Cooking while camping isn’t usually the most glamorous activity. Many times it’ll just be a sausage over the fire with some s’mores later on. If you’re in the backcountry it might even be a Mountain House or other MRE equivalent. The more I’ve gotten into “car camping” with the family, the more I’ve enjoyed actually cooking a real meal while in the woods. Stanley has made that super easy for me. I can bring my cook set that packs down and have 4 plates, 4 bowls, 4 sporks, a spatula, ladle, frying pan, trivet, cutting board, and a hot pad that all sucks down into one 3.7qt pan. Did you get all that?
I’ve made all sorts of stuff with this gear but one of my go to camping meals is some sort of taco. Make a quick stop for some sort of protein, an onion, veggies, salsa, guac, and tortillas (I’m a corn guy) and you’re on your way. Also don’t forget taco seasoning. I’ve always got some salt, pepper, and hot sauce in the camp box as well.
This last weekend I got to take off with some friends on Sunday to go spend the evening on the Little North Fork of the CDA river in a 1985 VW Westy. We hung out all afternoon, did some fly fishing with no luck, and found a little spot to settle about 15 miles up a windy dirt road along the river to make a meal and spend time with no distractions. I’d highly recommend making a meal outside and away from civilization once a week, it lets you slow down and enjoy everything as its happening without the distraction of your phone, work, and the general busyness of life. For this meal we brought ground beef, red peppers, a yellow onion, guac, flour tortillas and unintentionally some jalapeño cilantro hummus. (it was supposed to be for the carrots.) After sautéing the veggies and browning the ground beef we tossed everything in the pot and used the other burner to warm tortillas and boom, dinner was served.
One thing I’ve noticed about the Stanley cookware is that char is definitely unavoidable. No matter how much oil I cook with I always end up with a little layer of black and a weathered pot/pan afterward. Now to me this is a nonissue but in the woods cleaning them can be a bit tricky. I found that the best way to clean them on site was to run down to the river and toss some sand in the pot and run across it with a rock. This cleaned most everything off the surface and left minimal cleaning to do once I arrived back at home.
Get out there and make some food in the woods! You’ll thank me later.
Additional Photos by James Nisbet