8 Tips for Campground Meal Planning

July 2015 | by hannah luedt

Escaping to the great outdoors with a trip to your favorite campsite still requires meal planning. Unlike at-home meal planning, when we're camping our food needs tend to revolve around quick prep times, minimal storage needs, and if it provides fuel to keep us going through our outdoor adventures and explorations. During the heat of the day, you do not want to have to worry about certain foods spoiling if there isn't enough ice for cooling. It is crucial to plan your camping meals around the idea that a store will not be anywhere close for additional supplies.

Related: Camping Supplies You Never Knew You Always Needed

The best plan in starting your campground meal planning is attempting to include items everyone at your campsite will at least attempt to enjoy. If you know little Johnny will not eat corn on the cob, pack corn off the cob. For picky eaters you may never win, but when it comes to convenience food, there's hardly ever any complaints.

8 Tips for Campground Meal Planning

  1. Write down meal-by-meal plans. We’re talking three meals a day, including snacks when making your list. Even if you want a watermelon to last through two lunches, write it down for both, as you never know what could possibly be overlooked when buying supplies. (Get your free Camping Meal Plan Printable, here).
  2. Cook to the abilities of your cookware, not your taste buds. Cast Iron meals are great, as long as you use a Cast Iron pot and aren't relying on aluminum foil. Memorable campsite fails happen when you do not use the intended equipment. This includes the oven mitt, as fire-made meals are just as hot as oven-made meals.
  3. Bring plenty of storage containers. Leftovers are great to have around for afternoon snacks and quick tie-me-overs until dinner. Just like at home, plan to save a little after each meal in airtight containers or zip locks. Also plan to store leftovers in your coolers, so leave a little room!
  4. Make the extra effort to pack fire kindling, because you never know if your fellow campers will be able to gather enough firewood in order to prepare an evening’s meal. Do not count on a campsite having enough firewood close to your campsite. If it's within the campground's rules, charcoal isn't a bad option it keep on hand either.
  5. Aluminum foil can be a meal saver! It can aid in the prep of the cook area, as well as serve as a cooking method. Think campsite potatoes! So pack plenty and pack the multi-purpose aluminum foil.
  6. Meat and egg storage can be challenging, especially in the heat of summer. Ice in a chest cooler will be your friend, but do not forget to double wrap your meat to prevent contamination in case of a leak. It is also wise to wrap your eggs, as when the ice melts in the cooler, their containers can lose their rigidness and you might find yourself looking at cracked eggs all through the cooler after a couple days.
  7. All in one meals or recipes that only use one pot are great for clean-up and prep work. Try adding variety to your camping trips with some stew, soups or casseroles. You can even prepare these types of meals before you head out on your camping trip. This saves time and space.
  8. Don't forget the traditional favorites, the meals that have stood the test of all picky eaters: hamburgers, hot dogs and s'mores. Prepare your patties before you leave, you'll enjoy a nice flavor if you're into seasoning. Keep the chocolate cool for the s'mores, as melting chocolate is hard to handle when building the ultimate s'more. If you run out of buns, a loaf of bread can serve as a quick fix for either hot dog or hamburger.

Wherever you find your campfire, enjoy the time sharing a meal in the great outdoors with your family and friends. As the secret ingredient in any meal, is laughter, be sure to get a little marshmallow on your nose!

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