Our Favorite Camping Hacks

If you tuned into our most recent episode of Toad Hacks on Instagram, you saw Toads Lindsay and Drew share a few of their most tried and true camping hacks. Because this is prime camping season (changing leaves and fall sunsets, yes please), and we want you all to enjoy it as much as we do, here are those hacks plus a few more.

Bring The Heat

A good central fire is key to any campout. Store charcoal briquettes in a cardboard egg crate before you get to your site, then light it to start your fire easily when you get there. You can also save dryer lint and put it in the middle of old toilet paper rolls.

Camp Kitchen Essentials (aka all the amazing things from home you can reuse)

We’d be lying if we said mealtime around said fire wasn’t one of the main highlights of every camping trip we take. So we mean business when it comes to our camp kitchen setup.

Breakfast – An unexpected plot twist for your condiment bottles: Save them to reuse on your next camping trip. Before you head out, fill them with pancake batter or eggs (shells off and pre-whisked) and pop them in the cooler. Come breakfast at the campsite, you’re ready to go with an easy meal (and impressive too, if that’s what you’re going for).

Lunch and Dinner – We love a meal in a cast iron pan because the possibilities are literally limitless. You can use it on the camp stove or over the fire, and you can cook virtually anything in it.  And anything that’s sturdy, durable, and lasts a lifetime is a win in our book.

Pantry Essentials  – On one of our Toad campouts, someone realized that an old toolbox makes the perfect camp kitchen kit. Who knew? It’s the ideal size for spices, utensils, bottle openers, and mini bottles of booze. Cheers!

toolbox

Cleanup – Take an empty laundry detergent dispenser, fill it with water, flip it upside down, and you have a hand and dish-washing station right at the campsite. Put a bucket below to catch runoff water. Whoever’s on dishes duty will thank you.

The Sweet Stuff

We recently learned an epic tip that will flip your S’mores world upside down (thanks to Toad Lindsay’s Mother-in-Law and everyone’s favorite Toad mom Kathy). Put the piece of chocolate in the middle of your marshmallow before roasting. It’s gooey and delicious and trust us, you’ll never look at a S’more the same way again.

fire

The Every Campout Checklist

Keep your checklist by your camping gear so you never forget the essentials. We don’t leave home without our headlamps – key for keeping your hands free for more fun things than holding a flashlight (see: S’mores and whipping up a stellar breakfast). Also important to the checklist: Mini first aid kit, microfiber towels (compact, quick-drying, and lightweight), and reusable cups and utensils. 

reusable cup

What We’re Wearing

Lindsay’s favorite is the Telluride Sherpa Jacket – “Not only is it two jackets in one, but it also makes a perfect pillow. The triple threat of eco-friendly jackets.”

telluride sherpa jacket

Drew’s loving the Epiq Jogger – “Fitted ankles keep the critters out and the Hemp and Organic Cotton blend makes them cozy enough to double as jammies.”

Epiq Jogger

Easter Dinner Around The Campfire

 

Easter Sunday is upon us, and with spring in full swing there’s a chance that you may find yourself pitching tents and gathering wood rather than bellying up to a table full of in-laws. But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat like the best of ’em! Our Women’s designer, Guin, doubles as an expert camp cook and offered up a camp-friendly Easter dinner that will surely leave you just as satisfied as Grandma’s sweet rolls and ham. To make any camp-cooking experience seamless, Guin recommends slipping a roll of tin foil in your kitchen gear. It’s good for layering on the top of the fire ring so you don’t lose any goodies to the embers below. Bring some extra wet wipes  to clean off your hands because you really don’t want to smell fish while you are eating your Easter Reese’s S’mores!

Campfire Roasted Asparagus:

Ingredients:
1 bunch of asparagus, trim by snapping off the bottoms
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Toss in olive oil and salt & pepper
Finish with a squeeze of lemon

Instructions:
An Easter themed dinner should have asparagus roasted with garlic and lots of olive oil, salt & pepper.  Top with lemon and roast until golden brown. Mom will be happy to know you got some greens.

Campfire Cooked Fish:

Ingredients: 
1 large piece of frozen fish (skin on)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons of whole grain mustard
3 tablespoons chopped dill
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Ample olive oil
Parmesan packets
Salt & pepper

Instructions:
Pick a nice large piece of fish from the frozen section of the grocery store. Most times they are packaged and frozen on site, and depending on what part of the country you live in, the frozen stuff can taste fresher than something from the refrigerated section. Frozen fish is also great for keeping the cooler nice and cold AND will likely thaw to perfection in time for cooking! Guin’s camp kit always includes fresh cracked pepper because it makes all the difference in flavor. Coat flesh side evenly with whole grain mustard. Apply salt, pepper and minced garlic liberally. Press a handful of herbs fresh or dried on the mustard and garlic. Top with lemon slices.

Depending on how hot your fire is, it may take a while for these bad boys to cook. Flip halfway through cooking. Rule of thumb: It’s done when the fork slides through easily and begins to flake the grain of fish. If you’re one of those people who keeps parm packets from pizza delivery, dump that sucker all over everything.

Campfire Grilled Bread:

Ingredients:
1 loaf of bread of your choice, sliced
Olive oil
Salt

Instructions: 
Coat both sides of the bread with with olive oil and salt. Place directly on grate. Toast both sides. Keep an eye out so these don’t burn. A little char is good, but not too much.

Deviled Eggs:

Ingredients: 
12 eggs
Chopped herbs
2 mustard packets
1 packet hot sauce
Salt & pepper

Instructions: 
Coming from the Midwest, deviled eggs are a holiday favorite and Guin is an expert. This would be a great thing to prep at camp breakfast after you make coffee.  Place a pot of cold water on your camp stove. Drop enough eggs in for the group and bring to boil. Turn off and cover for about 17 min. Once finished, pop these in the ice chest for later. At dinner, peel and halve. Empty cooked yokes into a bowl. With a fork, mash the yokes and add a hefty portion of salt and pepper and a handful of chopped herbs you have with you. Add a squirt of mustard and combine. Spoon mixture into the halved eggs. Sprinkle a little cayenne pepper on top if you have it or add a dash of hot sauce. BOOM deviled eggs.

Reese’s S’mores:

Ingredients:
Graham cracker
Reese’s Egg
Marshmallow

Instructions: 
Nothing says Easter more than a Reese’s Egg. Why not combine this with the S’mores camp classic? Toast your marshmallow over the fire until it has a crispy brown layer all over it (or just light it on fire, however you roll it’s cool with us). Trap the marshmallow between two graham crackers and carefully add in the Reese’s Egg. Smash it down and enjoy!