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Everyone loves a nice camping weekend. Fresh air, clean rivers, and a stress-free environment will heal your body and your soul.
There is something atavistic that awakens in our soul when we get in touch with nature. And nothing tastes better than a fresh, hot meal made somewhere on the mountain or in a forest glade.
Of course, if you brought your camping spices with you.
Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bland, unsavory dish. So, you should always carry a batch of your favorite camping spices with you.
What are the top five camping spices?
Around here, we don’t count salt and pepper as spices but as pure necessities. So, their place is sealed in your backpacks. Also, salt and pepper are easy to find in restaurants, gas stations, or small grocery shops.
Of course, you can always get a nice salt and pepper shaker and put it right in your pocket.
Top five camping and backpacking spices
Although fresh garlic is always a better option, remember that you are not in your kitchen. Garlic powder is more practical to use.
Every veggie sauce and salad dressing will taste great with a pinch of garlic powder. Also, if you happen to run into a vampire, garlic (and a stake through the heart) will help you defend yourself. If you are not a fan of the taste, we suggest you try elephant garlic.
Elephant garlic is much sweeter and has a less intense flavor, so you might like it. Also, it’s much larger than the usual garlic, hence the name.
Admit it, you just don’t have enough space to bring half of a backpack of onions. Also, you don’t want to cry when slicing the onions next to your campfire.
So, the onion powder is the right choice for you, as you cannot imagine a camping meal without onion. Or almost any meal, for that matter.
Depending on the onion type, its flavor dances between sweet and intolerably hot.
Cumin is mostly used in highly spicy food, making it the perfect choice for a stew or a hobo meal pack. Also, goes great with every grilled meat, especially lamb meat.
Cumin is one of the main spices in Mexican, Spanish, Portugal, Indian, and Middle Eastern cuisine. When reading the recipes, you can sometimes find the term ‘black cumin’ and ‘sweet cumin’.
The first term is used as a synonym for nigella, while the second one is used when describing fennel. Don’t mix them.
Thyme is one of the widely used spices. You can use it in casseroles, stews, soups, and any other meal that is meat-based. The most common species are garden thyme and lemon thyme.
The thyme’s flavor blends greatly with lemon, garlic, and basil. If you don’t have thyme, you can always substitute it with:
The old saying is if you have a large rosemary bush in your garden, it means that the woman is in charge of the house. Besides that, this lovely herb was a symbol of friendship and love.
As a spice, rosemary has a strong, distinctive taste, with nuances of pine, ginger, mint, and wood. That’s why rosemary is irreplaceable for making grilled fish or meat.
You can also put it in marinades, salad dressings, and sauces.
Top five camping spice mixes
If you want to camp extra light, don’t bring your camping spices separately. Use some premade spice mixes, or make your own mix! Here are some of our favorite camping mixes.
Cinnamon spice mix
A nice, warm mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger. Perfect for your morning oatmeal or slices of baked apples. Also works great with baked butternut! For an exotic experience, add a pinch of cinnamon spice mix to your morning coffee.
Italian herb spice mix
This lovely mix consists of:
Italian mix is one of the most multi-use mixes for camping. You can add it to your tomato sauce, and you will get a perfect spaghetti or meat sauce. Rub it on your fish, and you will get a Mediterranean meal.
Mix it with some sour cream, and you will get a dip for your vegetables or a bread spread for a light breakfast.
Onion and garlic spice mix
This mix is an absolute must-have for camping. You can’t even imagine any meat dish without garlic and onion. Although you can get onion salt or powdered garlic, this solution is simpler and easier to use.
Also, it turns your plain butter toast into an absolute palate delight.
Hot spice mix
Hot spice mix will increase your metabolism, as well as your mood. Also, you can’t imagine making a stew or cowboy bean without chili pepper.
Add a pinch to your hot chocolate to transfer it into a spicy pleasure.
Your personal, nostalgic mix
Home is where your heart is. And if you are going camping, you should bring a small spice mix that reminds you of your home. You can put anything you like in it, as long as it makes sense and makes you happy.
