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Author: Subject: What’s in your camping cooler
BGR
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[*] posted on 6-9-2019 at 04:31 PM
What’s in your camping cooler


What do you have in your cooler when you are camping off the beaten path. I’m interested in knowing what your menu consists of, what kind of ingredients you use and what is readily available in the smaller towns to re-supply.

AND, of course, your go to camping meal.
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David K
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[*] posted on 6-9-2019 at 04:45 PM


When my wife and I were younger and raising kids in the outdoors, we cooked meals and had a good chow box. Big breakfast scrambles with eggs, potatoes, bacon, cheese, onions were a favorite of mine.

As we got older and got into "easy" -- we simplified a lot. So breakfast is instant oatmeal or cold cereal, lunch is P B & J sandwiches or cold cuts, and dinners are backpacking meals with beef stroganoff being our favorite.

That being the case, the ice chests are used for these:

1) Beer (and water).
2) Milk (for cereal).
3) Sandwich meats.
4) Cheese
5) mayo, ketchup, butter
6) ? any food that we pre-make and bring.
1 chest for drinks (crushed ice & 1 block ) and 1 for food (block ice). Ice lasts 5-7 days by which time we pop out of the boonies and find an Oxxo or local store to get more ice.




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[*] posted on 6-9-2019 at 04:59 PM


One of my MX friends is a very good chef. So have some great meals that would rival some MX restaurants. Typically seafood dishes, either hot (dinner) or raw (lunch).

We use 4 coolers, sometimes 5.

1st one is a big 150 quart Coleman marine cooler. It has moveable dividers creating 3 compartments. One is for MX beer, another is for water/Gatorade, and sodas. Last one is for IPAs.



Then take 1 or 2 small Yettis for food depending how long we are going out for. Generally, one has seafood (shrimp, scallops, fish, clams, and crab) and lunch meat/cheese. Sometime have beef in them for tacos or sausage for breakfast.



Also bring 2 collapsible Coleman coolers. They fold up really small. Use these for when we rent boats or go off somewhere for a few hours without the rest of the gear. Pack them with food and drinks.



Use 3 stack-able packs from FrontRunner to hold all the cooking supplies and eggs. Pretty easy to take one or two of them with us if we do a side trip or go out on a boat. Finding these things has made life much easier.



We always travel with a small Honda generator and an electric skillet.


[Edited on 6-10-2019 by JZ]




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[*] posted on 6-9-2019 at 09:08 PM


JZ, are the front runners coolers or storage boxes? We use and ARB fridge so we don't need ice. With a small solar panel we can go several days without even starting the car.
We usually Take a couple of tri tips and chicken from the local butcher to share with some locals. The rest we source locally from the markets of fishermen. Shrimp, asada and whatever else looks good. PB&J is hard to beat for a quick fix..
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[*] posted on 6-9-2019 at 09:17 PM


Thanks Guys

Hey JZ

I'm just going to follow you around, Sounds like you are set up, especially with a chef on board. We'll be somewhere in between you and Dave with 6 people and taking turns cooking. The plan is to source food locally when the opportunity presents itself.
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[*] posted on 6-10-2019 at 06:37 AM


Quote: Originally posted by advrider  
are the front runners coolers or storage boxes? .


They are over-priced totes. You can get similar totes much cheaper at Costco, Home Depot, Uline, etc.




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[*] posted on 6-10-2019 at 06:43 AM


Quote: Originally posted by JZ  


We use 4 coolers, sometimes 5.

We always travel with a small Honda generator and an electric skillet.


That sounds like a lot of work hauling all that crap.

For car camping we (4 to 6 people) can get by with 1 or 2 coolers, and a 2-burner stove (white gas or propane)






Woke!

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[*] posted on 6-10-2019 at 02:02 PM


Quote: Originally posted by mtgoat666  


That sounds like a lot of work hauling all that crap.

For car camping we (4 to 6 people) can get by with 1 or 2 coolers, and a 2-burner stove (white gas or propane)




You and I both know, you don't even go to Baja anymore.






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[*] posted on 6-11-2019 at 08:08 AM


What's in my cooler? Nothing that requires cooking and cleaning equipment over paper towels and a trash bag!

I travel in a very small 4x4 with a large dog, and I am ok feeding on sandwiches, and finger food for a few weeks at a time in exchange for more room in the Kia. Besides that, who likes cleaning up after every meal on a camping trip?

I do make sure that I have a supply of dill pickles with me since they scarce in Baja stores, but other than that, I learn to like what I can find locally!

As you might imagine, I really look forward to roadside resteraunts, and local vendors for a hot food fix when available.




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[*] posted on 6-11-2019 at 09:28 AM


In carry the Dometic 65 quart dual zone fridge in my Jeep.
In the freezer compartment:
Trader Joe's Wild Sockeye Salmon
Trader Joe's Vegan Bean Burritos (we don't eat cheese)
Smart&Final Vegetarian and Black Bean burger patties
Trader Joe's Multigrain tortillas
Wheat bread

In the refrigerator compartment:
Cooked black beans
Milk
Salsa
Eggs
Fruits and vegetables (onions, tomatoes, grapes, apples)
Cooked chicken - ready to eat.
Mineral water (10 oz cans)

Beverages:
I keep water inside 5 gallon container for ease of packing.
I leave alcoholic beverages for the restaurants to serve chilled and inside original bottles/cans - opened in front of me.




