Camping food ideas may not come to you as easily as you would like. When you’re desperate to eat something, and there is no place close enough for delivery, there is only one way to handle the situation: you have to cook something yourself. So in order for you to be prepared for an event like that, here are the most important qualities of camping food and some ideas on dishes you can easily cook while out of the city.
MOST WANTED QUALITIES OF CAMPING FOOD
Most wanted qualities of camping food are easy to name. Taking into consideration all that I’ve read on the topic and experienced by myself, as well as what common sense is suggesting, there are 4 of them.
First of all, camping food must be easy to prepare. I suppose, this is the key feature of every camping meal. You don’t have access to a fully equipped kitchen with an induction stove, an oven and the pans and pots of all the shapes and sizes you can think of. All you have is this one medium-sized pan, one pot, one sharp knife and a couple of spoons. And to heat your meal you have to light the campfire, the grill or the gas stove. (Unless you have the possibility of renting the RV. But give me a break, don’t fool yourself: if you sleep in a bed, it’s not camping). So what you do, is you choose one dish meals you can cook easily, cheaply and quickly.
But what you eat is always important – even (especially!) when you’re on vacation – you don’t want to spend your free time with a stomach ache after having eaten something that is not fresh or spoiled. This is why people choose products that are shelf stable. To those of you, who don’t know this term, shelf stable food is the type of food, which can be stored for a long period of time in the room temperature, without spoiling, like all sorts of food in cans.
Besides that, it is also common to check out the weight of food products. Especially if you’re backpacking and camping somewhere else every day or every couple of days. Pretty often the products for campers and backpackers have a reduced percentage of water. This way it’s much lighter and takes up way less space. Dehydrating the food can reduce it’s weight up to 90%. It may not be as tasty, it may not have the most appealing texture, but the nutrition value is almost the same.
And nutrition content is the fourth of the most important qualities of camping food. Because you need to eat properly wherever you are, and camping is no excuse. On contrary – you are out of your everyday environment, so you need more energy to face new and unusual circumstances. So always pay attention to calories and nutrition value.
WHAT TO EAT WHILE ON CAMPING?
The easiest and most effortless are the instant dishes. It’s enough to add some hot water to it, wait a couple of minutes until the noodles sink in some water and get soft, and eat. But I only reserve that for extreme situations (like when you only have the possibility to boil some water and nothing else), because there’s just so much of different substances, names of which don’t even sound like food, that I’m always discouraged to try that. Cat food has more nutritional value than those “meals”. Seriously.
If you have some time on your hands (and you probably do, because there is no rush on camping), cooking something tasty can be some sort of a challenge for you. And if you succeed, you can be proud of yourself. One of the easiest and most practical dishes can be chilli. It’s enough to put some beef or pork, tomato sauce, chilli or chilli powder, beans and generally anything else you happen to have in your supplies: onions, paprika, tomatoes etc… Add some salt, some other spices and cook it until all the ingredients are soft and tasty.
I’m a huge fan of pancakes. But not the american style pancakes – small, fat and sweet. I prefer the french crepes – bigger and more flat, a little salty. And they are really easy to prepare – all you need is some flour, milk, one egg and some filling. Depending on the mood and the time of day it can be some fruits, jam or syrup (if you’re preparing breakfast or dessert), cheese, fried meat, fish or vegetables (for lunch or dinner). For me there’s almost no better dish!
And since we’ve mentioned fish – they’re pretty popular on camping – especially if the camping itself is close to the lake or the river. With appropriate permissions, you can even catch something yourself, clean it and fry or grill it. The satisfaction is even bigger, because you’re actually tasting something you’ve hunted… (I realize, that you “catch” a fish, not “hunt” it, but come on – can’t we use big words from time to time? Just to feel better about ourselves? I think we can) …hunted yourself.
I bet you have much more ideas on what to eat on camping. Feel free to share them in the comment box or, if you’re shy, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No email will go unresponded to, I promise.
And if you return to the city, and you’re still hungry, check out some street food from all over the world in one of my previous post. You can also learn from Martta, why it’s a good idea to taste local food and stay away from McDonald’s while you’re traveling. So enjoy!