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What Is In Your Portable Pantry?

January 20, 2011 by · 12 Comments 


If you have an RV, a camper or a travel trailer, then you have the pleasure of stocking a portable pantry. I  stock my portable pantry every summer. Each fall, we clean it out completely and then right before Memorial Day I make a list and stock it with some basic items, such as peanut butter,  pasta, rice, graham crackers, salt, sugar, tea, and coffee.  When we traveled throughout Alaska and down the Alaska Canada Highway during the summer of 2006,  I learned that it was essential to have a well-stocked pantry because grocery stores were often hours away!

Over the last few years, I’ve  learned to include canned  items such as soups, wild Alaska salmon, and baked beans.  All  of these items store easily and can be transformed in a flash. The canned wild salmon makes a great  salad when I mix it with celery, lemon, and a little mayonnaise.  The salad can then be served on a sandwich or dolloped  onto crackers for an impressive little canape. The baked beans easily add a little substance to an otherwise makeshift dinner or a hot dog lunch.   And, a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup can form the backbone for one of my children’s favorite skillet dinners–He Man Spanish Rice,  originally published by Campbell’s in 1972.

So, I know I still have a long way to go before Memorial Day arrives, but I’m wondering what  you consider essential in your portable pantry?

–Melissa A. Trainer


12 Responses to “What Is In Your Portable Pantry?”
  1. Patti Faustini says:

    Hi Melissa! I consider black olives and black beans to be essential. The black olives dress things up in a variety of dishes (even though I’m not crazy about them, the boys are) and black beans can turn anything into a meal. I also think Costco’s Kirkland brand Albacore tuna is the best…way better than ‘brand” name tunas! Great post. Happy tales, Patti

  2. Patti, I haven’t tried the Costco tuna, but the Costco wild Alaska salmon is definitely my favorite canned salmon. Costco sells a skinless boneless sockeye in black enameled cans. They also sell an Alaskan pink salmon in a packet of six. Both are excellent. Thanks, as always, for commenting. I’m really enjoying your posts as well! Missy Trainer

  3. dianew says:

    Thanks Patti and I hope others keep passing along tidbits as well. I can learn something from everyone as we just started this RV travel this past summer. Still learning the ropes. We carried canned soups, tuna in packets, baked beans, breakfast bars (variety) and various type crackers, peanut butter, stewed/diced tomatoes, variety of canned beans and 90 second rice. Joined Costco on our journey so will be sure to try the salmon next trip there.

  4. G Finley says:

    I just learned about the precooked packaged bacon a couple years ago. I would never go camping without it now. Used it for breakfast, made blt’s for lunch, and used as a topping for my baked potatos for dinner. It is a staple for my pantry now. And I never leave home without my honey. I use it on baked sweet potatos if I do not have brown sugar. Also use the honey on fried apples. Just two of my favorite things to take along and a must in my pantry.

  5. Don & Irene says:

    Hi all, we live in Terrace BC and have travelled to Alaska via the Yukon many times and our pantry cosists of much the same except we have no Costco here so we bring our own canned sockeye, we vacuum seal and freeze our own halibut and cooked crab which we have in abundance. We also cook up hamburger patty`s and vacuum seal and freeze. The biggest thing we find is aquiring fresh vegtables and salad fixings so we stock up where we can and if no decent lettuce available we do a cold slaw as cabbage is a good keeper.
    Always we have canned soup, baked beans and usually more than we ever need of canned products
    One other thing we pre cook our bacon and again vacuum seal and freeze.
    Right now our class A is surounded by 2 1/2 feet of snow, bring on spring!

  6. Don and Irene, Thank you for the comments. It is indeed very very hard to get fresh fruits and veggies while traveling to Alaska. I had the same problem. Fresh milk was a problem at times too. Here’s a funny anecdote…before we left our home in Anchorage that summer, I had canned lots of peaches. Peaches were precious in Alaska and they were on sale one week so I stocked up and then preserved them in a sugar syrup. I probably had ten or twelve large preserving jars of peaches. When we moved back to Seattle, I spontaneously decided to pack those peaches in our camper. I thought they might come in handy as I wasn’t sure what I’d find en route. Well, my now fifteen year old daughter was only about 10 at the time but she loved those peaches so much, she ate every single jar of them on our way down the Al Can…She kept grumbling that there wasn’t enough fresh fruit around and was very thankful that she had that stash of home preserved peaches! I’ve yet to make another round of peaches packed in syrup. I’m not sure I could keep up with the demand! Melissa

  7. Don & Irene says:

    Ahh canned peaches, forgot about those, about every 2 years we can peaches and as peaches do not grow where we are we have to wait until we are in the Okanagan area. As it is now we have none and you have made me long for those. We will be doing them again later this year when they are ripe on the vine.
    We are so fortunate to live in North America where we really have it all. Great countries and great people.
    I was born in Vancouver BC but lived in Seattle for 10 years during my childhood as my father was working for Boeing at the time. Lived on Dearborn Street I remember, then we moved to Lynden Washington then back to BC.
    Thanks for the chat.

  8. Don, Yes we are lucky to live in North America! I have only been to the Okanagan once, about thirteen years ago. I really enjoyed it and wrote about it in an article for The New York Times. I’m sure much of the info is outdated, but here’s the link to that NY times article

    Hope your visit there this year is Peachy Keen!

  9. Don & Irene says:

    Hi Melissa, real factual article you would be astounded with the growth in the Okanagan if you were to travel there again. W are sharing a glass of Sumac Ridge Cabernet Merlot this evening from the Okanagan Valley.

    I have many relatives in the Tri Cities of Eastern Washington and my Dads family origionated in a place called Chesaw which is below the Okanagan in Washington

    Cheers for now Don

  10. Thank you for the Okanagan update. Enjoy! Melissa

  11. We always keep pasta, brown rice, honey, quinoa, olive oil and many spices like curry and cayeene pepper in our pantry.

  12. Karen says:

    We live in East Texas where the summers get stifling so I have never made a habit of keeping ANYthing in my pantry. I think the temp recommendations on most foods might not include the kind of heat a closed-up trailer in 100 deg Texas summers entail! Any other Texans out there who have input?

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