How do you bring spices camping?
It depends on how many spices you want to bring, how much space they take, and will you really use them all. We suggest you only take the necessary camping spices and leave all the extravagancies behind.
For storing spices, you can use small plastic containers. Avoid using any plastic that is not food-safe. The best option for bringing the spices camping is to get yourself high-quality, multi-use container kits.
The market is full of these travel kits that won’t take too much space and will keep your precious spices fresh. For a day pack, there is no better option.
How to use straws for keeping camping spices?
This is a neat trick when you are traveling light. You will need pliers, plastic straws and a lighter. Squeeze one end of the straw with pliers. Then heat it up with a lighter, so the plastic melts a bit.
Squeeze the melted part with the pliers again. Now, fill the straw with a spice. Then, use the same procedure to seal the other end of the straw.
You got yourself cheap, waterproof, airtight containers for spices.
What are earthy spices?
Earthy spices are the ones whose taste resembles the soil where they grew.
It’s not the main nuance of flavor, but it has a sometimes undesirable note. In the vegetable world, beetroot and potatoes can be described as earthy.
In the world of spices, saffron, cumin, achiote, coriander seed, oregano, mustard, and many more can be described as earthy.
What is the most expensive spice in the world?
The saffron. This spice is irreplaceable in paella, curry, or a good risotto. One pound of saffron costs from $5000 to even $15.000, depending on the quality.
But why is saffron that expensive?
First, what exactly is saffron?
It is a spice made from the saffron crocus flower. Every flower has three small red stigmas that need to be picked manually.
For one pound of saffron, you need to handpick cca 75.000 flowers.
Also, a saffron flower blooms only 6 weeks in the year and must be harvested at a specific time of the day. Iran is the world’s largest saffron producer, and 90% of the world’s saffron grows there.
Which is called the king of all spices?
It’s black pepper, one and only. Although it might sound strange nowadays, when you can get black pepper everywhere you go, things weren’t always like that.
The first written traces of pepper usage were 4000 years ago. In the 16th century, the pepper was worth more than gold.
And, it represented a much more trustworthy currency, as gold coins could be forged. In fact, America’s first millionaire in history, Elias Haskett Derby, earned his riches on importing pepper!
Pepper is still the king of spices and irreplaceable in cuisines all around the world.
How do you bring butter camping?
Two words – powdered butter. You can bring it in a small plastic container. On the camping, just add water to the powder, and you will have your precious butter ready to spread on your morning toast.
But, if you just can’t imagine your camping trip without butter, we recommend squeeze tubes. Soften your butter a little bit to put it into a tube.
On the camping site, you will need to keep it in a cool box. Most of the popular camping places have an option to freeze your extra coolant set, so you will have no worries.
How do you pack oil for camping?
The first reflux is to get any plastic bottle, fill it with oil, and seal it tight. This is an almost certain way to end up with an oily backpack or a messy car trunk.
As oil is highly viscose, it will leak from most of the bottles. Get a high-quality oil container with a nozzle and a screw-top lid. Or, you can always opt for oil packets.
They are small, available, and affordable. Also, they are lightweight, so you won’t have to overstuff your backpack.
What country produces the most spices?
India, the land of spices, is the world’s largest consumer, producer, and exporter of spices. In the Indian market, 19% of the cake is held by dry chilies.
As for the world’s spice market, ginger, garlic, and dry chilies take the first three places. In 2020, India exported $3.4 billion worth of spices to over 180 countries. The seven spices Indians mostly use are
- coriander powder
- cumin powder
- Indian chili powder or cayenne
- turmeric powder
- garam masala
- whole cumin seeds
- whole mustard seeds
The first rule of camping is to have fun. The second is the No Trace rule. You should always leave your camping site the same way you found it.
You should leave no trace you have ever been there. Put down your camping fire, and clean your garbage. Especially if you decided to camp in the wilderness.
Remember, we do not own nature. We are the living part of it. And don’t forget to always bring your no-see-em mesh and your favorite camping spices.
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