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Camping and Wilderness Meals
Easy Camp Recipes Ideas

Cooking in the wild

It's interesting that food tastes so delicious when you're eating outside. It was getting near sunset when I took this picture, and we didn't catch any fish that day, so our backup plan is our favorite camping meal of fried potatoes and onions, pork and beans, and sausages, all in one pan. If you are going on a camping trip, pencil and note paper can be your most valuable tools if with your family. Making a camping list can help you remember that extra cooking fuel and most importantly, a can opener.

Beware... the bear

Make a menu for every meal, for example, a weekend trip could be two breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners. Take into account your method of cooking, and cleanup time, limited refrigeration and storage, and probably the fact that your family will eat less than usual.

Once you have a menu, make a shopping list, remembering to add more snacks and family favorites, and some drinks. If you camp often, save your menus and keep a list of camping gear and supplies. Usually when we camp there are items we forget. So I write these down somewhere so we don't forget them the next time.

CAMPING MEAL IDEAS: Let your teenagers cook! One of the most fun ways to get teens involved in the camping experience is by having aluminum-foil cooking. Use the heavy duty foil and make sure that you double fold on all seams - you don't want the juices to run out. Punch a couple of holes in whole potatoes. Add butter and salt and them wrap 'em up.

1. Take a fish fillet, wrap a veggie or two in with it along with some butter and seal the whole thing. Lay it on the red coals and listen to it sizzle. A whole meal!

2. Season some precooked meat. Believe it or not, stuff it into a hollowed-out tomato, pepper, an onion, or even an orange! Stick it on the hot coals for at least ten minutes. You will be amazed at what a simmering job will do to the taste of this meat.

3. Corn on the cob can't be beat when you wrap it in foil, and set in on the coals! Add a pat of butter before wrapping, and be sure to turn it. Do you need foil? No, just peel back the leaves, remove the silk, then pull the leaves back over the corn. Easy!

Camp Kabobs

camping smilieFor each person, have a quarter of a pound of meat, a half a potato, and a half an onion. Each teen should get his or her own "kabob" stick.
  • Cut the meat into 1 inch squares.
  • Cut the potatoes into thin slices.
  • Cut the onions into lengthwise sections.

Spear the food on in this pattern:

meat - potato - onion.

Keep up this pattern until all of the food has been used - make sure the teens squeeze it all on! Then dip the entire food length into cooking oil. Have a large bed of live red coals raked to the side of the fire for the cooking. Make sure the teens constantly rotate the stick to ensure even cooking.
Recipe from 1978

Camping Fire

In the regular campground we frequent, there aren't any lights around at all, and all we have is the light of the campfire, and all the stars above. Pretty cozy.

Coal Baked Potatoes

Tent and tree in the woods
  • Medium potatoes
  • Oil to coat
  • Aluminum Foil

Coat medium size potatoes with oil and wrap in heavy duty foil. Place in hot coals and let cook turning occasionally. Stick a fork in them to see if they are done. Should be done after a half hr.

Note: When we were wilderness camping, we didn't have foil. We placed the potatoes right in the hot coils. No they didn't burn, when they were done, we peeled off the peeling and ate them. The peeling added more flavor actually, and kept the ash from getting all over the potato.
Recipe from 1953

Foil Dinner

  • Hamburger patty
  • Sliced potatoes
  • Slice of onion
  • Sliced carrots or celery
  • Salt and pepper

Place a hamburger patty, sliced potatoes, slice of onion and sliced carrots or celery, season with salt and pepper. Wrap it up in heavy duty foil and place on hot coals or on top of a grill. Turn after 15 minutes and let cook 15 minutes more, remove from coals, let cool a little, open and eat.

Note: You can put in the foil packages pretty much what you want.
Recipe from 1959

Wilderness Camp Soup

Here's how we made our soup while wilderness camping in Russia. We picked the edible mushrooms, caught some fish, boiled some water, added some salt, herbs, onion, and potatoes and let it cook on the coals.

