Camping Food Preparation Tips

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How do you make an omelet in a bag?

Camping Cooking - Omelet in a Bag

If you can boil water, you make camping recipes like this! Get the kids to help; they'll enjoy mixing the ingredients inside the bag. Camping recipes like this are so easy, there's no reason to fear camping cooking. It can be fun and relaxing for the entire family. For this Omelet in a Bag recipe, you'll need:

  • Eggs
  • Milk (or water)
  • Cheese
  • Fresh veggies and seasonings of your choice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sturdy Ziploc bags
Just place all the ingredient in a Ziploc bag, seal firmly, and let the kids squeeze away until the ingredients are all well mixed. Place in a pot of boiling water, and cook until the eggs are set and cooked through. Now, isn't that simple camping cooking?

What are some tips for easy camping cooking?

Some Easy Camping Cooking Tips

There are many quick tips to make camping cooking even easier. Here are some that make any easy camping recipe turn out perfectly any time.

  • Make soups and stews at home before you leave. You can freeze them and they will act as additional ice in your cooler until they thaw.
  • Cut up vegetables like onions, garlic, and others that won't turn brown after you cut them at home, too.
  • Cook pasta until it's about 3/4 of the way done and store in a plastic bag. You can warm it until it's done at the campsite.
  • Bring along food you don't have to cook, like granola or cereal.
  • Heavy aluminum foil is a must at the campsite. You can cook in it and wrap leftovers in it, too.
  • Bring pita bread instead of regular bread, it will hold up longer, or you can bake bread in your Dutch oven.

I don't have a camp stove, what can I cook?

Do You Need a Camp Stove?

Many people camp for years and never invest in a camp stove. They simply do all their cooking over a fire, or don't cook at all. However, a camp stove really comes in handy for many easy camping recipes, and makes a lot of things easier, like boiling water and cooking breakfast without having to struggle with making a fire.

There are many different styles of camp stoves available. You should look for one that is steady on its feet and is big enough to hold the pots and pans you'd like to use on it. Some of the tripod models are better for backpacking, but not for cooking a big family dinner.

An easy camping recipe that doesn't require a camp stove is the Doughboy. Just heat these over a hot fire. You'll need:

  • 3/4 cup biscuit mix
  • 1/4 cup water
  • hot dogs
  • Green sticks or skewers for cooking
Mix biscuit mix and water. Make sure the dough isn't too sticky or it won't cook. Put hot dog on green stick and wrap dough around it. Cook, holding about 6-inches from the hot coals so inside will cook, and then move nearer the coals to brown.

What is foil pocket camping cooking?

Camping Cooking in Foil – Easy Hamburger and Vegetables

If you want to cook over the campfire, nothing's easier than cooking in foil pockets. You can cook just about anything in a foil pocket, and you can even cook vegetables and meat together to create an entire meal. Here's a super easy recipe that should please the whole family. For Easy Hamburger and Vegetables you'll need:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (or chicken or turkey)
  • 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • Cajun or other favorite spices
  • butter
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Place all ingredients on a sheet of heavy aluminum foil and fold to a form pouch. Use extra-lean ground meat and use just a bit of butter to help keep the food moist and give it flavor. There's nothing like camping cooking, especially when the recipes are so quick and easy.

Can I prepare at least some of the ingredients at home for my camping recipes that cook on a camp stove?

Camping Recipes - Flank Steak Teriyaki

When you look for camping recipes, look for easy recipes that let you do much of the prep work before you leave for your camping trip. This flank steak recipe can feed a crowd, and you can cook it over a camp stove or grill. For Flank Steak Teriyaki you'll need:

  • 4 - 6 flank steaks
  • 1 Tablespoon salad oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sherry or white wine (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 4-6 canned pineapple slices
To form marinade, combine all except steaks and pineapple. Mix well. (Make the marinade at home, and place the steak in the marinade if you'll be cooking them that evening.) Otherwise just take the marinade with you and pour it over steaks about 1 to 1-1/2 hours before you want to cook them. Fry steaks on a camp stove in very hot skillet brushing once with marinade. Add pineapple during last few minutes, brush with marinade and cover. Cook 3-5 min. Serve over rice.

How should I use and clean my Dutch oven?

Dutch Oven Cooking

Camping food has come a long way over the years, but some things have stayed the same, like cooking in a Dutch oven. It was a cowboy favorite, and it's enjoying a comeback today. Check out the Web and you'll find hundreds of Dutch oven camping recipe sites with all kinds of ideas for some great camping food. Here are some things to remember when you cook with a Dutch oven.

