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Favorite Camping Meals and Snacks


gknl
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Camp stoves are great! You can do just about anything on them, as I found during the hurricane seasons of 2004/2005!

it definitely depends on the stove ...

some are meant for cooking and can actually simmer. others (like mine) are climbing stoves that let you choose between Off and Blowtorch. They're great for melting snow and boiling water. But they'd be more useful for welding yourself some outdoor furniture than for making a sauce or some pancakes!

I prefer to think of the options as off and volcano. I've been able to make pancakes on my MSR stove but you need something to diffuse the heat. I use a small pan inside a bigger pot:

pancake.jpg

You can "bake" cookies if you treat them like pancakes and flip them half way through - they look like hell, but they're delicious in the middle of nowhere.

Mushroom risotto works really well on backpacking trips - dehydrated chicken stock, rice, dried black trumpets, porcini powder, and a shallot. For car camping, I've got no ideas...

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As someone who tends to take food preparation to extremes, this suggestion may not seem appropriate, but since I live on the edge of the Gila Wilderness, I'm camping a lot. I always take my packaged Indian meals - available at any Indian market and most co-ops. They were originally MREs for the Indian millitary. The nice thing for me is that you can boil a pot of water, add the meals in their pouches, throw a few tea bags in the water and 5 minutes later have your meal and drink with no cleanup. Not a gourmet option by eGullet standards - but I've had many campers impressed be this little tip.

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Camp stoves are great! You can do just about anything on them, as I found during the hurricane seasons of 2004/2005!

it definitely depends on the stove ...

some are meant for cooking and can actually simmer. others (like mine) are climbing stoves that let you choose between Off and Blowtorch. They're great for melting snow and boiling water. But they'd be more useful for welding yourself some outdoor furniture than for making a sauce or some pancakes!

This is true. But, Coleman is my friend!

And as far as the MRE's are concerned, when you are tired and starving from a day (and a night) of outdoor activity, they can't be beat.

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I avoid MREs not because of how they taste but because they're heavy. I'll go for box mac and cheese over an MRE and save a pound of pack weight per meal. Hiking places where you can find wild mint, watercress, and other edibles along the way makes it even easier to eat well. An aluminum moka pot for coffee in the morning, wild mint tea at night. Most everything I hike with is dehydrated, much of it done at home. Hot chocolate made from grated chocolate, vanilla sugar, and some spices tastes worlds better than the packet stuff, but it's also significantly heavier. I still can't decide if the extra weight is worth it.

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Huh...I don't find them heavy, but the other perk for backpackers (v. campers) is that they can squish into a backpack really well and are durable enough to not burst. Also I want to clarify, the Indian MREs are in microwavable/boilable plastic pouches not the more bulky US MRE boxes. And they're spicy and tasty :)

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Bring chunks of your favorite meats and vegetables to make kebabs. Kids seem to like the chicken and pineapple combo.

BBQ baked beans with sausages snuggled in.

Use your tortillas or a Boboli-type of product and make simple pizzas.

Potatoes baked in the coals with a variety of toppings (including chili) can be a complete meal.

Don't forget the marshmallows! After they're toasted they can be dipped in rice krispies, nuts or crushed cookie crumbs.

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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Huh...I don't find them heavy, but the other perk for backpackers (v. campers) is that they can squish into a backpack really well and are durable enough to not burst.  Also I want to clarify, the Indian MREs are in microwavable/boilable plastic pouches not the more bulky US MRE boxes.  And they're spicy and tasty :)

Gotcha. I've brought those sack-o-curry things with me a few times in the past, they're much more delicious than the packaged pasta things that taste like they're 50% salt and 50% preservatives.

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Those Indian MREs are amazing. They've become my camping food of choice for short trips (a long weekend or less). I supplement them with higher protein snacks, since all the ones I've found are vegetarian.

For longer trips weight becomes an issue, so I bring freeze dried dinners. Either these are much tastier than you'd expect, or else the trips make me hungry enough to change expectations radically! I really like them. In cold weather I bring a tube of olive oil to mix in. Improves flavor and ups the fat content nicely.

I'm spending ten days in the Wind River range next month, all of it way in the backcountry. My partner and I have abandoned all gourmet pretenses and will eat only the lightweight, easy stuff.

Notes from the underbelly

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I think you are on the right track with the tortillas. I usually make them the night before as they are better after sitting a few hours at least. I have made them into pizzas ( some dehydrated homemade meat sauce with some old cheese and a nice dried pepperoni ) or burritos ( again make the beef and bean filling at home, give it a night in the oven on the lowest setting with the door propped open, just rehydrate the filling and enjoy ).

