Whenever we travel, we tend to give ourselves a little more leeway when it comes to buying food and this is no exception when we’re camping. This means bringing “easy to pack” food like slices of pizza, a burger, not to mention coffee and waffles galore.
We don’t have to say that, if you’re a camper and on the go pretty much all the time, this lack of healthy and mainly overpriced meals can be a huge hit on your budget. So, cool down your “buying food” enthusiasm as we’re bringing you camping, cooking ideas that you can apply to your travel trip and stay satisfied all the time.
A long day of exploring the outdoors is almost behind you and finding probably finding the energy to cook a proper meal can be a difficult task. Although, protein bars can seem to work perfectly, after the exhausting day, it’s only a matter of time when your body will start craving for a real meal. This is where one-pot meals come handy.
It’s basically any recipe that can be prepared in only one pot and is one of the best ways to prepare food in the outdoors. All you need is well… one pot, the best backpacking stove and ingredients.
If you’re camping expert and you’re already using this version of cooking outdoors, you probably fall into a rut. But, don’t let the limitations encourage you to change some things and be creative with different ingredients and flavors or try and adapt classic recipes into a one pot version. For example, the classic lasagna recipe you can see below. Yes, you read it right, lasagna!
● 1 large jar spaghetti sauce
● 9 oz shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
● 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
● 2 1/4 c ricotta
● 8 ounces farfalle pasta
● 1 onion
● Sprinkle garlic salt
● 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 c hot water
2 c hot water
● Heat olive oil, add a pre-chopped onion, ground beef and cook until browned
● Stir in spaghetti sauce, season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste.
● Bring to a simmer and stir in pasta and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through.
● Remove the pot from heat. Stir ricotta and Parmesan, cover until heated through, about 2-4 minutes.
● Garnish with parsley, if desired.
We can say that campfire meals are pretty much the best meals on the planet. All camping enthusiasts love sitting around a fire pit and have some good old campfire food. Campfire meals are not only roasting marshmallows. These days almost anything can be prepared over a campfire.
You can always barbecue some meat, or some sausages with ember-roasted corns and leeks. This is the dish where no husking, soaking or de-silking is required. Simply build a wood fire in a grill or a pit and leave the fire to burn down, ‘til coals are covered with ash completely. Place leeks and corn directly on top of the embers and roast it by turning in often, until it peels back easily and leek greens are slightly starting to collapse. Spread it with some spice mixture and butter and that’s it.
These little sweet treats can be made with only 3 easy-to-pack ingredients and only take about 5 minutes to cook over a fire pit. They make a great camping breakfast, especially if you combine them with some orange juice and campfire scrambled eggs. Sounds amazing, right? Here’s a recipe:
● Wooden Skewers
● 1 package crescent rolls
● 1 tbsp cinnamon
● 1/4 cup sugar
● Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl
● Separate crescent rolls and wrap them around the skewer
● Roll it into the sugar/cinnamon mixture
● Bake over campfire, roasting often for 5 minutes
● You can mix ¼ cup of powdered sugar with 2-3 tablespoon of water to make a glaze
Simple salad as a full meal
This is a meal that you can prepare at home, but needs to be eaten first (especially on summer days). If you’re planning on camping in colder weather then you’re okay with saving some salad for the next day, but the texture may suffer.
You can even make the rice before you leave on your camping trip, pack the vinaigrette, radishes and ricotta cheese and make a herby, black rice salad with radishes and ricotta salad on the spot.
“Just pitched dinner”
Something that just needs heating up is also another idea on how to have a fully prepared meal when outdoors. After the effort of pitching a tent, long exhausting day of discovering the wilderness around you, sometimes, you just need something quick and nutritive. No, we’re not talking about pizza or hamburger. We’re talking about full meals like Italian meatballs and a tomato sauce, or other mixtures that can be prepared at home and then “finished” or only heated on a small stove. This way, you can also use a one-pot cooking strategy where you’re only cooking some pasta and mix everything together to have a rich, homemade lunch or dinner.
Strategies for easy camp cooking
Here are some additional tips to make camp cooking fast and easy so that you have more time for exploring, hiking and stargazing:
● Get organized - Instead of bringing full bags of food, apply a sorting system. Plan your menu, meal by meal, pack only those amounts of ingredients you plan on cooking.
● Prep at home - Prep everything you can at home. Skewer your kebabs, chop all the veggies, make salad dressing, pre-cook rice, soups and sauces.
● The foil is your friend - Everything you bake in an oven can be baked over the fire pit in a foil. Just wrap all the shebang in a foil, put it directly on the hot campfire coals, cook it for 15 minutes, pull it out by using some tongs and voila! Your dinner is served.
Now you know the secrets to easy cooking while camping. They will help you save time you would normally waste for preparing the food. We hope that thanks to our article, you will have more time to have fun and explore, yet have a delicious meal when you get back all tired and hungry. Thanks for reading!
Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another of her passion is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. She also writes for hikingmastery.com/.
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