Swimming, campfires, and making s’mores probably top most kid’s lists of favorite summer things to do. On the other hand, pitching a tent, sleeping on tree roots, and swatting mosquitos might be keeping the adults away from this easy and affordable summertime adventure. Is there a way to tip the scales from endurance to actual enjoyment without taking away from the great outdoors? We think so. In addition to bringing an inflatable air mattress and your own pillow, we are suggesting a few meal prepping ideas to strengthen your camping game. While this list might not be suitable for those of you backpacking in, don’t let us stop you from trying. For those of us who need additional inspiration to leave home and head into nature, here are a few thoughts to get you started.
Camping Win #1 – Make a sauce with pasta! (Veg, V, GF options)
Skip the grilled meat and meal prep this indulgent vegetarian sauce that reheats in seconds. Using a camp stove, and possibly even just one pot, boil water to cook pasta. While your pasta drains, reheat your sauce and you’ll be slurping delicious noodles in front of your crackling fire within minutes. As a result, you’ll have a satiating meat free dinner in one bowl that’s easy to hold and eat. In addition, this recipe can easily be modified with less or no butter and tossed with veggies, veggie noodles, or gluten free pasta to fit any dietary needs. Your post hike hunger or after swimming chill is calling for this comfort dish. And while it’s the perfect pairing to your rugged adventure, someone is going to ask you for it the following week.
Your Packing list:
- Palamino’s Tomato Basil Sauce for 2 or more
- Gluten Free Spaghetti, or any pasta or veggie noodle you want to pack and reheat
- Pine Nuts to toast or prepped ahead, picked basil leaves, and parmesan cheese shavings to top it off.
- Dishes and tools: 1 to 2 pots to boil pasta and reheat the sauce, pot lid to tip off the water or a strainer, bowls, and forks!
Camping Win #2 – Step up your hot dog game!
Grilling hot dogs over an open flame or atop a grill grate remains an easy camping food option, always. Go with the classics or try a new style. Chicago Dogs anyone? Either way, prep and measure out the desired toppings ahead of time and bring them ready to assemble for a lunch or a second easy dinner. A Chicago dog is said to have been dragged through the garden, so who needs sides on this one? Save room for lunch s’mores instead!
Your Packing List:
- Grass Fed Beef Hot Dogs with buns of your choice
- Toppings: tomato slices or wedges, dill pickle spears, sweet pickle relish, spicy peppers, mustard, chopped white onion, and a dash of celery salt. Yum!
- Dishes and tools: hot dog and marshmallow sticks, plates, and forks.
Camping Win #3 – Make it for breakfast or dessert!
Add a fruit-in-foil breakfast to start your day or make it for dessert as a late night campfire treat. Stone fruit and summer seasons go hand in hand. Therefore, grab a few peaches if you think their tender skins can survive the packing or plums if you need a firmer fruit for your backpack. Prep the crumble ahead of time and you are ready to wrap fruits in foil and tuck them into the fire until baked through and melty. Take this recipe for peach raspberry crumbles as your inspiration and consider the following options:
- Wrap peeled or unpeeled halves of seedless fruit in foil with spoonfuls of oatmeal crumble on top. Bake in coals or on the grate for 20-30 minutes depending on desired doneness and size of fruits.
- Wrap peeled or unpeeled halves in coconut oiled foil for a baked fruit packet with no added sugar. Eat this alone or atop a bowl of oatmeal.
- For breakfast, pack pre-made hard boiled eggs and french press coffee. This shatterproof French press could make (not break!) your camping trip.
Your Packing List:
- Stone fruits, 1 for each person
- Pre-made crumble
- Foil for wrapping
- Dishes: paring knife, bowls, forks, and possibly headlamps to see what you are eating!