10 Camping Kitchen Must-Haves

Tips for simplifying outdoor gear and my essential camping kitchen must-haves. Brought to you by Libra.

For the past two summers I’ve been working towards a minimalists camping kitchen. I wasn’t even sure it was possible, not for a family of five, with ferocious appetites and gourmet tendencies.

Part of my incentive to explore a compact version of outdoor gear came after leafing through a popular cookbook and spotting a ‘mellon baller’ on the list of camping kitchen must-haves. Uh, I’m sorry, but no. You’ll never get away for the weekend if you have to think about packing everything.

It’s time to get back to basics. Just the fire, the forest and you — all contained in their respective places, of course. In my recent experience, it IS possible to pair down gear for campfire cooking. Today I’m sharing my essentials, along with a few favourite drinks and snacks.

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The Ultimate Camping Food Day!

Last Friday we left the city behind and headed for the green rolling hills of Vermont for an impromptu camping trip.

A recent overhaul of our outdoor gear meant that everything I needed was relatively easy to find. Over the years, Danny and I have developed a system: I pack the kitchen gear/food while he takes care of the essential camping/sleeping gear. So if we’re missing a corkscrew, it’s on me; if the axe is nowhere to be found, that’s all him.

By now the kids pack their own items – everything from warm socks to Frisbees, bathing suits and pocket knives. Together we get the van loaded and the canoe tied to the roof. Thankfully, camping with kids has become much more streamlined the older they get.

Over the weekend I received a lot of questions about our camping experience, so I thought I’d revisit the topic here on the blog. I’ve written extensively about camping over the years, as we’ve gone every summer with our kids since they were babies. I’ll do a full round up at the bottom of the post, but before that, let’s have some fun and imagine what the Ultimate Camping Food Day would look like.

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Five reasons to plan a fall picnic

Now that the weather has cooled off doesn’t mean you have to head indoors for good. With a bagged lunch, a thermos, and a quilt from the backseat of the car, you can still have that picnic you were too busy to plan in August.

It just so happens that our recent decision for a lifestyle change has introduced a lot of new topics to discuss as parents. Do we buy a home or build new? Lakefront or ocean? Do we travel before the move or after? Start a business or stick with what we’ve been doing?

Uninterrupted conversation is rare between Danny and I when we are at home with the kids. It’s hard to unpack a topic and take the time to look at it from all angles. So we’ve taken to meeting up for a picnic lunch once a week, weather permitting, and then going for a walk afterward.

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A long weekend, camp coffee and my bannock recipe

This post is sponsored by Coleman Canada and Canadian Tire.

It’s the Friday before the long weekend and for once, I don’t have any lavish entertaining plans in the works. Instead I’m slotting in some down time for our family, preferably around the backyard fire pit.

Back to school week wiped us all out. The house looks like a tornado swept through it and everyone is a little emotional with all the changes. While it will be good to get into a routine next week, I’m taking the next three days to slow things down.

I want to savour the simple pleasures in life this weekend, like a cup of coffee brewed outdoors and a skillet of tender bannock cooked over an open fire.

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How to wash dishes when camping

June turned out to be our big camping month. We planned it that way because the days are cooler and there are fewer bugs than later in the season. This year, the weather was particularly gorgeous, and we happened to luck out on some pretty great sunshine, too.

Now if you’re not into camping, please know that this is probably the last post on the subject for the summer and we’ll soon be moving onto gardening and putting up food. If you are all about the great outdoors, though, then you’ll find this post handy for your next adventure.

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