How To Cook While Camping

If you are a camper who is just starting out, then preparing several dishes in advance, even before leaving, is certainly the most suitable solution for you. But, whether you are a novice or an avid camper, you will need to think in any case:

What you’ll want to cook and what food you’ll want to take out.

How to organize your cold meals, sandwiches, snacks, or meals on the go.

How to equip the kitchen of your campsite or your motorhome.

The type of plates, crockery, and cutlery that you will need to have during your camping.

The cooking method you will use campfire, stove, or gas cylinder.

With the tips and advice, you need to move around safely in your camping kitchen.

All the tools and products you will need to clean your kitchen after cooking and eating: dishwashing liquid, disinfectants, sponges, wipes, etc.

1. Preparing the camping kitchen

If a camping trip seems difficult enough in itself (between the fear of forgetting something, the need to protect yourself from mosquitoes, and the preparation of the shelter where you will spend the night), you might also feel the urge of not wanting you throw iN PREPARING MEALS LIKE HOME!

However, it is not always easy to find a restaurant, and, frankly, it is an inexpensive solution!

In this case, foods that can keep just as well out of the refrigerator may be of help. As a rule, these are also foods that do not require special cooking or elaborate preparation. We are talking about hard cheeses, cold meats, and even dried fruits.

Or, you could also take a cooler to store your dried fruit, yogurt, or cheese, for example.

So start thinking about how to organize your meals while eating as well as at home, but WITHOUT having to cook some sort of elaborate dish!

  • The watchword: SIMPLICITY

Cook simple dishes and above all RELAX… you are on vacation!

You won’t have real home cooking at your disposal, and most importantly, you won’t need to impress anyone with gourmet dishes.

Also, keep in mind the limits that are naturally imposed on you by cooking outdoors and simply readjust your expectations!

A SIMPLE, well-cooked DISH will be appreciated by everyone anyway and won’t waste too much time or energy.

  • Play the anticipation and prepare whatever is possible from the comfort of your home before you leave

For example, you can cut your vegetables from home, so that they are already ready when you go camping. Or, you could prepare a cold pasta dish, salads, cold cuts, or even a cut omelet, which you could keep in a dedicated container.

To cook while camping, you don’t need to bring too many pots. A good pan may be sufficient for preparing different dishes.

So try to rationalize your equipment and have with you the minimum essential for a question of weight and space.

  • Always plan a space to keep all your food cool

In your camping equipment, you will most certainly have a cooler, or at least, a space dedicated to products that need to be kept cool.

You can make the most of this space BY KEEPING vegetables or cut bread, or pieces of meat, which will also be used to keep your cooler at temperature, which you can then let defrost naturally so that you can eat them.

Or, you could put frozen water bottles in your cooler, so that you always have a cold bottle of water, in addition to your cooler.

In the event that you still wish to have the temperature of your cooler under control, we simply suggest that you slip a thermometer into it, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises such as past foods.

2. The essentials of camping cooking

If you want to cook over the open-air campfire or over the embers, be aware that you won’t have the same flame control you might have from the comfort of your home or from the barbecue in your backyard.

There are a number of outside conditions that could affect your campfire and make your life difficult. For example, it might rain, which can make it difficult to start the fire, or you might run out of wood.

In some parks, you can harvest wood, but it is crucial to always INFORM YOURSELF BEFORE LEAVING and possibly bring your own wood (which you will have prepared beforehand at home), so as not to have unpleasant surprises at home. last minute.

In that case, why not consider bringing a small camping propane oven? In the trade, you will find different types: from larger and more professional to smaller models, very simple and inexpensive, to those that are compact and foldable, also very light to transport.

In any case, we suggest that you practice starting a fire before setting off without a fire starter, matches or lighter because being able to do it without all of these tools can be very useful in an emergency. or if you forgot them all!

Those passionate about good food rarely give up their gourmet dishes, even on vacation, and they do not leave without all the necessary equipment to cook well.

The amount of food you will take when camping depends a lot on your tastes and habits, but also on the space you have available.

If you’re traveling in a backpack, you’ll have to make do with cans, shelf-stable foods, or freeze-dried dishes that can be easily cooked, even while traveling.

