Everyone geared up for that long-awaited camping trip? Well, there is no doubt, that for all the 8-hours-a-day, 6-days-a-week, holiday-starved workers, camping is a sublime joy. But one thing that usually turns out to be a mind-bender is the food. Cooking in the wild, away from the confines of your kitchen, is a different experience altogether, and requires some preparation.
Building Your Camping Grocery List
There are few things more exciting than packing up your RV or car and heading to your favorite camping spot. Leaving civilization behind for a while is one of the best therapies for your soul, but one of the most stressful parts of camping is the grocery shopping that goes along with it. It takes a fair amount of planning, and if you find yourself at the campgrounds without the necessary food items, that therapy we mentioned above won’t be quite as soul-quenching.
But don’t worry! We have some tips to help build the essential camping grocery list in case you want to go ‘freestyle’ and make sure you will always be able to make some good food on the spot.
Make a Plan
Before you can start shopping, you need to know what you’re shopping for. Make a menu for each day you will be camping. Include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in your plan. This way you will know exactly what you need for the entire trip.
Below you will find a list of items necessary for a two-night camping trip. These ingredients can be used to make hobo foil packets, which simply consist of throwing some ingredients together, wrapping securely in aluminum foil and throwing on the fire. If you want something heartier, you can prepare chili at home and transport it in mason jars or other Tupperware to reheat over the fire. Mason jars are also great for transporting other things like pancake mix or even eggs (crack the eggs and store in cool area). You can also chop all of your veggies beforehand for your hobo packets.
Pancake Mix (pre-mixed in mason jars/squeeze bottles)
S’mores (marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate)
- Be sure to store your perishable items in a cooler packed with ice.
- Bring more water than you think you’ll need.
- Prepare as much as possible before you leave. You want to enjoy your trip, not spend the entire time cooking.
- If you have picnic tables near your campsite, be sure to bring a plastic tablecloth to provide a little extra protection for your food.
- Don’t forget the silverware and cookware!
- Consider cooking with cast iron. Cast iron is one of the best ways to cook over an open flame and it heats more evenly and is more durable than other types of cookware.
Now that you have your list, it’s time to hit the store then hit the road. To make your camping experience more fun, check out trendy retailers like Carhartt to fully outfit yourself with high-quality camping gear.
Ok, all prepared but you are still worrying that even after making a decent groceries the improvise cooking would not satisfy your sublime taste? Don’t worry! Here we enumerate 7 finger-licking, nutritious, and easy-to-cook food recipes, which will be a treat not only to eat, but to cook as well.
7 finger-licking, nutritious, and easy-to-cook food recipes
1. Campfire Roasted Apples
For those of you who believe in the ritual of serving desserts after the meal, this dish will change that concept. A dessert so delicious and appetizing, it is a marvel that you do not need a whole culinary arsenal to put it together. All you require is to scoop up a couple of apples, a bit of cinnamon and butter to go with it, and of course, sugar.
After you have these key ingredients, core the apples, and wedge them in such a manner that the slices maintain their apple-like shape upon folding. Tricky? Well, trust me, it is easier than it sounds. For convenience, I recommend an apple slicer, or a sharp paring knife, whichever is handier for you to use. Next, shift the apples on a foil, and make sure they stay in shape. Now, powder the slices with sugar according to your taste, with a dash of cinnamon for flavour, and squeeze in a wad of cut butter slices (1 tbsp. approx.) into the core of the apples, for that melt-in-the-mouth, heavenly taste.
Then, cloak the apples in the foil for easy roasting. Now, put the foiled packages on the coals, and keep rolling them over every 5 minutes or so. After a while, take them out carefully, and let them cool down to an edible temperature. Finally, unwrap them, and enjoy this blissful delight!
2. Cold Noodle Salad
Many of you must be doubting the efficacy of a salad as a fulfilling meal. But this hassle-free dish is your safest bet when it comes to healthy and savoury eats while you are away from the luxury of your home. This Asian grub makes for a perfect brunch, which will leave you energised throughout the day.
Proceed to boil the udon noodles, or more preferably, soba noodles, by following the directions on the pack. Drain the hot water, and after pouring cold water over them, set them aside. In a separate bowl, prep up your dressing with some sesame oil, soy sauce (1 tbsp.), tahini (3 tbsps.), rice vinegar (2 tbsps.) along with fresh ginger (2 tbsps.), and salt and pepper to taste. Add to it a bit of lime juice, garlic and brown sugar.
Stir the mixture gently, and ensure that the sugar dissolves. Garnish with some chopped carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, a sliced red pepper and your favourite veggies. After that toss in the noodles kept aside earlier, and stir gently until mixed.
Now serve it cold, and beat that summer heat with this enticing dish!