A few times I have cooked a beef roast at home, sliced it up and packed the slices with the gravy in a large Ziplock. A few days in the deep freeze and well insulated with newspaper it should be good for a few days unless the heat is extreme.

I enjoy making biscuits while camping. There is something about rolling out the dough on a paddle and cooking them over the fire that just makes them taste better than they do at home. You can go so many directions with a basic biscuit recipe. I often make two batches up, I'll cook the first while I make the second into cinnamon buns. I'll cook the second while we are eating and put them aside for a sweet treat for breakfast.

A bag of potato flakes, a little flour and before long you have fresh gnocchi ready to enjoy.

Several times I have done cornish hens on a spit. They are always a winner but setting up the fire pit properly, getting a good spit and the time it takes to cook them without burning can make for a late dinner especially if you have paddled a long ways. I am always a little afraid of the chicken so I only do these the first night out but they are so good that I usually don't mind washing up in the dark afterwards.

I have taken MREs in the past but have found they are too heavy for what you get out of them. After a long day paddling I need two or three of them to keep me fueled and taking thirty per person for a ten day trip gets very heavy very quickly. One or two tucked away for an emergency is always nice though.

I have been called a camping Nazi from several people as I never take a cooler and until my wife bought me stove at Christmas I had never done any camp cooking over anything but a firepit. Perhaps I make extra work for mself but I really feel it adds to the whole experience.

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Make your own boil-in-a-bag meals by vacuum sealing things that take well to reheating. Just freeze mushy things first before vacuum sealing (e.g. chili). You can then just heat them up in a pot of simmering water on the camp stove. Plus the frozen packets act as ice in your cooler and gradually defrost, so they keep for several days. Nothing's better on a really active camping trip than to come back to camp, exhausted, and have some tasty, homemade food ready to go with just a pot of water and a few minutes.

Of course, if it's a laid-back trip with plenty of time for food prep and cooking, nothing's better than cooking over an open fire!

My fave on camping trips is bacon and eggs in a cast iron pan over the fire. It's the only time I allow myself the luxury of frying the eggs in the bacon grease!

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My preferred camp food has been the same since I was young--the counselors that showed me always called them "hobos"

Basically hamburger (usually we shied away from chicken) and whatever veggies we'd packed out balled up in a double layer of tin foil with soy or steak sauce and left at the edge of the fire and rotated now and then until it was all done. Nothing super duper fancy but filling and fun for us (8-12 years old at the time) to assemble and relatively filling topped off with some biscuits rolled up on skewers and cooked (optionally filled with pudding afterwards :D)

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  • 1 year later...

I did search for camping recipes, but no luck. If they're around, please point me in their direction - thanks!

Anyway, I'm off for my annual 10-day trip next week. PRAYING that the weather will improve! We're car camping, and there are between 5 and 12 of us over the course of the trip. We're well equipped with ktichen equipment, and pretty expert firebuilders. We have two Dutch ovens that we LOVE and are just beginning to use.

I'm looking for ANY great camping recipes, and especially recipes for the Dutch oven.

Things that have worked well for all recently include:

BBQ of all persuasions and cultures

chicken enchiladas

chili

roasts in the Dutch oven

foods cooked in pit, ashes, embers, etc

Any good reference books would be appreciated, too.

What do you love to eat / cook when you're camping?

Thanks in advance!

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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a quicky that I read about somwhere a while back: Hollow out some orange halves (eat the orange) Fill the halves with muffin mix - I usually get the just add water kind (heresy, I know...) and mix it in the bag. Fill in the orange peels, wrap in foil, toss in some coals.

Works reasonably well. They don't exactly turn out pretty, but its camping.

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Camp cooking ( and its planning ) is my favorite part of the trip!! I usually do canoe tripping but since I now have a young daughter I can see a few car camping trips in my future.

We have had great success doing cornish hens on a spit.

Biscuits in the coals ( I have created an 'oven' by using tin foil pie plates; two on the top and two on the bottom with small clips to hold them together ) that works quite well. I have found that savory biscuits work better than cinnamon & raisin ones as the sugar will burn if the heat gets too much.

Fajitas work really well on a fire. Tortillas don't crush no matter how many times the pack gets tossed around but they seem even tastier if you make them fresh out there.

Bring lots of foil... toss a few heads of wrapped up garlic in the coals for roasted garic with almost any meal. Cut some sweet onions into quarters stopping short of cutting all the way through , drizzle some beef bullion and melted butter into them, wrap them up and let them sit in the coals for a half hour.

Almost anything you like to eat at home can be made over a campfire.

Have fun!!

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The best tool we took when camping many years ago was a Chinese Wok.

It is extremely versatile in that you can scramble a bunch of eggs in it, stir fry, and even cook a large quantity of Chili.

