A Foodies Guide to Camping

This guest post was written by Claire Fischer, editor of the FlipKey Blog, a vacation rental company. Claire loves to travel, eat, and share her experiences with those around her.

Yosemite-cookingThis past summer my boyfriend and I took our first camping trip together. We lived in Boston and decided to head out west to explore new territory and visit Yosemite National Park for the first time. While my boyfriend loves the outdoors, he had never even been camping outside his front yard before. I should also mention that he is a professional chef and unwilling to compromise food quality for his love of nature. Not only did we have the most amazing adventure in Yosemite but we managed to eat quality meals that did not disappoint our taste buds. So here are a few tips for how foodies can camp too.

 

1) Be Resourceful:

camp-cooking-yosemite

Cooking with tin foil (Source: Claire Fischer)

If you are new to the camping world, chances are you are not going to have all the fancy gear like fold up pans, jet boils, or other propane stoves. However, if you have access to a fire pit that is pretty much all you need. With two simple cooking materials you can cook a variety of foods without breaking the bank. So without further ado I introduce to you your new best friends: Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil & Aluminum Pie Pans. Wrap up just about anything in aluminum foil to throw it in the fire and be cooked 10 minutes later. Pie pans are great for heating up chili, scrambling eggs, and even making a frittata. Both items can be bought inexpensively at any grocery store making it ideal for those who traveled by plane.

2) Simple is delicious:

Don’t try to replicate your kitchen at home. Accept that you are camping and do not have access to the same appliances and luxuries. There are numerous simple meals that can be made over a campfire and those are the ones that will taste the best. Here are a few simple menu items that can easily be made while camping, yet leave you room to spice it up.

*homemade burgers (don’t forget the brioche rolls, seasoning for your burger meat, or the butter you can put in the center of each patty to give it more flavor)

*Scrambled eggs with diced tomatoes and pesto (bring your favorite pre-made local pesto)

*Baked Apple with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon (slice up your apple, season to taste, wrap in foil with butter and sugar and bake in the fire pit)

3) Be Open Minded:

It is easy to assume that your camp food doesn’t have to taste as good as the food you cook at home or that you will survive off of trail mix, granola bars, and beef jerky from the gas station. But if you just loosen up a bit and look at the bigger picture you’ll see there are things you have control over such as the groceries you bring and what quality ingredients you pack. You also have the option to prepare your meals ahead of time — although this may be harder for those flying to their destination. Camping is what you make of it, and if you are a foodie- then camp like a foodie.

Yosemite National Park

A view at Yosemite National Park, by Claire Fischer

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13 thoughts on “A Foodies Guide to Camping

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  2. I love the acronym K.I.S.S or keep it simple stupid. A little harsh but applies to a lot in life. Camping is no different and I completely agree to not go overboard on the camp chef stuff. Food always tastes better while camping. Maybe there is someone smarter than me out there that can explain this universal fact?
    Great tips and love the pic. That is the type of shots that really get me fired up to throw on the pack and head out!

    • I agree. I often use the acronym K.I.S.S a lot in life. But for camping I feel it is so much more important. I’m no expert Dave, but I feel like camp food is so much better because there is nothing like either smokey or grilled flavor that you get in the great outdoors!

  3. If you haven’t tried using a dutch oven (the kind with the feet and lip on the lid) then you simply must. It is an expense to get one, but it should last multiple generations if taken care of. Literally anything you can do on your stove or in your oven at home you can do with a dutch oven. If your man likes to cook, the dutch oven is a whole art of its own.

  4. You can cook magnificent food with tin foil. Even if you put the simplest ingredients together and spice it, you are in for a great meal. My favorite tin-foil meal is putting potatoes, bacon and some meat together, hitting it with a bit of spice and cooking it for 30 minutes. It is very easy to make and it can get even better if you spice the meat at home, giving it time to get really juicy.

    • There is also another way to cook great food while camping. Bring your frying pan and a pot from home! Even cheaper than pie tins and much better for cooking. I have made all kinds of complete meals with those two items. The ultimate in camp cooking is the infamous dutch oven, which is the best way to enjoy truly amazing food while camping. Obviously all this is restricted to car camping due to the weight.

  5. Great advice for beginner campers! It is always easier to have a realistic view of camping food from the beginning and it is always helpful to have and experience point of view. Excellent!

  6. Sometimes it would be nice to have the comfort of home cooking while camping but it is obviously not going to happen. We do not car camp so either hike to a camp spot or do longer backpacking trips in.

    So weight and ease of cooking methods are of the most important to us so its usually freeze dried camping foods or some of our own dehydrated fruits and veggies that get packed along.

    Enjoyed your post, it was a good read and as one of the commenters above said, it made me hungry thinking about the foods you spoke of…lol

    Great blog by the way.

  7. Eric, I’m glad I stumbled upon your excellent camping blog. The design and layout, make it fun and easy to read.
    Claire’s post about camp cooking had me drooling. How lucky to have a boyfriend who is a professional chef.
    There’s no danger of me ever replicating my home cooking at a campsite. But I like to prepare something at home to reheat on the campfire on the the first night away.
    Travelling and setting up camp can be tiring, especially for those of us in the senior ranks.
    One of the easiest one-pot meals to prepare and reheat is a hearty, spicy stew. Even better if you’ve packed a bottle of red to wash it down with.

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