils and keep them in the camper. I bring my good knives and a camp stove and all is good. I personally wouldn't bring a microwave. Wipes are something I always bring (Costco 3-pack). For the shower "stuff", I'd get small refillable containers and use those.
     
  4. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member

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    For sure take your time & think & rethink what you actually need, & what you want...I prefer a spartan set up, wife enjoys the "luxury hotel" set up, over the years we've learned to compromise to a degree; we use a Lodge cast iron skillet w/ a tempered glass lid & have a few utensils, stainless coffee pot for heating h2o etc, a Jet Boil/Coleman butane stove, & a Coleman 2 burner for long stays...Amazon has a gazillion items for soft side storage ideas, & as mentioned, the wipes are handy as hay...when we first started out years ago, we looked like a traveling band of gypsies we had so much crap lol
     
  5. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    ah..one of my favorite topics! Space is a deciding factor in much of your portable kitchen as well as ease of packing and clean up. paper is good, but you're right, can't use it to cook. I really don't like non-stick. If it gets too hot, it actually can release chemicals into your food. If you get a well seasoned cast iron skillet, you can use it to cook a lot of things. We take one and use it for frying eggs, heating beans and soups. They are heavy, but so nice to cook with. Other types we have liked were a stacking set of stainless cookware. Choosing some without long handles or a clip on handle is a plus because they fit in small spaces so much better. I haven't tried the silicone pots and pans that collapse, ($$$) but they look like a great idea. A spatula and tongs are a necessity, a larger metal spoon and a can opener. Yes to paper towels, they also make good fire starter after wiping out an oily pan. I carry a container of salt and use salt and paper towels to "wash" my cookware. It is amazing and saves water, works great and saves your campsite from soupy, stinky dishwater. How much you cook and how you cook also plays a part in planning. I tend to get a little fancy with meals when we are camping. I carry foil, a measuring cup, a cutting board and a set of collapsing bowls that give me a size for salad, mixing and storing leftovers. Also a nice assortment of spices and olive oil. A plastic (collapsable?) dish pan, some small towels, a scrubby pad and a little bottle of dish soap for the few things you will have for washing. As far as soap and shampoo, a small plastic bottle is usually enough. If you can find a product that works for body and hair, you can get by with one, two if really necessary to condition hair. I seldom wash my hair when camping. And pack a few towels and washcloths. I remember how dirty kids get when camping, so maybe one of those nifty solar shower bags would be nice. We used to lay one on the picnic table, giving a warm water hand wash at a good height.
    Have FUN!
     
  6. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    OH yeah! a ceramic mug for each coffee drinker. ugh to hot coffee in styrofoam! A coffee pot or some kind of coffee maker. Aero press is what I love. excellent coffee quick clean up. It is a one cup at a time device, so not practical for a crowd, but quick enough for several when the water has boiled.
    Also, I find a good portable grill an absolute necessity. Most meat and vegetables are grilled.
     
  7. Bigantlers

    Bigantlers Active Member

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    This is something that I've been thinking about for meals and what to keep in the camper for them.

    We did disposable, pretty much the same menu over the whole season. Easy to do, quick and for the most part good. But when I really wanted bacon and pancakes, I had a hard time doing it with disposable. What I'm stuck on is figuring out a mess area or portable kitchen (we don't use the little sink in the camper) vs. disposable plates, utensils, etc.

    Most of our trips are Friday evening to Sunday morning. But a couple (and maybe in the future) could be longer, which may make a kitchen area more prudent. Not to mention environmental sensibilities that come into play for disposable items.

    DW took care of toiletries with a little carrier that we take from the house. She keeps it stocked with travel items (soap, tooth paste, etc.) and then we add the camp towels in when we leave (as they've been washed and are sitting, ready to be deployed).

    Ultimately I think it comes down to your style of camping as to how you handle what you keep in there. Its a never ending challenge.
     
  8. Ken Lane

    Ken Lane Active Member

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    The cast iron skillet is a great idea, but I am concerned cleaning. I have never heard about using salt. I will try it at home to see how it works and how we can work with it. The camper has an outside high pressure gas grill, DW plans to use over the inside unit. The road side outside of the camper has a shower w/h&c water, so that the will come in handy for getting most the grime off the chimps and myself. DW has not committed to using it so far, but we will see. Regarding using the bath house, I just remember I got DW a new beach bag this year for spring vacation. It large enough to carry all including towels, shampoo, dryer, warpaint, whatever, so that is covered. You folks are chock full of great experience. I like the idea of the small bottles, local Wally World carries the right brand of those too. I am with ya'll on camping mugs, plastic yukkk, and hot water kettle, w/small instant coffee, hot coco, sweetener, and creamer. Tongs for tube steaks, spatula, collapsible bowls, those we need for sure, cooking fork, knives, board, and can opener (never thought about that one). I will rethink the microwave, maybe try without for first trip and see if needed. An menu suggestions, food favorites for camping? Most of our trips this year will be Friday-Sunday too.
     
  9. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    I always tell folks on the first couple trips to take along the absolute bare minimum of stuff you think you need to get by along with something to keep a list.

    If you find something you need/want, you can either buy it locally or pick it up when you get home.

    When we bought our Pup a few years ago, we didn't take this advice. As a result, we spent a lot of money on stuff that we ended up giving away or is taking up space in the garage and basement because we never use it. ;)
     
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  10. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    In my pup, I have a small portable grill, a roll of heavy duty foil and one medium omelette pan. The grill is for the meat, the foil is for everything else that can be cooked on the campfire coals and I still haven't used the omelette pan for a damn thing.
     
