Camping outdoors may be strenuous, which implies at some point you may get hungry. Food is one of the best parts of camping, but camp cooking can be intimidating if you are new to the game. Here are a few tips to get you ready for your own outdoor feast!
Many camp cooking newbies are intimidated by the logistics of preparing food outdoors.
Don’t worry. With the right tools, cooking food outdoors can be as easy as cooking at home, for the most part. Whether you need to fry, steam, bake or roast, most foods you make at home can also be made while camping, if you have the right gear. So, how do you decide what gear you need to bring to the campsite?
Many serious campers use a basic two-burner camp stove as their preferred food prep option. You can easily prepare many of the same meals you cook at home on two-burner stove top outdoors. Just connect the propane, light the flame, and prepare the meal as you normally would. If you want to boil water, a canister stove works great. You can use it to quickly heat up your coffee, oatmeal, or hot chocolate. The best part about having a canister stove is that it is light and easy to carry, which makes it a must for camping in 2022.
The Dutch Oven is a classic old-school camping pot that is making a big resurgence these days. This heavy cast iron pot can sit directly over hot coals. When cooking over an open fire, it’s best to set your pot directly onto the coals, as flames could cause your food to burn. If you use a Dutch oven, don’t forget to buy some parchment paper or Dutch Oven liners for the bottom, as it is difficult to clean burnt food from the bottom. They are great for making stews, desserts and baking outdoors. Hot dogs and marshmallows are considered a camping staple. You can use a roasting stick or over fire grill to cook your campfire delights to perfection over the coals. Aluminum foil dinners cook up nicely over the coals as well. No pot needed, just wrap your food in two layers of aluminum foil sandwiched with a layer of wet paper towels. The wet paper towels create a guard to heat the food consistently instead of burning it.
Being outdoors encourages lots of physical activity, so be sure to bring plenty of food to compensate for the extra calories everyone will be burning. Camping is inherently more difficult than staying home, so make it easier with on-the-go snacks for daytime adventures and car rides. Fruit, granola bars, sunflower seeds, and even candy are camping staples for my family. The right combination of comfort and simplicity makes camping more enjoyable for everyone.
One aspect of camping that is often overlooked is water. Everyone remembers to bring water when camping in an arid or desert environment, as the general rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person per day. However, water is important when camping in cooler climates as well. Designate water bottles for every member of the camping groups to monitor the amount of water everyone is drinking. The physical affects of dehydration are enough to ruin any well-planned trip, don’t forget to bring plenty of water!