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[*] posted on 6-11-2019 at 09:57 AM


Beer, ice and frozen water bottles.
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[*] posted on 6-11-2019 at 08:58 PM


Good info.

On our camping trips here at home I bring some quick meals and some gourmet meals. Sounds like I'll stick to that program and adjust according to what's available locally down there.

Thanks for all the help.

Oh yeah, I like my overpriced totes
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[*] posted on 6-11-2019 at 09:06 PM


Quote: Originally posted by BGR  
Good info.

On our camping trips here at home I bring some quick meals and some gourmet meals. Sounds like I'll stick to that program and adjust according to what's available locally down there.

Thanks for all the help.

Oh yeah, I like my overpriced totes


I get 95%+ local.

Only stuff I bring from the US is IPA/brown ales (available in Baja, but pretty sparse), diet mountain dew (don't drink coffee and have 1 a day in the AM for caffeine), 3) breakfast meat like kielbasa.

Check out the FrontRunner store: https://www.frontrunneroutfitters.com/en/us/?utm_campaign=Fr...

I just put one of their racks my truck. If you like cool stuff you will be a kid in a candy store with their accessories. They make great stainless steel tables that slide in just under the rack, as well as about a hundred other neat things.




[Edited on 6-12-2019 by JZ]




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[*] posted on 6-11-2019 at 11:00 PM


We're pretty big on freezing pre-prepared meals and then vacuum sealing them. Especially messy things like chili, or pesto pasta or red sauce pasta. Also any meats. When vacuum-sealed foods eventually thaw, they last for many days longer than foods exposed to oxygen. And they aren't susceptible to getting soaked if they float around in ice slush.

These pre-cooked foods can become a one-pot meal with a side of salad. The meats we always cook in camp, but they do stay preserved longer in the vacuum.

There are raw vegetables that can stand up to the vacuuming process; broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, carrots.


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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 01:13 PM


Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
Quote: Originally posted by BGR  
Good info.

On our camping trips here at home I bring some quick meals and some gourmet meals. Sounds like I'll stick to that program and adjust according to what's available locally down there.

Thanks for all the help.

Oh yeah, I like my overpriced totes


I get 95%+ local.

Only stuff I bring from the US is IPA/brown ales (available in Baja, but pretty sparse), diet mountain dew (don't drink coffee and have 1 a day in the AM for caffeine), 3) breakfast meat like kielbasa.

Check out the FrontRunner store: https://www.frontrunneroutfitters.com/en/us/?utm_campaign=Fr...

I just put one of their racks my truck. If you like cool stuff you will be a kid in a candy store with their accessories. They make great stainless steel tables that slide in just under the rack, as well as about a hundred other neat things.




[Edited on 6-12-2019 by JZ]


A fool and his money are soon parted. Those sst tables are over $300. My folding tables are lighter (plastic) and less than $50.




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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 02:01 PM



Me, I usually bring one small cooler with bread condiments and cold cuts, coffee, just the essentials for cooking including spices, another full of ice, then buy the rest of the food at Calimax; usually some tortillas salsa eggs canned food treats enough for a few days and also and some grass fed beef (edited, BEEF) and some potatoes. With the Coleman stove I can grill the meat also make a stew the next day. I have had good and bad experiences with Mexican beef but look at it all as a great culinary adventure . One thing is that salsa and cheese tastes better in Mexico although sloshing around in Ziploc bags always makes it soggy what is a good solution to that !

[Edited on 6-12-2019 by bajaric]
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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 04:29 PM


One thing that is not in my cooler, melted ice water. ALWAYS empty out the water.



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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 04:35 PM


Quote: Originally posted by SFandH  
One thing that is not in my cooler, melted ice water. ALWAYS empty out the water.

:lol:...here we go again!
not according to coleman or igloo.....
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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 04:39 PM


Quote: Originally posted by del mar  
Quote: Originally posted by SFandH  
One thing that is not in my cooler, melted ice water. ALWAYS empty out the water.

:lol:...here we go again!
not according to coleman or igloo.....


People who understand basic physics leave the water in their cooler. Science deniers drain the water.




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[*] posted on 6-12-2019 at 04:45 PM


Quote: Originally posted by del mar  
Quote: Originally posted by SFandH  
One thing that is not in my cooler, melted ice water. ALWAYS empty out the water.

:lol:...here we go again!
not according to coleman or igloo.....


I must vehemently concur with Handsome. After boating in Canyonlands/high desert environs in summertime, not only drain your cooler, but never set things directly on the ice. We would 'wrap' the ice in cardboard, and you could set items on the cardboard on top of the ice, but never directly so. Melts right through it, destroying the ice 10x quicker.

We would re-stock the beer/drink coolers at first light pouring the COLD water from the food igloos (120 quart big boys) onto the cans of drinks after draining the drink coolers out. Food was packed in the order menus were filled, oldest/frozen stuff on the bottom. Plastic tubs were used to keep produce and fresh food OUT OF THE WATER. Also, cooler 'blankets' were put on top over the lot in the big coolers.

Biggest problems we had were our guests trying to 'ice' their personal stuff, or trying to stock the drink coolers in the evenings when their warm cans were extra-warm rather with a little morning chill on 'em.

All in all was quite an art form to run a canyon in the 100+ degree ranges (no shade) and still after 5-6 days have gourmet meals, even ice cream for dessert in the bottom of Cataract Canyon. Bottom line, water melts ice. Sealed dry coolers do not.




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