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Life on the Road Wouldn’t be the Same Without……..

What could you not live without on the road?

Norris Around Australia

There are many different things you need to live comfortably on the road. Somewhere to sleep, shower, cook and of course a lot of storage space. At the moment we sleep in our Oz Tent, we shower using a 12 volt shower system and we cook using our double burner gas stove. We have the bare essentials to make life comfortable while living on the road. There are a few items we have found that we just wouldn’t want to live without.

Camp Oven

“Put another log on the fire, Cook me up some bacon and some beans”

It’s been mentioned before but our camp oven is one of the items most frequently used items. One of the reasons we particularly like free camping is that you can utilise an open fire and in turn use our camp oven to cook delicious meals. It makes even the most simple and boring meals…

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Bush Cooking · Camping · Writing & Reading

Fresh Faces of Camp Oven Cooking

Photos Sourced from Cast Iron Boys

One boy, a father of two with a crazy resume that lists stilt walking and fire twirling as two of his previous occupations. It is now Michael’s self-employed day job at Dracula’s pays the bills. Another boy, a bachelor with 2 plates and over 20 screws holding him together after a critical motorbike accident. Nick’s injury even prevented him from attending his famous, uncle Ian Turpie’s funeral and from continuing his five year career at BCF. Together both boys have been mates since high school now almost thirty residing in the land of sun and surf on QLD’s Gold Coast. No one could possibly guess what they do for fun.

Camp oven cooking is an art and these boy’s are modern-day Picasso’s. Exposed to camp oven cooking at a mate’s 21st, out on a small banana farm hidden in the mountains of NSW. The parents of the birthday boy catered to all sixty guests with camp oven roasts. It was this night after a great feed, some beer and one hell of a view over the ocean planted the seed for bigger things to come.

At the next opportunity, Mick Viller and Nick Turpie purchased their very own camp oven. With camp oven and mates in tow they headed to Mumma Mick’s place out near Millmerran, QLD. The fire burned all weekend long and the boys cooked breakfast, lunch and tea camp oven style. As luck would have it Millmerran is the home of the famous Camp Oven Festival held annually in October. This small coincidence was the next piece in the puzzle.

After a few brews they decided to enter the camp oven cooking competition. As with all competition they thought best to practice first. Late one night fooling around on YouTube looking for ideas, tips and how to’s the boys had a light bulb moment. Why don’t we do this exact thing? Film ourselves camp oven cooking, with hints, tips and recipes and post online. To start off they used an iphone to video. The quality wasn’t too crash hot. But from little things big things grow and grow things did. These early videos led to cooking demonstrations at camping shows and a strong online, social media presence lead to the naming of “The Cast Iron Boys

”. Now armed with an Olympus Digital SLR camera to film themselves and a DVD/ book package the sky is the limit.

The Cast Iron Boys have a committed social media following which in this day and age is necessary for success. They now have sponsors including Southern Metal Spinners, Oztrail and Tentworld with many more wanting to jump on board. Their demonstration calendar is filling up quickly and you are sure to see them at a camping show near you in the near future.

Head over and check out their website: http://www.castironboys.com/home/

Photos Sourced from Cast Iron Boys
Bush Cooking

From the Camp Kitchen: Moroccan Lamb Shanks

One of my favourite Sunday dinners is Lamb Shanks of any style. Moroccan style though takes them to a whole new level. Delicious!

And it’s so simple and easy while camping.

Brown the Shanks in a fry pan and transfer to slow cooker, camp oven or crock pot. In the fry pan fry off some squashed garlic, chopped onion and then add canned tomatoes, Moroccan mixed spice and beef stock and transfer mixture to lamb shanks.Place on coals if using camp oven or in the oven if using the crock pot. Cook for 1 and then add drained chickpeas. After a further 1/2 an hour add some spinach leaves.

Moroccan Lamb Shanks

When the meat falls away from the bone it is ready to serve. You can serve with either mashed potato, polenta or cous cous (pictured) I served this one with a spiced cous cous with currants and coriander. Simply prepare the cous cous in chicken stock, drain and stir though Moroccan spice, chilli powder, fresh coriander and currants.

Moroccan Lamb Shanks with Spiced Cous Cous

 

Camping · Preparation

Life on the Road Wouldn’t be the Same Without……..

There are many different things you need to live comfortably on the road. Somewhere to sleep, shower, cook and of course a lot of storage space. At the moment we sleep in our Oz Tent, we shower using a 12 volt shower system and we cook using our double burner gas stove. We have the bare essentials to make life comfortable while living on the road. There are a few items we have found that we just wouldn’t want to live without.

