we’re a camping family. we like to go on short car camping stints and also camp during our road trips. i try not to let our food choices get too convenient or junky. i always round out an order of chuck wagon fries with carrots, cucumber or apple slices. and only allow ice cream once a day! haha!
here are some of the tips and tricks i have learned along the way…
#1. MEAL PLAN!
- take into consideration how many meals you need to cover, for how many people, how much time you have for prep at camp and clean-up, and what can you do at home before leaving.
- decide which meals will take place at your campsite, which meals will in restaurants and which meals will just be cream cheese bagels thrown together.
- remember to keep tabs on the weather. cooking in the rain is quite frankly not an option! last summer we woke up to an epic down pour, so we all had bowls of granola and milk in the car. it was exciting for the kids and very memorable!
here are some my families favourite meals while camping or on the road. we’re vegetarian, but adding meat to any of these recipes is easy enough!
- porridge: using the quick oats it’s fast, easy and you can add fruit and berries for extra taste.
- yoghurt parfaits: layers of yoghurt, fruit, berries and granola mixed together. kids love this!
- breakfast burrito: we are an egg free family, so we make scramble tofu instead of the eggs. in an iron skillet fry up onions, peppers, tomatoes, whatever your family likes, add tofu and then toss the scrambled goodness into a wrap, add cheese and salsa for flavour and voila, a breakfast burrito.
- coffee: i am a coffee lover.so, one day dear hubby bought me a plastic french press for camping trips. i cannot stand the taste of instant coffee, so this way i can enjoy a nice cuppa java at camp without turning into a grump!
LUNCH n’ TREATS:
- fruit, cut veggies, crackers, pretzels, pop corn, tortilla chips….
- dried fruits like raisins or apricots are great treat!
- smores, ’nuff said!
- ice cream cones filled with fruit and chocolate treats, wrapped in foil, and then a quick melt on the fire! yum!
- the internet and pinterest is overflowing with awesome yummy camping treat ideas. THIS HERE is the link to my camping board on pinterest with lots of ideas and tips and tricks!
- tacos: we like hard taco’s with the flat bottoms, so it’s easier for the kiddo’s to fill ’em up with what they like!
- taters: we love to eat tater’s at camping! two ways to make them: first, chop up potatoes into bite sized pieces, add butter or oil, a chopped onion and a few cloves of garlic and a sprinkling of sea salt. wrap carefully in several layers of foil and add to the grill above fire. or chuck above mentioned ingredients into your skillet and do them on the camping stove! delish!
- pasta: pasta is super fast. boil the water, toss in noodles. you can use ready made pasta sauce from a jar, pesto sauce or sautee a few veggies in olive oil and add those to the pasta. done and done!
- hot dogs: a camping fave. do up the dogs in your fire, add various condaments
- salad: most grocery stores sell various kinds of ready-made salads. we would often grab one for lunch to share as a family. great way to still get all those nutrients and vitamins!
#2 EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES!
- camping stove, propane for it, matches.
- wash basin, dish soap, tea towels, a few clothes pegs.
- foil, paper towel, table cloth and table cloth clips to attach to the picnic table.
- condiments: ketchup, dijon mustard, pickles… you should downsize them into smaller containers
- cooking oil (we prefer olive oil), garlic, onions, salt, pepper.
- metal plates, wooden bowls (we use grandma’s old salad bowls instead of yucky plastic ones), metal cups, small cutting board, a sharp knife, spoons n’ forks, a wooden spatula,
- one small cooking pot, one cast iron skillet. either can go in the fire on a grill, or can be used on a camping stove.
#3 THINGS TO CONSIDER!
- remember that many foods require proper refrigeration, but some foods don’t, which are ideal for road trips and camping! foods like eggs, nut butters, salsa and some cheeses, don’t actually have to stay cold for food safety reasons, we’re just so used to it here in north america. that’s why they are perfect for travelling with. a quick almond butter and apple wrap is a great snack in the car, or a bagel with cream cheese is a fast lunch for the kids.
- do buy ice along the way of you have milk or yoghurt. remember, the bags of ice often have holes and will flood your cooler.
- buy big jugs of drinking water WITH A SPOUT! some jugs only have the screw top lid, but other ones have a proper spout so you can control easily how much water comes out. much easier when filling water bottles!
- always have a water accessible when cooking with fire. save dirty dish water for the end of the night, to pour over your hot coals to properly extinguish the fire.
- if possible, chop or precook foods at home before leaving. this makes things just that much easier onsite. pack foods in re-usable ziplock bags, label them and then at meal time it’s easy for anyone to help out.
HAPPY CAMPING, CAMPERS!
feel free to share your tips and tricks with food while camping. i’m always keen to see what works for others!
still to come:
- activities, games and crafts for the kids
- toiletries and first aid kits info
- what to consider for sleeping, setting up camp etc…