Food Tips for Camping

Food Tips for CampingWhether camping for a day or several weeks there are many ways to improve your meals. This applies to camping in the backcountry as well as at a campground. Learning a few simple things about how to package and prepare your camping meals, as well as how to balance nutritious meals with fun, tasty recipes may make you and your family or friends wish to camp more often. Cooking great meals at camp is also a great way to make those first-time campers on your trip feel at ease.

Package and Preserve

Even if camping for just a few days, it is beneficial to properly package all the ingredients you will need to make your breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Repackaging your food once you have purchased it for the trip gets rid of all the wrappers, cardboard, foil, cans and any other potential litter that creates excess weight and trash on your camping trip. Package all of your food into clean, clear plastic bags. Plan for the meals you will make ahead of time so that you don’t bring an excessive amount of ingredients that you don’t need. Do you plan on making cinnamon buns one morning, as well as a small pan pizza? Measure out how much flour you will need and seal it in a bag accordingly, and label. Also if you are going to bring perishable items, plan to cook with those in your first day or two of camping.

Eating Well

It is tempting to throw in a bunch of packaged snacks into your backpack when planning a camping trip, but if you plan on doing any backpacking, hiking or other activities on your trip you will want meals that actually feed your body properly. Knowing what makes a whole protein will help you plan meals that taste good and give you energy. According to “NOLS Cookery” proteins are the building materials for the body’s tissue to grow and repair. The human body is able to produce 11 of the 20 amino acids that form proteins but the other nine must come from food. Foods containing complete proteins are meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, milk and soy products and you can make a complete protein with partial protein foods such as grains, nuts, seeds, beans and leafy greens.

Make it Fun

One of the best parts of camping is sitting around the fire, or camp stove after a day of hiking, kayaking, or maybe biking and eating with your friends. Food does tend to taste better after a day outside, but it can taste even better with a little planning. It’s possible to make things like stuffed crust pizza or brownies over your camp stove. Try having a cook-off if you have multiple tent groups as this can be a fun way to dish up some excellent food, and a great way to get creative. You may come up with your new favorite camping recipe. Find new recipes in books that specialize in outdoor cooking such as NOLS Cookery or “Lipsmackin’ Backpackin.’”

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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