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  11. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    to clean with salt, I wipe out the chunks and as much wet stuff with a paper towel as possible. surprising enough, a well seasoned cast iron skillet wipes pretty clean. then about a tablespoon of plain old salt, another paper towel and use the pile of salt under the towel to rub it around. it does work, and then you can dust or wipe all the dirty salt out, or rinse it. dry the skillet and all done.
     
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  12. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I just used the oldest pots/pans I owned and used it as my excuse for new ones in the house. ;). I have paper, but honestly I prefer non breakable dishes (dollar store). I think paper is a waste of money but I agree easy clesnup. I don't use a microwave as most of my stuff can be warmed on the stove. I use the plastic spatula and other serving utensils I bought from Walmart. Don't want metel with nonstick cookware anyway. For soap etc I use a small cheap plastic container and fill the soap up as needed. No need bring a huge container. We each have our own cosmetic bag filled with everything we need. At least where I camp a lot of the showers are completely separate from each other. In my mind simple is better. It's not worth buying a bunch of stuff when you may not use it every trip. That way your also not using up valuable space for stuff you are not using. To each there own. What works for some wont work for everyone.
     
  13. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    I agree to go minimal until you figure out what you will really use.

    For toiletries, I just bought travel containers and fill them with my home supply as needed. I did buy travel size toothpaste since it's just me.

    I like real dishes. I have Corelle. I have a couple pewter mugs to hold hot drinks and soup. For cookware, I have one large pan/skillet with lid for times when I'm cooking for a rally. Otherwise I have a mid size frying pan and a small pot with lid. Inexpensive cooking utensils.

    I mostly drink water, so I have multiple water bottles.
     
  14. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

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    A word of warning if you end up going with those copper nonstick skillets, make sure you pack them so nothing else is rubbing against them. I put in two, nested together, & by the time we go up to camp, the top one had worn thru the coating of the bottom from vibration.
     
  15. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    We live on bagels with peanut butter or cream cheese, chicken salad, pimento cheese, fruit, peanuts, cashews, breakfast bars, crackers, etc. Very little to refrigerate, very little prep, paper towel for serving, very little to dispose of. We have never used our toaster oven or one-eye burner. Use the coffee pot for coffee and hot water,
     
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  16. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    I use a chuck box. That way nothing gets stored in pup. I’ve been doing this for a decade and pups are infamous when it comes to cooking and where to store it
     
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  17. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I do a cast iron fry pan, griddle, portable grill and a large and small pot. I like to cook. For the kids, maybe the adults also, i would recommend getting the chepo string back packs for the showers, you put the toiletries in with your clothes and have a nice easy way to transport it. Like these. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Liberty-...MIsarmn-f94QIVyCaGCh1Dew-HEAQYCiABEgKzGPD_BwE
    Other then that , towels, i like the thin ones they dry quicker. I wouldent go crazy with the cookware, the stoves tend to not be even , and the heat output isnt great. Trust me i tryed a buch of stuff and simpker is best. ( i did just get a nice propane griddle, i dont listen to my own advice! )
     
  18. Zephyr

    Zephyr Active Member

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    Start off with the minimum and add stuff as needed, but avoid over loading on kitchen gear. Talking to you as well as myself.....I need to thin stuff again this year.

    Cleaning dishes and pans really isn't that bad. We rarely use disposables, because we usually don't camp where there is garbage service. Campfire restrictions are in force much of the camping season now days, so burning used paper plates isn't an option.

    We carry a small set of nesting pots (think backpacking-style), a skillet, a small cast iron griddle, a dutch oven and a tea kettle. Plates are from some microwave dinners from 20+ years ago and bowls are plastic picnic stuff. We used Lexan spoons and forks from backpacking until recently. The forks had slightly melted tines over the years, so we actually bought some real metal utensils. We use metal thermal mugs for hot and cold drinks. Long handled tongs, good can opener, toasting forks, a spatula, a silicon scraper, a serving/cooking spoon, a paring knife and a chef's knife.....add other things as needed. Oh, and a long BBQ lighter or two.

    We carry toiletries in small refillable bottles. Most times, we use the shower tent at the side of the pup. When a shower house is available, we carry the toiletry bottles in a small mesh bag that can be hung up in the shower. Towel and clothing is carried in a canvas grocery bag. Back when we had kids along, we had two sets of toiletries to speed up the showering process. We also carry a couple of 'shower accessories'.....extra hooks that attach by suction cup or hang over the stall door. There never seem to be enough hooks for clothing in the shower house.
     
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  19. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    We have a full set of cooking stuff in the camper - 5 qt pan, 2 qt sauce pan, frying pan, griddle that goes on the stove and so on. We do actual cooking when we go camping, in fact, we probably eat better camping then at home. We also use regular melamine dishes and cups and silverware and so on and clean stuff after each meal unless we are in a real hurry. We have a dog for rinsing and a good cleaning system and it works out very well and doesn't take much time. In the end, it leads to much less waste and it is nice eating off of real stuff. We spend so much time outdoors and hiking when we camp, that a nice meal is great.

    I would encourage a camp driveway approach where you depend on what you have in the camper for the weekend - you will quickly figure out what you need.
     
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  20. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    we also carry melamine plates, plastic glasses and real cutlery, but for some foods just feel like the fast clean up of paper. Both are good. A lot depends on what kind of camping you are doing too. It's pretty simple if you have a good supply of water and a water heater. If you have to ration water, paper is better. I really don't like styrofoam. not really very disposable at all!
     

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