I like to make meals as simple as possible when camping. Here are my top tips for storing and making camping food — the easy way — for your next great family adventure.
1. Use a shower cap to keep food cold while you’re eating.
Add ice to a shower cap then place a bowl filled with cold food like pasta salad in the cap, allowing the elastic to stretch over the sides to create an ice-box effect. Your food should stay cool for hours!
2. Cook cinnamon rolls over the campfire.
Skewer premade cinnamon rolls and cook them over your campfire. It’ll take about 15 minutes for them to fully cook through, and then just drizzle on that icing.
3. Use a Dollar Tree mesh bag to dry dishes.
Instead of worrying about drying all your dishes by hand, bring along a large mesh bag, and hang them from a tree or from your camper.
4. Store spices in empty Tic-Tac containers.
5. Use dental floss and coffee filters for tea and coffee bags.
Place a scoop of loose leaf tea or ground coffee into the center of the coffee filter, and tie it with dental floss.
When you’re ready, just use hot water to brew!
6. Freeze gallon jugs of water instead of ice and place them in your cooler.
7. Pack salt and pepper in a contact lens case.
8. Make s’mores campfire cones.
Fill sugar cones with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips (or whatever else you like), wrap in aluminum foil, and grill over the campfire for about 7-10 minutes (but keep the cones away from open flames). Unwrap and eat!
9. Use shower caps to keep bugs off your food.
10. Make foil pack meals — the options are endless.
There are so many different meals you can make wrapped in aluminum foil over a fire. Barbecue chicken, fish or ribs are just a few options.
I like making barbecue chicken with this recipe, because all I need are some chicken breasts, pineapple, bell pepper, sweet onion and barbecue sauce. It’s super simple: just throw it all together and cook on the grill or over the fire.
11. Make tacos in a bag for an easy plate-free meal.
Prepare and cook enough taco seasoned ground meat for your family before leaving for your camping trip, and store in a cooler. It’s also helpful to prepare your toppings ahead of time too, like:
- chopped lettuce
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
When you’re ready to make them, warm the meat over the fire, and scoop some into a Frito bag along with your toppings. Shake up the bag and you’re ready to go!
12. Use a craft box to organize utensils and silverware.
13. Keep bugs out of drinks with cupcake liners.
Keep bugs from flying into your drinks by using cupcake liners as a shield. This works on your wine glasses too!
14. Make a ready-to-go s’mores kit.
Use a large plastic container like Tupperware to keep the chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers all together in one spot.
15. Light up your cooler with glowsticks.
When it’s dark and you’re trying to fish through the icy water for the right kind of juice, this will be handy.
16. Make several omelets at once in a Ziploc bag!
Dump your eggs and any ingredients you want to add, like cheese, mushrooms and vegetables into a large Ziploc bag. Mush the bag up to scramble, and drop the bag into a pot of boiling water until cooked!
17. Use oats, seeds and dried berries to make your own granola bars.
Before you leave for your trip, it’s good to have some premade snacks in case someone gets a little hangry. Try making your own granola bars before you go, and have them handy for the kids.
18. Make a banana boat dessert instead of s’mores.
These are super easy and delicious. Just cut your bananas down the middle (but not all the way through) and spread them open. Then fill them with your favorite ingredients like chocolate, marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs. Wrap in a layer of parchment paper and aluminum foil.
It’s easiest to cook these on top of a grate to keep from burning. Heat until melty.
19. Make your own candle with an orange peel.
Cut an orange in half and scoop out or eat the fruit, leaving the center stem attached! Pour an oil like vegetable or olive oil into the peel and light the stem. Super easy!
20. You can also bake muffins in orange peels over the campfire.
Premake the mix at home, and have it ready to go for your camping trip. Pour some batter into half of an orange peel, and cook over your fire on a grate.
Test the muffin to make sure it’s fully cooked by sticking a toothpick into its center. If it comes out clean and not sticky, it’s ready to eat.
21. Make baked apples with trail mix.
Carve out the middle of an apple and fill it with trail mix. Wrap the apple up in aluminum foil, and toss it on the fire for 5 to 10 minutes.
22. Put pancake batter in an empty ketchup bottle for an easy breakfast.
Keep the batter in the a cooler or refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
23. Store cracked eggs in an empty creamer bottle instead of packing fragile eggs in shells.
As with the pancake batter, you’ll need to keep this refrigerated.