When someone mentions a camping trip do you immediately start imagining sleeping outside on the ground and eating bland food with bits of rocks and dirt in every bite? You’re not alone! I remember my husband practically dragging me into our first camping trip (many, many moons ago) and me dreading the whole thing.
I learned a valuable point that first trip: I can bring any spices and seasonings to the campsite that I want to! There are several schools of thought on the best way to transport; today I will show you what I do and what the illustrious Scott (he’s the guy who signs my paycheck) does.
Scott says plastic shoe boxes work best for him. He keeps regular-sized seasoning bottles in the box and he generally travels with two of these. Keep in mind, when Scott is camping, it’s generally with Scouts and he typically feeds 100+ hungry boy scouts. My point is that it’s very beneficial for him to have tons of spices. He probably carries more spices than most people have at home! Check out these photos of his spices:
I tend to keep my spices in smaller amounts, on a smaller scale. Unless we have family joining us, I usually only cook for five, so I don’t really need the volume Scott does. I tend to keep my spices in those cute daily pill organizers from – you guessed it again! – dollar stores. I use the 7-day kind and each strip is dedicated to different types; for example, all baking-related spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, etc., are in one group; spicy-type spices such as chili powder, dried onion, powdered garlic and cumin are in another group. The strips stack easily for transport and each little box is labeled thanks to my trusty LablePro. (I also have leftover pencil boxes into which we put soy sauce, ketchup, jams, syrup, etc., collected from take-out meals. Not only does this save space in packing, it’s great for road trips too!) I keep salt, pepper and sugar in a recycled cake sprinkles container. The container has three compartments and each has its own lid – perfect for camping. Just remember to label the sections…salt in the coffee is NOT yummy. I also keep powdered bullion, both chicken and beef, in this kind of container.
Scott keeps hot sauce and bullion in his pack; we both keep matches in our kits. Although paper matchbooks work, I personally prefer wooden matchsticks. I dip mine in melted wax (prevents them getting wet from humidity or rain) and then put them into their box which goes into a zippered bag.
If you’re wondering which spices to take on your next trip, that’s an easy answer: take anything you like to cook with! Consider making up a season-all mix of your own. I have one mix which contains sea salt, cracked black pepper, smoked paprika, powdered garlic, powdered onion and nutmeg. A spice mix like this is good for everything from a dry rub to a sprinkle on top of scrambled eggs. The thing to remember is take what you think you’ll need plus a bit extra but don’t take anything you won’t use. Also, keep in mind any special dietary needs of the people in your group. Perhaps you have a person with a pepper allergy or maybe a diabetic…it’s a good idea to have a list of any healthy issues. Laminate the list and keep it with your spice box just to be safe.
What do you do to liven up your camp meals? How do you store it? Please, share your tips with us! You might just see your ideas in our next Tips column in the RoadCEO newsletter!