Cooking Over The Campfire
Remember, you’re going to have to carry whatever you’re going to eat with you when you set off on your next adventure under nature’s hood; So, volume and weight are hugely important when you decide on your camping menu.
Below is a short list of foods that you can think about preparing when you’re in the great outdoors. These possibilities change of course for any given trip, but in general for any trip, you’ll be able to work at least some of them into your menu.
PROTEIN is important, especially if you’re spend long days on the trail, climbing, or in general being active outside. It’s important that you get protein because it is one of the major contributing factors to your energy production level. An easy way to get protein when camping is by making:
- LENTILS: A small bag is still light and can easily be soaked. These also go a long way. If you don’t have to go too far, you can bring an onion and some garlic and make a nice soup with salt and pepper. After a hard day of hiking, lentils taste better than ever before.
- FISH: If you’re the sportsman type, you can fish while camping, where permitted, and get your protein this way. There is nothing better than fresh fish cooked over a campfire. A little tin foil will serve fine for a grill, or you can steam the fish in a cook-kit kettle.
- MEATS: If you’re car camping fresh meat is a fun way to celebrate, but if you’re going to be in the wilderness, you’ll only want to bring dried meat. Either eaten on its own, or integrated into dishes for a dash of protein and flavor, dried meat if always a good idea for any camping trip.
STARCHES are essential when outdoors because they give you the replenishment you need after a hard day of burning off carbohydrates. It might surprise you how many potatoes or noodles you can eat while camping, but don’t get worried; you’ll burn them off faster than you’d think. A couple of good options are:
- POTATOES: These are great for car camping and even for longer trips. However, for wilderness trips, it’s a good idea to eat your potatoes on the first or second night, so that you don’t have to deal with their weight for an extended period of time.
- NOODLES: All you need is a little oil and some herbs and you’ve got starches covered with a big plate of noodles. Any kind of tomato sauces make for great suppers, especially when there are lots of people to feed, or when there is little time to make something to eat. Noodles are quick and easy.
LIQUIDS too are essential to camping and your health. Remember that when you’re sweating hard during the day, you need to replace that water at night. If you have enough liquid in you, you won’t be thirsty on the trail. It’s always good practice to drink lots of water at night so you don’t have to the next day.
- SOUPS: These are very common and for good reason. They’re delicious in all kinds of weather, they’re very easy to prepare, and they can feed lots of people quickly and simply. This is one way that you can give yourself the nutrients you need and hydrate yourself.
- WATER: Drink, drink, drink, drink and drink. Anyone who has gotten dehydrated on a mountain or in a wilderness area knows that it is not worth it to not properly hydrate themselves. Try to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day.
- POWDER DRINKS: If you’ve having a problem pounding down the water, powdered drink mixes can help with the flavor. The sugar that they contain also is good for you, because you’ll easily burn it off on the trail.
SUGARS give you energy that you need quickly. It’s a good idea to bring along some sweets. Anyone who gets dizzy from exhaustion should be offered a sweet and water. With all of the work that the body is doing when camping, glucose, from sugar, is burned through energy enrichment processes.
- SMOORES: Chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker. Perhaps the best night time camping snack around. Roast the marshmallow on a stick and make a sandwich. These are great to pull out as a surprise, especially for younger hikers.
- TRAIL MIX (GORP): This is a mix of nuts, chocolate, and dried fruit. It is instant energy and highly recommended for any kind of trip. Most people that try “gorp” for the first time while camping end up eating it for years afterwards as a simple, quick, and healthy snack.