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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

11 Best Camping Tips & Recipes...

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With camping season upon us, I thought I would share 11 recipes & tips to help make your camping excursions easier.
We love camping! It is one of the rights of passage of summer for us!
We are campers in the true sense of the word.... we sleep in sleeping bags in a tent under the stars {or rain} to the sounds of nature's music.
Our camping kitchen is consists of a picnic table, a campfire, a table top barbecue & portable kitchen set-up with a sink and the our cooler of food.
I find one of the things that make our camping trips go just peachy keen is if I have the a food plan ready to go.
So here are some tips to help make your camping season as super fun as the toy department at Christmas!

1. Plan The Meals. Write out all the of the meals you are going to need for your camping trip and write a menu plan for it...however simple or elaborate you want it to be. Add in snacks that your family will be looking for and use this information to create your grocery/packing list. Don't forget to include the condiments  you will need like ketchup, BBQ sauce, etc.

2. Wash & Prep Healthy Snacks Ahead of Time. I always find it easier to have snacks such as fruit & vegetables washed & cut up before I leave home. I pack everything in ziploc bags or containers and into the cooler it goes. This way when the kids are looking for a snack...I can do my mom duty and say "Eat some fruit! Have some vegetables!".
3. Containerize Condiments. Save yourself time & money by packing small containers of condiments made up from the bigger sizes you already have in your fridge. This saves you from having to buy small sizes of condiments...saving you money. The smaller sized containers from home also fit into a cooler better. I like these little Tupperware containers.
4. Label, Label, Label Your Food Ingredients. This makes it much easier when rooting around the cooler {or fridge if you have a trailer} looking for things! All you need for labelling is masking take and a marker. I love these containers from IKEA...they are so sturdy.

5. Have Side Dishes Ready to Go. I like having our little sides ready to go on the barbecue. These are mushrooms & onions washed & sliced for our steak night.

6. Have Lunch Ready For Set-Up Day. I like having this SPECIAL PICNIC SANDWICH ready for us on the first day of camping when we are busy setting up tents, inflating mattresses, making beds and setting up. It's busy for the first few hours and it is so nice to not have to stop and make lunch. I make the sandwich the day before we leave for our trip and wrap it in plastic wrap, then tin foil and tuck it into the cooler. You just need to add drinks, veggies & fruit and presto....lunch is ready! You can find the recipe for this PICNIC SANDWICH here.
7. Recipe Share: Chicks on Sticks. This is one of my favourite recipes for camping....chicken kabobs. I cut & marinate the chicken at home, freeze it and place it in the cooler for a meal. On the day we are eating this, I take it out of the cooler to thaw for a few hours. We just need to thread the chicken on skewers with veggies and bbq. You can find the recipe for 'Chicks on Sticks' here.

8. Marinade & Freeze Your Meats. If you like to switch it up from the usual hot dogs, hamburgers and beans, try simple marinade recipes for meat... prepared at home, tossed in the freezer and taken on your trip for meal are just the ticket. Just take the meat out of the cooler to thaw on the morning of the day you plan to serve it.
For a recipe for delicious steak marinade, click here.

9. Pack A Salad That Is A Travel Trooper. It's always handy to have a make -ahead salad ready to eat with hamburgers, hot dogs, steak or chicken. One salad that travels really well is this bean salad which is full of healthy ingredients and tastes better as it ages.It doesn't get soggy like a lettuce salad would. For this bean salad recipe, click here.
10. Try Camp Cookers For Quick Meals & Desserts. Last summer we purchased some camp cookers from Canadian Tire and we had a blast using them at night time for snacks & desserts. They are perfect for grilled cheese, pocket pizzas or toasted s'more sandwiches  .Just simply butter 2 slices of bread, add whatever you like inside and toast in the camp cooker over a fire.We tried: pizza sauce with ham, pineapple & cheese.Desserts combinations are endless. My daughter's fav was blueberry jam with cream cheese, but we also made nutella with banana slices and lots of other gooey stuff.

11. Cook easy meals in tin foil packets! They are fun to make, delicious and require no dish washing.
'Potato Boat Dinner' of our favs!
It usually takes me a few hours to prep and prepare all the food for our camping trip, but once we arrive at the camp site, all my efforts are so worth I have more time to sit & relax without feeling like I'm in the 'kitchen' all the time!

What tips do you have to make your camping trips easier?

If you liked this recipe, here are some other amazing camping recipes:

This post is linked to:Lil Luna, Gingersnap Crafts, Clean & Scentsible, The DIY Dreamer, Fun In The Sun, 


thistlewoodfarm said...


I was going to leave a message on the cake pops and then this new wonderful post popped up :) Thanks for all the inspiration and the incredible recipes!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

Patricia Purcell said...

We camp the same way, in a tent and sleeping bags. It sounds like you are way more organized than I am about food prep. We do like to involve the kids in some on the spot cooking, and if we're going for more than a few days we usually have to seek out a grocery store for new supplies. I will use some of your ideas though, like the potato boats!

Leslie said...

I remember this post and it is still awesome!! You are ridiculously oganized!!! Please come over.

Rustown Mom said...

I'm not a camper, but your photos make me want to go camping...if for nothing else, the food! Maybe someday when I can have a camper and travel the states.... I still use your steak marinade. LOVE IT.

A Pretty Life in the Suburbs said...

This is a great post! We haven't camped since our youngest was born 2 years ago, but we're going to try it again this year! We love camping!
Thanks for all the great tips!!

The Hopkins Home said...

We are going on our first camping trip of the season today! We leave this afternoon and I have been loving your ideas this past week - thanks for sharing! I've got some great tricks up my sleeve now :)

KCoake said...

Great tips! I am pinning it for reference when we head out to camp. Thanks for the ideas!

Amanda said...

Awesome tips! I especially love the pre-made sandwich for the first day and the bean salad. We always pack frozen marinated chicken kebabs for camping, and even for cottage weekends when we go to visit friends.

Just found you through a link party! I'm a fellow Canadian blogger and also you're newest follower :)

{northern cottage} said...

yay camping season - your tips look awesome and ought to make the summer outings EVEN BETTER! thank you!

Ginger said...

Featuring this tonight & your summer mantel! :) Thank you so much for sharing at {wow me} wednesday!

Ginger @

Three Chicks & One Egg said...

Thanks for these great recipes! I was excited to try some out this past weekend! My family & I love the cheesy melty dip - so tasty and easy! I have linked (many times) to your site on my recent post). Thanks again!

Lulu and Brian said...

Great recipes! Have you tried Smores in a Cone?

Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

Great tips! I especially like the marinade idea.

Narelle Heath said...

We've just started camping and there are some great tips here. Camp cooking is my husband's domain though - I cook at home, he cooks when camping (although I still have to do the prep work).

liezel Ayala said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kimberly Glinski said...

This post is so great! I am new to camping and these meals look yummy! Thanks for the great ideas.

Job and Rachael said...

I could camp every day with this food! ;) great tips

Brooke Love said...

What is the best containers to pack food in for teh cooler? I'm afraid the water from melting ice will get in. I alwasy just use baggies, but stuff gets smushed.

Amy Lopez said...

What a wonderful idea - I absolutely LOVE it! Can't wait to give it a whirl. Thank you for sharing these tips here

Jane Bennett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane Bennett said...

This post is so great! I am new to camping and these meals look yummy. Thanks for sharing it here

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