6 Cooking Tips To Keep In Mind While Camping

Dutch oven cooking over a campfire

The weather is warming up, so that means it’s time to go camping. It’s a good way to reconnect with nature and shake off some of the stress of daily life. What you decide to eat while you’re camping can make or break your experience. If you want to go camping this summer, try some of these cooking tips to make your camping trip better than ever.

Decide on the Meal Plan

You must think about what you’re going to eat, and how many days you’ll be camping. If you’re going to be camping for three nights and two days, then that’s a minimum of five meals and probably more, depending on when you arrive and depart the campsite. Planning on at least three meals a day is a must, and you should probably add some extra snack times in. Something about going camping seems to bring on the appetite, especially in kids.

Making a List and Checking it Twice

It’s not just for Santa Claus — making a list of what you want to eat is essential. It is no fun to arrive at your destination only to find out that you forgot the butter. Once you’ve planned out your meals, make a detailed list of ingredients you’ll need. Note which ingredients need refrigeration. If you can’t take a cooler, those ingredients have a limited shelf life, and you may need to adjust your camp menu.

Prep Like a Chef

This step is crucial, especially if you’re camping with children. You can chop, portion, and even pre-cook at home before packing up and heading out. This will save you valuable time and maybe a little sanity. Camp cooking can take a lot longer, and people get grumpy with hungry bellies.

Get Creative With Camp Cooking

Camping might be your opportunity to try out one-pot wonders — recipes that only take a single skillet or pot to put together. Not only are many one-pot recipes hearty and filling, but you’ll also love having fewer dishes to clean up after. Another option to try if you’re hoping to backpack or minimize gear is to go with freeze-dried meals. You’ll only need a small pot to boil water in. Add the hot water to your freeze-dried meal, and you’re done.

Master Your Heat Source

You can have all the ingredients you’ll need, but without a way to cook them, you might be in trouble. Find out ahead of time if you’ll be cooking over a fire, on a grill, or with a gas-powered camp stove. Make sure you’ve got more than enough gas if you opt to go the camp-stove route. If you are using a fire pit or a charcoal grill, practice starting the fire. Many campsites do not allow you to use an accelerant like lighter fluid.

Be Flexible With Cooking

Sometimes even great planning goes astray. Try to be flexible if things don’t go a certain way. You can ensure success no matter what comes your way by packing extra food and a can-do attitude. Bring a lot of different types of food and snacks, so you won’t be too hungry to laugh things off.

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Camp Cooking is Easy

You can take so much stress out of camp cooking by planning ahead. Prep the food before you go, and figure out which tools you’ll need. With a little practice and some flexibility, you could make cooking exciting and fulfilling. Finally, get the other campers involved and make it a team effort.

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