A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

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A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby KrisMuffin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:06 pm

This is my first burn and I'm coming from the east cost, so I’ve been contemplating how I can eat decently at the Burn with little waste, no camp kitchen and no grey water. I came up with this idea that is similar to how catering companies use those foil pans with burners underneath to keep food warm. Basically, I would use small aluminum to go pie tins (see below) fill with food that I cook, snag from a restaurant or transfer some of my already frozen food favorites, and after de-thawing put the tin in a pot with a little water and a lid; put the pot on a small single burner stove and heat. I’ve tried this at home and it works, but is there any reason this wouldn’t work on playa? Also, I just refuse to cook anything in plastic, but I know there are concerns about aluminum leaching into food as well. So line the tin with wax paper? Haven’t tested that idea yet. Thanks for the help!
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby Just_Joe » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:35 pm

I think that idea could work really well for the first few days.
I'd be concerned about the meals staying frozen until later in the week and what the effect of (possibly) sitting in ice melt would be.
Have you seen this thread? It's got a lot of good ideas for "easy" food.

viewtopic.php?f=276&t=35430
Realistic non-cooler based menu planning-
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby KrisMuffin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:43 pm

weather man wrote:I think that idea could work really well for the first few days.
I'd be concerned about the meals staying frozen until later in the week and what the effect of (possibly) sitting in ice melt would be.
Have you seen this thread? It's got a lot of good ideas for "easy" food.

viewtopic.php?f=276&t=35430
Realistic non-cooler based menu planning-



I planned on having a dry ice cooler, and frezzing almost everything possible to avoid murky water issues in a large cooler. Then I'll have a smaller cooler thats my "daily fridge" so the freezer is only opened once a day. Throw in one meal, one frozen juice gallon and one frozen water mug and only ice those things in the "fridge". Feesible? Will read posted thread now.Thanks!
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:52 pm

There's a load of stuff about coolers, too.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby KrisMuffin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:12 pm

Thanks, not too worried about that. I've been researching coolers for months reflectix and sll, and have a core group of very expirecned Burners who are helping me out with that one. I'm just asking about this in case someone else has done something like this before and has tips. No one in my crew has.

I'm going to a regional burn in July so most things I'll be able to somewhat test before I go to playa. I get the environment will be vastly different, but at least I can work out some logistics.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:16 pm

There's a whole bunch of people who have the serving saver bag thing going on. I know, you don't want to do plastic. It is a ready made, off the shelf solution. I could say that one week's worth of exposure a year isn't likely to put an unbearable burden of the those chemicals in your body. Of course, you can reply with, is it really worth to buy something for one week a year...
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby trilobyte » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:27 pm

If you're bringing out a single burner stove and bringing out a little pot to cook.. you've got a camp kitchen.

If I were coming from the east coast, I'd think that preparing/cooking/freezing a bunch of meals and then bringing them across country would be a lot more cumbersome than just flying into Reno (or driving through whatever big town you pass to the east on your way to Burning Man) and stocking up. Plus, it depends upon your experience working with dry ice (and in particular, working with dry ice in the desert), but dry ice coolers can be tricky to manage. Campmates of mine have tried them a couple times in the past, and each time the dry ice had sublimated by mid-week. Your mileage may vary, if it's something you're comfortable with and think it will work for you, go for it.

Keeping your kitchen small is a good idea to keep the amount you're packing (and taking to/from the east coast) to a minimum. And keeping your gray water to a minimum is a great idea too. If you use large-sized ziploc bags to put ice in, you can eliminate gray water in the cooler (it's discussed in a few threads here, some use melted icewater for drinking, others relegate it to washing or just sprinkle the still-clean meltwater on the playa). I recommend looking up 'dry kitchen' for other ideas on keeping the gray water down.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby Bob » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:07 pm

Ever camped? Anywhere?
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby KrisMuffin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:31 pm

Thanks! I think I may have read that thread but will look it up again. I also was tryingringtone more info in making a dry cooler, but the search on here isn't the best. When i said camp kitchen I meant the litteral metal table product one can buy called a camp kitchen that I know some people bring. Yeah, I'm coming from Boston and my stuff is getting there by semi truck (that's the plan anyway) so putting food no matter how cold on a hot semi truck wouldnt work for that distance. I'm lucky enough to be staying at an actual house before the burn in Reno, so I plan to food shop and cook there.

I vaugely remember about the plastic bag thing, and now that you mention it i think a ziplock would take up less space than frozen gallon jugs. done.

Also, I posted in another thread about sprinkling grey water since I only hope to produce water from a very small "bin bath." I need to put a bit of bleach in, right? To sterilize it. I'm pretty sure thats the advice I received.

Crytpo- Yeah, i guess youre right. I'll look into the air sealed plastic bag deal. If I can find a cheap one that may solve some of my worries.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby KrisMuffin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:35 pm

Bob wrote:Ever camped? Anywhere?


