Cooking While Camping: Tips and Tricks for Delicious Meals
Getting away to experience nature is the best way to truly relax and bond as a family. Camping is always an adventure, as you’re able to explore somewhere new and create memories you can cherish forever.
However, when it comes to cooking, this can be an intimidating task. But, with the right preparation and the right attitude, cooking while camping can be one of the greatest experiences during your vacation.
As a father of three kids and an experienced camper, I understand the challenges and nuances of cooking while camping and want to share some tips and tricks for delicious meals.
Planning Your Meals
Proper meal planning is essential to a successful camping experience. Knowing what meals and snacks you’ll be preparing ahead of time will save you from last-minute panic when you’re in the middle of the woods.
Also, use your cooler for more than just beverages. Store as much prepared food as possible to save time on your vacation. When in doubt, consider one-pot meals that can be quickly prepared with minimal cleanup.
Choose Recipes with Shorter Preparation Times
The key to successful camping meals is to find recipes that won’t take too much time to toss together. Opt for recipes that require few ingredients and little prep and cook time, such as veggie and cheese burritos or campfire quesadillas.
You can also find inspiration from various campfire cookbooks or online websites dedicated to campfire cooking. Keep in mind that pre-made ingredients like pre-chopped veggies, beans and pre-shredded cheese can cut down on the time you spend prepping meals while camping.
Experiment with Dutch Oven Cooking
Dutch oven cooking is an extremely versatile method to try while camping and can easily turn simple ingredients into a meal such as curries, chilis and stews. The food is slow cooked directly on the heat source, making it perfect for campfire cooking.
You can use charcoal briquettes or an open fire to grill your meals, and there are many recipes that require little to no prep time whatsoever. Additionally, the lid on the Dutch oven traps moisture, which helps preserve the food and keeps it tender and juicy.
For a more detailed, step-by-step guide on Dutch oven campfire cooking, check out this video:
Bringing Non-Perishable Staples and Eating Utensils
Since it’s difficult to bring large amounts of food to the campsite, opt for non-perishable food such as canned goods, pasta, rice, nuts, dried fruits and pre-made baking mixes that can keep for a few days.
Bringing eating utensils and gadgets, such as sporks, plates, cups and even a travel-size cutting board will be important if you don’t have access to an area where you can wash dishes.
Camping with A Budget
Camping on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing a great meal. By pre-planning and creating a grocery list, you can save a lot of money. Double check your pantry and fridge to make sure you already have the essentials, like spices and condiments, to reduce your grocery list.
Also, look for deals on campsite items, such as camping stoves, utensils, and other camping foods. Preparing food in larger quantities is often the more economical choice.
Camping is a great way to spend quality time with family and create lasting memories. Cooking while camping can be simpler and easier than you think, all you need is the right preparation and attitude.
By properly planning your meals, choosing recipes with shorter preparation time, experimenting with Dutch oven cooking, bringing non-perishable staples and eating utensils and camping on a budget, you and your family can enjoy delicious meals every night during your camping trip.