  • You can use the lid of your Dutch oven as a frying pan in a pinch. Just flip it over and cook on the inside of the lid.
  • You can use wood chips with a Dutch oven, but most people prefer regular charcoal, because it heats more evenly.
  • You can bake breads, biscuits, cobblers, and even pies in your Dutch oven, too.
  • Soups and stews are great in a Dutch oven, and you can make them ahead, then simply pop into the Dutch oven and heat at the campsite. They often cook for several hours so you can enjoy other activities instead of cooking, too.
  • Most important, DON'T wash your Dutch oven with soap. The soap sinks into the metal and makes your food taste soapy. Scrub with a pot scrubber and lots of hot water.
  • Many people use a vinegar/water solution to clean their Dutch oven. Mix four parts water with 1 part vinegar, and then scrub with a scrubber and rinse with hot water.
Experiment with a Dutch oven at home in your backyard before you use it on a camping trip and you'll be creating authentic camping food in no time!

What's an easy camping cooking recipe that uses a Dutch oven?

Camping Cooking - Onion Swiss Steak

This Dutch oven camping recipe cooks for several hours in a Dutch oven, leaving you time to spend with the family hiking, biking, or simply hanging around the campsite. After all, there are better things to do when you go camping than to spend all your time cooking! For this Onion Swiss Steak you'll need:

  • 3 lb. round steak, 3/4" thick
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 packages onion soup mix
  • 2 cans (10 oz) tomatoes
Cut steak into serving pieces, season with salt and pepper and place into Dutch oven. Sprinkle onion soup mix over top and pour tomatoes over all. Cover and cook over slow fire for 2 to 3 hours or until meat is tender. You can cut up the steak at home and refrigerate it until you're ready to put in on the fire. See, camping cooking doesn't have to be complicated!

How do I keep ice?

Ice woes

Forget the bags of ice. It melts fast and it makes a mess. Just use frozen bottles of water. Not only do you have a clean cooler, but you have ice cold water to drink.

Can I prepare some foods ahead of camping?

Prepare ground beef ahead of time.

Before leaving for your camping trip, brown some ground beef (or turkey,game,etc)and put in a freezer bag and freeze. When camping, this acts like a block of ice to help other items to stay cold. When you're ready to prepare a meal all you have to do is add spagetti sauce, or chili, tacos, sloppy joes, or misc. pasta. It saves you the step of browning your meat in the camp kitchen. In general, any thing that serves a dual purpose is preferred when camping over something that does not. In this case, it's both a food and an ice substitute.

What´s a simple dessert for camping?

Fruit Salad in a Bag

Add a can of fruit cocktail with juice, a can of pineapple chunks with juice, a cup of coconut, a box of instant vanilla pudding, and a banana to a plastic bag and seal. Squeeze the bag and serve the salad right from the bag. This is even better if chilled.

What is the best way to prepare corn on the cob?

Corn on the Cob

You'll need:

Ears of Corn
Aluminum Foil

Shuck and silk corn. Tear sheets of foil large enough to fully wrap each ear individually. Put butter on corn or put a pat in the foil and wrap. Place corn on grill or grate over fire and turn periodically. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Alternatively, you can lay the wrapped cobs directly on the embers.

What is a good camp fire dessert?

Individual Pies

Flatten out a raw biscuit (from the frozen cans that come with about 8-10 biscuits).

On top of the biscuit add a marshmallow and some chocolate (piece of a bar or a couple of chocolate chips or a chocolate kiss). On top of that place another flattened biscuit. Fold the edges together like a pie crust, making sure it is completely sealed all the way around. Wrap in aluminum foil and put on the embers of the fire. Make sure to rotate and turn in the fire so it doesn't burn on one side.

The biscuits will bake on the outside while the marshmallow/chocolate melts on the inside

What´s the trick for the perfect baked potato?

Baked Potatoes in the Campfire

To ensure your potatoes cook well when using the campfire, here are some things to think about. First of all, do not put your potatoes in the campfire without first wrapping them in aluminum foil. Secondly, do not put the foiled potatoes directly in the flame. This will only turn the potatoes into pieces of unedible charcoal. Instead, place the potatoes on top of a bed of embers with in the fire pit. Even so, this can take an hour or longer to cook the potatoes. Try cooking them before leaving home and using the firepit to merely warm them up. Take a medium potato and microwave it for about 3 minutes on high. Let it cool and refrigerate it. Now you can take it camping with you and you can finish cooking it in the firepit. Don't forget the squeeze butter and squeeze sour cream.........yummy!