This is the second time you've made that comment. You could at least try to be orginal.
And I'm pretty sure I shut you down last time. Go be rude to someone who's not trying to do everything they can research and do this right.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby lemur » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:37 pm

KrisMuffin wrote:Also, I posted in another thread about sprinkling grey water since I only hope to produce water from a very small "bin bath." I need to put a bit of bleach in, right? To sterilize it. I'm pretty sure thats the advice I received.


im pretty sure that claim was an unconfirmed one, in reference to burning man.. i remember looking it up and seeing that claim only applying to places which are not the black rock desert.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby Wrath » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:40 pm

KrisMuffin wrote:I'm pretty sure I shut you down last time


oh SNAP!
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby KrisMuffin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:41 pm

lemur wrote:
KrisMuffin wrote:Also, I posted in another thread about sprinkling grey water since I only hope to produce water from a very small "bin bath." I need to put a bit of bleach in, right? To sterilize it. I'm pretty sure thats the advice I received.


im pretty sure that claim was an unconfirmed one, in reference to burning man.. i remember looking it up and seeing that claim only applying to places which are not the black rock desert.


Really, the advice was actually from a moderator and this is a direct quote from the Burning Man site.
"What about scattering my grey water? What might be okay for a small (less than 5 people) group doesn't work in a large city. For reasons of sanitation, and sheer volume, both Black Rock City and the BLM discourage scattering. However, if you're in a very small camp, with minimal dish and body washing water, you might choose to pour your grey water through a filter or sieve (better, a paint sieve or even pantyhose), disinfect the water, then, since it is treated, disperse it on your street to keep down dust. A watering can works nicely for sprinkling. Please be aware that just physically filtering dirty water does not remove bacteria or chemicals. Do not use water like this for misting or spraying on people."
-http://www.burningman.com/environment/resources/grey_water.html
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby lemur » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:52 pm

i must be thinking of a different claim


this one is apparently discouraged.

how will you know how to properly disinfect the water ? it's easy to put too much bleach in there.. and even boiled stuff, depending on what contact it had with food, can have all kind of starchy /other..stuff..

a tablespoon of bleach for about a gallon of water is bordering on too much for sanitizing

would you boil the water?


seems like itd just be easier, and better for the playa, to pack it out in the same containers you brought it in with.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby BBadger » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:59 pm

Yeah, the point of the bleach and filtering is to make sure that what you're sprinkling is actually "greywater" instead of blackwater (which contains waste). The greywater would then be essentially the same type of water as what the dust dispersion trucks sprinkle on the roads.

A problem is, of course, that many people won't properly convert their waste water into actual greywater with bleach and filtering. They'll often just assume that whatever they're evapping can be utilized for dust dispersion if used in small quantities. The water really does need to be filtered and bleached, and then spread around lightly so as to not puddle.

Remember also that any vessel that touches grey water is considered contaminated no matter how much bleach you might have used. Those greywater trucks will never be allowed to transport "whitewater" (drinkable water).
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby KrisMuffin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:04 pm

Taking it out may be an option, but I will not have any food grey water if I can make the I started this thread for work. Which it does, but I'm still a little worried about the aluminum leaching in to my more acidic meals like pasta. For that i guess I'll have to try and see if I can borrow a vaccum sealer or forgo that one.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby lemur » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:36 pm

read more about the source and whats in the water carried by the water trucks here:

https://www.blm.gov/epl-front-office/pr ... 007-EA.pdf

section 3-21 'fly ranch water source' page 61 of 328

Total Coliform in fly ranch source: 1,732.9mg / 100 mL Max for drinking water: 0.0mg/Liter
E. Coli in Fly Ranch source: 11mg / 100 mL Max for drinking water: 0.0mg/Liter


the same document claims that the LLC contracts for six million gallons of water.

that equals out to 5,507.9 pounds of E. Coli bacteria spread on to the playa each year at burning man.


kinda makes you think twice about eating from that dusty pan, doesnt it?!
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:48 pm

lemur wrote:kinda makes you think twice about eating from that dusty pan, doesnt it?!

Meh. Not all E. coli is toxic (or produces toxins, I forget which it is), only a few strains. And the uv light is a great killer of very small life. Not to mention the caustic dust itself.

btw, Bob may be a crusty and uncouth couch, but he's seen a whole hell of a lot of how people react to the playa. He's probably right that food is not the factor that makes or breaks you, and it's better to make sure that the things further up the list are taken care of first...
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby BBadger » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:06 pm

lemur wrote:that equals out to 5,507.9 pounds of E. Coli bacteria spread on to the playa each year at burning man.

kinda makes you think twice about eating from that dusty pan, doesnt it?!


