Thursday, August 27, 2009

Countdown to Colorado and West

Here we are coming down to the wire. Preparing to fly and camp has been quite the undertaking.

We have our camping equipment packed into large duffle bags, all within Southwest baggage specifications, of course. We measured and weighed our biggest and heaviest bags and we should meet all requirements! (Pray, pray!)

With the help of some Space Bags, I managed to fit 3 sleeping bags and other stuff into one duffle bag. These things are amazing. The only problem is finding a vacuum cleaner on the other end. I got the kind that you can roll to squeeze out the air, which is sufficient, but vacuuming is so much better.

Going back to my previous post, I will review my solutions:

#1 was the sleeping mat fail. We just decided to bring the 3 air mattresses and our plug in blower. They actually aren't that much bigger than the self-inflating mats, only heavier, but we don't really have to hike with them or anything.

#2 was partial pillow fail. We are going to bring some regular pillows, I will probably just Space Bag them and they won't take up much room.

#3 was coffee fail. I bought a camping coffee press. We used to drink French press coffee all the time, but our press is glass. I made a sample cup and we are good for a nice cup of Jo in the mornings.

#4 was lighting fail. I purchase a Coleman mini-lantern and it seems good. We also have several new flashlights and a headlamp.

#5 was fire fail. I fit the two burner Coleman stove in the luggage! We will still have a fire for fun and warmth, but we are not depending on it to cook.

I said that I was going to work out a menu for each day, but now I realize that is unrealistic. I have tried to figure out what we can have depending on where we are. In hotels we will have a microwave and refrigerator. I personally hate cooking in a microwave. My husband's solution: eat out, order large and microwave the leftovers for our next meal.

I did find some items that are camping friendly :

milk – yes, those little cartons are shelf stable.

•”Mini-moos” - these are those tiny creamers you see next to the public coffee and ask, “shouldn't this be refrigerated? Will I find cheese when I open it?”

Trail Mix – Of course, the perfect combination of protein and carbs. My trail mix recipe: peanuts, pecans (in the adult mix), pretzels, raisins and M&Ms. I tried it with chocolate chips, but they melted. M&Ms are required.

fruit cups – all different fruits and applesauce combos. These are all shelf stable until opened.

pudding cups – who knows why these don't require refrigeration?

Jiffy Pop!

•”Shake and Pour” pancake mix – just add water!

•”Laughing Cow” cheese – I didn't realize it until I saw these on the shelf at Job Lot, that they do not require refrigeration.

canned tuna and chicken – these can be added to the rice and noodle packets to make a meal out of a “side”.

dried and canned soups and chili mixes.

Well, gotta go! Time for a packing and home inspection (bills paid, cat box set up, trashes emptied....that's a whole other story!)

(This is the 3rd time I have written this blog post as “blogger” says it is saving it, but it disappears when I publish!)

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