Camping is supposed to be “unplugging” and “enjoying the simple things”, but it always seemed pretty complicated to me. Sleeping and eating outside is actually a lot more difficult than sleeping and eating inside, and that first night out in nature can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re hungry.
Using a camping stove probably isn’t that complicated (I’ve never tried!), But setting up even the smallest kitchen after a long day of traveling to your remote destination isn’t the most relaxing way to start. your trip. Enter the charcuterie board, the meal that Victoria, backpacker and veteran camper (who also suggested cheese as a hiking snack), enjoy during this first eventful evening:
The deli board on the first night is just easier, so you don’t have to boil water to have a bigger meal. . . hiking bars are getting pretty boring and this is a way to eat less of them. Normally the first night of hiking comes after a long drive in the car, trying to remember where you put everything in your bag, finding out what gear you forgot, setting up your tent, etc. less to do. And honestly, I don’t know where I first heard of the idea. [My sister] Elizabeth and I grew up packing and exploring the woods with our neighborhood friends. My favorite take-out snack was a plastic bag of pretzels and cheese. I honestly think they just taste better in the woods.
Despite their fancy name and candle reputation, charcuterie boards are nothing more than meat and cheese (and maybe olives and pickles) on a board or plate. You can pay a lot of money for the meat if you want, but there is no price per pound requirement. come together so that their pile of sliced meat is considered a “correct” charcuterie board.
The hardest part of making one is choosing your meats, cheeses, pickles and your favorite delivery system (I like the Trader Joe’s Fig and Olive Crisps). Once you’ve done your choices, all you have to do is cut the cheeses into bite-size pieces and arrange everything visually pleasant. Dinner is served.
For camping charcuterie, pre-slicing and portioning greatly facilitate the evening. If you want to be really ‘on the go’ you can even wrap the prepared cheese in a segmented kid’s lunch box, and pickles and olives in small sandwich bags. Place the meat, cheese and all the accessories on top of the cooler, drive to your campsite, then spread it all out on a cute dish or cutting board and enjoy watching trees and listening to birds. (That you do this before or after the complete unpacking of the car is up to you.)