Post on August 13, 2021 by Anne Davis
The Perfect Menu For Your Next Camping Trip
The Perfect Menu For Your Next Camping Trip
By: Rachel Dennis
A camping trip is the perfect opportunity to get away from it all, but it can be difficult to prepare all of your meals without the comfortable and familiar tools available at home. With a little bit of preplanning, you can prepare delicious yet simple foods that will be healthy, filling, and flavorful when cooked on an open fire. Below are some ideas for packing your food kit as well as a snapshot into one day of meals around the campfire.
Having the right supplies when camping makes all the difference. Make sure to bring the following items (in addition to your food) for the optimal experience:
- Tin Foil: My favorite item! Tin foil can be formed into almost any container, can make a perfect food pouch to throw directly in the fire, used for storing food, and even as a makeshift plate. Make sure to grab the heavy-duty variety.
- Cast Iron Pan: A cast iron pan is a great option if you have a grill or a grate over your fire. It can take extreme temperatures and hold a lot of food at once for bigger groups.
- A Campfire Pot: This can be helpful for heating up any liquids on a campfire, ranging from water to soups and stews. If you get one with a metal handle, you can also hang it above your fire.
- Scissors: Scissors are helpful for a variety of camping activities as well as for packaging, but I especially like to use them for cutting up meat and produce quickly. This saves a lot of time and allows me to make several meals without using a cutting board.
- Heat Resistant Gloves: It’s handy to have a pair of these so that you can safely move things around the fire. They are also handy for starting fires.
- Plates & Cutlery: As mentioned above, you can use foil for plating your food if you’re planning a minimal trip. However, a nice camping friendly dinnerware set can be the perfect finishing touch for your camping trip.
- Camping Cups: Small multi-use cups are perfect for drinking water, eating snacks, and even for measuring. Pictured above are Planetary Design’s camping cups, which pair well with a couple additional products mentioned below.
I prefer a simple yet substantial meal for breakfast when camping. This means eating some oatmeal with peanut butter, fruit, tea, and coffee. This well balanced ensemble is perfect for keeping you full with carbs, protein, and fiber.
It’s also a flexible meal where each of your camping mates can prepare their own fixings. You can add nuts, seeds, honey, and even chocolate to your morning oatmeal. Your campfire pot will be the best way to boil your water for both your drinks and oatmeal.
If you’d like a simple setup for your morning coffee or tea, I would recommend a portable french press. I love the Steel Toe with Bru-Stop french press. This mug both makes your coffee and and seals it tightly so it can be taken on the go, in case you have a big hike that day.
I also put my leftover oatmeal in my spill-proof adventure travel mug to keep it warm while providing me with an extra snack on the go. This setup is perfect for even the most adventurous camper!
After a beautiful morning hike, I’m too tired to prep and make a large meal. On especially hot days, it’s also too warm to start a fire. So I like to make sandwiches, open a bag of chips, and have a little more fruit for a refreshing finish. I get bagels for my sandwiches so that I can use the leftovers the following morning for breakfast. Delicious, simple, and filling!
Dinner is my favorite meal to prepare when camping, and always tastes extra delicious after a long and rewarding day of nature-based activities. My favorite camping dinner is a sausage and vegetable scramble. This meal is perfect for using up whatever vegetables you may have lying around or for bringing your favorites. It’s also a great meal for vegetarians since you can substitute the sausage for a vegetarian sausage or mushrooms for a meaty feel.
You can make this meal by using a cast iron grill or by preparing several small tin foil pouches that can be placed directly into your campfire. If you use foil pouches, you can even customize them for different preferences.
Make sure to coat your pan or foil with butter or oil before adding your ingredients. Dice them up, mix them up, add some salt, pepper, and seasonings, and you’re good to go! This meal will take about 20-40 minutes to cook. It’s hard to be exact since the campfire’s temperature may not be consistent. Use your heat resistant gloves to occasionally check your food and perform the “fork test” – poking your vegetables to see if they are soft enough to eat.
If you’re using potatoes in your dinner, these are the best vegetables to judge doneness, since they are the toughest and most starchiest, taking the longest time to cook.
Serve directly in foil or plate if you’re cooking your food in a cast iron grill!
I recommend the classic camping dessert Smores! Put a twist on your dessert by using white chocolate, adding peanut butter, or fruit. The best way to prepare this treat for your camping group is by placing all the ingredients out on a tray that will be easy for everyone to grab.
Now that you’ve read a bit about basic camping meals, hopefully you’ll feel empowered to adapt them to your own preferences! Remember to keep things simple so that you can spend your time doing what you’re there for – to connect with loved ones and nature!