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Delicious Camping Food Ideas and Recipes For Your Next Trip

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If you find yourself off the grid, either by choice or by circumstance, you’ll need to cook meals without the usual conveniences found in the home.

The easiest solution is to open a can and heat something over a fire. But that can get old when you have a family to feed.

Today I’ll share with some quick and easy camping food ideas and recipes that can break up the monotony of low-tech cooking.

Kettle full of mushrooms cooking on a campfire

Camping Food Tricks You Should Know

1. Heavy-Duty Aluminum is Your Friend

Whether you’re wrapping prepped food in it or simply using it to prevent flare-ups on the grill, heavy-duty aluminum should be your go-to material across the board.

It’s useful for storing food, cooking baked potatoes, and mitigating cleanup.

2. Freeze Your Meat Before Packing

You can cook frozen meat, but you can’t cook spoiled meat. Or at least, it’s not a beneficial idea.

For trips longer than one night, freezing meat prevents it from reaching the danger zone and insulates other food in your cooler from spoiling.

On average, you can keep your meats in the proper temperature range for an additional forty-eight hours.

3. Cook Perishables First

One of the golden rules of camping is to bring non-perishable foods, or at least packaged, processed foods with long expiration dates.

When you’re only heading out for two or three days as part of a family trip, you’re likely to bring along fresh produce from a nearby supermarket or bring your own.

Either way, plan out your recipes and use the foods that are most likely to perish early, such as fruits and vegetables, in your earlier recipes.

This saves food spoilage and doesn’t leave you with a missing element in an otherwise dazzling dish.

4. Cherry Pick Your Cookware

Camping cookware sets are usually fairly useful about only including what’s necessary, but if you’re not cooking pasta, then don’t bring along the strainer.

Cherry-pick your cookware, and make sure you’re bringing specifically what you need to cook in the great outdoors.

Anything else is simply an attempt to avoid adopting an effective minimalist mindset. If you’re bringing an RV or a fifth wheel, then it’s just clutter that you don’t need.

5. Prep Before You Exit

Why bring the knife, cutting board, and additional measures to clean them off when you can just prep everything at the start?

This coincides with our third tip, because effectively preparing your meal before you go means that you’ll be able to minimize containers, storage, and the time spent actually cooking.

You’ve got beers and good friends around an open fire. You want to serve them quality food, but time spent does not equal quality.

Save yourself the hassle and prepare everything before you hit the road.

6. Heat Your Cleaning Water While You Cook

Consider this a continuation of the previous tip, all with the mindset of minimizing cooking time so you can enjoy your camping trip.

Start heating up the water that you’ll be doing the dishes with during the meal.

By the time you finish eating, you’ll have hot water to use for dishwashing, which will effectively cut your cleanup time in half.

7. Only Bring Disposable Food Containers

You’re preparing your own food, which is a good thing, but sometimes we can forget something or the conditions will be a bit hotter than we expected.

Even with careful planning, food goes bad from time to time, and you don’t want to be the person bringing back an expensive container with rotting food in it.

Keep everything in disposable containers that you won’t miss if you have to chuck them; just be certain to dispose of spoiled food in the proper areas.

To avoid disturbing or attracting wildlife, campgrounds have restrictions on what can go in which barrels.

8. Always Keep Your Food Covered

Speaking of wildlife, let’s avoid bringing those little buggers onto the campsite.

Cover your food to avoid attracting bears and coyotes, but also to keep it safe.

There is dust, falling pollen, and scraps of nature whirling around you at all times. Keep the food covered, and it will stay safe for consumption.

9. Bring a Food Thermometer

If you like your steak blood-red rare, that’s totally cool. You do you.

However, you shouldn’t serve pork and chicken al dente to avoid food poisoning and serious illness.

Chicken, in particular, is very finicky because it can appear done but still be three to four degrees off of the lowest safe range.

We’ve all gotten caught cooking at night over the fire with nothing but moonlight and lanternlight around us; the thermometer means you’re trusting science, not just your eyes, when determining if food is done or not.

10. Block Ice, Not Cubes

Stayed at a hotel last night? Don’t fill up the Igloo cooler with the second-floor ice machine and those miniature crescent cubes.

Block ice stays solid for longer, whereas cube ice melts quickly, and the water temperature actually accelerates the rate at which the ice melts.

If you’re going out for a two- or three-day trip, block ice is going to be your best bet.

11. Soap Coat

Before bringing your pants out, coat the outside with soap. The sides, that is.

This makes cleanup a lot easier, and you don’t have to deal with a spilled soap packet or the wrapper from those one-and-done cleaning detergent packs.

This is simple, but once you do it once, you won’t be able to pack for the campsite without repeating it.

Favorite Camping Recipes Books

It’s a good idea to dream about and plan your camping meals. Try them at home, in the backyard, first, so when you’re out there, you can enjoy your camping trip.

And if you’re in a SHTF situation, you’ll already have experience. Here are a few camping recipe cookbooks to get you started.

Camping Recipes: Foil Packet Cooking (Campfire Cookbook) (Volume 1)Foil Packet Cooking Camping Recipes: Foil Packet Cooking (Campfire Cookbook) (Volume 1)Camping Cookbook: Dutch Oven Cast Iron Recipes (Volume 3)Dutch Oven Cast Iron Recipes Camping Cookbook: Dutch Oven Cast Iron Recipes (Volume 3)Camping Cookbook: Campfire Grilling Recipes (Volume 1)Campfire Grilling RecipesCamping Cookbook: Campfire Grilling Recipes (Volume 1)

Easy Camping Food Ideas And Recipes For Your Next Trip

Make camping more enjoyable by preparing absolutely delicious camping food that's quick and easy.

How to Cook With a Thermos & a Few Recipes

I never knew you could cook with a thermos. I found a great thermos cooking website that shows us how and gives us some great recipes.

This information could be a great survival tool and a frugal way to cook. I think this would be a great way to cook if you were camping, and definitely a great backup way to cook if SHTF.

It’s Efficient: A thermos is the most fuel-efficient way to cook. Period. It’s Easy: You don’t have to stand over the stove stirring food all day. It’s Healthy: Cook healthy whole grains without the time and trouble.

Check out this video: cooking beef and rice in a thermos. If you like it, please share it with your friends. I have been prepping for years and have only just realized you could cook this way.

I hope my list of camping food ideas was helpful and got you excited about trying some new camping recipes on your next outdoor trip.

Here are some delicious camping food ideas and recipes you should try next time you're on a camping adventure. #camping #campingfood #campingrecipes #campingideas #shtf #prepredness #survival