Why does food always seem to taste better when you are camping? You still have to cook it yourself and clean up after yourself, but for some reason it always tastes better.
It has been quite awhile since I have had to plan a camping menu for more than one night. We went camping in Moab, Utah where we stayed in a primitive cabin with a small fridge. I knew the fridge would eliminate the need to worry about refilling the cooler with ice. We had access to a charcoal grill and we brought our camp stove.
We planned on doing a lot of hiking and it was hot. I tried to come up with meal ideas that were easy to prepare at the campsite without much effort. To do that, I realized that we needed to do some prepwork.
Here is our meal plan for our four day trip with some tips on what worked and what didn’t.
Day 1 – Arrive for dinner
Chicken packets and squash
- At home prep: Cut up small pieces of chicken and place in tin foil with seasonings and sauce. I used garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce. Close up the tin foil to make a little packet. If you aren’t using super strength tin foil, use two pieces. Put in a plastic bag to make sure sauces don’t leak in cooler.
- At the campsite: We started cooking the chicken packets on the grill but they weren’t cooking very quickly so we moved them directly into the coals. They took about 25 minutes to cook.
- The verdict? Everybody loved the chicken packets and I didn’t make enough.
- At home prep: Place squash slices in tin foil packet with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Put in plastic bag to make sure oil doesn’t leak in cooler.
- At the campsite: We cooked the squash packet the same way but should have taken it off of the grill after about 15 minutes.
- The verdict? Pretty tasty but we cooked too long.
- At home prep: Scramble eggs and cook bacon or sausage. Take one tortilla, fill with cooked bacon/sausage, eggs, spinach pieces, and shredded cheddar cheese. Wrap up like a burrito and then wrap in tin foil. Place all burritos into a plastic bag and freeze.
- At the campsite: So we didn’t have to start a fire, we cooked the burittos in a pan in the campstove. They had to be cooked a little longer than usual because they were still frozen at the campsite.
- The verdict? Delicious and the best part of the day! This breakfast held us over until lunch even with our miles of hiking.
Turkey and cheese roll-ups
- At home prep: Purchase ingredients
- At the campsite: Roll turkey, cheese, spinach and any other desired ingredients into wraps of your choice. We used cheddare jalepeno and spinach wraps. Wrap up in tin foil and put in backpack.
- The verdict? A good lunch and didn’t take up much room in the hiking backpack. The kids didn’t want a wrap, so they had pepperoni pieces and cheese sticks.
Hamburgers and hot dogs
- At home prep: Make hamburger patties in advance and put in plastic container.
- At the campsite: Cook in camping hamburger cooker over the coals.
- The verdict? Best camping meal…hamburgers and hotdogs are so tasty at the campsite! Our kids proclaimed the hotdogs to be the best ones they are every eaten.
- At home prep: Purchase corn on the cob in the husk.
- At the campsite: Cook corn in the husk directly on the grill. We had to move the corn into the coals to cook faster.
- The verdict? A little smoky from being cooked directly in the coals.
Breakfast burritos (I made enough to last us the whole weekend. See Day 2 for prep and directions.)
We ate out for lunch and had a horrible meal. We wished that we had decided to make another wrap.
- At home prep: Cook taco meat with desired seasonings. Freeze in a plastic bag. Put taco fixings in separate containers for easy use and clean up. Shred cheese and put in a plastic bag, salsa in a container, a bag of fritos or tortillas, etc.
- At the campsite: Cook taco meat in pan on camp stove. Serve up with all of the fixings that you brought.
Hit the road! We decided to clean up and hit the road so we grabbed something on our way home.
Here are some of the snacks that we ate during the weekend:
Lara Bars and Granola Bars
And of course, a camping trip wouldn’t be complete without at least one night of S’mores for dessert…though we ate them every night!