Get Inspired!

 

As a self-proclaimed foodie, camp cooking is one of the highlights of my trip, but I always find it harder to eat fresh on the trails. To get good out, you gotta put good in. If you are a weight-conscious hiker, these recipes are for you. They require just a little chopping, have hardly any cleanup, and don’t need refrigeration. We’ve pulled together a few of the best camping recipes for meals-on-the-go, so “roughing it” doesn’t have to refer to your dining experience.

*Note: These recipes all have a large margin of error, so don’t be afraid to play around with them and tell us how you like to mix it up! Not a fan of bell peppers? Try adding a jalapeno for zest! Or some spinach for iron.

 

 

Breakfast

 

Eggs and Hash

Ingredients:
1-2 scrambled eggs, uncooked
Grated Cheese
1 Frozen Hash Brown Patty
Aluminum Foil

Tear off a piece of foil twice the size of the food. Place the food in the middle, bring the sides of the foil up, and roll the top down, leaving space between the top and the food. This space is for steam to gather and keep the food moist while it cooks. Roll up the other sides to seal the packet, then place on the grill, or on the side of the fire for 15 minutes. Devour.

 

Good To-Go Oatmeal

Ingredients:
Powdered milk or almond milk
Pack of Good To-Go

Follow instructions on the package for a satisfying breakfast. The most important meal of the day doesn’t have to be hard to prepare.

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch

 

Quesadillas

Ingredients:
Tortillas
Grated Cheese
Bell Pepper
Onion

Lay one tortilla down on the pan and sprinkle cheese. Layer your desired amount of bell peppers and onions. Sprinkle more cheese, then top with the other tortilla. Cook on medium until the cheese melts and the tortilla browns, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and chow down.

*Note: Most vegetables wilt after several days of being compressed in packs, but I’ve found that onions and bell peppers stay in the best condition the longest without refrigeration.

 

Chickpea Tacos

If you’re a meat eater, you can always substitute the chickpeas for chicken, but these tend to keep well and you don’t run the risk of eating bad poultry! Plus, you can prepare them ahead and save some time before your meal.

 

Ingredients:
1 can 15 oz chickpeas, drained
1 packet of Taco seasoning
Garlic, minced
Red onion, minced
Tortilla chips
Grated cheese
Desired taco toppings- limes, cilantro, sour cream

 

At home:
In a small bowl, whisk taco seasoning with water. Then, in a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Once it begins to shimmer, add garlic and onion and saute until onion is soft and translucent. Add chickpeas and taco seasoning then stir. Saute, stirring occasionally, until some of the water evaporates, about 3-4 minutes. Let chickpea mixture cool, pack it up and into your cooler.

At the camp site:
Serve alongside taco shells or chips, cheese, lime wedges, etc. and enjoy!

 

 

Dinner

 

Jambalaya

Ingredients:
Summer Sausage or Pepperoni
Bell pepper
Onion
1 Box of Jambalaya mix (Zatarain’s)

On your stove thoroughly cook your sliced sausage/pepperoni, onions, and bell peppers then follow the box’s instructions on how much water is required. Most call for about 2-2.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then add in box mix. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Veggies and Potato

Ingredients:
Sliced Raw Veggies (potatoes, squash, zucchini, etc.)
Frozen Hash Brown Patty
Spices- I recommend Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
Aluminum Foil

Tear off a piece of foil twice the size of the food. Load all the ingredients in the middle, bring the sides of the foil up, and roll the top down, leaving space between the top and the food. This space is for steam to gather and keep the food moist while it cooks. Roll up the other sides to seal the packet, then place on the grill, or on the side of the fire for 20 minutes. Devour.

 

Dessert

 

Dump Cake

There is always room for dessert, especially if it’s this simple.

Ingredients:
1 (21 oz) can of Cherry Pie Filling
1 (15 oz) can of Crushed Pineapple
1 (18.25 oz) Package of Yellow Cake Mix
8 oz Chopped Walnuts- optional
½ cup of butter

 

In a Cast Iron Dutch Oven, mix cherries and pineapple. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pineapple and cherry mixture, then stir until just combined. Sprinkle walnuts over top. Drizzle top with melted butter. Place Dutch oven on top of nine hot coals, then use tongs to place twelve hot coals on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

Get Inspired!

Hiking is always better with buds, especially furry four-legged ones. If you’ve  been looking for the perfect trail to take your pup along for the ride, we’ve got you covered! Check out our list and get inspired to hit the trails with your furry friend.

 

Red Beard’s Outfitter always recommends keeping your dog on a leash near bodies of water.

 

 

  1. Perdido Key River Trail

 

About a 45 minute drive east on I-10, the Perdido Key River Trail has up to 16 miles for the two of you to explore. After heavy rains, this place can get pretty drenched, so it’s best to take the pets in a dryer period. After a couple of rainless days, there will be ankle deep puddles that are as refreshing as they are beautiful. Admission: FREE

 

 

Dogs on the Perdido River Trail Hiking with Dogs
Jester hiking the Perdido River Trail

 

  1. Shepard State Park

Equipped with a disc golf course, dog park, and a picnic area, the 8 miles of trails are just another great bonus to this park. It is settled along the Pascagoula River in Gautier, MS, so keep your pup on the leash if he likes to run into water. Admission: $3 for adults.

http://shepardstatepark.com/

 

