Food Just Tastes Better in the Great Outdoors
If you're only camping for a night or two, you might be able to survive on Cliff bars, trail mix and jerky. But one of the best parts of camping is preparing meals as a group and enjoying eating the fruits of your labor around the campfire.
Plus camping is bound to work up an appetite, so you'll want to make hearty and delicious meals.
A list of campfire meals and a bit of careful preparation is sure to ensure you eat well over the course of your camping trip. Here's what you'll need to know when making your meal plan.
Factors to Consider for Your Meals
How much and what type of food you bring on your trip depends on the following:
- The number of people in your group
- The members of your group. Consider specific requirements that kids and older people may have
- The campground and facilities available in its vicinity
- The duration of your trip
- The mode of travel, whether you are trekking, tent camping, RVing, etc.
- Cooking equipment available or that can be carried
- Space and weight limits
Safest Foods for Packing
While you can pack whatever you fancy, the safest foods to bring camping are foods that:
- Last a long time
- Are sturdy and can be packed and carried easily
- Are filling
- Are nutritious
- Can be enjoyed by all members of your group. It's best to keep experiments to a minimum.
You should plan your meals in such a way that perishable items are used up sooner than non-perishable ones. Frozen meat, for example, should be used up within a day or two in your cooler. So plan to use it before other non-perishable items like freeze dried and canned foods.
Also, remember to pack extras that can come in handy during common situations like rain, trip extensions, food aversions and cooking disasters. And, with kids around, carry as much as you can to keep them occupied.
Useful Cooking Equipment
What cooking equipment you bring is up to you. You can even get away with no special equipment if you plan to make foil-wrapped meals. But a few pieces of cookware like a grill rack and a frying pan may prove very useful.
Some cookware you may consider bringing are a griddle, a cast iron frying pan and a pot with a lid. In terms of utensils and other items you might need, oven mitts, a silicone brush, a spatula, tongs, a can opener, a ladle, a peeler, serving spoons, a cutting board and a knife can all prove to be useful.
Meals You Can Cook Over a Campfire
Plan your meals ahead of your trip and pack for convenience. Here are some fool-proof dishes you can cook over a campfire:
Prepare your sandwiches with a slice of cheese and filling of your choice. Stack all the sandwiches and wrap them in a foil. Once the campfire is ready, cook them for 10 minutes.
These classic campfire snacks can take many forms. Be creative with them. How about replacing the traditional graham crackers with the two halves of an Oreo cookie!
Pancakes and Other Breakfast Food
Mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and shortening and store it in an airtight container. Bring eggs in your cooler. At the campsite, whisk an egg with some water and mix it up with your pancake mix. You are now ready to make fluffy pancakes on a hot pan over your campfire.
Another easy way is to bring prepared pancake mix, frozen ahead, in a zip lock bag. Let it thaw in your cooler. Cut a corner to pour the mix evenly and easily.
For omelets, whisk eggs and add chopped vegetables and spices of your choice. Pack the mixture in a zip lock bag. You can get creative with mixes for pancakes, crepes and such items.
Foil-Wrapped Pizza Roll
Roll out pizza dough. Spread some pizza sauce and sprinkle a good serving of mozzarella cheese over it. Flavor it with dried Italian herbs, parsley or other herbs and spices of your choice. Roll it up and wrap in foil. Freeze it before packing.
Once thawed, cook it over the campfire for 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into slices and enjoy fresh pizza rolls at your campsite.
The great thing about kebabs is that you do not need much equipment for cooking, and you can tailor the skewers as per the tastes of different members.
Bring marinated meat and vegetables. String them on skewers and cook them over the campfire to release great flavors.
You can play with flavors from Hawaiian chicken and pineapple to vegan tofu and vegetable skewers. Make it spicy for those heat lovers and keep it colorful and bland for the kids.
Whether you crave chicken or steak or plain and healthy vegetables, foil-wrapped meals are super convenient for cooking up over an open fire.
Spice up your foil packets with whatever you can think of — herb-coated chicken and potatoes, noodles and shrimp, rice with vegetables or simple corn on the cob. Just pack them up in heavy duty or doubled-up foil and cook them. You can even pack them as individual portions for everyone.
Did you know, you can cook corn on the cob with the husk on? That’s another hassle-free recipe!
If you are camping near a water body and someone in your group is good at fishing, things cannot get more exciting. Grilled fresh fish is a treat and is very easy to cook.
You can complete your campfire meal with desserts as delicious as they can get. They can be as simple as roasted apples in a foil or you can get creative.
Twist open a few cinnamon rolls and wrap them around a skewer. Grill them for a tasty take on the beloved cinnamon rolls.
Another creative dessert is an orange cake. Slice the top of an orange and carefully scoop out the flesh. Fill it with cake batter and bake a wonderful dessert.
Ready for Your Next Campfire?
A few good meals can make a camping holiday so much more exciting! Include a well thought out meal plan as a part of your next camping trip. Pack for convenience and enjoy cooking over an open fire!