Just because you’re camping the wild doesn’t mean you can’t cook easy, surprisingly tasty meals.
There are times, when camping near your car (Extreme Ice Chest Availability), when nothing puts the cap on a long day like spreading out and fixing a massive dinner spread for you and you crew.
More often than not, though, you’ll want to know some quick and easy camping recipes to turn to in the wild.
Here are some ideas for low-maintenance, real food meals that taste good and require minimal equipment and cleanup.
PLASTIC BAG BREAKFAST BURRITOS
- Zipper lock plastic bags (one per person; get heavy duty bags)
- Large pot (or small pot if it’s just one or two people)
- Omelette/burrito fillings (veggies, meats, cheese)
This is an easy camping recipe that can be surprisingly delicious. Oatmeal can be great in the mornings (hot tip: many oatmeal packets hold water, so you can pour hot water straight in there and not mess with a bowl — just don’t burn yourself), but breakfast burritos are hearty enough to carry you well into the day.
Prior to your trip, chop up your choice burrito ingredients — bacon, veggies, etc. — and parcel them out into baggies. You can add cheese in before cooking or sprinkle it on at the end.
Labeling bags with a permanent marker makes for easier sorting if folks are into different ingredient combinations.
At breakfast time, bring water to a boil in the pot, crack two or three eggs into each bag, squeeze the air out as you seal them, and squeeze them around until the eggs are near scrambled.
Drop the sealed baggies into the boiling water and wait 13 minutes for two eggs or 15 minutes for three.
Use the tongs to keep the bags from touching up against the side of the pot; contact with the pot can melt the plastic and get weird. Then pull the bags out with the tongs, open carefully, and roll out perfect little omelettes.
Highly recommended that you roll them each onto a tortilla and subsequently roll said tortilla: burrito achieved, no dishes to do, and you can use the bags to seal up any other trash you may have.
- Cook pot
- Fork or spoon
This easy camping recipe is one of the best resources for a quick pick-me-up. Bring your water to a boil, add coffee, let it boil for a minute, then remove from the heat. You can wait for the grounds to settle, or toss a little bit of cold water in there and the cold water will make the grounds sink.
Pour into mugs, enjoy, and go ride the range. If you made plastic bag burritos already, you can dump the grounds into your used plastic bag. Or, you can use them to exfoliate your skin.
FOIL PACKET MEALS
- Heavy duty foil
- Coarsely chopped veggies (a few kinds: potatoes, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, anything
- Meat of some kind (hamburger, ground turkey, one or two sausage links, fish
- Cooking oil (olive oil or cooking spray work great
Optional: Herbs (rosemary, for example), Other spices (a blended steak seasoning or cajun seasoning is super slick)
Wrapping food in foil and nestling the foil packet into hot coals is essentially creating a mini all-in-one oven and serving dish.
If packed properly, these are camping meals you can prepare ahead of time and carry with you into the backcountry on an overnight trip. Otherwise, they’re sort of the dinner version of plastic bag omelettes.
Lightly grease the inside of a square of foil with oil or spray, lay your ingredients in the center, and fold the foil around it so that it’s sealed tightly but there is space around the ingredients within for steam to accumulate.
Then place the foil packet in hot coals to cook (let your fire accumulate a bed of coals; you want to be cooking on coals rather than just burning wood).
Fish and veggies will be good to go on the 20 minute side; meats and chicken breasts will be closer to 25.
This is a great camping recipe for hot, vegetarian-friendly meals. Whether you include meat or not, make sure you’ve got some veggies involved that have high moisture content.
Tomatoes, onions, and celery all fit the bill. Canned vegetables work great, too.
Check out the Art of Manliness for some more foil packet recipe ideas.
CHOCOLATE BANANA THING
- Heavy duty foil
Though s’mores are objectively the best dessert ever invented, here’s a subtle twist. Keeping a banana in its peel, slice it open from one end to the other.
Shove chocolate inside (feel free to let loose a little bit here: add marshmallows, peanut butter, whatever your heart desires), then wrap the whole thing in foil.
Toss it into the coals and turn from time to time for 5-10 minutes. Then remove with the tongs, open carefully, and scoop out the glorious mush with a spoon.
Put your trash away mindfully so it’s safe from creatures of the night and check out the stars while the fire fades
Have any other easy camping recipes you turn to in the wild? Let us know in the comments below.