Are you trying to get better at cooking meals while away on a camping trip? Check out these tips on how to camp and cook before your next trip.
Camping is the perfect activity for anyone who loves getting the chance to spend time outside and explore nature. This is a relaxing time for many, but there are always some things that are hard to get right on your camping trip. One thing that can add some stress to your camping trip is cooking all your meals away from home. This leads many people to go out of their way to eat out or pack days worth of pre-packaged, processed foods that take away from your camping experience.
Sure, you could make all your meals in your rental RV or at a campsite, but this is something many people struggle with. From knowing how to cook without a full kitchen to packing all your ingredients, cooking while camping can be a hassle. However, with the right help, it can be an easy way to make a wide range of meals that taste great and are easy to make from anywhere.
Follow this guide for perfecting how to cook a great meal while on a camping trip.
1. Meal Prep
Are you one of the many who have switched to meal prepping to prepare meals in your daily life? Gathering ingredients and making meals a few days in advance might seem like it takes a big chunk of your time all at once, but it can be far more effective. This is something you should also do before every camping trip. You’ll have to set aside time for this ahead of your trip, but you’ll free up more time when you’re actually there. Meal prepping gives you the chance to make meals at home that you might not have the means to do while camping and just heat them up when it's time to eat. Even if you don’t have the full meal planned out ahead of time, you’ll still have the exact amount of ingredients you’ll need to throw it together. It can also help make sure that you aren’t leaving any key parts of your meals behind while packing.
2. Figure Out Your Cooking Gear
The supplies you need to cook might not seem like a lot while you’re at home, but once you start packing them, you’ll see how much you actually need. This can take up a lot of space in your car or RV, so you want to be sure of exactly what you need to make a meal while you’re out.
To do this, you also need to know how you’ll be cooking. Are there grills at your campsite or do you have a stovetop in your RV? Maybe you prefer cooking everything over a fire you made yourself. These will all require that you bring different cooking ware. What meals you’ll be making will also require certain things. Equipment like cast iron skillets and dutch ovens can be used for multiple different types of meals and are always handy to bring on a camping trip.
3. Plan Meals Out in Advance
When you’re cooking at home, there have probably been more than a time when you need to run out to the store to get one ingredient you forgot. Realizing you’re missing something at the last minute is always a pain, but when it’s much worse when it happens at a campground. A simple checklist can make a huge difference when it comes to cooking on your next camping trip. This might seem like an easy step, but many people overlook it for that reason. Just in case, you should also be aware of all the local grocery stores or nearby restaurants if you do end up needing a backup.
4. Bring Plenty of Snacks and Drinks
Planning out each meal is great, but you can’t forget about the snacks. You’ll have hours in between meals where you’ll be bound to get hungry. Snacks like granola bars and trail mix are easy to pack for the road and can help keep you and your friends from getting irritable when you’re hungry. Of course, you also need to make sure you have enough to drink during your trip, especially if it’s warm and you’ll be doing a lot of physical activity. Bringing along insulated water bottles can make sure that everyone on your trip has access to ice-cold water. You might also want to bring along supplies to make coffee and tea for the morning or to have a warm drink if the temperature drops.
5. Pack Kitchen Accessories
There’s no good in bringing along all of your ingredients, pre-made meals, and cooking supplies with you if you forget all of your kitchen accessories. What good is a nice meal if you end up realizing you don’t have any plates or utensils? Think of all the things you’ll need to keep food fresh, store leftovers, and have a comfortable mealtime. If you know you’ll be eating outside at picnic tables, rather than inside your RV, you might want a tablecloth to throw over the surface. There might be things that aren’t necessary ingredients for your recipes that you might want to have around, such as salt, pepper, and all of your favorite condiments. You should also need to take into consideration storage for all your food, whether that be using reusable containers, plastic wrap, or tinfoil.