A Cool New Camping Hack!

To my fellow campers, both newbies and seasoned ones! Gourmet Girl Gail here. In my last post, I mentioned that I recently spent time in Big Sur with Wendy and her husband Larry. Wendy is the Gourmet Girl at Large who introduced to us to the amazing Wonderbag when we were testing recipes for our glorious cookbook.

Gourmet Girl Wendy with Wonderbag
Gourmet Girl Wendy who introduced us to this amazing cooking method.

You may not know, but Wendy grew up in South Africa where the Wonderbag was created by Sarah Collins. Now, we all have our favorite gear and camping hacks. Things like putting spices in labeled Tic Tac boxes or placing an old belt around a tree to hang accouterments on or finding a piece of wood as a pot lid lifter.

Yet, I wasn’t at all prepared for an amazing new camping hack that Wendy introduced me to one evening.

As Wendy tells it, “When you grow up on the African continent, there are many interesting practices that you don’t think twice about simply because of the lack of resources. Here is the US, there is an abundance of cleaning products, agents, and devices to clean, scour, and shine pots and pans, right? When camping, you see folks at the sinks washing and rinsing, the spigot area is usually full of soapy water, and often people are using gallons of water and product in their RV’s and camper vans.”

But in Zambia where Wendy spent her youth they used sand to clean, scour, and shine their pots and pans!

“I never thought much about it until we were camping in Big Sur and used Gail’s Tuscan Grill to do a roast pork tenderloin (spiced with salt, pepper, and Old Bay rub), some large heirloom tomatoes, and peach slices on the grill,” Wendy says.

After dinner, it was Wendy’s turn to do the dishes, and so she lay the Tuscan Grill on the sand and started to rub all the grease, gristle, and grime off with a handful of sandy dirt!  I was horrified at first, but in her usual matter-of-fact manner, Wendy said, “Hey, I’m from Africa. This is how we roll!” And in two shakes of an impala’s tail the Tuscan Grill was shiny and clean and ready for a rinse. Voila! No need to use toxic bleaches or excessively strong dish liquid, just a handful of sand will do the trick, saving the environment and going back to basics.  Give it a try next time you camp out!

Do you have a favorite camping hack? You can tell us all about it here. We’d love to know!

In the meantime, keep on truckin’ to your favorite outdoor spots! There’s still time before the last big holiday of the summer.


Gail, Denise and Lindsey

#gourmet girls on fire #camping hacks #Tuscan grill

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