Hats off to whatever E. Coli actually manages to survive that salty, alkaline desiccant surface long enough to make a human sick.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby trilobyte » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:06 pm

You certainly don't need specialized furniture. Though you absolutely will need some kind of table to keep your coolers off the ground under your camp's shade structure if you plan on doing a dry ice freezer. A 'dry kitchen' (not dry cooler) is an essential strategy for minimizing waste-water by dramatically reducing what gets used for cooking/cleaning.

For what it's worth, I didn't think Bob's question was rude (though your response to him certainly was - if you don't care for the comments a person makes to your posts consider adding them to your foe list to mute their posts). I've seen him ask it of people in a few places on the board, usually in response to someone asking really basic questions. It's also not a bad question - a dry ice cooler could be a great solution if you know what you're doing, or complete folly if everything's new to you. Remember, you can test your plan at home pretty easily. Get your cooler, get some dry ice, and put 7-10 days worth of meals in there and see if you're able to live off that.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:09 pm

Actually, wasn't Bob the source of the tip of using google to search eplaya? I think it's using eplaya as an additional search term. Or maybe that's just the workaround I use.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby BBadger » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:22 pm

On the OP's subject: yes, it's fine and good to go "minimalist" but you're going to be there for a week, and you really should think about making your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. If that means having extra grey water, or scrubbing some pans, or whatnot, so be it. If you're concerned about cooking in plastic or aluminum, why don't you just bring a pan or pot along and use that? Anyway, having pie pans isn't a good way to avoid waste; it creates more waste than bringing food to prepare meals with (like potatoes).

I would ask those "experienced burners" in your camp about what they like to bring along, and what you can share as far as facilities. You might be surprised by what they go through the trouble to haul out to make things comfortable.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:28 pm

BBadger wrote:
lemur wrote:that equals out to 5,507.9 pounds of E. Coli bacteria spread on to the playa each year at burning man.

kinda makes you think twice about eating from that dusty pan, doesnt it?!


Hats off to whatever E. Coli actually manages to survive that salty, alkaline desiccant surface long enough to make a human sick.

On the other hand, it does give me confidence in Lemur's ability to feed a whole camp without causing food poisoning epidemics...
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby KrisMuffin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:30 pm

[/quote] Bob may be a crusty and uncouth couch, but he's seen a whole hell of a lot of how people react to the playa. He's probably right that food is not the factor that makes or breaks you, and it's better to make sure that the things further up the list are taken care of first...[/quote]

He offered such advice? I honestly missed that. I just noticed myself that googling works better than the site's search engine.

It may not be the most important thing but when you are traveling across the country nothing is a "small" thing. But I've taken care of most of the really important things I can for the moment( shelter, water, lights) and these small details will make or break some of my planning. Luckily, theres a very large community here that's super helpful. I just thought I did ask about this in case someone had attempted it before. If I can get a hold of a vaccum sealer I may just go with that.

trilobyte wrote:You certainly don't need specialized furniture. Though you absolutely will need some kind of table to keep your coolers off the ground under your camp's shade structure if you plan on doing a dry ice freezer. A 'dry kitchen' (not dry cooler) is an essential strategy for minimizing waste-water by dramatically reducing what gets used for cooking/cleaning.

For what it's worth, I didn't think Bob's question was rude (though your response to him certainly was - if you don't care for the comments a person makes to your posts consider adding them to your foe list to mute their posts). I've seen him ask it of people in a few places on the board, usually in response to someone asking really basic questions. It's also not a bad question - a dry ice cooler could be a great solution if you know what you're doing, or complete folly if everything's new to you. Remember, you can test your plan at home pretty easily. Get your cooler, get some dry ice, and put 7-10 days worth of meals in there and see if you're able to live off that.


I've got a camp table ( a portable one that rolls up) and I'm pretty sure I've read about dry coolers. Aren't they when you place a metal rack inside the cooler so food stays away from the ice water? I tried to find the thread but can't at the moment,

I'm sorry you think the response was rude, but I don't. He was on my block list as ive encountered him before. Whats the point of asking that question? It's funny to me that there's so much "newbies are going to ruin burning man this year" rhetoic out there, but when one actually does the work and ask for advice their met with a snarky comment? How is that productive? I thought maybe he had something positive to add this time so I read it.

My orginal question was not basic at all.
I wasn't asking about dry ice , dry kitchens or How to keep a cooler. The thread just drifted that way.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby KrisMuffin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:34 pm

KrisMuffin wrote:This is my first burn and I'm coming from the east cost, so I’ve been contemplating how I can eat decently at the Burn with little waste, no camp kitchen and no grey water. I came up with this idea that is similar to how catering companies use those foil pans with burners underneath to keep food warm. Basically, I would use small aluminum to go pie tins (see below) fill with food that I cook, snag from a restaurant or transfer some of my already frozen food favorites, and after de-thawing put the tin in a pot with a little water and a lid; put the pot on a small single burner stove and heat. I’ve tried this at home and it works, but is there any reason this wouldn’t work on playa? Also, I just refuse to cook anything in plastic, but I know there are concerns about aluminum leaching into food as well. So line the tin with wax paper? Haven’t tested that idea yet. Thanks for the help!


