Summer is winding down and the kids are going back to school soon. If you are trying to get in a few last-minute outings, now is the time to plan a weekend camping trip. You probably already know which gear to bring, but have you thought about all the different and delicious foods you can eat while camping?
Gather Some Breakfast Ideas
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day no matter where you are, but it may be even more important when you’re camping. After all, you’re going to need energy to spend the day hiking, swimming and fishing. If you’d like breakfast to be quick so you can all get on the trails, bring traditional milk and cereal or heat up some water for instant oatmeal packets.
If you don’t mind spending a little time over a leisurely breakfast, fry up some eggs and bacon or make some pancakes. Eggs and bacon over an open fire have a wonderfully smoky flavor, and you can make pancake batter at home and store it in a squeeze bottle in the cooler until it’s time to use it. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of syrup!
Bring Along Easy Lunch Foods
You’ll probably be on the go during lunchtime, so it is important to bring items that are easy to eat while you move. Whatever you bring, be sure it is easy for little hands to hold if you are camping with small children.
Before you go camping, slice up some white potatoes or sweet potatoes, season them, and bake them until crispy for homemade potato chips. Pair them with premade peanut butter sandwiches while you’re hiking or out on a boat. If you happen to be spending the day around the campsite, you can make lunch a bit more complicated by heating up some soup and serving it with a pasta salad you’ve kept in the cooler.
Snacks to Keep Your Energy Up
Whether you’re hiking the trails or sitting around the campsite enjoying the sunshine, the kids are likely going to ask for snacks at some point. By planning ahead, you can keep plenty of healthy options on hand. Crackers and peanut butter, veggie sticks and dried fruit are all easy to carry, even for the littlest hands in the group. Of course, granola and trail mix and tried and true options that people have eaten for decades. Jerky is another possible option. All are easy to tote around or to keep in a backpack by the campsite.
It’s Time for Dinner
Dinner time usually signifies the end of the day’s more taxing activities and the start of the evening’s relaxation, conversation, and maybe a bit of singing or reading. When camping, you want the dinner meal to be filling enough to keep everyone sated until morning, but not so filling that it may cause tummy aches in the middle of the night.
If you want to go for something traditional and easy, grab a bag of potato chips — or the homemade ones you made before — some hamburgers and hot dogs, and some buns, and have a traditional evening picnic. Don’t forget the ketchup, mustard, and relish! If you’d like to spend more time tossing around a Frisbee or otherwise enjoying your campsite, simmer a pot of chili over the open fire or slow roast sausage and vegetables in foil over the coals. You’ll have a delicious and filling dinner without having to spend too much time away from family activities.
Don’t Forget Dessert
Who could forget the traditional campfire dessert known as the s’more? It wouldn’t be a camping trip without them. For the easiest s’mores, simply bring along some graham crackers, a bag of giant marshmallows, and some chocolate bars, being sure to keep the chocolate and marshmallows in the cooler if the days are warm — you don’t want them to melt prematurely.
One of the beauties of s’mores is the ability to make them literally hundreds of different ways. Experiment with different types of candy bars, add some M&M’s, or toss in some fresh strawberries or peaches. You can even add cookie dough to your s’mores. Hamptoncreek makes cookie dough in several flavors that use no dairy products and is safe for consumption straight from the jar. Simply pop the jar and spread some on your graham cracker before adding the marshmallow. You’ll be on your way to dessert heaven in no time.
Of course, every camping trip needs proper fluids, so don’t forget to bring along plenty of water—save the environment by using reusable jugs that you can refill at the campsite. Hot cocoa and coffee are perfect for a chilly evening or morning. Happy camping!