Do the Prep at Home
The hardest part of cooking outdoors is doing the prep. Chopping, peeling and mixing ingredients without so much as a table is a recipe for disaster. Make things easier on yourself by preparing the ingredients at home ahead of time. To ready a camping omelet, for example, beat the eggs, mix in cheese, veggies and other ingredients and pour the mix into a food storage container or freezer bag. When you want an omelet, just grease a skillet and pour in the mixture. Alternately, you can just put the bag into a pot of boiling water for 13 minutes. Remove it carefully with tongs, and you have a fully-cooked omelet with no mess. You can also get soup ready ahead of time by chopping the vegetables and storing them in one bag and measuring out the legumes in another container. To make the soup, boil water, add bullion and dump in the veggies and pulses.
Grilling is one of the easiest ways to cook food outdoors. Potatoes, hot dogs, carrots, onions and corn are all great grilled over a flame. Set up a metal grate, start a campfire under it, put your food down and watch it cook while you enjoy the flickering flames. Alternately, grill your food hobo-style. Mix cut-up root vegetables, meat and a bit of Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper inside a piece of aluminum foil. Put the foil packet into the coals of your fire and let it cook for about 25 minutes. Carefully push it out of the flames with a stick, let it cool for a few minutes and eat it straight from the foil. This recipe has many variations and can be made with any sort of meat and seasoned with chili sauce, bay leaves or other ingredients.
To save time and effort, prepare a large quantity of a filling grain that you can eat for several meals. Quinoa is less sensitive to varying temperatures and times than rice and many other grains. You could cook up a pot of quinoa and serve it with a savory meat sauce for one meal, dried fruits for the next and grilled veggies on a third occasion. Alternately, cook up a large pot of non-cream-based soup or stew and serve it with different side dishes over a few days. If the weather is cool and you reheat the soup to boiling every day before serving, it will stay fresh for several meals even without refrigeration.