Most of us have been there far too often, so if this situation sounds all too familiar you might want to tune in. These simple tips will help you change that familiar scenario into something a bit more mouthwatering.
1. Think Versatility
If your camp cooking equipment is limited to “boil water in less than 2 minutes” you will be stuck eating instant oatmeal all weekend. Get something that can do more than boil. You might want to grill, fry, bake, cook Dutch oven, or make a pancake breakfast while brewing a pot of coffee. All possible on a Camp Chef stove. This will make an enjoyable camp as you mix and match accessories to build a cooking system that meets your needs.
2. Think Ahead
I like to enjoy my time outdoors, so the easier the cooking the more enjoyment I get out of it. Planning meals will help. For example, if you cook eggs and bacon for breakfast, cook extra bacon to use on sandwiches for lunch. The more foods that cross over the better. I would also suggest freezing meats, soups, etc. prior to the trip. That will reduce ice consumption and keep other foods colder longer.
3. Chop & Mix
If you plan to cook something like fajitas chop all onions, peppers and meat prior to the trip then store in a Ziploc bag or vacuum pack. Freeze if needed. This will also work for dry ingredients like biscuits or cobbler mix. The more prep work you do at home the more time you have to enjoy the outdoors.
4. Don't Forget Chuck
Get a chuck box. A chuck box, similar to a chuck wagon from the late 1800s, carries all your cooking gear and/or food. This can be anything from a cardboard box (not suggested) to a handmade wooden crate customized for a camp kitchen. I use a Sherpa Table from Camp Chef because keeps everything organized and transforms into a table for food prep or cooking. I keep it stocked with utensils, can opener, lighter, cutting boards, seasonings, cooking spray, paper towels, sanitize wipes and more. It's always ready to go when I am.
5. Grab-n-Go Gear
There is no need to raid the silverware drawer for a knife, spatula, or whatever else you might find. There are plenty of tools available for a simple camp kitchen. A knife set or chef set is a perfect for grab-n-go camping. I also like Dutch oven liners. Simply drop it in, cook, and serve a Dutch oven meal with no need to clean.
6. Time for S'more
Desserts are always enjoyably. Whether that's a Dutch oven peach cobbler, or toasted marshmallow over a fire. Make time for dessert.
Bio: Ryan Neeley is the marketing and public relations manager at Camp Chef. As a lifelong outdoor enthusiast and Utah native he has a love for many outdoor activities from hunting to camping and everything in between. Each activity usually has some aspect of outdoor cooking because he can't control the weather, or the fishing, but if he eats bad that is his own fault.