Forum Index > Food & Grub > Tips - Kitchen / dish cleanliness for several nights at primitive campgrounds?
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jared_j
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jared_j
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PostMon May 22, 2017 10:46 am 
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I've spent way more nights in the backcountry than at established campgrounds, and would say that my car camping game is far from tight.  I am looking at some trips over the next year or two that might be 3-4 nights in a row at "primitve" FS campground setting (as opposed to the plush state park style spots where it's common to have access to some sort of basin for washing).

If I'm cooking to feed a family / army, I'm at a loss about tricks to keep my dishes / pots clean in a tidy and efficient way in such a setting.  The obvious choice is just to wash them under the spigot of a big water tank, and do so in an area where the waste water runoff isn't inappropriate or obnoxious.  This is fine / doable, but seems like a hassle.

Besides just choosing menu options to minimize mess (e.g. meals where I'm not mixing oily or sticky sauces in a pan), are there some obvious tips or tricks to managing these situations beyond just bringing lots of water and washing as I describe above?
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AlpineRose
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PostMon May 22, 2017 6:09 pm 
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You might consider a method we've used in primitive huts or where availability of water is at a premium.  It requires several small bins.  First scrape off as much food as possible before washing.  Maybe use an initial "dirty water" rinse bin to help with this first step.  Second, wash dishes in a soapy bin.  Place washed dishes in a clean water rinse bin.  Follow up with a dunk in a clean water bin to which a little chlorine has been added to disinfect.

Keep a bottle of Purell handy so your crew can keep their hands clean.
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Lono
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PostTue May 23, 2017 9:06 am 
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Hopefully you already have a sump rule in your party - that all prepared food must be sumped up by the party before washing begins on any dishes.  If you have a team of 5 year olds or teenagers dedicated to the task of literally lifting swill from the bottom of every pot and depositing it in their bellies, the first step in AlpineRose's cleaning system is much cleaner.
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Huron
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Huron
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PostTue May 23, 2017 10:39 am 
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Everyone gets a cup that they keep clean. Cook in a bag. Eat the dishes (pita). Done.
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Ski
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PostTue May 23, 2017 11:23 am 
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^ all of the above. in short: cook only what is going to be eaten, and eat everything that's cooked.

try to avoid scorching stuff (because you're probably not going to eat it), and avoid greasy stuff.
other than pouring it into a fire, what can you do with a skillet full of bacon grease? dizzy.gif

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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RandyHiker
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PostTue May 23, 2017 11:34 am 
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Ski wrote:
what can you do with a skillet full of bacon grease? dizzy.gif

It is the best stuff for frying pancakes.

Fry bacon, pour grease into empty metal can, fry one round of pancakes, pour and spread a little bacon grease, fry another round of pancakes, repeat until either grease or pancake batter runs out. 

Don't like pancakes?  bacon grease is also great for frying potatoes and eggs.   If you don't like the flavor of bacon grease on those things -- why did you bring bacon in the first place?

Grandpa Randy's pancake formula for car camping:

2 cups Krusteaz Pancake Mix.
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 apple, peeled and grated.
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups water.  (I start with 1 cup water and incrementally add the half until batter consistency is right)

My daughter was an extremely picky eater growing up -- the grated apple "hidden" in these pancakes was one of few ways we managed to get her to eat fruit.

My grandkids snarf these up with gusto -- but then they the polar opposite of my daugther eating wise -- they chow down on steamed vegetables like most kids on a bag of halloween candy -- my son and daugther-in-law are some combination of lucky and skilled parents.
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AlpineRose
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PostTue May 23, 2017 1:04 pm 
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That tip about one's own cup is good.  It's something I've always personally done in primitive settings, even if no one else does.  For the duration of the trip, I'm in charge of what goes on with my personal cup.
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cdestroyer
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PostWed May 24, 2017 4:17 pm 
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Just how many people are you going to be cooking for? An army? or just a couple. personal cups/plates are best. easier to clean up one then a dozen. bacon grease is super for hi carbs etc as mentioned above cook with it. kids wont eat it? get some different kids....   wink.gif
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pcg
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PostThu May 25, 2017 7:26 am 
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When I am car camping in the desert and the only water is what I brought with me, I use paper towels...

