Cooking for Camping

Cooking for Camping
Though it may seem daunting to produce meals while camping, do not let it dissuade you from spending a night or two in the great outdoors. Whether camping in a campground or spending a night or two in the backcountry, you have several options when cooking while camping.
 

Campground Food and Equipment

Those camping in a campground often have the luxury of bringing along more things. A cooler filled with ice gives you the option for bringing meats, eggs and dairy products such as milk. You may opt to bring a campstove, or choose to cook in the campfire.

 
 

Backcountry Food and Equipment

When camping in the backcountry, space (and weight) is at a premium. Your equipment is often limited to a lightweight stove, fuel source and pot to cook in. Lightweight ingredients and just-add-water prepackaged meals usually are your best options.

Menu Planning

Before your camping trip, plan your meals. Doing so will ensure you do not arrive at your destination and lack a key ingredient or piece of equipment. Your most labor-intensive meals will most likely be breakfast and dinner. For lunch, plan something "easy" such as sandwiches, fruit, and of course, generous handfuls of GORP.

Campground Dinner Idea

To move beyond cooking hot dogs over the campfire, make a foil meal during your next trip to the campground. For four servings, you need about a pound of cubed protein (such as chicken or tofu), cut-up vegetables (such as green peppers, onions, potatoes or grape tomatoes) and olive oil. Mix the ingredients, and place a portion into the center of four sheets of foil. Close up the foil packets, and place them in the campfire's coals. They should cook for about 40 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Backcountry Dinner Idea

One simple, filling and relatively easy dinner to make in the backcountry is couscous. Follow the directions on the box to determine how much water you need. Once the water begins to boil, add the couscous. At this point, you can add items to the couscous, including pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, cranberries or dried mushrooms. Remove the couscous from the heat and allow it to sit for about five minutes. Before serving, you can add more ingredients, such as chopped nuts or shredded cheese.

Other Meal Ideas

Breakfasts at the campground may involve fried eggs, pancakes, and bacon. In the backcountry, an easy meal could include oatmeal with pecans or dried fruit and a mug of hot chocolate. And of course, regardless of where you are camping, don't forget to make some s'mores for dessert.

 

Article Written By Susan Berg

Based in northern Wisconsin, Susan Berg has more than 10 years of experience as a writer and editor. Her work has been published in both print and online media, including the "Dayton Daily News" and BioZine. Berg earned a Master of Arts in journalism from Indiana University.

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