I was a girl guide but that was the only real camping I did as a kid. We were more of a cottage campfire family, with a kitchen, not a camping family. Last summer our little family of 5 joined all the other Canadian families who declare themselves campers and headed north to pitch a tent for 4 days.
It was awesome. All of us loved the entire experience from sleeping outdoors to cooking without electricity.
One thing everyone can agree with camping is you’re HUNGRY. Must be the extra fresh air or activity but food was on our mind. I was a little nervous about being away from a fridge for 4 days and what we would eat? We brought 2 coolers stocked to capacity and were able to get more ice mid-way thru to keep things chilled, but we managed.
When I asked around about food to bring, most people told me beef for burgers/tacos/pasta, food in a can or package, sandwiches all simple stuff. But, our family happily eats a lot more whole food than canned food so I packed the canned stuff as backup but planned our meals like normal.
And we ate like really well in the wilderness.
We had a campfire but really only used it for s'more’s. We were lucky to car camping and had a little Coleman gas grill we bought and a gas stove we borrowed from a friend. We packed meat to grill, potatoes, corn to boil on our little stove and lots of veggies to either grill or eat raw.
One of our best dinners was grilled salmon, boiled new potatoes and grilled corn and peppers. We were sure the bears would be jealous and storm the campsite! We tucked the leftover corn and potatoes into the cooler and it stayed well.
Lunch the next day was born from the leftovers which will now always a be called Camping Potato Salad to me. Delicious! Even our serious camping friends who were eating peanut butter sandwiches on day 3 were wondering how we pulled that off...and it was so easy!
What I've realised is everything food-wise with camping needs to have multiple purposes. The salad dressing is also a marinade, a dip, a sandwich spread and even tastes yummy on corn on the cob. Since you can't pack everything, then everything needs to count.
Camping Potato Salad
- Cooked, cold new potatoes – halved with skin on (leftovers are perfect)
- Cooked Corn cut off the cob
- Grilled Red and Yellow Peppers - chopped
- Balsamic Dressing, enough to dress the salad
Toss together and you have one yummy salad and sure doesn’t taste like “camping food”. Depending on your leftovers the size of the salad will vary, but since we’re all improvising when camping anyways, that works! Simple and yummy for hungry campers.
We asked our momstown Facebook Fans what they like to cook when camping and got a great list of 40 Camping Food Ideas that we had to share:
- bacon & eggs
- pita pizzas
- cup a soup
- Hot Dogs to make spider weenies
- Tacos or Taco Salad with ingredients all chopped in ziploc bags
- Spaghetti with homemade meat sauce made and frozen/thawing in cooler
- Pudgy pies
- Anything cooked over a fire and doesn't need utensils - marinated chicken on a bun, baked potatoes, hotdogs
- Sandwich maker that goes over the fire with pizza ingredients
- Steak over the fire is amazing
- Campfire Apples: apples, butter, cinnamon and foil to tuck into the fire
- Easy Pancakes - use ziplock bag to add water and shake around for easy mixing
- Pie Irons - with pizza ingredients and bread makes a wicked pizza pop (but better). Fill with pie filling for dessert
- Rice Krispies squares made over the fire
- Granola is a great snack.
- Mini cereal boxes are a camping classic!
- Make pulled-pork for sandwiches in advance, freeze and defrost when camping
- Steak and instant mashed potatoes
- Pita sandwiches, grilled
- Fried Oats (?)
- Premake wraps with cooked chicken, cheese, pepper then roll up and wrap in foil. Heat up on side of fire - yum!
- Campfire Cones: ice cream cones filled with banana pieces, skor bits, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows wrapped up in foil and over fire
- Jalapeno poppers: halved, seeded, spread with cream cheese inside and wrap in bacon. Wrap with foil and place over fire.
- Pie Iron and pizza ingredients OR peanut butter and banana
- Breakfast! Nothing like potatoes fried up with onions and peppers over a Coleman stove
- Jiffy Pop Popcorn - so tasty and fun to cook over the fire
- Nothing beats a camping breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast
- Pie Iron for breakfast sandwiches!
- Banana Boats: Tin foil, bananas, chocolate chips and marshmallows
- Cherry pie in a sandwich maker or campfire cones!
- Vanilla Cake inside of orange peel halves: pour in cake mix into orange halves, wrap in foil to bake, get a slightly orange flavoured cupcake!
- Pie Iron! Pillsbury apple turnovers rock in them!
- Bananas and chocolate - split the skins, stuff chocolate inside and wrap in foil to bake
- Spicy genoa salami over a campfire is awesome
- Corn on the cob over a fire with lots of butter
- Chili is a camping staple and easy to make over a fire
- Smore's with caramel in them
I think we need a Pie Iron for the number of times I have heard about these!