Camp Oven

“Put another log on the fire, Cook me up some bacon and some beans”

It’s been mentioned before but our camp oven is one of the items most frequently used items. One of the reasons we particularly like free camping is that you can utilise an open fire and in turn use our camp oven to cook delicious meals. It makes even the most simple and boring meals extra delicious. Our favourites are casseroles and curries but we use it for everything including baking good, old, traditional damper. We pack it in the back of the 4WD in our storage system so it is not taking up too much room. One thing is for sure we got our money’s worth with that purchase.

Our Camp Oven
Camp Oven in the Fire

LED LIGHT

We have a LED light mounted permanently to the back our 4WD canopy. As with most outback campers we love looking up at the skies above dotted with millions upon millions of stars. However, I am sure most campers will agree setting up camp after dark can be a nightmare especially after a long day on the road. When you arrive at your camp all you want to do is sit down in camping chair and relax over a nice cold beverage you don’t need the hassle of tripping over ropes and camping gear as you stumble around in the dark. Cue LED light. We pull up, we flick the switch and let there be light. The other major use is for cooking we again flick it on while dinner is prepared. Don’t panic readers we do turn it off after quick use and we never point it towards other campers. Well I can’t say never as we have had numerous requests by neighbouring campers to share the light.

HID Light

12 Volt Fan 

I detest cold winters and I love the heat of the summer. We travel around Australia trying to keep warm all year around. While I love extra hot, sunny days there is nothing worse than trying to nod off to sleep while suffering from heat asphyxiation or drowning in your own sweat. Heat at night is amplified by living under canvas and it makes it so hard to get to sleep sometimes. We don’t want to not stay somewhere just because it has high temperatures so we bought a 12 volt fan. We plug it to out dual battery system and bingo let the cool air blow. It does make a bit of a whirring noise but it is so worth it. Word of advice: make sure the chord is long enough. 

Water Filter & Hose:

One of the most important things you require while travelling is safe drinking water. Water isn’t always readily available and safe drinking water is even harder to find. We purchased a water filter hose attachment (mostly used for filling water tanks in caravans) It was around $150 but it has paid for itself ten fold.  We use it fill our water bottles, camel back and our big water storage tanks. It works off a carbon filter and it takes away all milkiness and freshens the taste. 

Water Filter
Filling our Water Tanks

Oz Tent RV 2:

Our Oz Tent has been our saviour on many occasion; rain, hail or shine it provides quick shelter and in fact has been our home while we are on the road. Even though we are purchasing a camper trailer in the near future we will still be taking our Oz Tent for those off-road adventures and nights on the beach or desert. The Oz Tent has surpassed all our expectations and we recommend it to all campers.

OzTent in the Simpson Desert
OzTent near Cordillo Downs
OzTent at Tobermorey Station
Bush Cooking · Preparation

Five Million Star Cooking

One of my favourite things while living on the road is the fact that normal, mundane chores don’t feel like mundane chores, in fact most of the time it’s a novelty or even a tonne of fun. For example, hanging out clothes in the middle of the Simpson Desert on a rope strung between two trees or in a caravan park with a back drop of King’s Canyon.

Hanging out with a view is so not a chore.

Cooking dinner under 5 million stars is so much better than cooking dinner a kitchen. We find we eat so much heartier and healthier while on the road. I think it is because you have to plan meals and groceries in advance. When you are in the middle of nowhere you can’t just pop out and get an ingredient you have forgotten.

Groceries in the Outback

We have to eat more filling meals while on the road as our days are full of hiking and exploring. We need the stamina to make it through each exciting, new day.

Stoking the Fire
Cooking on the Road

My secret weapon for cooking while travelling is our traditional camp oven.  Whenever we can have a camp fire we use the camp oven for tea. Everything tastes so much better in the camp oven. There is something about cooking on hot coals. Yum

Our Camp Oven

Our favourite camp dinners include:

Damper

Damper in the Camp Oven

Moroccan Lamb

Beef & Vege Stew

Pasta

Chilli Con Carne

Camp Oven Pizza

Corned Beef

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

The other important piece of cooking equipment we have is the griddle that sits over the burners of our gas stove. We use this as a BBQ which makes for simple dinners after long days on the road. We normally have steak with salad or vegetables. We will be including photographs of our meals and recipes to share on the blog going forward.

5 Million Star Camp Dinner