Guide to Camping Food for the Family

Camping is one of America’s favorite summer pastime and camping food is one of the most enjoyable activities of this endeavor. Sharing a meal around the campfire with the family is a great way to bring everyone together. It is good to know some camping recipes that are easy to make and delicious to guarantee your family will love it.

Although camping is fun, it is important to be prepare, especially if you have never been camping before. Nature can be wild and unpredictable, so it is important to protect your food when camping. Bringing the right cooking equipment to your camping trip is essential to a great camp food. Continue reading to properly prep for your next camping trip.

Learn About the Best Camping Meals for the Family

Since part of the fun of camping is eating around the campfire, cooking delicious food when camping is a must. When people think of camp food, they think about hot dogs and s’mores. However, there are many types of meals you can cook over an open fire. You can use benefits from SNAP or food stamps to make simple but tasty meals that you and your family will enjoy.

Campfire Nachos

Easy yet filling, campfire nachos only require two ingredients: nachos and cheese. You can add any other ingredients to top your nachos, such as beans, scallions, and sour cream. But you can always keep one of the best camping meals simple with just cheese. To warm up your nachos, you will need a cast iron skillet to place over a grill. Make sure to layer your ingredients for even distribution and then place foil on top to amplify the heat. Once your dish is warm enough and your cheese is melted, it is ready to eat.

Campfire Stew

Although it may not sound as exciting as nachos, it can warm you up on a cold night outdoors. Stew may be just what you need while camping as a family. This dish is much heartier than the last, but just as versatile. You can add whichever ingredients you want, but generally this dish includes a protein, vegetables and water or a stock.  

In order to make the stew, you can add the stock and diced meat to stir those together. Then add the garlic and stir it in until fragrant. Afterwards, you can the rest of your ingredients and your seasoning. Bring the stew to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer. Since the stew will take one to two hours to cook, you can start some activities while the stew cooks to have your family camping fun. When the meat is tender, you will know it is time to serve.

Dessert Cones

Did you know that you can cook ice cream cones on an open fire? Whip up this s’mores alternative if you know your family is craving a sweet treat. You will need ice cream cones, marshmallows and chocolate. Additionally, you have the option to choose other ingredients to stuff your cones. To begin, stuff your cones with the ingredients, wrap them in aluminum foil and place them in the fire for five minutes. Finally, you can unwrap them and enjoy.

How to Manage and Store Your Food

Outdoor cooking can often attract unwanted creatures. It is important to prepare in order to avoid these encounters, which could result in dangerous interactions. One tip is to never leave food unattended. Blue jays, chipmunks and squirrels are quick to take food in during the day. 

Leaving food out overnight will also attract nocturnal creatures. To avoid this, store your food in a cooler, in a bear box or in your car. Also, clean your camping cooking equipment so the odor from the food stuck on the grill or pots does not attract forest creatures.

If you are camping in a bear-inhabited area, it is important to follow the regulations of the area. If there are no defined rules, you still need to take precautionary measures. To keep your food safe from bears, you can use:

  • A metal food locker within the campgrounds.
  • A bear canister.
  • A bear bag.

You can also hang your camping food on a tree or a pole so bears, and certain animals, cannot reach. Besides storing your food, it is important to handle your food well to avoid constant trips to the outhouse. One tip is to properly wash your hands every time you use the bathroom. Another is to avoid consumption of spoiled food. You can do this by: 

  • Pre-cooling your cooler with ice blocks.
  • Double-bagging any raw meat to avoid spillage on other foods.
  • Putting food you will eat first on the top of the cooler and frozen camping meals at the bottom.

Learn About Equipment for Outdoor Cooking

Depending on your cooking preferences and the type of camping you are doing, your camping cooking gear list will vary. When you are camping in the outdoors, you might be more inclined to use the campfire as your only cooking source. 

However, a camping stove can prove useful and allow for more creativity within your meals for camping. The camping stove is fuel powered, so you will need to bring fuel. You will also need matches, a lighter and fire starter in order to start your campfire. You may also bring basic kitchen equipment with you on your camping trips are:

  • Cooking pots.
  • Frying pans.
  • Potholders and lifters.
  • Cooking utensils and cutting board. 
  • Bottle opener, corkscrew, or multi-tool.

You will also need aluminum foil, a spatula and tongs to pull food out of the fire. Additionally, remember to only bring fireproof cooking equipment. 

When you are done using your camping cooking equipment, keeping them clean and tidy while on your trip is a must. Here are some ways you can maintain your equipment. Place a pot of water on your fire while you eat. When you are finished with your meal, you can use the hot water to clean the rest of your equipment.

Another tip is to pour liquid soap around the outside of the pots and pans before putting them on the fire. This allows for easier cleanup and protects your camping cooking equipment. You may also want to have an affordable cell phone nearby in case of an emergency.


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