  1. Historic Blakeley State Park

10 miles of trails deep within the woods AND a boardwalk along the Delta- this park has all sorts of smells for your pooch. Be wary, there have been several gator sightings in these parts, so keep pets on the leash. Admission: $4

http://www.blakeleypark.com/parkmap.asp

Blakely State Park hiking trails Hiking with Dogs
Map of Blakely State Park hiking trails

 

  1. Village Point Preserve Park Trail System

Just off Highway 98 in Daphne, this is a easy-going, 3-mile trail until it dead ends at the beach front. It’s best to avoid the beach when you’re accompanied by pets- there’s always the risk of gators. Admission: FREE

27710 Main St, Daphne, AL 36526

 

  1. Glenn-Sebastian Nature Trails

Basically in your own backyard, the Glenn-Sebastian Nature Trails are kept up by University of South Alabama and offer a whole slew of trails for you to take. The best part of this trail? Well-trained dogs are not required to wear leashes. Sweet, sweet freedom. Admission: FREE

http://www.southalabama.edu/departments/campusrec/facilityrental/naturetraildiscover.html

5k course at University of South Alabama Hiking with Dogs
Glenn-Sebastian Nature Trail at the University of South Alabama

Growing up, my family’s idea of “camping” consisted of roasting marshmallows in our fire pit outside, stargazing, then eventually returning to the safety of indoors to sleep. With experience like this, you can imagine my initial apprehension when Julia and Anna invited me on their overnight paddle in the Bartram Canoe Trail.

We were all first-timers for an overnight paddle, but Julia and Anna were at least vetted campers. I figured if I was going to start, it might as well be with them. I threw what I considered to be gear into my 25 L Granite Gear backpack, and we headed to Stockton the next morning.

Less than an hour drive north from Mobile, we put in at Upper Bryant’s Landing. We kayaked for about three hours and rested a bit at a platform in Dead Lake- a great place to dry off and stretch- then headed to camp to beat sunset.

Luckily the gator sightings, caved-in houses, and cypress trees helped distract us from the growing soreness.

Around 6:30 pm, we turned into a narrow break in the trees to make it to our platform in Rice Creek. Only about thirteen feet wide, four feet deep, and overgrown with brush, this side creek was the perfect dwelling place for the alligators of the Delta. We were racing a setting sun, and our only option was to keep paddling.

Thirty feet in, we maneuvered our canoe around two fallen trees, only to find a similar obstacle about thirty feet later… then again further ahead… then again. After constantly avoiding fallen trees, we eventually employed Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” to raise our spirits- and to deter any lurking gators. Unfortunately, spiders paid no attention to us and would present themselves any way, whether it was falling on us, or just crawling right in our canoe to save themselves. Twenty-five minutes and countless spider later, we were attempting to squeeze under the crook of a fallen tree, when I saw only the largest spider to date, resting and camouflaged on the same spot I was going to cross.

I may have said some things I’m not proud of. In the moment, I considered this life or death. I just was ready to reach the safety of our platform so I could stress-eat all the granola I had packed. We continued for about twenty more minutes, experiencing more showers of arachnids, but no longer fearing our eight-legged friends.

Eventually, we reached tall grass and shallow water, so we were forced to go back the way we came, back through the hellish jungle that we fought so valiantly to get through. Julia had spotted a trail blaze, so we knew we were on the right path, but something just didn’t feel right.

We popped out of the opening with twenty minutes to sunset, and at our navigator’s suggestion, headed back to our resting spot from earlier in the day.

Once the sun set, we could hardly see five feet in front of us. Only until we saw the headlamp reflect on the platform’s metallic sign did we realize we had reached our promised land.

In no time, camp was set up, food was cooked and I swear, a dehydrated meal never tasted so good. Pasta primavera and a spinach salad- I was eating better out in the Delta than I would be eating at home.

Our night passed well and before I knew it, we were waking up in the morning and getting ready to head back. By the time we arrived back at Upper Bryant’s Landing, I was already planning my next adventure, despite my achy shoulders and itchy bug bites. Maybe with a better map next time…

Growing up, my family spent almost every weekend at different campgrounds around Alabama. I loved the freedom of exploring the pine woods and the Alabama River, but always had the option to seek out comfort in our family’s RV.

When Red Beard’s Outfitter opened in October of 2016, I found a job that not only encouraged me to explore the outdoors, but also provided me with the knowledge to make it happen. After hearing about the Perdido River Trail at work, I decided to make it my first backpacking destination. I packed my backpack, boyfriend, and pups in the car and headed toward Perdido.

We chose a pretty wet weekend, so rain kept us off the trail until late afternoon. The rain also made the trail a mushy mess, but thankfully we had both invested in a good pair of sandals before the trip (I recommend a pair of UNEEKs by Keen). Despite the mud, the trail was clearly marked and still relatively easy to navigate.

 

After about an hour of walking, the trail goes right through a wide, sandy beach. Although the trail continues for several miles, we couldn’t pass up such a beautiful spot and pitched our tent right on the beach. It was a perfect spot to swim and let the dogs play, and when the sun went down we were able to build a small fire.

The air was nice and cool at night, but warmed quickly as the sun came up. We slept like babies on the beach, and our tent served as front row seats to a beautiful sunrise. I woke up early and appreciated a calm, restful morning on the beach. As Keith was beginning to stir, storm clouds started appearing in the sky. Not wanting to get caught in the rain, we packed up quickly and headed back for the car.

 

The trail had already dried significantly, so the return trip was much quicker. We made it back to the car in plenty of time to get a picture with the trailhead and promise ourselves another trip very soon.

-Julia Newman, sales associate and trail blazer