One of the keys to successful camping is PLANNING! The more prepared you are when you hit the road, the more smoothly your trip will go. If you invest time in planning what you are going to take along and how you’re going to pack it before you drive out of the driveway, you’ll benefit from this time-well-spent once you arrive at your campsite and prepare to unpack and unwind. This couldn’t be truer than in the case of meal planning and prep.
There are so many smart ways to pre-prepare food at home so that it doesn’t take up a ton of room in your tightly packed RV and it’s ready to simply cook or heat up over the campfire. When you do the prep work at home, you’re saving yourself a lot of busy work in your RV’s kitchen and making more time for yourself out by the fire, where you want to be. By pre-packaging meats, veggies, and more in Ziploc bags, you’re packing only what you need, creating more space and less waste on your trip. Ziploc bags take up a lot less space than boxes, meat packs, egg cartons, and more. And Ziploc bags with frozen contents make great ice packs inside your cooler, allowing you to get away with fewer bags of ice. They thaw slowly inside the cooler and are ready to use when you are.
For the following food prep tips, you’ll want to buy Ziploc baggies in various sizes. Good ones to buy are gallon, quart, and sandwich-sized ones. You’ll also need heavy-duty aluminum foil that protects food well in the freezer. Here we go!
- Scramble your eggs (with milk) at home. Pour them into a Ziploc or even into a coffee creamer bottle. Use them for scrambled eggs, omelets, or French toast. No need to cram a bulky egg carton into your RV’s small fridge when you scramble them ahead of time.
- If your eggs are traveling in a Ziploc, you can boil them right in the bag to make a delicious omelet! Add toppings, such as meat, veggies, and cheeses, into the bag. Give it a little mix and make sure there is some air in the bag. Set it in a pot of boiling water over the campfire. Give it about 13 minutes. When it’s ready, you can slide your omelet out onto a plate and enjoy! Easy-peasy omelet!
- Make breakfast burritos at home and freeze them for later. Assemble the burritos with eggs, potatoes, meat, veggies, and cheese. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for about 20 minutes to let them set. Then wrap them in foil, place them in a gallon-sized Ziploc, and freeze. You’ll love popping these onto hot coals or a grate over the fire to warm up early in the morning for a wholesome, delicious breakfast.
- Pre-mix pancake and waffle batter at home and refrigerate it in gallon-sized Ziploc bags. When you're ready to make, simply cut a hole in a bottom corner of the bag. You can squeeze the batter out through the hole onto the griddle or waffle iron. All the sticky mess is contained in the bag! Just empty and toss! Love it!
- For those mornings when you’re up and at ‘em before the sun and ready to hit the trail, you can still enjoy sweet pancakes and waffles if you made them at home and froze them. Just thaw and warm over a fire or in the microwave.
- For breakfast meats, such as bacon and sausage, cook them at home and store them in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in foil. Pack them in the cooler among the frozen foods so they stay cold.
- Pre-slice veggies and meats at home to avoid the mess and hassle of doing this by the fire or inside your RV. Store separately in gallon-sized Ziploc bags. Add a moist paper towel to the veggies to keep them crisp. Both can be frozen as well.
- For marinated meats, put chicken, beef, or pork into a gallon-sized Ziploc and add the marinade. Expel air from the bag and seal it tightly. Freeze meat in the marinade. As it thaws on your trip, the meat will slowly marinate.
- Love fajitas? Me too! Make your favorite fajita mix (complete with meat of choice) at home and freeze it in a large Ziploc. Don’t forget to pack the tortillas and fixins! You’ll be glad you did when you’re enjoying fireside fajitas!
- Camping calls for burgers! Form your burger patties at home so they’re ready to toss on the grill or over the fire when you’re ready to eat. Stack them up with wax paper between each patty so they don’t stick together. Place them in a large Ziploc bag and freeze for later. This makes a large ice pack too. Monitor them while they’re thawing and make sure you eat them before they go bad.
- Make burritos at home so that you can have a delicious Mexican fiesta by the campfire. After you’ve assembled your favorite burritos, wrap them in foil and pop them in the freezer. Warm them on the hot coals or over the fire.
- Sometimes a warm bowl of my favorite soup or stew that sticks to my ribs is just what I need at the end of a long day. Since these sometimes take a lot of ingredients or a few hours to make, prepare them at home and freeze them in a gallon-sized Ziploc. Lay them flat to freeze so that they’re easy to store in the cooler. Warm them over the campfire in a pot. If it’s chili, spoon some on a hot dog or add it to a bag of Fritos for a Walking Taco.
- If you have room for dessert, bake brownies right at your campsite! Make the dough at home and spoon it into a gallon-sized Ziploc and seal it tightly (just like with the pancake batter mentioned earlier). Refrigerate it. When it’s dessert time, squeeze the batter into a cast iron skillet and place it on the hot coals or on the grill and bake for about 25 minutes. Heavenly! Even more heavenly with a scoop (or two) of ice cream on top!