If you have the option of having a refrigerator or a cooler, and especially during the summer season, you will always have fresh food.

In any case, we recommend that you always have small, light snacks that are quick to swallow with you, such as a mix of dried fruits. This is a great way to cool off and re-energize while carrying a very lightweight. And on the other hand, this kind of food takes up very little space.

If you are going without a car or motorhome, but just a backpack, then you will have to go for SOMETHING LIGHT, like a titanium or aluminum pan.

This will mean that you will take less food with you and it will be much less complicated to cook. So, one and only one pan will be enough for you, without a doubt, and can quite meet your needs to cook all your dishes, so as to save you weight and fatigue.

Here are some other kitchen tools you should take with you:

  • Matches to light the fire (be careful to always keep them dry).
  • Aluminum foil for cooking certain foods such as potatoes or fish, which you will only have to wrap in the foil and throw on the fire for cooking with a smoky effect.
  • A set of pans, pots, cutlery and tongs that will help you take good care of your food when it’s cooking and remove it from the heat when it’s read

3. Cooking methods for cooking while camping

Cooking over high heat while camping is not the most common, or even the easiest, or even the most effective choice, although it is often a choice of the heart, as it reminds us of our childhood. Doesn’t the smell of grilled marshmallows slip through your nostrils just thinking about it? I am sure it is!

If you are going camping, however, you should know that there are different methods of cooking your food, and for which you can also use your stoves … let’s take a look at these different methods.

Aluminum cooking: get yourself some aluminum foil, not too thin, and completely wrap the food you want to cook in it. Fold the edges and enclose your food, being careful not to crush it too much, as some foods swell during cooking. You will therefore have to remember to leave a little space to allow the water vapor that will form during the cooking of your food to escape. To do this, you can also make a few holes in your aluminum foil, because it will be just as effective!

Cooking with a Dutch oven: this is a very robust and very compact saucepan with a lid that you can completely bury under the hot charcoal or under the pieces of wood. The cover must be closed. To cook anything inside such a tool, you will need a good amount of oil or condiments, so that your food does not stick. Be careful not to burn your fingers or hands when opening it.

Cooking with a stove: This is the easiest solution to use, and it is also the most used cooking method among campers. The stove can run on propane, kerosene and butane. A large number of very light models can be carried directly in your backpack.

Cooking with an improvised stove: are you an adventurous camper or a die-hard camper? This method is made for you! Here’s how: Get a large enough tin can or milk can and remove the lid. The part where you removed the cover will serve as the base of the stove.

Buddy Burner Cooking: Here’s another way to make your own camping “oven”. You will need a small tin can, paraffin wax, and corrugated paper. Insert the corrugated paper in strips inside the box, so that the cardboard strips are lower than the box.

Cooking over a wood fire while camping is a great classic! The type of flame is totally different depending on the dishes you decide to cook. For example, making a stew requires a small flame , while if you want to bring your water to a boil you will need a larger flame. To cook on the grill, you just have to put what you want to cook on the hot charcoal.

4. Cleaning and hygiene

The chapter entitled “Cleaning and hygiene” (and especially if you cook and eat in the open air), deserves a separate speech.

We are all used to cooking in our closed kitchens and in the comfort of our home, where bacteria probably proliferate much less than outside.

Therefore, you will need to thoroughly clean your pots and surfaces after cooking and eating your meal.

You will therefore need to CAREFULLY wash your pots, pans, plates, cutlery, utensils and everything that has been used for cooking.

The best way to do this is to use three separate containers:

In the first container, put hot water and dishwashing product to degrease everything you used to cook.
In the second container, put plenty of water for rinsing.
In the third and last container, put lukewarm water and disinfectant to make your dishes always cleaner and more hygienic.
The entire area where you cook and eat should therefore be cleaned and disinfected at the end of each meal.

Also, don’t forget to pick up all your trash , leftovers, packaging, and so on. Pick them up and throw them in the sorting bins that will probably be made available if you are camping on a campsite provided and equipped for this.

If there is no bin, you can always take several bin bags and sort the garbage yourself, before throwing them in the next bin.

It is very important to always keep nature in its cleanest and most natural state so that future campers can enjoy it as much as you have enjoyed yourself, and also, so as not to disturb the wildlife and local flora.

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