Putting a Camping Pantry Together

 

From 2016 Trip. . .

Finally ready to head out on that extended camping trip you have been looking forward to for so long? A well-stocked pantry can make preparing meals on your journey much easier when you head out on the road; all you to do is replenish things as you use them up and add to your pantry as you discover wonderful foods in other parts of this beautiful country. Look for cooking sauces, jams, chutneys, mustards, and pickles to add something special to a meal.

There are a couple of ways to put a pantry together: You can make a list of what you want to bring with you and buy it before you leave, or you can raid your pantry at home (or just buy some supplies you will need right away) and fill in on the road as needed. Check the Campers Pantry for suggestions. Either way, on a long camping trip you will probably find yourself with many familiar pantry items you are used to having while cooking at home. It makes for stress-free meal prep if you are armed with basic ingredients you already know when you are preparing meals on the road.

Being prepared makes for fun cooking and gives you time to enjoy your surroundings: the trees, mountains, lakes, ocean, and desert; the smells around you of pine, salt air, campfires, and wonderful food cooking; feel the breeze or squish the sand between your toes; relish that first sip of wine or taste the first bite of food you prepared after returning from a long hike.

To start the pantry building process, a week or two ahead find a couple of containers or boxes that are about the size of your pantry storage in your vehicle and start adding items you want to take with you. Keep in mind that this is a fluid process and the contents in these containers will change as you get closer to leaving. Then when you are finally ready to start packing, you will have most of what you need ready to go.

We have with us one large bag with all the dry foods (pasta, rice, etc.) and three sections in our chuck wagon for canned goods and bottled items. I'd list everything, but it would take up pages, but we did bring with us: salsas; Indian spice pastes; rice, pastas, beans, coarse-ground polenta; olives; marinara; pesto; tuna, clams, mussels; honeys, jams, chutneys; nuts, nut butters, seeds, dried fruit; coffee beans, tea; granola; oils; and on and on.

locating the pantry box     pantry box in place     ready to go

Locating the pantry box   The pantry box in place   The pantry loaded & ready to go

Before we left we also visited our winter farmers market and stocked up on some veggies, tortillas, and other items that we would use as we travel. We have a choice of three amazing year-round farmers market which we will miss having most places we visit.  Our local winter farmers market pre-trip shopping:

Farmers market 1     farmers market 2     farmers market 3

farmers market 4     farmers market 5     farmers market 6

If you shop at farmers markets and small local markets like we do, food like fresh-from-the-farm veggies, grass-fed beef, really fresh chicken, locally-made sausages, and cage-free farm-fresh eggs can be difficult to find in many parts of the country. So, as you travel, keep your eyes open for those local treasures, stop, look, and talk to the locals, and bring something delicious back to your campsite.

 


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