Make Camping Meals at Home to Save Time and Trash

Cook Camping Meals in Slow Cooker Liners for easy clean-up and less trash

Cook Camping Meals in Slow Cooker Liners for easy clean-up and less trash

One of the challenges when camping, particularly when camping as a family, is minimizing the amount of refuse generated during the trip. In a campground, minimizing garbage means fewer trips to the dumpsters and a cleaner camp. Outside of established campgrounds, minimizing the amount of trash generated is even more important, since there are no garbage cans to dispose of it.

A big source of camping refuse is food packaging. Much of the prepackaged food that serves us so well on camping trips, unfortunately comes with lots of cardboard, foil, aluminum and plastic waste that must be packed home. Clearly, reducing the amount of packaging-related refuse taken to the woods has a positive impact on the environment and is one of those little life lessons that our children are sure to pick up on.

Fortunately, minimizing prepackaged food-related garbage is easy to do, with a little pre-camping meal preparation. An added benefit to preparing camping meals ahead of time, in lieu of taking prepackaged food, is that the meals will taste a lot better!

The best meals for camping, and the easiest to prepare, are just about anything that can be slow-cooked in a crock pot. These include soups, stews and chili; meals that are easily cooked in large batches, but can be separated into smaller meal-sized containers.

The key to pulling this all together and making it work at the campsite is a great product from Reynolds®, the aluminum foil people, called Slow Cooker Liners. They look like plastic bags, but are made from a heat resistant nylon, which means they can be boiled in water – very handy for reheating your gourmet camping meal!

Crock pot meals are easily transferred into two or three Slow Cooker Liners and allowed to cool, before placing in the freezer. To give the frozen meals a more packable shape, set them in square plastic containers when placing them into the freezer. Tie-off the end with a rubber band or twisty-tie, and the resulting frozen cubes can be easily stacked in any ice chest and, provided you use good ice chest practices, will easily last over a week.

When it is time for a meal, simply drop a frozen cube, still in its Slow Cooker Liner, into a pot of boiling water to reheat. The end-result is a tasty meal, no cleanup, and only the thin and lightweight Slow Cooker Liner to pack home. No cleanup also means no soapy water poured onto the ground and the water can be boiled on any camping stove, so no campfire is required. This is definitely a low-impact way to camp, without sacrificing that homemade taste that is even tastier under the stars.

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13 thoughts on “Make Camping Meals at Home to Save Time and Trash

  1. Thanks , I’ve just been searching for info about this subject for
    a while and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered so far.

    However, what concerning the conclusion? Are you sure about the
    source?

  2. Pingback: How to Pack Food for a Camping Safari « Overlanding Africa Blog

  3. I think the Reynolds bags would be a LOT safer than the Ziploc bags since they obviously can withstand heat up to and exceeding 325 degrees.. but just to push home the reality of Ziploc and being careful, read the message below from SC Johnson’s….

    Ziploc® bags are not designed or approved to withstand the extreme heat of boiling and therefore, using Ziploc® bags to make any recipe that requires the bag to be boiled is not recommended.

    Like all of SC Johnson’s products, Ziploc® bags can be used with confidence when label directions are followed. All Ziploc® Containers and microwaveable Ziploc® Bags meet the safety requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for temperatures associated with defrosting and reheating food in microwave ovens, as well as room, refrigerator, and freezer temperatures.

    Please share these facts with others who may have this misleading information. We also encourage people to go to http://www.ziploc.com for more information on the proper use of this product.

    Thank you for giving us a chance to set the record straight.

    Regards,

    Vicki

    Consumer Relationship Center
    SC Johnson, A Family Company
    Toll Free Number: 1-800-558-5252
    http://www.scjbrands.com
    SC Johnson

    ZIPLOC® brand Bags are made from polyethylene plastic with a softening point of approximately 195 degrees Fahrenheit. By pouring near boiling water (water begins to boil at 212 degrees) into the bag, or putting the bag into the water, the plastic could begin to melt. Might I add that eggs and cheese have fat which gets much hotter than water thus the likelihood of melting the plastic increases.

  4. A good “idea” but you should NEVER heat anything up in plastic…. there are so many toxic chemicals released. And if you’re going to say something rude about my comment, wake up and educate yourself. Stop being so naive.

  5. What a great idea, I’m definately going to use this next trip. I also like to add breakfast time, omlettes made easy…put your pot of water on to boil filled half way, take a medium sized sandwich seal bag put your pre-packed ingredients in (ie: bacon, mushrooms, spinachs, s&p, cheddar etc). Pour in your egg whites or liquid eggs inside the bag (if you prefer fresh eggs they can be frozen ahead of time, they will burst but easier to take the shell off in two pieces), take your air out the bag and seal that puppy tight and begin to mix ingredients by hand. This is fun for kids cause they can toss the bag around or dance around while mixing & you can have them sharpie their name or design on the bag. Toss your bag into the water and wait for about 7 or 8 minutes till the eggs are done and wahhh lah! insta omlette, with no fuss with a skillet and you can eat right out the bag, reuse the water for tea or washing etc. :)

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