So a couple of years ago, Merle and I and a group of people went canoeing...we bragged that since NEVER tip, we would take all the coolers with lunch...and our dog. Well what do ya know...we tipped! (Thanks Bocephus!) Big time...and our sandwiches were packed in a bread sack...which is a perfectly good method for dry land picnic-ing....anyhow...so as we scraped soggy bread off of our sandwiches and ate river turkey...i thought...there has got to be a better way!
So when I became a Tupperware dealer, I discovered the value of the Modular Mates system. It is designed for the pantry...to keep moisture out (or in) as well as air and pests....super handy for those of us in old houses with mice!
Anyways...I packed our sandwiches in this modular mate (Rect 4) which held several sandwiches...I didn't count since I didn't know that I would eventually be blogging about it! Rough estimate would be between 12-18 sandwiches.
Anyways...Merle and I received a Coleman Xtreme Cooler for a wedding present and it ROCKS! I highly recommend it! Keeps ice for upto 5 days in 90 degree weather...no joke!
In this cooler the rectangle Modular Mates fit perfectly. Like so! (However the nice people at Tupperware have created not only rectangle but square, oval and super oval (as long as the rect but narrow like the oval)...there's a limited round collection as well.
In case you have a cooler of a different size)
(Mine are well used!) Anyways..you can stack them and mix and match them to fit.
1 Rect=1 square and 1 oval or 2 super ovals
1 Square=2 ovals or 4 rounds
I CANNOT handle when things get soggy from the ice melt...but i also dislike the room that ice packs take...esp since you can't refreeze them once you're already on the trip.
(Not that you can always buy ice but that's more likely...)
So in the modular mate system when the ice melts there is NO soggy food....no meat juice ice water either. I hate that! It makes me want to barf! In the picture above, there is room for ice to be dumped over and around the containers...I'm thinking I would probably fill a big one with water and freeze it or just fill it with ice cubes...I love adding ice to my water...but not the aforementioned meat juice ice. Or dirty little hands who drop the containers on the ground then put them right back into the cooler. I'm picky so sue me! :) What are the rules of my blog?
I did a little experiment to show the water tightness of the MM.
(This is not necessarily true of all Tupperware...just FYI)
Insert moldy piece of bread I found....
Yes that's my horse tank...Go big or go home!....
Floating upside down on the lid....Bubba's supervising...I have witnesses!....
....Even held it under water for a minute....
....The only water in it is what got in when I opened the lid....if it was actually food and not moldy bread I'd probably wipe the container off first.....
Good ole Chuckles (Lyla's mule) enjoying a Tupperware drink!
Ok so I've proved my point...now let me show you my thinking!
Ok so on a camping trip it takes lots of different foods in the same cooler. I typically brown our burger for tacos or whatever and put it in baggies and then in a TW container. Same with veggies, etc. However it didn't dawn on me until this trip that if I used the MM system to it's full potential it would fit in there so much nicer!
Is this confusing? Here's a pic....
Keep in mind I just used what I have on hand to demo....I don't typically take flower, sugar, etc camping!
Ok so you could put all your meat in one, veggies/fruit in one, cheeses in one, chocolate/snacks in one, juice boxes/packs in one, butter (this is a HUGE one for me!) in a small oval one, the list is endless!
I kinda want to go camping just so that I can try this method!
Here's a pic of my pantry....oh the perks of being a Tupperware lady! This has little to do with camping but lots to do with Tupperware!
When you aren't camping, the containers could be used in your pantry, bathroom, storage shed, toy room, etc etc etc.
(I use one for our dog meds since we for some reason store them in the bathroom where it's humid)
If you're interested in looking at the Modular Mates, check out my website:
Other camping tips I've picked up along the way:
-Pack your deodorant in a plastic baggie and put in the cooler but it has the potential to get water logged so beware....melted deo does nothing for your B.O!
-always pack ziplock baggies...there's bound to be leftovers...
-...when you plan your menu...factor in leftovers. Eat leftovers for one meal, even if it's breakfast then you'll take less home. (I always worry about food spoilage and end up tossing out leftover food when I get home.)
-Freeze the Capris Sun juice packets. (Thanks Aunt DiDi for this tip) They can then be used as ice packs, drinks as they melt, or use for 'boo boo's, cut open and eat as popsicles, etc. Greatest tip ever!
-When you get home and clean out your cooler (I use Chlorox wipes) put a piece of cardboard (that leftover Capris Sun box works great) it will help keep out that nasty musty smell.
-Use ratchet straps to hang your clothes line or hammock. (Stole this one from our camp neighbors in SD) That way if you don't get it tight or it sags from the weight of the wet towels you can just tighten it up! Plus you're bound to have them to secure your load.
-I'm thinking about packing in one of those plastic drawer systems next time. Gotta use that vertical storage in a tent. It would be perfect for clothes, towels and drying dishes on top. Just pack in it and unload it. (Beware of it's non water tightness!)
-Save money by washing dishes. Chances are good that you have to wash your cookware so just take along 'real' dishes. We figure that if we used reusable dishes everytime we camp we could save $30 a year. Plus we only had to use one trash bag the whole time we camped...which was nice since we didn't have a fire to burn our trash in...darn burn ban!
-If you're camping with small children, get some glow sticks...you can put them on or around the tent stakes so no one trips, mark out the boundary so no one gets lost, subsitute them for fireworks, put them around the kids' ankles/wrist for easy ID in the dark, etc etc etc! I figure (esp since I sleep with a mask) that it could be handy to put one around the battery operated lanter or shoes for an easy find when you have to go out in the dark. No more rustling around the tent looking for the flashlight, etc.
-If you are camping with a group of people, split up your menu amongst you. This works out well because instead of packing 9 meals for a 3 day stay plus snacks/drinks, you only have to pack for say 3 meals. Plus it adds some variety to your menu. Be sure to check with the others!
-Take a big beverage cooler of water. You could pack drink mixes if you want some flavor. For instance on our trip to South Dakota, I just packed water bottles for each of us and I packed flavor packets for iced coffee. We saved so much money and since it was super hot I knew we were all getting plenty of hydration. It's easy to refill and I suppose if you wanted to pack just a few soft drinks you could clean the cans and put them right in the ice water.
(Thanks Mom and Dad for the use of your big cooler!)
-The last one is a tip from my mom that I'm still perfecting....Make a master list of all the things you know that you'll need everytime you camp. In my case I add to it every time because I always over look something! The last few times I've camped I've taken paper and wrote down all the things I've forgotten on that trip and added it to the master list. Do a Google search for some good ideas and formats. www.coleman.com has one that's pretty comprehensive.
My mom is the masterette of list making! I've really taken that for granted...
My mom is the masterette of list making! I've really taken that for granted...
I suppose I'd better get going on the laundry and unpacking! The upside of no campfire is nothing smells like smoke! But still needs washed...so I guess it doesn't really matter!
I hope this post has given you some helpful tips for a fun and successful camping trip!