Summer calls for sleeping under the stars. Whether you prefer upscale glamping, heading to a campsite with your family or pitching a tent in the backwoods, food is a big part of the camping experience. Here’s your guide to camp-friendly cooking, with recipes that offer make-ahead tips so you’ll have more time to relax and enjoy the outdoors. With these easy meal ideas, everyone on your trip will be a happy camper.
For the Backwoods Camper If you enjoy roughing it in the bush, you understand the struggle of fitting all your necessities into a backpack. Even though you’ll be relying on dry foods for most of your meals to save space, you don’t have to skimp on taste. Spices can go a long way toward boosting the flavour of ready-to-go options. Tuck in small resealable bags of black pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes, crushed red pepper and cinnamon to perk things up. Here are delicious (and lightweight) foods to make and tote on your trip.
For the Family Camper Tried-and-true camping-friendly meals, like pancakes and hot dogs cooked over the fire, have seen you through many trips, but it’s time to try something new! We’re going to help you shake things up while keeping prep and cooking simple. Here are creative takes on old favourites that will make your whole family happy.
Don’t forget to pack a large cast-iron skillet for this recipe, and preheat it before you drop in the batter for the tastiest results.
Food safety tip: Pack fridge items directly into your cooler in reverse order. For example, place ingredients for your last meal at the bottom and work backward, placing the ones for your first meal on top. Surround with frozen ice packs and close tightly. When you get to your campsite, keep your cooler in the shade. Consider using two separate coolers for food and drinks — the one that contains food won’t be opened as often.
For the Backyard or RV Camper
Being able to take your kitchen with you gives you increased flexibility when planning meals. Delicious recipes that are easy to prepare will leave you more time to hike, swim or play games with your family.
Glamour plus camping equals glamping. Glampers get to experience nature without forgoing the amenities and comforts of home — and without having to fuss with pitching a tent or blowing up an air mattress. Instead, they sleep in a fully furnished tent, yurt (a family-sized domed tent with comfy mattresses) or tree house on a real bed! While some experiences are more resort-like and come with food service, others include cooking amenities (like a mini fridge, stovetop or hot plate, grill and firepit). If you’re taking a glamping trip where you’re doing the cooking, these conveniences mean menu planning can be more elaborate.
Food safety tip for all campers: Always pack an instant-read thermometer when you’re getting ready for a camping trip. Whether you’re in the backwoods or closer to civilization, you’ll need it to ensure your food (especially meat and poultry) is cooked to a safe internal temperature.
Tips: Drinks to Enjoy