6 min read
There's one thing that makes a camping trip a camping trip just as much as the trees and the chirping of birds in the morning: the food!
There's nothing quite like a camping trip. The great outdoors, the roar of the fire, and some (hopefully entertaining) company come together to create a totally unique experience.
Since camping's all about being self-sufficient in nature, it's pretty satisfying to make your own meals from scratch. Not to mention, they taste good! You can stay as simple or get as complex as you want with your cuisine - with the right equipment, many campers are out there making gourmet food, but a simple PB & J is just fine, too.
Below, we'll look at the top ten best foods to bring camping that are also easy to make.
Let's start off with something really simple: sandwiches.
It's easy enough to bring along some bread, peanut butter and jelly. As common as they are, we feel PB & Js are a bit underrated - they're tasty and filling. If you're feeling extra hungry, make two. Ziploc bags and tinfoil work well enough for keeping bread fresh - you should seal or wrap each individual slice for the best results.
If you'd like to make a turkey or roast beef sandwich (with some delicious cheddar or mozzarella, of course), you'll need a way to store these ingredients.
Specifically, you'll need a camping refrigerator. These can be a bit costly (at least a couple hundred dollars) but are well worth it if camping is something you do often. Plus, it's a place to store beer!
You can also spice up your sandwich with some cast iron skillet fried onions or sauce warmed up over the campfire.
To make the perfect eggs, you'll want to use a cast iron skillet. Put in about 1/2 tablespoon of butter for each egg - butter serves as the seasoning for your skillet, and the right amount guarantees your eggs don't stick (a hugely frustrating problem when using a regular frying pan).
Preheat the pan for at least 5 minutes. This will give it a chance to heat evenly so that you don't end up with any cold spots on your eggs.
If you're looking to make scrambled eggs, you'll need a bowl to beat them in. You can do this while the pan is heating up.
Put your eggs onto the pan and cook for about 10 minutes. It's that simple.
Consider making a slice or two of toast to go along with your eggs. You can use your skillet for this, too - simply place it over the fire and brown to perfection.
Eggs not enough? Consider making a sausage, egg and cheese.
Bring along a couple English muffins. You can toast them either with a grilling grate, or simply by holding them over the fire with a grilling fork.
Sausages can be cooked using a cast iron skillet - it should take only a few minutes per side - or by roasting them over the fire with your grilling fork.
Make your eggs the same way described above, but this time put a bit of cheddar or American cheese on top and give it time to melt.
Put your cooked sausages between your muffins, then place the egg/cheese combination on top. Congratulations: you've got something at least 5 times better than an Egg McMuffin!
These two don't require too much effort but that's the point - sometimes you may just want to eat something quickly before you leave camp and go explore the woods.
All you have to do is boil some water over the campfire, add it to the container, and wait a few minutes.
Mac and Cheese is always good, and Cup Noodles are surprisingly tasty for something that's so inexpensive. Not only for college kids!
Nachos are an excellent snack for when you're out camping. For this recipe we'll again use a cast iron skillet.
a bag of tortilla chips
sliced black olives
Place about one-third of the chips in your skillet, then add a bit of cheese and olives. You'll then make another layer with the next one-third of the chips, and add the same amount of cheese and olives.
With what's left, make your final layer. Cover the skillet with aluminum foil, and then cook for 10-15 minutes.
That's it - you've cooked up some delicious nachos for everyone to share (or you can eat the whole thing, we won't judge).
We didn't forget you, vegetarians/vegans!
There are many different camping foods available for vegetarians. Vegetarian chili is one good choice. Just follow the instructions for chili below and take out the beef.
Consider a chickpea wrap, or a potato and bean quesadilla. For the wrap all you need are the ingredients, and you can make quesadillas by folding in a bowl and using tinfoil to wrap in the potatoes and beans, giving it a nice, layered texture.
Grilled broccoli or asparagus also work well.
You can also make your own trail mix at home, with whatever ingredients you like - a great option for travel and even if you're not a vegetarian or vegan.
Pancakes - or flapjacks, if you want to sound a bit more rustic - are just as easy to make out at a campsite as they are at home.
Pour some pancake mix into your iron skillet, and cook until the edges are dry. Be sure to flip and not burn.
You can also make pancakes from scratch, with your own flour and everything, but that's a bit tough to do on camp grounds. Prepare these at home if you want to bring along your very own homemade pancakes.
The dutch oven is one of the best pieces of equipment you can have when camping and looking for new camping foods. It's incredibly versatile, and you can get one for as little as $30 or $40. A self-made pizza is pretty easy to cook using a dutch oven.
First, you 'll need to whisk together flour, salt, sugar and yeast.
Add a dab of water, and olive oil, then mix. You'll need to knead by hand a bit, and then roll the dough into a few evenly-sized balls. Cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise for at least an hour.
Preheat your dutch oven for about 30 minutes. You'll need it at 450 degrees to cook.
After the dough has risen, roll to about 12 inches in diameter (or as big as your dutch oven can accommodate. Place the rolled-out dough onto a piece of parchment paper and then apply tomato sauce, cheese, and whatever toppings you want (maybe a bit of sausage from earlier?).
Use a paddle to transfer the pizza to the dutch oven, and bake for about 12 minutes.
You'll be shocked (in a good way) at what you pull out. Obviously, exercise the proper caution.
Chili makes great comfort food, soul food - whatever term you want to use - and can be cooked out in the wilderness with the help of a dutch oven.
To start, you'll need ground beef.
You'll also need beans. Dry beans can take a while to cook, which you may not have time for while out camping. It's perfectly fine - even preferable - to use canned beans. Go for black beans and red kidney beans.
Mix in diced tomatoes, some onions, or even jalapeno peppers if you're feeling bold. Sour cream and cilantro are also good options.
To cook, throw your beef into the touch oven and cook until brown. Then, stir in your vegetables. Once the vegetables are cooked, throw in your beans and stir. 15-20 minutes should be good!
Consider bringing along some cornbread, which works well with chili.
Let's be honest: it wouldn't be a camping trip without some s'mores. These are great after a long day of hiking, kayaking, or whatever you're doing out in nature, and are paired perfectly with a warm fire.
To make campfire s'mores, you'll need:
A few Hershey's Chocolate Bars (milk chocolate is standard, but can be whatever flavor your prefer)
Marshmallows (large ones are the best option - they fit perfectly between a couple graham crackers)
You'll also want to bring along a few long-handled forks for roasting the marshmallows. Obviously, make sure these allow you to roast marshmallows while keeping a safe distance.
Different people have different preferences when it comes to how long to cook the marshmallow for - some like it slightly burnt. There's not too much of a "recipe" for s'mores : you just take your graham cracker, split it in half, smush your chocolate in between and then do the same with your marshmallow. For something so simple, there's nothing quite like it!
So there you have - the 10 best easy to make foods to bring on your next camping trip. With these recipes you should be set, but there are many, many more options. Like we said at the beginning, nowadays you can make just about anything you can think of at a camping site. Enjoy the great outdoors!
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