Gear Review: Lodge Logic Camp Dutch Oven

June 3, 2013 in Gear Reviews by thewrangler17

Dutch Oven

Lodge Logic Camp Dutch Oven

For Christmas this past year we received the 4 Quart Lodge Logic Camp Dutch Oven, I can’t think of a better gift for a Camp Recipe blogger. We’ve already made pretty good use of it, and based on the delicious results plan to use it even more.

The Dutch Oven: American Campers’ Love Affair
American campers have been using Dutch Ovens since before the United States existed. While cast metal pots have been around since the seventh century, the Dutch Oven as we know it today came into being in the early 18th century when an Englishman named Abraham Darby went to the Netherlands to observe the more advanced Dutch method of creating cast metal cookware. A few years later Darby patented a casting procedure similar to that of the Dutch and began producing cast metal cookware for Britain and the American colonies. And thus began the American campers love affair with the Dutch oven. It went on to be used by the mountain men who explored the great American frontier and by Lewis and Clark on their journey to explore the northwest. It was used by the pioneers who settled the west and is the state cooking pot of Utah – who knew?

Highlights
After using the Lodge Logic Camp Dutch Oven I understand why American campers have had such a long history with Dutch ovens. Lodge seems to have taken that history and experience and used it to perfect the Dutch oven. This Dutch oven was pre-seasoned so it was ready for use as soon as it came out of the box. The legs allow the oven to sit just high enough over the coals to allow enough air through so as to not smother the coals but to also not lose heat. The lid will hold your hot coals so that you can heat the oven from the top and the bottom, the lips on the lid will keep the coals and ash from getting into your food. The lid fits nice and tight so you’re not losing heat and the flavors are locked inside. Clean up is quick and easy and it doesn’t need to be re-seasoned if you don’t use soap and you dry it right away. The 4 Quarts seems to be pretty much the perfect size for our family of 3, leaving enough leftovers to have a decent lunch the next day.

Lodge Logic Camp Dutch Oven

Lodge Logic Camp Dutch Oven In Use

Drawbacks
The Dutch oven doesn’t come without its downsides. It’s not light. This is not cookware that you would want to take with you backpacking. The Dutch oven should only be used when you are car camping or you have something carrying your gear for you. Cooking time with a Dutch oven is a bit longer than just firing up the stove, you have to wait until the coals are nice and hot before you can even begin cooking. But the wait is entirely worth it because you can use the Dutch oven to cook so much more than you can on a typical camp stove. The Dutch oven also gets very hot. This is what makes it so good to cook with, the iron conducts heat very well which will uniformly heat the pot and cook your delicious meal evenly, but it makes it very difficult to handle without some added tools. Fortunately, Lodge has thought of this and makes a Dutch Oven Lid Lifter to save your hands from a good burning.

Summary
From chili and stews to pizza and breads to shepherd’s pie and chile verde to s’mores’adillas and peach cobbler, the Dutch oven is extremely versatile. The Lodge Logic Camp Dutch Oven will definitely become a staple in our camp cooking and I look forward to the many delicious adventures that it will bring.

 

 

National Trails Day Recap

June 2, 2013 in Hiking Community by amylaree

Hitting the Trails With Baby in Tow for National Trails Day
We hope everyone was able to get out and enjoy a trail or two this weekend to celebrate National Trails Day. We dodged rain showers but were able to get out for two low-key hikes this weekend: Volunteer Day Loop Trail at Longhunter State Park and the Lake Trail at Radnor Lake.

Where did you find yourself hiking this weekend?

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Unique Trail Mix Recipes for National Trails Day

May 30, 2013 in Trail Mix Recipes by amylaree

Our favorite homemade trail mix recipes.

Our favorite homemade trail mix recipes.

Trail Mix Recipes for NTD

We’re excited about all of the events that are going on across the country this Saturday to celebrate National Trails Day, but you can’t have a celebration without some good grub, right?

To help keep your belly full and energy high during your hikes this weekend, we’ve compiled some of our favorite unique homemade trail mix recipes. These are quick, easy and tasty trail mix recipes that are a welcome break from the standard raisins, peanuts & M&Ms (not that there’s anything wrong with that)!

Try out one of our favorite trail mix recipes this weekend:

Mix up a batch and get ready to join our fellow outdoorsy folks this Saturday for National Trails Day!

National Trails Day This Saturday: Make Your Plans

May 28, 2013 in Other by amylaree

Click to find a National Trails Day event near you. As you can see, lots of events are planned.

Click to find a National Trails Day event near you.
As you can see, lots of events are planned.

This Saturday marks the 21st anniversary of National Trails Day (NTD) – which is reason enough to get into the great outdoors. Last year, over 157,000 people participated in 2,000+ events on NTD – including the trail maintenance group we joined at Barfield Crescent Park in Murfreesboro.

Quick on the heels of last weekend’s unofficial Memorial Day summer kickoff, National Trails Day is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of June. The American Hiking Society (AHS) works hard to provide a variety of activities every year on NTD. This year events range from  ”hikes, biking and horseback rides, paddling trips, birdwatching, geocaching, gear demonstrations, stewardship projects and more.”

It’s a great day to get out and meet fellow nature lovers. If you’re new to hiking, there are lots of guided introductory hikes and if you’re a long-time hiker this is a great opportunity to volunteer for a day of trail maintenance work. Let us know what events you’ll be joining and we’ll report back next week on our first NTD with a baby in tow!

Find an event for National Trails Day now — and as the folks at AHS say, “Hike. Bike. Paddle. Ride. Get Outside.”

National-Trails-Day

 

Memorial Day Weekend Prep: Tips for Happy Camping

May 23, 2013 in Tips & Recommendations by amylaree

Keep your campers happy this Memorial Day Weekend.

Keep your campers happy this Memorial Day Weekend.

Summertime is here! As you dust off the camping gear, this is a great time to review a few simple tips to keep your Memorial Day Weekend camping memorable for all the right reasons.

  1. Don’t let the sun get the best of you. It’s great to get some rays but make sure to do it in moderation. Drink plenty of water, pack a hat and to keep slapping on that sunscreen, especially if you’re going to be active. Don’t let dehydration or a nasty burn ruin a good weekend.
  2. Buggin’ Out. Keep the ‘skeeters from eating you alive with bug spray or  these Off PowerPad Lanterns (our favorites) - they provide light while keeping the mosquitos and other gnarly bugs at bay much more effectively than standard citronella candles. We use two for a standard campground area and it makes a huge difference. Just be sure to bring enough of the refills for the entire weekend.
  3. Know where to go if Mother Nature turns ugly. Have fun while you’re out, but be sure to keep an eye on the weather. As we were all reminded this week, spring and summer storms can be brutal. When you get to your campground, check with the ranger to find out where the location of the nearest storm shelter. Make sure everyone in your crew knows where to go and what to do if the weather turns nasty.
  4. Did someone say “S’mores”?  Just the mention of the word “s’mores” will make even the crankiest camper a little bit happier, so be sure to pack plenty of jumbo marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolates. Check out our ideas for gourmet s’mores if you’re looking to up your campfire game.

We hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Let us know where you’re going and how your trip goes!