When that perfect-weather weekend pops up, having your camping supplies ready to go is a great way to minimize prep and maximize fun. We fit most items into our camp bin and handy table tote. Tote-ally awesome, right?
All of this stuff fits in the bin:
The “junk drawer” is one of those zippered bags that sheets and pillowcases usually come in. It’s clear, durable, and easy to open and close. Our junk drawer contains: canisters of fuel, single burner stove, collapsible drip coffee maker, tiny cribbage board, deck of cards, tiny backgammon, collapsible dish-washing bucket, duct tape, tablecloth clips, emergency poncho, and extra batteries. The “lotions and potions” sack contains sunscreen, sunburn gel, bug spray, cortisone, and camp soap.
When choosing a bin, find one with a tight-fitting lid that will be waterproof, even in the craziest of storms. A sodden bin will surely sadden happy campers!
All this stuff fits into our handy (and adorable) table tote:
Our table tote is a 5 gallon bucket with a snug-fitting wood lid. We store items in here that we don’t need to access frequently so we can use it as a table. Smokey says, “Only YOU can produce forest fun!”
Of course, we never go camping without our pudgie pie irons. Here’s a pie iron pro tip: When the camp chair breaks and all you’re left with is the carrying case, use it to store your pie irons. It’s tote-ally perfect!
Pack the pie irons into your canoe and paddle to a sandbar island on the lower 92 miles of the beautiful Wisconsin River. Consider cooking a coconut and mango pudgie pie because it’ll feel like a tropical island paradise.
Lower Wisconsin State Riverway
2. Nelson Dewey State Park
A short hike to any of the walk-in sites will reward you with a private spot on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. Make your pudgie pies with a scenic view that is just as delectable!
Nelson Dewey State Park
3. Kickapoo Valley Reserve
The crooked-est river in Wisconsin is also one of the most beautiful. Paddle or hike into a site and cook your pudgies riverside where rocky outcroppings abound.
Kickapoo Valley Reserve
4. Buckhorn State Park
Located on a peninsula in the Castle Rock flowage of the Wisconsin River, Buckhorn is a beauty. Hike into one of the walk-in sites and watch the moon rise over the water as your pudgie pies toast over the campfire. Consider a trip here in the fall as both the bugs and fellow campers are at a minimum!
Buckhorn State Park
5. Tailgating at a Packer game
Okay, Green Bay may not technically be southern Wisconsin, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t include cooking your pudgie pies over the grill in the parking lot of legendary Lambeau Field.
Why wait to go camping to eat pudgie pies? They can easily be made over a fire pit or grill in the comfort of your own backyard. While you don’t need a custom-built fire pit with pie iron notches, it certainly doesn’t hurt!
Carrie’s backyard fire pit–complete with pie iron notches!
8. New Glarus Woods State Park
Choose a walk-in site along the Sugar River Trail and then hop on your bike and head to the nearby New Glarus Brewery for a tour. Bring back some Spotted Cow to wash down those pudgie pies!
New Glarus Brewery
9. Perrot State Park
Here you can hang your hammock, hike to the top of Brady’s Bluff, and canoe the backwaters of the mighty Mississipp. Sacrifice one pudgie pie meal to get a famous walnut burger at the nearby Trempealeau Hotel.
Perrot State Park
10. Kohler Andre State Park
Pack a picnic pudgie basket and cook your pies over a grill by a great lake. Wait 30 minutes after eating before taking a “refreshing” dip in Lake Michigan.
A classic camping food is getting a makeover! Three Wisconsin natives have teamed up to write a cookbook devoted to pudgie pies. What’s a pudgie pie? It’s a grilled sandwich toasted in a pie iron over a fire. Known to some as mountain pies, tonka toasters, campfire pies or something entirely different, they are delicious no matter what you call them. According to authors Jared Pierce, Carrie Simon, and Liv Svanoe, pudgie pies are where it’s at when it comes to campfire cooking.
“We live by our Pudgie Pie-losophy,” says Simon, “which is that anything you can think of eating will taste better in the form of a pudgie pie.” These longtime friends co-authored “Pudgie Revolution! Pie Iron Cookin’ for Food Lovin’ Campers.” Their cookbook puts a gourmet spin on this camping staple, raising the bar on conventional camp food. Pudgie Revolution! is filled with unique pudgie pie recipes that will inspire campers to bring their camp cookery to the next level. You don’t even have to be a camper to get in on the action—pudgie pies can be cooked in a backyard fire pit, on a grill, or even in a panini press.
Photographs of each recipe provide simple visual instructions that make following them easy as pie. The recipes employ an array of crust materials including bread, pastry dough, hash browns, tortillas and batter. The filling combinations are just as diverse: try salami, mascarpone and figs or peanut butter and pickles. Light-hearted recipe titles like Yolkey Dokey, Pudge-Yam-a Party, and Revenge of the Curds add a fun factor to some seriously delicious sandwich pies.
“We wanted to elevate the pudgie pie beyond the white-bread-and-pie-filling variety we grew up with,” says Svanoe. “While our recipes incorporate unconventional camping foods, they are all easily made in the outdoors.” Each recipe includes a difficulty rating, and there are many useful tips throughout the book. There is even a guide for creating a pudgie pie dessert box, which includes everything needed to satisfy any sweet tooth. Don’t go camping without it!
You can get a copy of Pudgie Revolution!here and you’ll also find links to the team’s Pudgie University video series here. There you can learn how to make recipes from the cookbook, get cooking tips, and even hear a few puns. “We just really love pudgie pies,” says Pierce, “and we want you to love them too!”