One of the most enjoyable parts of camping, no matter what season you choose, is the preparation and enjoyment of camping meals. However, if you are camping in the cold weather, you want to make sure you have lots of hot camping meals.
Whether you are cooking over a campfire or using a camping grill, if you take time to prepare ahead, you will enjoy your food much more. If you are car camping, it is easy to bring plenty of canned goods that can easily be moved from the car to the picnic table. However, if you are backpacking, or have a sizable walk to your campsite, consider using freeze dried food for your meals. It used to be that you could only buy freeze dried meals in camping stores but now your local supermarket has plenty of selections. I like to cruise the natural foods aisle because they have interesting ethnic selections which are very tasty.
As you plan your menu, don’t be afraid to include plenty of high calorie meals. You need to keep your energy up. Here are some suggestions.
- Hot oatmeal with raisins or dried fruit will warm you up on cold mornings.
- Pancakes that only require water to fix are a good choice.
- Eggs and bacon take a little more effort, but are relatively easy with a cooking grill.
- Make cinnamon rolls ahead of time and freeze in your freezer. Then cook them in a dutch oven at your campsite.
- Breakfast burritos are super easy, especially if you bring frozen store bought ones.
- If you’re really ambitious, try a breakfast skillet meal combining eggs, diced potatoes, onions and garlic. Include some shredded cheddar cheese and you have an energy packed breakfast. These ingredients can be prepared and packaged ahead of time to make this easy to cook.
- Often lunches are eaten on the run, so think of foods that can be stashed in a backpack. One of my favorite high energy snacks is a stick of pepperoni and a hunk of cheese. Top it off with some trail mix and you can keep going all day.
- If you find yourself back at the campsite at lunch time, think of canned or freeze dried soups. There many varieties to choose from at your supermarket. Include a big slice of French or Italian bread and you have a filling lunch.
- Stews make a great dinner. You can make them as simple or elaborate as you want. Or just open a big can of prepared stew. Dinty Moore was always my favorite.
- Chili is easy to prepare. Use ground beef and/or beans. Just pour it all together and heat.
- Mac and cheese is another easy meal to prepare and it will fill you up and keep you warm.
- How about hot dogs? They can be cooked right over the campfire or added to a can of baked beans. Yum!
- Don’t forget hot drinks. Coffee, cocoa and tea are easy to fix and will give you a boost when you need it.
- But remember to drink water. You might not think you could get dehydrated in the winter, but you can. Just breathing in the cold air will deplete your body of fluids.
- Just remember to cut off the liquid a couple of hours before bedtime. No one likes to get out of their sleeping bag to answer a call of nature.
These are a few suggestions for easy and familiar camping meals. With a little preparation you can have nutritious and tasty meals to keep your energy up for a great time.