4 ways to prepare great camping-friendly meals

Cooking a great meal over the campfire is part of what makes camping so great, so be sure you pack the right gear before your next camping trip.

4 ways to prepare great camping-friendly meals

The great outdoors is only as great as the experiences you have, and if you forget to pack camping cookware, your great time will turn into a miserable time.

When you go camping, you immediately think of roasting marshmallows, messy s’mores, coffee heating up over the fire and hot dogs cooked over an open flame. In short, food is really important to your camping experience. Here you’ll find tips for packing the right cookware to enjoy your time in nature.

1. Plan your meals

Before you trek into the forest, you need a plan. Make sure the meals are easy and require just a few ingredients. You’re not going to carry an entire spice rack with you, so don’t plan on anything complicated. Stick to the basics and reuse as many ingredients as possible. Here is a sample meal plan for a typical camping day:

Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, sausage, bread, fruit and coffee/tea

Snack: Trail mix, granola bars, dried fruit, water

Lunch: Hot dogs, sandwiches, fruit, water

Dinner: Hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, beans, coffee/tea, water

Once you've decided the meal plan for all the days you’ll be camping, you can start to figure out what you need to prepare each meal.

2. Pack proper camping cookware

If you’re taking it easy with a light meal plan, you can get away with packing just the essentials. Take a simple plastic tote and fill it with your camping cookware and utensils. Some of the basics include a camp stove, coffee pot or kettle, skillet, saucepan, a spatula, wooden spoon, tongs and a good knife.

If you don't want to bring a camp stove, just bring a metal grate to put over the fire. Depending on what you're cooking, you can even prepare your food with the residual heat coming off the fire, like hot dogs cooked on a handy stick.

3. Don’t overdo it

While you may be tempted to cook up a gourmet meal, you don’t want to spend all of your time cooking. Be satisfied with meals that stop the grumbling in your stomach and give you fuel to explore, hike, fish and have fun. If you are keen on cooking something particularly special, choose one meal each day. Enlist fellow campers to help you in your outdoor kitchen.

4. Don't bring your favourite cookware

If you plan on preparing a stew or frying a freshly caught fish over a roaring fire, your camping cookware will take a beating. Char marks, dents and dings are the battle scars of stew pots, skillets and metal grates that have been on adventures, so make sure the camping cookware you bring isn't your very best, or favourite.

Enjoying delicious meals and snacks while you're camping doesn't have to be complicated. With a little planning and packing the right gear, you'll  be full and happy for your entire trip.

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