3. Fireside Toasties or Grilled Cheese
This is one dish which never disappoints, as you can always customize it to your tastes and preferences. Whether you are a veggie lover, a meat geek, or the simplistic vegan, just choose your stuffing, and there you have it! Perfectly simple, pure delight, on a platter!
You can go with the traditional method, by grilling your cheese over the camp stove. Or you can dice a loaf of French bread, about 1/4 inch from the downward side, dampen it with a bit of butter or mayo, and spruce it up by filling in your favourite toppings.
Now, for the grilling, use a foil to drape the sandwiches, and keep turning them from side to side frequently over the fire. Your delectable eats should be ready in 15-20 minutes. Enjoy it with some extra mayo or sauces. And while you are at it, I’ll let you in on another easy hack. You can buy a pie iron, with which you can cook not only grilled cheese, but also tacos, waffles, and even paninis! Too good, right?
4. Campfire Potatoes
Nothing stays like the classic does! This perennial favourite of campers all over the world needs no introduction. Your one-time, all-time solution to the pangs of food cravings, while camping is here!
You can either go with the baked ones, or opt for the typical campfire potatoes. The former is quite easy, which is why many campers decide for it. All you have to do is to prod the potatoes many times all over, by using a fork or a knife. Then coat each of those with 1 or 2 Tbsps. of butter, and as always, wrap them thickly in a foil before immersing them in hot coals. Let them be until they are soft (approx. 30 minutes), then serve piping hot with a bit of cheese or sauce.
For the latter type, start with preheating the outdoor grill to a high temperature. While that is being done, take a bunch of potatoes with some onions, and dab them with a little butter. Place them on a foil, and sprinkle a mixture of salt, pepper, cheese, parsley and sauce over them. Round up the foil over the edges and place a vegetable or chicken broth over the potatoes. After securing the foil tightly, place it on the grill for about 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are pappy.
Remember, the foil has to be thick, as the potatoes are baked for a long duration.
This lovely dish is something that you can’t get enough of. Although it demands a bit of pre-planning, it is worth the shot.
Bring out your cooker and prepare some flavoured, tasty soup or broth. Pour it into a zip lock bag and prop up in your cooler before leaving for your excursion. After that, bake some cornbread on your portable stove or grill it. Have it with the cool soup and enjoy the lip-smacking deliciousness! Wasn’t that easy?
6. Hot dogs or Hamburgers
This is perhaps the easiest item you will find on this list, mainly because you can carry their pre-packed versions along with yourself and heat them up later. That is, by far, the most convenient way. However, when cooked over an open fire, they make for the best camping food. Here is a simple way by which you can cook hot dogs yourself.
Slice the hot dog through the meat halfway through, not the whole way down, otherwise you won’t be able to skewer it. Next, secure these on wooden sticks, by firmly pressing them down. Now put the sticks over the fire and keep turning sides every now and then. Do this for about 3-4 minutes, and then, you can garnish them with your pick of sauces. Satiate your hunger with these yummy eats!
Try tofu meat instead of regular beef of pork. Much ealthier!
Contrary to popular belief, pancakes are greatly appetizing, and quite simple to cook over camp fires. They provide warmth on frosty mornings, and thus are best for breakfast. You will need to carry one or two utensils with yourself if you intend to cook pancakes, but it is not cumbersome.
First you need to prepare your pancake mix. For that, you can blend in about 1/2 cup of flour, a pinch of baking powder (1 Tbsp.), a bit of salt, 2 eggs, 2/3 cups of milk (preferably buttermilk, if you can get your hands on some), sugar and maple syrup.
You do not necessarily need to sift through the flour, but make sure to mix the eggs and milk in a separate bowl and then add them to the flour. Now churn the mixture to form a soft, smooth batter.
You can use a pancake iron as the cooking surface, which makes it very easy to turn the cakes. Do not use your regular aluminium or non-stick cooking pans for the purpose, as it might spoil both the utensil and the pancake. When the iron is hot enough, pour the batter onto it, and let it cook. Keep turning its sides every few minutes. You will get to know that it’s ready when little bubbles start bursting on the surface.
Scoop it up and serve it hot!
8. Campfire Nachos
Nachos are a classic favorite, and there is no denying that. What’s more, they can be easily prepared over campfires as well. All you need is a large foil, some nacho chips, grated cheese, diced tomatoes, black beans, chopped onions, and jalapeno peppers.
Put all these ingredients in the foil and fold it properly so that nothing falls out. Now put this over the fire, turning its sides at regular intervals. Keep doing this till the cheese has melted and everything has heated through. Once done, empty the contents of the foil onto a plate and relish your hot, yummy nachos!
Adding some chili powder to the mix is a great way to make camping food taste great!
So, these are the 8 scrumptious, and easy-to-cook campfire dishes which you can try on. A word of caution though- NEVER leave your camp fire unattended. Also, make sure to clean up after eating, as the aroma can attract animals and other insects which might not be very welcome for you.