Essential Tips for Cooking While Camping
Whether you’re a camping enthusiast or going out with your family for the first time, cooking while camping can be an overwhelming task. Camping trips are all about getting away from all the hustle and bustle and enjoying quality time amidst nature, and there’s nothing better than decompressing with a delicious hot meal! As a content writer, father of three kids and an experienced camper, I’ve picked up a few tips to make your camping trip a fun and successful experience – it’s all about finding the right balance between simplicity and creativity.
Planning and Organisation: The Key to Success
When it comes to camping, planning ahead is essential. Think about the types of meals you like to cook and whether you have all the necessary culinary equipment. Do you need to buy a camping stove, or will you be relying on open-fires only? Decide how much money you’re willing to spend on groceries and make a list of all the things you need to buy.
If you’re camping with your family, consider recipes that everyone will enjoy and require minimal preparation. Genuine campfire recipes are preferred for their time and energy friendly nature. Don’t forget to plan for all-day snacks and drinks!
Recommended Read: 10 Essential Campfire Recipes For Your Next Camping Trip
The Right Gear for Making Meals
Unless you’re planning on cooking over an open-fire, you’ll need to take along a camping stove. There are several types of camping stoves available on the market – gas, electric, propane, and multifuel stoves. Review each type carefully and consider your budget and size requirements – it may be a good idea to invest in a bigger stove if you plan on cooking for larger groups.
Aside from the camping stove, you may also need culinary accessories such as a non-stick skillet, pot holders, and utensils. Campers usually prefer lightweight aluminum cookware for its convenience and durability. If you’re whipping up a gourmet meal, you can pack in a salt and pepper shaker, cutting board, food thermometer, and other kitchen utensils that won’t take much space or be too heavy to carry.
Additionally, I suggest you bring an array of basic condiments such as cooking oil, garlic, spices, hot sauce, ketchup, and mustard; and opt for disposable plates, utensils, and cups to avoid washing up dishes on the campsite.
Approach Your Meal Plan Strategically
Think about your camping trip in terms of the following: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts. I recommend planning a combination of simple hot meals and pre-cooked food so you don’t have to begin from scratch every single meal. Also, try to choose lightweight ingredients that can stay fresh in varying temperatures.
When camping for extended trips, you may opt to cook big meals like stew or chili for dinner and use the leftovers for lunch the next day. Additionally, you can cook a whole chicken in your camping stove or on the fire to last you more than one day; and it’s also helpful to carry instant noodles or oatmeal for a quick meal. For a list of recipes, you can check out these easy camping recipes for inspiration:
When packing ingredients, it’s best to opt for pre-cut and pre-chopped vegetables that save cooking time and also provide necessary nutrition. Canned food is also a great option, not only for its convenience but also for its calorie count and extended shelf life. For a healthier option, consider packing things like nuts, yogurt, lean protein, whole grain crackers, and fruits to ensure the campers are receiving adequate nutrients.
Suggestions for Sweet Treats
Make sure to save room for desserts! To avoid spoiling and melting, bring along something that doesn’t need to be refrigerated such as trail mix, dried fruits, graham crackers, and nut butter cups. Dining is an important part of camping and you want to make sure everyone can enjoy sweet treats while on the campground.
No matter what type of camping you’re planning, you must always keep safety in mind. Make sure to plan your meals carefully and shop for all the necessary ingredients before your trip. Preparing delicious meals while camping can be an amazing experience, and with preparation and organisation, you can not only save time and energy, but also create an unforgettable meal in nature.
Do you have any other tips for cooking while camping? Share your comments below!