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How to Cook While Camping? 11 Best Tips & Guide 2023

Want to enjoy cooking delicious food for yourself outdoors at camping but need to know how to initiate it? Imagine cooking food on your own behind your tent, in a beautiful valley between green mountains and a refreshingly cool wind blowing away all your stress and tiredness.

You don’t need to be a master chef to cook delicious food while camping, but it is just a matter of planning and information to cook your meal in a campground. After a hectic day of hiking in the mountains or setting your camps in a campground, and when all of your energy is down, you only think about one thing, that is delicious and energetic food.

People always need help cooking outdoors in a campground, but with proper guidance and a little try, you can cook delicious meals outdoors at your campsite. All you need is to do a little research on cooking outdoors before going. In today’s technological era, there are many gadgets to cook food outdoors or while camping.

You can also cook extraordinary recipes in a natural setting, like steaks with fresh salads or drinks to help you digest that. In this article, I’ve tried my best to guide you on how to cook while camping. Let’s dig into it for further information.

Preparation for Cooking While Camping

Planning everything before camping or hiking is the most important you need to do. Your plan must include every vital part of your tour, such as cooking.

And when it comes to cooking, you must construct a detailed plan. You shall not want to stand helpless in the middle of nowhere. Another critical factor is that you need to know when and what comes on the way to your journey. The weather can change unpredictably, or you can forget something essential like matches, a stove, etc. It can be not easy if it suddenly rains at the campsite, but you don’t take any backup plan.

It would be best if you had a backup plan for everything. You should rely on something other than a campfire or bonfire as it will only be good if it’s raining at the campsite; you must take a propane stove with you as a backup plan. Refrain from relying on fresh eatables like meat or anything you plan to cook on a campfire. Also, take some snacks or food you can eat without cooking if you can’t make a campfire at your campground.

1. A list of cooking utensils

Make a proper list of cooking utensils you will take with you. It should include everything through proper planning, including the backups. It should include salt and pepper grinders, stoves, matches, pots or lighter, etc.

2. A list of food for cooking

You should have a list of every meal you want to cook at the campfire. It must include keeping the meat packages, vegetables, fruits, and spices safe.

3. A list of non-cookable food 

There must be a separate list of the food and snacks you will not have to cook if there are any weather changes, and if you can’t, make a campfire so that you shall only have to sleep after eating.

Take note of the three necessary parts of cooking at the campsite

While cooking food at the campsite or somewhere outdoors, you must take care of some essential things to make cooking easy. Many go camping without planning or knowing what to cook or eat while away from home. It makes your camping experience horrible. It would be best if you took note of everything to save you from any hurdles and help you enjoy every bit of your journey. The critical point is to move with a plan. You don’t have to carry all your kitchen in your backpack. All you need to take care of some necessary gear that will be enough to enjoy tasty meals and cooking while camping. This essential gear is mentioned clearly in the following article. 

1. Fire

Going away from home and cooking outdoors is a procedure of excellent planning and caution. Cooking needs heat; to get heat outdoors or while camping, you must have a fire. And when it comes to fire or to make fire, you need to get good ideas and fire utensils.

One of the most common fires for camping is firewood. But it comes with great care and precautions if camping near woods or a forest area. It comes to no worry to cook delicious food on a wood fire, but without knowing how to do it, it is a matter of danger.

Another method includes a grill or a propane stove. You can find a good grill or stove online or by visiting the market. A camping stove is a portable size you can carry in your luggage quickly. You can moderate the flame on a stove or grill that suits your desired meal.

The critical factor in cooking food outdoors is that some meals like stew need slow flames to cook while things like meat and boiling something need higher and stronger flames. A camping stove or grill is the best thing to carry with you if you are going away from home. It’ll help you adjust the flames according to your cooking needs, and it’ll be helpful if it starts raining at the campsite.

2. Food

The quantity of food depends on how you go camping, by vehicle, or on your own. A small cooler or stove is of no worry to take with you if you are going in a vehicle. You can also carry sacks of fresh food like fruits and vegetables, and the cooler will help keep your drinks cool and safely stored.

And if you are taking a backpack with you, you should take dehydrated food and packed food with you. Dehydrated food tastes good and is easy to cook and eat when camping away from home.

 i. Fresh food

Carry fresh food that you can chop and cook anytime. You can prepare delicious meals for yourself from fresh items. Fresh food primarily includes fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, etc. If you are going in your vehicle, you can carry fresh food quickly and cook any meal at your campsite.

ii. Dehydrated food

Dehydrated food is the best option to carry with you if you want to take the backpack option. It’ll be easy to carry, cook quickly, and taste delicious.

iii. Canned food 

Another option, plus backup, is to take canned food. It’ll save you from rainy weather where you can not make a campfire or cook food yourself. In that case, canned food and ready-to-eat snacks will add ease and taste to your journey.

iv. Drinks 

Drinks are essential to take with you while camping. Keep a lot of water to keep you and your camping fellows hydrated. On the other hand, you can carry full juices or canned drinks. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate will also be good to carry when camping in an area with low temperatures.

3. Cookware

Cookware and utensils while going camping depend upon the manner of your travel. If traveling in your vehicle, you can carry any utensils and cookware in your car’s backside. It’ll be no worry to carry anything with you.

But if you’re traveling on your own and taking a backpack, you must carry a limited number of utensils. They should be indispensable so that you can survive while camping.

An essential important while carrying cooking utensils and cookware with you is that it’s always better to buy reliable and portable camping cookware and store it in your home to carry whenever you want. So that you don’t have to check every cabinet in your kitchen before going, and chances of forgetting anything can be minimized.

