Cooking While Camping: An Ultimate Guide
When it comes to camping, one of the most important and yet often overlooked aspects of the experience is cooking. After all, a camping trip can only be truly enjoyable if you have quality, warm, and filling meals. It’s easy to just pick up ready-made food on the go, but with some preparation and planning, camping food can be elevated from basic to gourmet standards. It isn’t as hard as you may think– all it takes is a few pieces of camping cookware, a few basic recipes, and your imagination.
If you’re an experienced camper and father of three, you already know that prepping for camping meals is essential for a successful trip. It helps to have a plan in mind, as how you are going to cook depends largely on the type and style of camping you are doing. Aside from the tools you need and the food you want to cook, you might also require a little skill and a whole lot of patience.
Whether you’re camping with a small group or alone, cooking for yourself should be an exciting and enjoyable experience. To help make sure you’re feeling your culinary best, we’ve put together this guide for cooking while camping. Read on below for the tips and tricks to ensure your camping meals are as tasty as the ones you cook in your kitchen at home!
Choose the Right Equipment
If you plan to do any type of cooking during your camping trip, you’ll need the right equipment for the job. Depending on the type of camping you’re doing, the size of your group, and the kind of meals you want to make, your cookware will vary. Here are the items you’ll need to equip yourself with before heading out on your trip:
- Camp stove, cast iron skillet, or camping oven
- Camp grill
- Cast iron Dutch oven
- Campfire Cooking Equipment (if you plan on cooking over the fire)
- Utensils such as spatulas, tongs, and ladles
- Cooking tools such as knives, cutting boards, spatulas, and serving spoons
- Cooking fuel such as charcoal, propane, or wood
- Fuel containers such as propane tanks, bottled gas, and jerry cans
It’s always best to start off with the basics for cooking equipment, and then expand your selection as you get more familiar with camping cooking. Some of the more specialized pieces of cooking equipment are more suitable for particular campsites, so it’s worth doing some research into the camping grounds you’ll be staying in before deciding what equipment to bring.
Tip: Download a Campfire Cooking App
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to camping cuisine. Instead, utilize technology to make your life easier and download a great campfire cooking app. There are various apps that offer step-by-step instructions, recipes, and even video tutorials on how to set up your camp kitchen. Some even let you search for recipes based on the ingredients you have or create shopping lists for your camping supplies. With such an app, even rookies can learn how to prepare gourmet meals during their camping trip.
One of the apps we recommend is Grillist. With this app, you can browse through hundreds of outdoor recipes, get access to cooking equipment guides, and learn about the various ways to cook over a campfire. It’s available in iOS and Android devices, so you can take the experience everywhere you go.
Choose the Right Food
As with any meal, the food you choose is what will make or break your camping experience. Choosing the right food to take on a camping trip is essential, as it can be quite difficult to find the right ingredients once you’re out in the wild. When planning your camping food, keep in mind what type of camping you are doing, the size of your party, and the length of your trip.
When you’re prepping, think about dishes that are easy to make but will still provide excellent nutrition. For large groups, consider meals that can be scaled up, such as stews, curries, frittatas, and chili. If you prefer to cook over a campfire, it’s also good to have ingredients on hand like potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic to use with stews and stir-fries. If you’re camping with a smaller group of people, then pre-made dishes, sandwiches, and individual packets of cereal and snacks, are perfect.
If you have the luxury of a fridge or esky, consider taking items that can last longer such as cheese, meat, and other perishables that won’t go bad quickly. However, if you don’t have a fridge, it’s best to stick to non-perishable items or take only the fresh items you’ll need for the first night. If you’re aiming for a gourmet meal, try grilling fresh fish caught during your trip – this combination of fresh ingredients is sure to make your meals more memorable!
Watch Tutorials Before You hit The Trails
Cooking while camping is different from cooking at home, so taking the time to watch tutorials and do some research before embarking on your trip is a great way to make sure you’re prepared. Watching online tutorials is a great way to become familiar with the basics of campfire cooking, and also to pick up some tips from experienced campers. Plus, there are also a few tutorials that show you how to turn simple ingredients into gourmet dishes!
Safety Tips for Camp Cooking
As with all food preparation, safety is an important consideration. Here are a few things to bear in mind when prepping and cooking food on a camping trip:
- Never leave food out in the open when camping, as this can attract animals and insects to your campsite.
- Always keep the campfire a safe distance away from your tent and any flammable materials.
- Always make sure your cooking utensils are clean and dry before cooking, and keep them in a safe place away from the heat of the cook stove and campfire.
- Never leave a campfire unattended, and make sure it’s completely extinguished before you go to bed.
Following these basic safety tips will ensure that your cooking experience is as enjoyable and safe as possible!
Cooking while camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and prepare tasty, nutritious meals. Whether you’re a rookie or an experienced camper, all it takes is a bit of preparation and the right equipment and food to create delicious meals in the great outdoors. With a bit of practice and advice from experienced campers, you too can cook gourmet meals while camping. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and master the art of campfire cooking!