11 Best Tips To Cook That Will Make You A Happy Camper

A happy camper always has a satisfying tummy! Just because you are in the wilderness, in the middle of nowhere, does not mean that you cannot have great tasty food.

Cooking at the campsite seem to be like a difficult – even daunting – task, with the limited kitchen equipment and only a campfire or at most a small grill as heat source. But, the rewards of a delicious, warm meal make it all worth it.

You might love these tips so much that you will be making them even when you are not at the campsite!

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Refuel

Ever feel like you are low on energy in the middle of your hike? Snacks like trail mix and energy bars are lifesavers. They will give you that extra boost you need to make it to the campsite.

Be sure to pack a few bags of your favorite snack and keep them in easily accessible places in your backpack or pockets so you can grab them quickly on the road.

1. Trail mix

A camping trip is incomplete without at least a handful of trail mix! If you want to customize your own special combination, here are some tips:

  • Start with a base: A sturdy base for trail mix is usually a selection of nuts. These are packed with protein that will help you refuel. Almonds, Brazil nuts, and pistachios are some of the choices that have the highest nutrients. Go ahead, go nuts!
  • Add a little sweetness: Sugar gives a quick jolt of energy, so add some sweet morsels to your mix. M&Ms are traditional, but there are some healthier choices including dried fruits, raisins, and dark or semisweet chocolate chips.
  • Add something salty: Balance out the tastes with some salty bits, too. This is the perfect way to replenish the sodium levels in your bloodstream along your hike. Pretzels, seeds, and nuts will do the trick.
  • End with some crunch: Throwing in something crunchy adds texture and interest to the mix. It is the best to choose ingredients that are more neutral in taste so as not to overpower your other ingredients. You can choose cereal, popcorn, or granola.

(source)

Here are some tried and tested healthy trail mix recipes:

  • Tropical Trail Mix cashews and Brazil nuts; sweetness from dried mango and pineapple, with a good sprinkling of dried coconut flakes, and some crunchy banana chips.
  • Classic GORP: GORP stands for Good Old Raisins and Peanuts, which is the bare minimum for a trail mix. Feel free to reinterpret this camping classic with your favorite nuts and other yummy bits.

2. Granola bars

The bar form of this snack makes it very ideal for a mid-hike snack. There is, of course, a plethora of granola and energy bar grandsthat you can choose from, from the highly processed to protein bars to health bars full of seeds and nuts. Please be sure not to litter – keep the packaging and dispose of them properly later.

If you want to know exactly what goes into your granola bar, here is a recipe for healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars.

3. Energy bites

These No-Bake Energy Bites are another convenient snack that you can simply pop into your mouth whenever you have hypoglycemia along the way. The easy to make balls are made up of oatmeal, toasted coconut flakes, peanut butter, flaxseed, and honey. They can easily be customized with your favorite chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, or cereal.

Culinary camping

Once you reach the campsite, the real culinary adventure can begin! Aside from having delicious food during the trip, cooking over an open fire can make for some great bonding moments for you and your companions.

The limited kitchen will also be an interesting challenge, so be creative and do not be afraid to improvise!

1. “Just pitched” meal

Imagine you have just reached the campsite. It is getting late, you are tired. Even though you just want to eat and rest, you have to get the campsite ready, pitch your tents, and get settled

It is a good idea to have a quick recipe that you can just throw on the fire to cook while you are pitching your tents. Once your campsite is all set, you will also have a hot meal to enjoy!

Choose easy, one-pot meals like a hearty chilli or a chunky stew that need little attention while cooking. Prep what you can beforehand so all you have to do is starting a fire and dump the ingredients into the pot.

2. Sausage and Peppers Foil Pack

Sausages are easy to pack and if you have a grill at the campsite, try this delicious recipe for grilled sausages and peppers cooked in a foil pack. The foil packaging seals in all the juices and flavors. Better still, no pans to clean!

If you go fishing on your trip and have any fresh catch, foil pack cooking is great for this as well. Here are some great foil pack cooking ideas.

3. Campfire muffins

Yes, you read that right. Campfire muffins – cooked in hollowed-out oranges! It sounds too good not to try. Step-by-step instructions, as well as a recipe for campfire eclairs and toasted angel food cake with campfire berries, can be found here.

4. Picnic pie

This picnic pie, sometimes referred to as festival pie, is great because it is hearty and meaty, something very substantial and filling. It is also sturdy, so it is easy to pack and bring around without worrying whether it will survive the trip.

Via: bestrecipes.com.au

Picnic pie is also meant to be served cold, so it is easy to make ahead at home and just throw into the cooler to be enjoyed later.

5. Omelette in a bag

One of the most interesting camping food hacks we have ever come across is the omelette in a bag. Before leaving for your trip, all you have to do is fill a ziplock bag with two eggs, chopped veggies, cheese and some seasonings. Be sure to seal it up well and keep it in your cooler.

When you’re ready for a delicious breakfast at the campsite, drop the bag into a pot of boiling water and leave it for 12-13 minutes.

6. Ready-made options

If you are really not up for cooking at the campsite, there are some good options, too. Try some ready-made food that you can either reheat or rehydrate. The Mountain House Breakfast Assortment is a bucket with packs of scrambled eggs and bacon, scrambled eggs and ham, granola with milk and blueberries, and hashbrowns with scrambled eggs. All you have to do is add water, and it boasts of a 30-year taste guarantee!

The sweet life

After the essentials are under your belt, indulge in a little dessert.

1. S’mores

S’mores is a classic, but if you want to change things up a little bit, try cooking a pot of  s’mores for something even more rich and gooey.

A “healthier” version is a banana boat, with the chocolate chips and marshmallows tucked nicely into a banana, wrapped in foil, then trown on the grill. Bananas are the perfect fruit to bring on camping trips. They come in their own sturdy, biodegradable packaging!

2. Camping Sangria

For the adult campers, who want a refreshing libation, make a camping sangria that’s easy to take around in a mason jar. Enjoy responsibly… don’t drink and hike!

Pack wisely

Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing and choosing food to bring on your camping trip:

  • Bring nutritious food that will sustain your energy levels and satisfy your hunger. Be sure that your food is packed with the nutrients you need to replenish after a long day of physical activities. (source)
  • Hydrate! Bring enough clean water and refill whenever possible. You lose a lot of water and electrolytes when you sweat it out on the trail, so be sure that you keep yourself hydrated.
  • Consider food sensitivity issues. Be aware of any food allergies before you eat nuts and the like. Also pack food that does not easily spoil. Nothing is worse than having tummy issues while camping.
  • Spice it up! Pack travel-sized spices in Tic Tac boxes or pill organizers. Just because you are in a remote kitchen doesn’t mean your food has to be bland. (source)
  • Meal prep like a pro. Get your ingredients chopped and sliced up before hand whenever possible, so all you have to do at the campfire is mix them together.
  • Repackage ingredients into ziplock bags to save space in your backpack. Label these clearly with meal name, date, and cooking instructions. Organize these bags into gallon-sized bags by meal type, so each time you cook breakfast, lunch or dinner, all you have to do is take out one bag with all you need. (source)

I’m sure you can’t wait to go on your next camping trip to try all these delicious recipes! Which ones are you most excited about?

Do you have any favorite camping food hacks that were not mentioned here? Share them with us in the comments section!

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