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Choosing the right dutch oven is very important. There are several different styles and brands out there, as well as different materials. Cast Iron and aluminum are the two main types of dutch ovens. They both cook well, but cast iron will retain and distribute heat better than it's aluminum cousin. Cast Iron also gives the food that great smoky dutch oven flavor we all love, where aluminum sometimes gives food a chalky flavor. The advantage of aluminum is its weight. Aluminum will weigh about 1/3 less than cast iron. Most people use cast iron ovens.

When you are looking to buy a dutch oven, look closely at the following items

1. For outdoor cooking over charcoal briquettes only buy dutch ovens with legs. The ovens with flat bottoms are much more difficult to use. Legs lift the bottom of the oven up to accomodate hot coals. Flat bottom ovens have to be supported with bricks. Make sure the legs are not bent, cracked or broken.

                     

2. Check the fit of the lid. It should fit flush around the entire oven with no large gaps. The lid should also have a lip that comes up above the top of the oven. This allows you to put coals on top without having them fall into the food. An oven with a rounded lid makes adding top heat very difficult.

3. Check the thickness of the metal, especially around the rim. If the oven walls are thinner or thicker in some areas than in others it will produce hot or cold spots during cooking.

4. Make sure the lid has a loop handle that is not cracked and is well attached.

5. Check the wire handle. It should be easy to move and strong enough to carry a heavy pot full of stew easily. I have an oven with handle problems. The handle actually comes off the oven--it makes it very difficult to move a hot oven full of food.

You also need to consider the size of oven you will need. They are avaliable in many sizes, 10", 12" and 14" are the most common. There are also standard and deep size ovens. If you are only buying one oven to get started, get a 12". It will hold just about anything you need. You can always add other sizes to your collection later.

 

A quick and easy way to organize those spices for your next adventure. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  What you will need:

You can go to your local $1 Store and pick up all these items. 

The first step was to use the labels to cover up the days of the week. Purchase labels that are the same width of the compartments and then you will have to trim them to fit. 

 

When it's done… they look like this.

              

Water Proofing:

             

Choose your favorite spices, label them and your ready for your next adventure. 

 

 

 

Photo Credit : Miss Tweedle

 

 

Would you like to camp, but don’t know what to pack or where to start? Have you tried camping, but not enjoyed the experience? It’s not too late to plan a camping trip this year and start preparing for next!

We camp with our children nearly every summer. We love to camp, but we are also drawn to the affordability of a camping holiday. After a few rough trips and 11 years of trial and error, I’m super happy with my camping kitchen. It’s very thorough, yet doesn’t take up too much space. We’ve camped with up to six people and I’ve prepared countless yummy meals with the items in the list here, so I wanted to share my tips on how to pack the perfect camping kitchen!

How to Pack the Perfect Kitchen Supply List

Skillet – I prefer cast-iron as it does well on a stove or over the campfire.
Stockpot or Sauce Pan with Lid (4 litres)
Griddle
Stove-top Toaster
Coffee Pot and/or Kettle and/or French Press
Large Serving/Cooking Spoons
Ladle
Metal Spatula
Tongs
Roasting Sticks – most areas do not allow you to cut your own
Cheese Grater
Can Opener
Cutting Board
Kitchen Knife(s) with Covers
Kitchen Scissors
Bottle Opener
Wine Bottle Opener
Measuring/Mixing Bowl (8 cup)
Measuring Cup (1 cup)
Measuring Spoons
Toothpicks
Salt & Pepper Shakers with Lids
Large Water Jug with Spigot (20 litres)
Dishes (Plates, Soup Bowls, Mugs)
Cutlery (Knives, Forks, Spoons)
Dish Pan
Dish Cloths – one per two days
Dish Towels – one per day
Pot Holders
Dish Soap
Pot Scrubber
Zipper Storage Sandwich Baggies – for packing lunches and snacks for outings
Tinfoil
Paper Towels
Plastic Food Storage Containers – for leftovers
Vinyl Tablecloth
Tablecloth Clips
Camping Stove – Fire bans often prevent cooking over an open fire; it’s also tricky to cook well over a fire.
Fuel for the Camping Stove
Matches and/or BBQ Lighter
Bin(s) or Drawers – for storing your kitchen (I use a 3-drawer system)

Tips for Your Camping Kitchen

-It’s possible to camp with a less equipped kitchen, but plan your meals and work through them in your head to ensure you have the equipment you will need to prepare them.
-It’s handy to have your camping kitchen always packed and ready to go – you don’t have to have a separate set of everything just for camping, but it’s convenient.
-Garage sales and second-hand stores are great places to pick up many of the above items, or ask parents and grandparents if they have extras of anything they’d like to get rid of.
-If you’re not sure if camping is your thing, ask to borrow the bigger ticket items from friends so you can give it a try before you invest a lot of money.
-Wipe down the table, wash the dishes and put everything away before leaving the campsite, or going to bed – otherwise you’ll attract insects and unwelcome critters.

-Go to www.hungryhikers.com and purchase some amazing meals. Perfect for when you first arrive and setting up. Easy and delicious.
-Plan all your meals in advance, write down all the ingredients you will need to prepare the meals and make a detailed packing list. Take your meal plan with you so you don’t forget.

Have fun and don't forget your Hungry Hikers Meals! 

This article is not sponsored. Any resources listed are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a review.

-Jenni

Whitney “ALLGOOD” LaRuffa and his lab Karluk are long distance hikers and Ruffwear Ambassadors based in the Pacific Northwest. Together they have been busy this winter both hiking as well as sharpening their ski touring and mountaineering skills. With big goals this season, ALLGOOD shared with us some of his training and preparation plans for the miles and miles of trails in their near future.

Tips From ALLGOOD and Karluk-

Weight in Pack: I have been easing Karluk back into to carrying weight. We started with four pounds and have been working up the to the ten pounds he is now carrying. Just like a person I didn't want to over do it when just starting back.

Miles: Just like weight we started slow and built the miles up. Our first few training hikes were  six to seven miles. We then built up to completing a thirteen-mile hike. I think it is best to add a few miles each hike that way when it comes time for back-to-back twenty-five mile days Karluk will be ready and not risk and injury or strain.

Booties: When needed, the Grip Trex boots work well for Karluk. I found that once on, it helps to play ball to get him focused on something else beside trying to get the booties off.

Trail Food: With backpacking season approaching, it is time to start the process of dehydrating food for our trips. I am going to use two separate food items this year.

The first is using the Natural Balance meat logs and crumbling up one feeding size per tray in the dehydrator and then dehydrating the food to be reconstituted later on the trail.

The second dehydrated meal I will be making is a homemade recipe. In this, I mix cooked brown rice, chicken breast, beef liver and pumpkin puree in a large pot and then place it in the dehydrator. I then package the dried food into food saver bags. When on trail, all I have to do is add one and a half to two cups of boiling water, then seep and occasionally stir until it rehydrates. This usually takes ten to fifteen minutes.

By making my own dehydrated food, I can lighten Karluk’s food weight for him, and also ensure he is getting the proper nutrition and extra calories needed when on trail.

by ruffwear