Just to bring it back to why I started the thread in the first place...
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby lemur » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:49 pm

HAVE YOU HAD ENOUGH WATER TO DRINK KrisMuffin ? When was the last time you drank water? you seem a bit cranky. <---- actual non-snarky question that some non-snarky seriously caring person might ask you at burning man



looks to me like Bob is just getting his seriously caring worry for you in before the burn actually starts.

Really,.. knowing your experience camping helps people to tell you what to do... and when youre talking about food, a VERY BASIC thing.. well,.. you probably should be all ears when considering people asking you things and presumably trying to help you

you need to eat at burning man... and if boneheaded inexperience causes you to lose all yer food.. well, yer fucked.





youll probably learn! at burning man, and somewhat here on ePlaya.. that you should never ever feel intimated by or ashamed of needing help, even if you feel like "IVE GOT THIS, I AINT NO FOOL" well, sometimes even the most experienced burners and campers and trekkers end up fucked, in the med tent.. with crap problems, .. losing lots of their food, and needing help...

sometimes you dont even know you need help!! ..really: see the top of this post.. did you drink enough water? .. lots of people dont realize they havnt had enough until someone else looks at them and notices.. and yeah! you can notice...

perhaps Bob looked at ya and saw that you looked a bit dehydrated.

so!!! perhaps, you should drink some water.. and consider that while his question may be snarky, that there possibly is a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel where the question Bob asked is actually important to this question of yours
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby KrisMuffin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:08 pm

Trying to say any of this out concern is like pushing someone in the deep end of a pool unexpectedly to " teach" them how to swim. And if food is so basic, why do people spend years in culinary school to learn to prepare it?

i actually grew up on a farm down south. So, yes I've been camping in very hot enviroment for many days. And when he posted that exact same question to the last thread i started, I explained that. So why ask me again?

As much as I would love to believe it was out of concern I highly doubt that it was.

I gladly welcome any real concern for my well being, and any genuine advice. I know this isn't a joke and I have to be careful. As you already stated even vets end up in the medical tents.

It looks like I should just PM the people i know who are kind on eplaya or ask my community that i can see face to face advice from now on (because clearly so much can be misunderstood without inflection, body language and tone).
Last edited by KrisMuffin on Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby Bob » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:22 pm

Let me put it this way -- how much waste do you usually produce?
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby lemur » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:23 pm

for those wondering.. the other thread was this one..

viewtopic.php?f=277&t=54358&

KrisMuffin wrote:I know this is weird, but I'm not a fan of porta potties. I would rather not sit if I don't have to, but hate hovering as it causes more mess and work than that activity ever needs to be. Has an lady used on of these?


KrisMuffin wrote:
Bob wrote:Ever camped anywhere? In your life?


Dear Bob,
Unless you have vagina and use this device, why are you commenting?
If you have nothing nice or constructive to say, keep it in your cushions.


I actually grew up and and still have an 80 acre farm in TN. We do our business without a special device Near a tree. But since this is leave no trace and hovering is nasty for everyone, I think there is ntohing wrong with seeking advice about an alternative I'm unfamiliar with.



i dont see where it was made clear that you had been camping.. (or ;-) that you shut him down ;-) )

I guess i don't know enough about farms.. apparently growing up on a farm = has been camping


anyways, continue with the instructions!

I travel from far away to burning man as well, i bring a small cooler that fits in a carry-on acceptable bag...

i bring a 'backpacking stove' ..as well as some expanding sponges! ..and oh yeah, food..

you might need to buy fuel in Reno,.. I mailed myself fuel to myself (legally and properly) via the USPS, it arrived at burning man via the awesome people at the center camp post office.. ..

this is my 'kitchen'

Image
Image

you neednt pack or plan big.

i buy shelf stable food, canned food and otherwise packaged food. that way i dont need to keep anything cool on the way to the playa.

you can buy shelf stable bacon.. and various other proteins and products.. stuff that only needs to be put into a fridge once its opened, and hey! luckily you brought a small cooler. and you can get ice at the event.

jelly for PB&J sandwiches?! Bacon?! spicy pepperoni?! processed cheeses?! ...all many things.

just look on the stuff you already use for 'REFRIGERATE AFTER OPENING' and blamo, shelf stable stuff that works great for burning man.
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lemur
 
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Re: A low waste cooking idea... What do you think

Postby lemur » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:30 pm

i clean my dishes with a small spray bottle and a sponge or papertowels (which get burned), and sanitize with a water+bleach solution .....what little graywater i produce (about 1 liter) goes in a container to be hauled out
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