The amazing thing is that when the fish cooks, the bones separate and falls to the bottom of the pot. So you eat everything except what's at the bottom of the pot, unless you fillet your fish.
Recipe from Russia

Marshmallow Taffy

Marshmallow Taffy is easy to make. With clean fingers, take a marshmallow between your thumb and pointing finger. With your other hand's thumb and pointing finger, pull the marshmallow, yet holding on to it tightly, reverse the pulling, and keep doing this until you see it becoming taffy. You can pull it until it becomes soft and smooth like taffy. Then when it becomes taffy you eat it and lick your fingers. Keep some wet wipes handy.

Hiker's Delight

There are lots of things you can pack to go hiking, from apples to granola bars, but making your own hiking snacks from scratch is more fun.

Hiker's Dessert

  • 6 cups Cheerios
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 2 cups M&Ms
  • 2 cups peanuts
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows

Toss all ingredients together carefully. Makes 12 cups.
Special Olympics Cookbook pg 8
See more snacks to make, like Chex Mix and Crispix Mixes

Instant Orange Juice

I learned this one when I was really small. Take an orange, and with a knife cut out the core in a small circle to about half way down into the orange. Hand it to the child and tell them they can make their own orange juice if they squeeze the orange on the sides, and slurp the juice as it comes out the top.

After they have drank the juice, they use their fingers to pull open the orange and eat the rest!
Girl Scout Recipe

Campfire Tip: Pack charcoal briquettes into cardboard egg cartons and tie shut. There is no mess, and you can light them right in the grill.

How to Grill Corn on the Cob:

Corn on the cob

Peel back the leaves and remove the hair. Fold leaves back over the corn . Let soak in water for at least an hour, then secure with a twistie, and place on grill, turning every ten minutes until done in about 30 to 40 minutes.

To butter the corn easily. Use a largemouth quart jar. Fill half full with hot water, insert several stick of butter and let melt. The butter will float to the top.

Dip the Corn on the Cob in the jar and the butter will coat it perfectly as you remove it.

Hobo Popcorn

Individual containers of popped corn
  • 4 squares heavy foil, each 4x4 inches
  • 4 tsp. cooking oil
  • 1/4 c. popcorn
  • string

In center of each square of foil, place 1 tsp. oil and 1 tablespoon popcorn. Bring the foil corners together to make a pouch. Seal edges well, allowing for expansion of the popped corn. With a string, tie each pouch to a long stick. Place pouch directly on coals and shake constantly until corn is popped. Season with butter and salt.
Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens magazine pullout

My Note: To me a 4x4 square doesn't seem to be big enough?

Bannocks (Camping Bread)

  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Mix well. Add 1/2 cup liquid, either water or milk. Mix ingredients quickly, because powder begins to release.
Form dough in a bun shape and drop into shallow grease in a saucepan (enough so dough doesn't touch bottom of pan). Fry 5 minutes on each side. Test with a toothpick.
Recipe from a 1982 Spencer Iowa "Ladies in Pink" recipe book

How to make a Bunson Burner

Here is another gadget we made in Girl Scouts. You need a large empty metal coffee can, and an empty tuna can. Carefully cut a door in the side of the coffee can with tin snips starting at the open end. Turn it over and use a handheld can opener to put several triangle holes in the can along the curved back edge, not the top. This is where the smoke and steam will escape.

The empty tuna can is what holds your kindling. In the Girl Scouts we collected gum balls from a gumball tree, and dipped them in wax, and let them dry on newspaper. But I guess you could use small pine cones, but you wouldn't have a stem to hold onto.

To use the Bunson Burner. Put 3 or four wax coated gumballs in the tuna can and light. Insert the tuna can in the door of the coffee can. The small fire will heat the top of the coffee can with enough heat to cook sausage, bacon, eggs, and even hamburgers. Add more gumballs if necessary.

Also see a Camping Supplies List and Easy Wild Game Recipes

Food for Thought:
"Worry is mountain climbing... over molehills."Ladies in Pink book pg 64

Have a great day!
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