We are not the backpacking/wilderness/hike to the campsite sort of people so traveling ultra-lite is not a goal of ours. We basically just car camp but we have so much other crap (dog gear, baby gear, etc...) that we do try to minimize the amount of extras.
We're headed out to the Olympic peninsula for a bit of car camping with a couple of other families. This will be our first time camping with Fenix but my confidence in our ability to pull this off is growing as I talk to people who have done it before and realize that if all goes to hell, we'll just pack up and leave. I have a feeling though that Fee will love it - it's in his blood after all since his dad lived outside for a bunch of time. He'll have to tell you all about that some day. It's a pretty great series of stories that I don't mind hearing over and over again. Aaanyway....
As far as tools/utensils go, we bring:
camp stove and fuel
a bit of firewood for the campfire
compact cutting board and knife
1 small pot
1 cast iron skillet
cheap flatware that we bought from the bins at goodwill (who cares if it gets lost!)
wooden spoon, wooden spatula
french press (after a fitful night of sleep in a stuffy tent, I must have the kind of viscous coffee that only a french press can provide)
*cast iron popcorn popper for making popcorn over the campfire
enamel coated dishes and cups
Several big jugs of filtered water - just sterilize some jugs that we have and dump in Brita water (I do not want h. pylori, no, I really do not)
For meals we like to make things that can go in one pot:
Southwest skillet ragu
Braised chicken thighs with pinto beans (I'll post the recipe later)
It's also good to have some sort of charcuterie plate for snacking before the meal is done because salted cured meats are awesome and of course we throw some cheese, fig jam and crudites on there too. You could always just do chips and salsa but I think a meat and cheese plate with delicious olives and fresh raw vegetables and fruit brings an air of elegance (if that is even possible on a campground).
There is always wine - white because red makes you groggy and headache-y and you want to stay bright and fresh for as long as possible or at least until the neighboring campers tell you to pipe down.
What about breakfast? A granola bar is the easy way out but that isn't very exciting, now is it?
Have you ever had the pleasure of being lured from your tent by the smell of bacon frying?
Up round these parts we get beautiful morels that grow in wooded areas and if your trip included a little mushroom hunting you could make a wonderful scramble with a sautee of minced shallot and chopped mushrooms in butter - fold that into some scrambled eggs - and serve with a side of bacon of course. For bread we just do english muffins because they hold up better than sliced loaf bread.
Lunch is usually pretty spare, just a piece of fresh fruit and snacky things like the aforementioned granola bars and maybe some jerky or a piece of cheese if you want some protein.
For Mr. Fenix who eats his fair share of solid foods now, we are going to go the easy route to avoid an accidental case of baby botulism and buy some of the organic jarred stuff and supplement it with bits of mild cheese and freeze dried fruit (which he LOVES).
We'll take lots of pictures so that you can see how it goes. I'm off to find my headlamp.....
*now honestly we would not even have this thing had it not been for the fact that we discovered it for some insanely low price at the goodwill. i'm not a big fan of single use kitchen tools but it's for popcorn (!) over the campfire (!), how could we have left it in the store?