Thursday, June 04, 2009

Camping Wisdom: Make A List

Mike-a-licious and I escaped way up to Northern Wisconsin for some camping last weekend, and as part of June's Special Promotion we are going to bring you some of the wisdom that we learned during our trip.  Today, we explore the reasons to make a list before you go.

     I don't know if you realize this, Company, but Mike-a-licious and I are both men.  Single, manly men.  And one of the things that we, as men, disdain is making lists.  We just don't do it.  That's not the way we are.  We don't ask for directions and we don't make lists.  We do just about everything else.  So we didn't make a list of the things that we needed to take camping.  Mike-a-licious asked about making a list and I, being the manly man that I am, promptly informed him that all the list we needed was in my head.  As would be expected, that list was woefully inadequate.  Anyway, the way I figure it the best way to convince you that YOU should make a list for your next camping trip is to let you know about all the things that WE forgot because we didn't make one of our own.  So here goes:

1.) Ketchup.  Unless you are an adolescent child, or the parent of one, you don't really realize just how important this mixture of vinegar and tomato paste can be until it's gone.  Most parents spend years agonizing over the fact that their kids put ketchup on everything until they kids grow up and start putting ranch dressing on everything instead.  But there are still some things that just won't do without ketchup, which for me includes just about anything ending in "-wurst" or "-furter".  As in cheddarwurst or frankfurter.  It's amazing just how dry a Bedder Cheddar can be without ketchup on it.  We used BBQ sauce instead and it was actually pretty tasty.

2.) Maple syrup.  Okay, not real maple syrup, but that sort of unique syrup-tasting product that many of us eat on our pancakes, french toast, waffles, etc.  It's actually pretty good on a lot on non-breakfast foods as well, and it has that sort of texture and taste that are completely different from actual maple syrup but are good in their own right anyway.  Sort of like grape flavoring tastes nothing like real grapes.  Anyway, the syrup was in the fridge right next to the ketchup we just talked about, and was so important to our plans that we actually scrapped pancake breakfast day two because we were missing it.

3.)  That, for those of you who don't know, is a grill grate.  It seems like a bit of an odd thing to haul out into the forest on a camping trip but I usually do.  See, I don't own a camping stove, and I don't own one of those fancy tripod-style devices that many people have in order to cook over the fire.  So I rig up a contraption that allows my grill grate to go right over the hot, sizzling coals.  It works really well until you forget your grill grate at your Worldwide Headquarters and then you are left scrambling for ways to cook what little food you did not forget.

4.) Speaking of scrambling, we forgot the eggs, which generally are an especially important part of breakfast, especially when you are planning on making an egg bake.  I was going to take scrambled eggs, sausage, onion, potato, green pepper, and cheese and mix it all together and cook it in my Dutch oven.  Now that would have been good I hope.  But we couldn't do it because we neglected to bring the eggs along.  Oh well, not all was lost.  The lack of eggs, coupled with the lack of syrup (which I probably would have eaten on the egg bake had we brought it, either that or ketchup which as you know we also forgot) caused us to go to town for breakfast.  This was good because at a little diner I had the best and biggest omelet that I have ever had.  So not all was lost I guess.

5.) Water jug.  I don't own a water jug.  And the pump at the campground wasn't working anyway.  But I still can't help but feel like we forgot to bring a water jug because I forgot the few means that I actually have of conveying water from pump to camp.  I mean, I can't use like a tropical leaf or a big plastic tarp because that you just be ridiculous and obscene.  And there is something embarrassing about having to carry sixteen canteens and a water bottle to and fro nine times a day in order to have enough water.  So I wish I had a jug but the point it moot because I would have forgot it anyway.
     So there it is, just a small sampling of the very important things that we forgot to bring with us on our magical camping trip.  I am sure that there are more things that we neglected to bring along, but true to form I have forgotten all about them.  The bottom line here boys and boys, is that sometimes we need to learn a little from the girls.  I am not suggesting that we start stopping for directions or learn what a duvet cover is for, but maybe it wouldn't hurt to make a list of what to bring camping before you go.  If you are worried about manliness you can write the list in blood in the dirt or something, I don't care.  But for your own sake please just put pencil to paper so you remember to bring the eggs, okay?


Six said...

Sounds like you were fixin' to make "camp breakfast." (that's what my daddy called it, except I think he usually did it over a portable Coleman stove) I've never had it, but it's one of the few meals I've ever seen him cook.

Big Dave said...

P.S. We also forgot paper towel, napkins, etc. Basically anything that we could use to wipe out hands or clean up spills.