1) Wipe out dishes completely dry and clean with paper towels.
2) Put one drop of detergent and some water (1/4 to 1/2 cup) on one of the plates/bowls.
3) Scrub with scrub brush.
4) Pour used soapy water from that dish into the next one and repeat.
5) Wipe soapy dishes dry with paper towels.

I used to follow with a little rinse water and slosh that around with my clean hands, but it never felt like there was any remaining soap film on the dishes so I no longer do that and never taste any soap residue.

Yes, I know how much energy and water it takes to manufacture a paper towel.  biggrin.gif
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Schenk
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PostFri May 26, 2017 11:44 am 
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Ski wrote:
what can you do with a skillet full of bacon grease?

Assuming you're not in grizzly country...or even black bear country:

- Cook the bacon, save the bacon fat and some crumbled bacon for later. store in can, small jar, whatever. It will keep OK for a few hours while you hike towards your evening camp.
- From home bring a little balsamic or red wine vinegar, and some shredded or grated parmesan.
- pick some greens around camp (not always possible but usually doable in the Springtime)
- add vinegar to bacon fat (let the fat cool a bit first so the vinegar doesn't "explode")
- reheat the bacon fat and vinegar in pan until fairly hot...vinegar not quite boiling off.
- throw in the greens and heat it all together until the greens wilt a bit.
- don't overcook, heat just enough to soften the greens a bit and warm them.
- sprinkle on the parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper to taste.

You have just made a delicious gourmet wilted salad...worth $20+ in any upscale restaurant.
Packing spinach and even a little asparagus for the first night make this really easy...no foraging for greens.

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Nature exists with a stark indifference to humans' situation.
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RandyHiker
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PostFri May 26, 2017 1:51 pm 
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Schenk wrote:
easy...no foraging for greens

I find "Miners Lettuce" to be such a treat after a few days of "reconstituted" meals.
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Stefan
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PostFri May 26, 2017 2:19 pm 
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One trick.  Always end the meal with a piece of bread/roll.  Use the bread/roll to clean your bowl/clean dishes.  Sop up the dirty dishes with the bread.

Second trick:  Don't look at food on your pots/bowls as bad.  Think of it as a wok to add flavors!  That way you never have to clean.  Its all about attitude!

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Art is an adventure.
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InFlight
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InFlight
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PostWed May 31, 2017 10:00 pm 
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I used to cook for two dozen Cub Scout & parents on a three camp out.

For breakfast French Toast is fast to cook and there is never left overs.  I will never ever do that much bacon again.  The Jimi Dean stuff is practically greaseless in comparison. Pancakes are another easy breakfast option.

Lots of dinner options.

Lunch can be make your own sandwich, or grilled cheese one day.

A larger cast iron griddle (Big 5) is the only way to go.  We used two of them.

The key with group cleanup is three tubs and lots of boiled water.
1 clear hot water for initial scrub, cleanup.
1 with hot soap
1 for Rinsing

Replace with fresh near boiling water as needed. Make sure you bring a scraper and scrub brush for cleanup.

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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...  ― Henry David Thoreau
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Hiker Mama
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PostTue Jun 06, 2017 10:17 pm 
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I use a bunch of paper towels when camping at primitive spots - way more paper towels than I use at home. Clean everything out as best you can before you wash it. I bring 2 plastic wash basins for dishes in my camp kitchen bin. Some biodegradable soap to wash up in. Use only a couple of inches of water in each wash basin. If things are scraped out well, you don't need much. I also bought a little plastic scraper from GSI at REI to get even more gunk off the pans and onto paper towels. Dump the waste water out away from camp; some campgrounds have places to dump the water.  This is assuming you have access to water. We bring a big 5 gallon container of water; it will last 2 nights for us, when doing dishes. If you have access to a stream and enough fuel, you can boil more. Or bring another container of water.  Use really hot water to wash up in. Then we use the rinse water to wash our faces in the morning and evening.

Or, do what some folks do, and bring tons of paper plates. Burn what you can, if allowed. I don't like the amount of waste that creates, so I don't do that normally.

Or do the Freezer Bag method of eating, as if you were backpacking.

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My hiking w/ kids site: www.thehikermama.com
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Gregory
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Gregory
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PostTue Jul 11, 2017 6:35 am 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9eBK6xM9ok

Shower. dishes, putting out the fire, very handy and inexpensive.
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Forum Index > Food & Grub > Tips - Kitchen / dish cleanliness for several nights at primitive campgrounds?
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