What's nice about it is that you can set it right in the glowing embers or put it on the cooking grate.

Take a Wok and plan your menu around it, your camp mates wil be awed by your cooking prowess.

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Wow, camped my entire life, both with my parents and with girl scouts.

take two coolers, one for beverages one for food. reason? the beverage one gets open a LOT where as the food one doesn't.

my mom took her cast iron skillet and make us a fry every morning including fried tomatos, bacon, eggs, we toasted bread in the fire on sticks.

take a dozen hard boiled eggs too, excellent, quiick energy boost.

Don't forget snacks for around the campfire at night, camping makes me hungroy!

---------------------------------------

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My friend Carole Latimer wrote a camping cookbook, Wilderness Cuisine. It's still available on Amazon. I've eaten lots of Carole's food on camping trips, and I think it's delish. Some recipes (like the fish stew and herbed sun-dried tomatoes) I also cook at home.

Some recipes from the cookbook are posted on the Call of the Wild website, here:

http://www.callwild.com/page.php?id=6&cat=6

There's also a limited preview of the book on Googlebooks, all informational, no recipes though.

http://books.google.com/books?id=uu1dw0FZD...derness+cuisine

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I went on a kayaking trip where the guide made a great & very healthy salad using a couple different kinds of canned beans with a tin of tuna thrown in. Was surprisingly delicious...and easy variation is throw in some herbs you like and balsalmic (a bit exotic for camping, but if you make room for it, it can really jazz a lot of stuff up). Also a pineapple travels well. My mom used to make an irish soda bread that you could make up in advance then divide into pieces then cook on the skillet; you could look up some skillet bread recipes that could be applied but I expect you'd have to cook that in the first couple of days. Pakistani chapati can be made in a skillet, and are just basically flour & water mixed and flattened (I lived there for awhile and indeed they cook them over a fire).

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The Missouri Department of Conservation has a great monthly magazine and this month they had this article, "Dutch Oven Cooking 101" which has recipes for zucchini bake, pineapple upsidedown cake, and roast chicken and veggies. It seems to be a great resource for the basics on how to set up a DO.

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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I did search for camping recipes, but no luck. If they're around, please point me in their direction - thanks!

Anyway, I'm off for my annual 10-day trip next week. PRAYING that the weather will improve! We're car camping, and there are between 5 and 12 of us over the course of the trip. We're well equipped with ktichen equipment, and pretty expert firebuilders. We have two Dutch ovens that we LOVE and are just beginning to use.

I'm looking for ANY great camping recipes, and especially recipes for the Dutch oven.

Things that have worked well for all recently include:

BBQ of all persuasions and cultures

chicken enchiladas

chili

roasts in the Dutch oven

foods cooked in pit, ashes, embers, etc

Any good reference books would be appreciated, too.

What do you love to eat / cook when you're camping?

Thanks in advance!

There's lots of cool ideas here...

Camping for food, or perhaps the other way around

Campout Cooking, In Quantity, A request for assistance

Who goes camping?, And what do you bring along to eat?

Your best camping meals?

Camping/Trail Food, What do you take (merged)

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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Some of my favorite things to eat in the great outdoors while backpacking are:

– Honey Mustard Chicken (One package of vacuum-sealed chicken mixed with a couple of honey packets and mustard packets and heated through.)

–Turkey with Gravy and Stuffing (Heat one package of vacuum-sealed turkey in one package of just-add-water gravy mix. Then cook the just-add-water stuffing.)

– Macaroni with Mariana or Pesto Sauce (Macaroni cooks the quickest; then cook just-add-water powdered marinara or pesto sauce.)

– Rice Noodles or Ramen Noodles

- Flavored couscous with either canned anchovies, crab, tuna, etc. mixed in.

- Just add water hummus with pita chips, tabbouleh and a can or two of dolma and butter beans in tomato sauce.

- Pancakes with maple syrup or fresh berries.

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I'm a member of the Society of Creative Anachronism. My friend's birthday happened to coincide with an event, so I ended up cooking her birthday dinner on a two burner propane camp stove. I made lamb tagine. This involved two pots and one mixing bowl, not too hard to haul around. In one pot, I took lamb chunks tossed with olive oil, tumeric, pepper, and ginger, and simmered them with a ton of sliced onions, with just enough water to cover the mixture. I would have rather used stock but needs must as the devil drives. The second pot was cubed yams, dried apricots, rose water, honey, lemon juice and cinnamon sticks. When the potatoes cooked through and the onions softened, they got combined and simmered for about twenty minutes more, if I remember rightly. In the meantime I cleaned the mixing bowl and made cous cous in it. I will rustle up the recipe if people would like it.

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