Camping Food Preparation and Cooking Tips

Here are some food preparation tips that I have found to be helpful when planning for camp cooking. Plan to do as much of the food preparation as possible ahead of time – before you leave home. This will make your camping trip much more enjoyable for you, the cook.

1. Plan the menu ahead of time for each meal. Keep it straightforward and filling. Write down all the ingredients for each recipe to form your checklist for packing. Don’t forget to take along the menu and recipes.

2. Measure dry ingredients and mix ahead of time. Place in a zip lock plastic bags. Seal and label.

3. Take advantage of convenience foods. They may cost few cents more but will be worth it when you have hiked all day and the family is “starving”.

4. Aluminium foil is a necessity…it will save lots of food preparation and clean-up time. You can fold it into packets to steam veggies, cook BBQ chicken (see recipes section), wrap potatoes & corn to cook over the fire. You can also use it to cover that grill grate that the previous campers didn’t clean well enough to suit you. Poke holes in it with a fork to keep foods from falling into the fire. I would advise bringing your grate with you, don’t assume one will be provided at the campsite.

5. Cook as much ahead of time and bring it with you in sealed plastic containers. This works well for soups, stews and chilli.

make sure you check your fridge before leaving
Make sure you check your fridge before leaving

6. Make sure to invest in a quality stove. You don’t want to be fooling with a camp stove that won’t light after a long day of hiking or fishing. The pressure will be on to get dinner fixed fast when everyone is hungry. (Make sure your stove is clean and in good working order. For tips on stove maintenance click here.)

7. Insulated mugs with lids are a great item to bring. It will keep your coffee hot in the morning, and cold drinks cold with little ice during the day. They can also be used for soups & stews.

8. Don’t forget to bring items for clean-up. A small dishpan, dish rag, soap, and towel will help you be ready for the food preparation of the next meal.

9. Never forget the marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars. What would a camping trip be without the smores!

10. Pack a mosquito coil or citronella candle to keep unwanted critters out of the food while preparing and eating. 11. Use lids, foil, or a mesh food cover to keep food covered on the table. If you fix it, I promise flies will come.

12. I always like to bring a cheap plastic table cloth. Picnic tables are never clean enough for me, and the plastic ones wipe up easily if spilt on. But then if romance is the ambience you are going for then bring the fine table linens.

13. If this is a camping/fishing trip or camping/hunting trip and you are planning on eating what you catch or kill, HAVE A PLAN B. Enough said, my apologies to my fisherman husband.
I hope you find these food preparation tips helpful. If you have a camping tip or a food preparation tip that has helped you in the past, please click here and we will add your tip or advice to the list. Remember these tips on how to pack food for camping!

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