Some necessary utensils are a spoon, fork, knife, cutting board, bowl, mug, can, small pan, matches, lighter, box grater, spatula, wine/bottle opener, spoon, tongs, etc.

Cook using one of these proven cooking methods.        

Cooking has many options, but some methods are proven for cooking outdoors while camping;     

1. Foil

Cooking with foil needs some practice, but it’s relatively easy. You can cook meat or steaks in foil wrap by placing it simply on charcoal. So, taking foil in a backpack is an excellent addition.

2. Dutch oven   

A Dutch oven is a good option for cooking or baking something extraordinary while camping. It comes in portable packaging and is very easy to use outdoors. A Dutch oven works remarkably by putting burning charcoal around and above them.

3. Tin Can

Tin cans can be of several uses while camping. You can cook beans, stews, boil water or eggs, or make coffee in tin cans. They take a minimal amount of heat to work.

4. Camp Stove  

These days taking a stove to a campsite is not an issue. Portable camp stoves come in handy varieties you can carry with you and use for cooking almost everything.

5. Vagabond stove

If you talk about improvised cooking, the vagabond stove comes in handy. All you need is a gallon tin. Now remove its lid with a suitable tool and make some holes near the removed tin. Now put it upside down on the fire. It’ll serve as a stove but don’t touch it as it becomes too hot.

6. Buddy Burner

A buddy burner is an effortless way to get heat. You can make it with a tuna can also by removing its cap. Put coiled cardboard inside it and paraffin wax above it. It becomes a great source of heat. You can also use this and the vagabond stove to cook almost everything.     

7. Woodfire

The wood fire is the most beneficial and ancient way of making fire and cooking food outdoors. You can take it with you or get it from the campground with minor wood and fire-building knowledge. It helps you not only to cook food but also to keep yourself warm and stay safe from wildlife.

8. Charcoal

Charcoal cooking is something extraordinary. You can cook many delicious meals by simply putting them to slow cooking at burning charcoal.

Follow These Additional Cooking Tips

After detailed information on how to cook while camping, what to take, and how to carry it, now you need to read out and follow some additional cooking tips that will add to your ease.

1. Extra Cooler

It’s always better to keep an extra cooler with you. One will be used for drinks, and the other you can use to keep food like meat, etc.

2. Zip locks

These zip lock bags are perfectly portable and easy to carry small cooking essentials with you, such as spices, herbs, nuts, etc., which can help you in cooking and will be so easy to carry in a backpack.

3. Dry food

The best option is to take dry fruits, granola bars, nuts, and trail mix with you as snacks. It’ll be helpful if it’s raining or you’re working in your tent late at night. Plus, it’s also full of nutrients and energy.

4. Pita bread

It’s an excellent option to take pita bread with you while camping other than taking any bread as it is more durable and can keep the food right in its place. Plus, it’s easy to heat and eat.

5. Avoid meal stains 

It’s crucial to avoid meal or food stains from getting on your outfit as it’ll get smelly, and you’ll only want to store food smell in some of your tents while camping.

6. Liquid soap

Keep liquid soap with you in your backpack. It’ll help you clean your hands by saving you from germs, plus it can also help your kitchen utensils to be safe from fire stains by simply putting liquid soap on your pots and tins before putting them on fire for cooking.

7. Public campsite 

It’s always better to look for a public campsite as it’ll have several plus points, such as a sitting area and parks, so you’ll only have to take a little gear with you.

8. Cook away from your tent

Another excellent and essential tip is to cook at least a hundred yards away from your tent or sleeping area. All the leftovers from your food and its smell will attract wild animals and bugs to your place, and you’ll not want to attract any of the wildlife.

9. Peeled potatoes

While cooking, mistakes always happen, like accidentally putting extra salt in your food, but putting a peeled potato in that meal will absorb all the extra salt from it.

10. Wax on matches

Putting wax on matches will save them from rain or getting wet. Remove wax before using them.

11. Clean After You’re Done     

Remember to clean everything, such as leftovers and pots. It’ll save you from the smell around your tent and wildlife coming towards you with that smell of food. Plus, cleaning out the environment is our duty that we should take care of.

Frequently Asked Questions: How to Cook While Camping

It’s an important matter to take care of before going camping. Answer your queries about what to take with you and how to cook outdoors while camping. The common questions are the following, which I’ve answered according to my knowledge and after proper research:

1. What to bring to cook while camping?

It depends on your way of travel. If you’re going in your car or RV, you can carry as much food as you need, including dehydrated food, canned food, fresh food, and extra drinks. Otherwise, it’s always better to keep the trip short if it’s new for you and take dehydrated food with you so it’ll be easy while camping.

2. How do you cook while camping without a fire?            

You are cooking without firewhile camping is not an issue these days. You don’t have to make up fire on your camping trip if you don’t want to. Take a camping propane stove with you or a camping grill so that you’ll not have to build a fire while camping, and you can cook your food without any fire. But make sure to take a durable and portable stove or grill with you to be safe from any hurdles.

3. Can we cook camping?  

The answer is yes, you can quickly cook while camping. It’s not a matter of worry and hurdles. All you need is to do proper research, be accessible and make a clear list of all the essential gear you need to carry. You don’t need to be a master chef to cook perishable meals outdoors camping. You need to know enough about cooking and what to take with you for cooking while camping.

Final Thoughts: How to Cook While Camping

Camping is a beautiful yet challenging activity and needs proper preparation to avoid unwanted things during your camping. In this article, I teach you what to take and how to carry all the utensils, cookware, food, and drinks with you on your camping trip. Another important tip is to research what to take and buy a good quality specially made for camping trips. It’ll save you from many hurdles and will make your trip easier. Hopefully, this blog will assist you in knowing about cooking while camping.