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Camping...and eating well!

Posted by: valeriefender on July 6, 2010

Are you getting ready to go on a family camp out? Camping is one of my family's favorite vacation ideas. It is always a lot of fun and a huge part of it is the food! We eat things camping that we never get at home...well, almost never. :)

Getting ready for a camping trip can be a lot of work, but well worth the extra effort once you are there! Same goes for the food part of the trip. I know when we get ready to go camping, I spend days planning and thinking about all of the yummy food we will have. Yes, I'm a foodie! It wouldn't be camping without some amazingly tasty food, now would it?

For some reason, food that you cook outside always tastes so much better than if you were home in your kitchen. There is no reason to eat out of a can when camping, unless you are just into that sort of thing. My family has been spoiled, in a good way, when it comes to camping. I will admit that I enjoy that part and am happy to "spoil" them!

Enjoying amazing food while you are camping is more than possible, it's really very easy. As with most things, it takes a bit of planning and prep work, but once you are out in the woods or on the beach, you will be so glad you took the time. Much of what you need to do to be ready can be done in a few hours.

One thing that my family loves when we are camping is a hardy breakfast. Pancakes, fried potatoes, bacon, and eggs are often on the menu. I save myself loads of time by prepping much of the meal when I'm still at home. I use my usual pancake recipe, simply mix up the dry ingredients in a zip-top bag and write the wet ingredients on the bag so I know how much of each to use once I'm camping. So easy! I also bake up a lot of potatoes at home so the fried potatoes have a head start and don't take so long once we are on our trip.

My family doesn't eat a big lunch while camping. We generally snack on various things, sometimes sandwiches are made, but generally we don't eat much in the midst of all of the fun. I often make up several batches of flat bread, cut it into desired sizes and bag it up. It keeps well, travels well and makes a great sandwich if someone wants one. Works well when we are on the go.

Dinner is another big meal for my family. If we are at the beach, fresh sea food is always on the menu once at least. My family loves fresh tuna, so that is usually what we go for. In addition to that, potato salad, coleslaw, pasta salad and fresh fruit are also common on our dinner table. I do as much prep at home as I can.

Potato salad is so easy to be ready for. The potatoes that I bake for breakfast are also used in a potato salad. I'll also boil up some eggs and have them in the cooler for this salad. My potato salad has a simple dressing of mayo, pickle juice, onion powder, salt and pepper. I'll also add dried dill if I have it, but it's not essential. I just make sure I have those ingredients in my camping good boxes and coolers. It's so easy to throw together a potato salad to go along with any lunch or dinner.

Coleslaw is also easy to put together while camping. I shred the cabbage and carrots (if I'm using them) at home and store it all in a zip-top bag. The dressing is mixed up at home too and stored in a quart jar or plastic container that won't leak in the cooler. Simply throw it together just before you eat. So easy!

Pasta salad is easy too. I just cook the noodles on the camp stove and have the rest of the ingredients on hand to mix up. Veggies can be chopped at home and stored in a zip-top bag, though I would avoid cutting up tomatoes if you are using them. Tomatoes can easily be cut up at the camp site.

If you have a tasty salad to go with your meal, you will find that dinner is half made! Bring along a watermelon, or other fresh fruit. Fresh carrot and celery sticks are also quick, easy and tasty to add to any meal. All you need to make it all complete is the meat! Cook over an open flame, roast hot dogs on a stick, make burgers, grill steaks or sea food. Your options are limitless! Mix up a marinade at home and get your steaks marinading before you leave if you plan steak for one of your first meals. So tasty and can easily be stored in a zip-top bag in your cooler.

Let's not forget the tasty treats that always come to mind when anyone mentions camping. How about S'mores! Roasting marshmallows is such a huge part of camping...that and hot cocoa in the morning. If you do nothing else in the way of prepping for your trip, you have got to make sure you have graham crackers, gluten-free ones of course! There are several recipes on Gling for really good graham crackers. You can do a search for graham crackers in the recipe section and come up with several. Just don't forget to go buy the marshmallows and chocolate bars! YUM!

Careful planning can make a wonderful trip for your family. Plus, you won't be cooking the whole time you are camping either...though I don't complain if I do, as long as someone else will do the dishes. :)

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