This tip guide is brought to you by our friends at humangear. Organization is the key to camp cooking success, and humangear has you covered. Their silicone bowl and silicone bottles will keep your kitchen gear compact and leak-free.
Without camping, life would be a dismal affair. Imagine never pitching a tent, or building a log cabin with kindling, or waking up to the sound of birds chirping outside mesh walls. That’s a whole lot of no, thank you. Camping opens our world to new experiences, whether that’s exploring the desert on an Arizona Road Trip, rock climbing at Jumbo Rocks Campground, or mountain biking near Spokane. Camping is the portal by which we explore the natural world around us.
It also opens us up to a world of quick and tasty culinary delights. The beauty of camp cooking rests in the fact that you can have a five-course meal, or a 20-minute meal, depending on your personal preference. In November of 2017, my husband and I attended Creeksgiving in Indian Creek, UT, where we enjoyed an entire Thanksgiving dinner with friends in the desert –turkey and all.
Just be sure to always consider fire bans when packing your camp food for the weekend. If the fire risk is high in the area, there might be a ban in place to reduce the risk of wildfire. Unfortunately, humans are the leading cause for forest fires, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Camp responsibly, take heed of local fire warnings, and enjoy these camp cooking hacks while you’re at it.
1. Scrambled Eggs in a Bottle
As much as we love the traditional yellow egg holders, we’ve had too many broken eggs over the years. Before heading to the campground, add as many eggs as you’d like into a bottle and shake to scramble. Add a water bottle cap that turns a wide mouth bottle into a narrow mouth to make pouring eggs into a pan even easier.
2. No-Fuss Pancakes in a Ziploc Bag
Pancakes are a camp morning favorite, especially hearty flapjacks like protein packed Kodiak Cakes. For fewer dishes at the campsite, mix pancake batter and water together ahead of time and store in a plastic bag. Come morning time, snip off a small corner of the plastic bag with a pair of scissors and pour the pancake batter into your skillet.
3. Crescent Rolls on a Stick
Any excuse to do some camp cooking over the fire is valid. These easy crescent rolls require only a stick and premade crescent rolls. Simply wrap the crescent roll around the stick and voila! After just a few minutes of roasting over the campfire, you’ll have the perfect addition to your campfire meatloaf or freeze dried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes.
4. S’mores Dip
For anyone who’s ever thought s’mores are too messy, here’s a solution! Using a cast iron skillet, spread an even layer of chocolate chips along the bottom and set the flat end of the marshmallows atop the chocolate chips in a circle. Set over the fire for 8-10 minutes, then serve using graham crackers to dip.
5. Foil Dinners
Foil Dinners are the truest camp cooking hack. They require little prep, little clean-up, and are full of flavor. Since the invention of aluminum foil rolls over 100 years ago, we’ve come up with plenty of creative uses for tinfoil. We think foil dinners might be the best invention yet, though. Add potatoes, onions, carrots, butter, and a protein of your choice, set on coals, and wait anywhere from 10-50 minutes for your meal to cook.
6. Dutch Oven Pizza
Have we mentioned how much we love Dutch ovens? (Yes and yes.) They’re practical, easy to clean, and the number of recipes you can make in them is astounding – everything from apple pie to smoky brisket. For anyone who craves pizza night and day, this Dutch oven pizza will satisfy pizza fiends in the woods and beyond.
7. Make Ahead Parfaits
Making food ahead of a camping trip saves time at the campground and allows you to avoid having to use the communal sink for an extended amount of time. Make ahead parfaits are the perfect breakfast camping food hack: simply add yogurt, fruit, and granola to a mason jar. Set in the cooler, and it’s ready when you are. An easy, no mess, no fuss breakfast.
8. One Pot Meals
Soups, pastas, even many Asian dishes can be made in one pot. Why is that awesome for camp cooking? One, the meals are delicious and packed with flavor. Two, they’re easy to make and even easier to clean up. A simple Google search for one pot camping meals will bring in over 11 million results like Chilaquiles, Beef Stroganoff, and Coconut Red Lentil Stew with Kale. Portion out spices ahead of time in a reusable spice container for shorter prep time at camp.
9. Camp Quesadillas
Requiring only cheese, tortillas, and tin foil, camp quesadillas are fun to make over camp coals morning, noon, or night. Simply open a tortilla, sprinkle cheese across, add meat or vegetables of your choice, fold in half, wrap in foil, and set on top of coals. This recipe is perfect for picky eaters since everyone gets to create their own quesadilla concoction.
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