Camping sounds fun and games… until someone brings out the skillet.
Yes, cooking may sound like the least adventurous thing to do on a camping trip. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Well, being one of the most important survival skills, it is a task totally indispensable when you are out in the open. So why not make it as interesting as you can?
Unfortunately, you cannot pack a lot of supplies, so there is no way you can only bring the canned and packaged food. Like it or not, you will have to take the pan out. However, the hacks we are about to share will reduce the cooking time and hassle, while making it an activity you can enjoy.
But before that, here are few important pointers to keep in mind.
1. Pack as light as possible. You do not have to take all the pots and pans along.
2. Keep the number of people and the number of camping days in mind.
3. Try to pack more non-perishable items than the perishable ones.
4. Try to keep your kids away from the fire. Cooking outdoors is not as safe as cooking indoors
Now, it is time to learn about seven stress-free camping cooking hacks you should try on your next trip.
1. Go Half-prepared
Let’s be honest, there is no fun in going prepared on a camping trip. At the same time, going unprepared will also take away a lot from the whole wilderness experience. The simplest, smartest tip is to go half prepared. There are several things you can prepare at home but cook at the spot. For instance, you can make pancake batter and put it in squishy sauce bottle so you can cook it whenever you need to. Also, you can break all the eggs, beat them, mix in your favorite spices and fill the mixture in a bottle so you don’t have to worry about breaking a dozen on the way.
2. Omelet in a Bag
The last thing you need to carry on a camping trip is cooking utensils. Pans or pots, they just add weight and take unnecessary space. Besides, cleaning those feels like just another hassle, a task no one volunteers to do. But there are many ways to avoid the need for these utensils.
One great hack to help you on that mission is to cook an omelet in a zip lock bag. Make sure the bag is made from a high-quality material that can endure the heat. Put the egg mixture from your bottle into the bag. Add some cheese and diced vegetable of your liking. Lock the bag and put it in a container of boiling water. Now watch as your cheese omelet is being prepared.
3. S’mores and More
You can make s’mores even more interesting by adding a few more ingredients. You can take waffle cones and fill it with marshmallows, chocolate bits, and whatever else you prefer with it. Wrap the cones in the aluminum file and put it on a grill over hot coals. Let them heat for a while and take them off when you think the marshmallows would be nicely melted. Now enjoy the hot s’more cones. An even healthier option is to put the same filling inside a partially split banana. The more creative you get with your food, the more stress-free the experience will be.
4. Pack Some Caffeine Punch
Camping is no excuse to skip your morning coffee. But the problem is, a true coffee lover can never rely on those instant three in one product. They are flavored powdered loaded with sugar. What if we tell you, you can make your own freshly brewed coffee on the camp? Put a spoon full of coffee in a filter and tie it up using a dental floss. Now, all you have to do is put those homemade coffee bags in a container of hot water and let it simmer for a while. Your morning fuel is ready. You can use the same trick for your favorite type of tea in case it is not available in tea bags. Also, you can wrap spices in the filter paper pouches in case you plan to make a broth or soup.
5. Makeshift Pots with Peels
We have said it before and we will say it again, nothing is more stressful than carrying a number pots and cutlery with you. Interestingly, you can lighten the load by creating makeshift pots from other items such as fruit peels. You can use orange peels as bowls and even use them to bake stuff. Simply cut the orange or grapefruit in half, eat the pulp, scrap it clean, and fill it with your favorite muffin mix to bake some goodies on site. Other than peels, you can get crafty and create containers using the aluminum foil and empty soda cans. You can even cook a steak in the foil. It turns out much juicier.
6. Spices in Straws
You will find a plethora of tips to store spices during a camping trip. From pill organizers to Tic Tac, they are all great ideas but you will need spoons to measure the quantity while you cook. How about an idea that can let you make small pre-measured sachets? You can use wide straws and cut them into three-inch pieces. Heat one end to seal it off. Now fill it with a teaspoon full of the spice and then seal the other end as well. You can then label it with a permanent marker. It becomes just like the sachets served in planes or in fast food restaurants. Not only will it save space, it will let you save a lot of time when you are cooking on the camp.
7. Freeze Your Food
Do you know freezer works better when it’s fully loaded? You don’t have to fill it with ice that will later turn into water that is unusable. Instead, you can freeze bottles of water and even the food you have partially prepared. Your frozen food will act as ice substitute, keeping everything else cooler for longer. You can use it as it thaws, eventually. This will also keep the food from going bad too early. And the frozen water bottles will ensure that you have cold water to drink until the very last day.
So, what did we learn today?
First, we learned that cooking is a survival skill, without which your camping experience would be incomplete. However, if you aren’t prepared, you won’t enjoy that part as much as you should. With the right hacks and camping must haves up your sleeves, you can take the stress out of the equation. Not only will you be able to make more interesting recipes, you will save up a lot of space, effort, and time while you are at it.