How do I transport raw eggs without breaking them?

Traveling with Eggs

Since it's tough to carry uncooked eggs into the wilderness without breaking them, try this unusual idea.

Break the eggs "carefully" into a plastic container small enough to be completely filled by the eggs, put the lid on and you're ready to go! When you're ready to cook, just pour the eggs out of the container.

They'll come out one at a time or as many as you want. Seems hard to believe, but this really works.

How do I protect my loaf of bread from being abused?

Breakin' Bread

Forget about trying to pack and protect loaf bread when you're on the trail or at the campsite. Use pita bread. It's great for sandwichs and snacks, and fits easily in your pack or stuff sack.

How do you fix simple meals on the trail?

Quick and Easy Meals

Clean and quick meals can come from the "just add hot water" meals, by repackaging them in freezer ziplock bags. Their heavy duty construction allows them to hold quite hot water. Just pour the contents into a quart freezer bag, label with a permanant marker, roll from the bottom to remove air, and it is compact, identifiable and self contained.

Once you are on the trail, pick a meal add very warm, maybe not quite boiling water (most require about one cup), and zip the bag shut. Knead the bag from the bottom to ensure that the water mixes with the contents fully, open and eat right out of the bag.

No dishes to clean, except your utensils, and less garbage to pack out.

Do I need a grill to cook hamburgers?

Lipton Onion Burgers

Mix Lipton Onion Soup Mix into the hamburger then make the patties. Wrap each patty in a piece of aluminum foil, then wrap again with a second layer of foil. Put them on the embers of the fire and forget about them for a little while. (depending on how hot the fire is, they can take between 5-10 minutes per side). Compliment with hamburger bun and favorite fixings. To save room in your cooler, bring condiment packages from your local gas station or fast food restaurant (i.e. mayo, mustard, ketchup, onions, relish, BBQ sauce, soy sauce).

How much food should we take camping?

Meal Planning

Create a menu of all the meals you plan to prepare and serve while you're gone, and then pack only as much of the ingredients as you'll need for those meals. For instance, don't carry a pound of rice, when you only need one cup.

How do you make s´mores?


A favorite recipe that is a camping tradition. It might be said that if you don't make S'mores on your trip, you just really haven't been camping. Here's what you'll need:

•Graham Crackers
•Large Marshmallows
•Hershey's Chocolate Bars

After supper, when you're spinning ghost stories, roast marshmallows over your open fire. When your marshmallow is a nice golden brown, put it on a square of graham cracker, add a square of chocolate, then top it with another graham cracker. We guarantee that you'll want s'more.

Ice takes up so much room, any ideas to reduce the space?

Powdered Cold Drinks

To save space in the cooler, when I make my kool-aid or crystal light, instead of using jugs, I put it into zip lock bags and freeze them flat. Then it fits nicely into the cooler and it helps with keeping cool everything else in the cooler.

What drink do you recommend?

Sugar Free Drink Powder

Clean water is number one, but that can get old. After water, sugar free powdered drinks is the way to go, especially when basecamping. These beverages are very light in comparison to those with sugar but they still carry the sweetest you're looking for. A sweet drink taste really good, but more so when things aren't going all that well.

How do we lessen our risk for becoming ill in camp?

No Cramps in Camp

Do not share bandannas, toothbrushes, razors, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.

Wash and air dry all community kitchen gear.

Keep anyone who is ill or appears to be ill out of the kitchen.

Wash your hands before preparing meals and every time after you go to the bathroom.

Purify all drinking water via water filtration, chemical treatment or boiling

Can you really create gourmet camping food without a lot of hassle?

Quick and Tasty Camping Food

When you shop for discount camping equipment, it's paramount that you shop with a reputable dealer. Just because the prices are reasonable, doesn't mean you're getting the best equipment value for the money.

When you shop online, it's essential to know who you're dealing with and how long they have been selling to the public. Use a camping checklist to make sure you don't forget anything while you shop online, and the process will be even easier.

Use a dealer who has been in business for a while, and has a good reputation. They should also carry well known outdoor camping equipment brands, and their staff should be able to answer any questions you have about the equipment.

You should also check out their policies on returns. What happens if you use your tent for one trip, and one of the tie-downs rips, or the flaps come off? A reputable discount camping equipment dealer will take care of these problems, while another might not.

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Guru Spotlight
Carol Sponagle