I consider myself a decent cook and I have really enjoyed learning how to cook over the past few years. Now that our kids are getting older we have gotten more and more into camping. Cooking while camping can be challenging but it doesn't mean you have to resign yourself to packaged and processed junk food.
Over Memorial Day weekend we went camping and rafting with a group and I volunteered to plan, purchase, and prepare 4 of the meals that weekend (3 meals Sunday and Monday breakfast). It was a bit of work, figuring out the right amount of food to purchase, making sure I didn't have to much or too little, but it worked out great. I was even able to add in a few unique camping menu ideas I wanted to share.
Breakfast - pancakes, scrambled eggs, and coffee
-We had two propane stoves, two griddles, two frying pans, and two adults cooking. We managed to get food for 22 people out in a decent time frame and everyone seemed to enjoy the breakfast. We made the coffee in a percolator on the propane stove. My shopping list for this part of the meal included 1 large box of Bisquick from Costco, 72 eggs (Costco sells two, 18 packs of eggs wrapped together), coffee, half and half, Splenda, butter, and syrup.
Lunch - sandwiches and spinach salad
-This was the day hubby and I rafted and the kids stayed back at camp so everyone made their own sandwiches and I ended up preparing the salad to go with dinner. My shopping list for this part of the meal was 4 loaves of bread, mayo, mustard, sliced ham, sliced turkey, sliced cheese, large bag of spinach (Costco), onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and salad dressing. For the salad, I simply brought a small cutting board, and sliced the onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers and tossed them in a bowl with the spinach.
Dinner - hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, and banana boats
-We cooked our hot dogs over the fire with skewers and sticks. I wanted to make homemade potato salad but ran out of time so the salads were store bought. Banana boats are a yummy s'more dessert alternative that not a lot of people know about. You take a banana, place it on a piece of foil large enough to wrap the banana in, peel still intact, and make one single slice down the peel (and into banana) top to bottom, the peel acts as the "boat" to hold everything together. Stuff Hershey's chocolate squares and mini marshmallows in the sliced peel, directly onto the banana (you can also add peanut butter though I haven't tried it yet). Wrap the banana tightly in the foil and stick the entire foil package into the coals or hot, bottom part of the fire. The banana boats take awhile to cook, depending upon how hot the fire is, about 10 minutes. You know they're done if when you take them out they are squishy. Obviously you need an oven mitt or glove to take the banana out of the fire, as it will be hot. Let the banana boat cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, open the foil, use a fork and dig in. So delicious! Shopping list for dinner, 4 packs of hot dogs, 4 packs of hot dog buns, ketchup, mustard, relish, packaged potato salad, packaged macaroni salad, 15 bananas, 1 package mini marshmallows, 6 Hershey's chocolate bars, foil.
Breakfast - cereal, granola bars, fruit, and coffee
Monday breakfast was serve yourself except hubby did make coffee on the propane stove on the percolator for everyone. Shopping list: 4 boxes cereal, 3 gallons of milk (some was used for Sunday's breakfast), 3 boxes of granola bars, 2 bags of apples, bananas, grapes, and strawberries.
My biggest challenge was getting all the food along with my family of 5 and our camping gear into our Honda Accord. Needless to say, it did not fit and we were beyond squished. I hope if you have a camping trip planned this summer these ideas can help you with your menu planning. Happy camping and happy cooking!