Parts 1and 2 were published in our June and July issues.
- A camp kitchen, and no, I’m not being smart. Pre-designed camp kitchens run about $80-120 retail, though anyone can make one. This would include a sink, counter space for chopping veggies and cooking with a camp stove and racks for holding tools like a spatula, spices and dish drying. The idea is to have everything centralized and organized, just like at home.
- A well-seasoned cast iron skillet. These are the original non-stick multi-taskers, going from campfire to stovetop to oven without worry, so these can be the same ones used at home. And, because they’re tough and often last generations, no special utensils are necessary. Just be sure to keep them out of the rain and moisture, because they can rust. Do not air dry. A bonus is a touch of nutritional iron is added to whatever is cooked in it. Do NOT use soap and water to clean cast iron; for tough jobs, boil some water inside and scrub.
- A three to five quart cooking pot, larger for group cooking. If cast iron is chosen, do not cook anything overly acidic in it, like red sauce. Too much iron will leech into the food, giving it a tinny flavor.
- A barbecue utensil set, preferably stainless steel (spatula, fork, tongs, brush and grill scraper). Cooking over a grill or campfire can be dangerous work, so getting some distance is vital. Do not use anything with wood handles, for obvious reasons. At least one good utility kitchen knife and long spoon should also be included – fire retardant as well.
- A manual can opener, preferably one with a bottle opener attached. This is probably the most underrated, underappreciated and undervalued camp tool, and it sucks to leave home without it.
- A kitchen towel set. This is a wonderfully green multi-tasker, which can be used to wipe up spills, dry dishes and hands and, if doubled up, pot holders, too. Be sure to keep them clean by hand washing and air drying them between messy uses.
- Unbreakable service for everyone in the group: Plate, bowl, hot/cold cup, knife, fork and spoon. This can be a mess kit or standard dining fare. Cloth napkins are a nice touch, curbing the need for paper towels.
- Camp-grade soap, as this is an inexpensive, mild yet hard-working multi-tasker that is also very green. It’s good for washing everything, be it dishes, clothes or hands.
- Food, which goes without saying. Plan a menu well before leaving, including every meal and snacks, and plan by perishable to non. Remember, a cooler replenished with melting ice in the hot sun will be serving as a refrigerator. Freeze as many perishables as possible to help them last the fest longer.
- Homemade ice. Blocks of ice melt much slower than cubes, and it’s certainly less expensive. Fill up used containers with water and freeze them at home, preferably into blocks for making the best use of space. (Old food containers are great for this.) Fill no more than three quarters full to give space for expansion.
Lori’s list is much longer than this, so be sure to check out her new book, A Guide to Pagan Camping: Festival Tips, Tricks and Trappings, found everywhere online and at many Pagan booksellers.
Lori Dake is a lifelong camping and music enthusiast who loves to combine the two whenever possible. She has traveled to almost every edge of North America the old-fashioned way, and she is always up for pitching a tent and living simply among like-minded, spiritual individuals.