Solo Camping Food

I have a lot to say on the subject of food, whether I’m camping or otherwise.  I love to eat well, and I don’t leave that behind when I camp.  This will be the first of the posts on food, so I’m starting small with what I eat when I camp alone.  What food I take varies greatly based on who I camp with.

If I’m alone I like to keep it simple.  I don’t need to please anyone but myself, so it’s quick and easy.  I can often make one or two stops on my way out of town to buy food, and call it done.  I don’t cook before hand.

Food is based on a trick I learned from a high school boyfriend.  I went camping with him once in Anza Borrego, and we stopped on the way out of town at Bay Cities in Santa Monica and got giant sandwiches.  They were good for two meals each, which went a long way.  Now I make a stop at Noah’s Bagels, where I get a bagel sandwich, three bagels, and a tub of the salmon shmeer.  Voila!  Breakfast and lunch handled.

Dinner on night one is sometimes something I pick up on the way.  Fried chicken is really good cold, so that’s an easy one.  If I’m running late, as I so often am, I just eat something on the way there.

Breakfast is a bagel and cream cheese, and/or instant oatmeal.  I usually heat up water for tea anyway, so why not oatmeal?  I happen to adore instant oatmeal, and it’s something I almost never eat at home.

Lunch is the sandwich, of course.  If I’m feeling really together, I might bring some chips or cookies.  Or not.  I really don’t need much.

Dinner is the only time I cook.  A box of mac & cheese or ramen is usually on the menu.  Ramen is great since the clean-up is minimal.  If mac & cheese is on the menu, I pack a small container with the butter and milk before leaving home.

I’m a sucker for something sweet after dinner, so I’m working on perfecting a recipe I found in a backpacking cookbook for hot chocolate pudding.  The original has nice texture, but no chocolate flavor.  It mostly tasted like cornstarch.  A pinch of salt and instant espresso powder helps a lot, but I need a chocolate punch.  I’m going to try adding mini chocolate chips.  Anyway, it’s a just add water and stir thing, and I pack it in a Ziploc, then dump it into my mug.

Breakfast is a repeat.

So, that’s it for quick and dirty food when it’s just me.  I’m big on carbs, not willing to be hungry, but ok with comfort food and things being a bit repetitive.  I started to include talk about gear here, but decided it’s a separate post.


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