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10 tips for great camping meals

Features — Posted 02/12/13

Plan and pack like a pro for delicious, hassle-free camping food.

Keeping food simple is the key to happy camping. What you don’t want is piles of dishes, complicated preparation or long meals – there’s a reason damper is still a staple dish for campers! Everyone’s got their camp food favourites, from baked beans and streaky bacon to big pots of chili, and there’s nothing quite like creating a meal out in the open air.

Here are 10 tips to get you on the right track to a delicious and healthy camping trip.

  1. Use ingredients that are easy to pack and store.
  2. Take care getting portions correct so no one misses out.
  3. Plan meals so you eat ingredients that need to be kept cool (like meat) on your first night.
  4. Unless you’re using the fresh version, pasta takes a while to cook and uses lots of water. Look at speedier alternatives like couscous or quinoa.
  5. Think of easy, flavour-packed ingredients like dried mushrooms to throw in dishes. They are light as air and add a flavour hit to eggs, soups and stews.
  6. If you have a campfire, consider foods you can cook directly in coals – bury potatoes wrapped in foil, add corn cobs still in their husks to steam or fold up foil ‘tents’ full of meat and veggies for an easy pot-free dinner.
  7. Sticks are your friend. From wrapping dough around them to spearing marshmallows, they are a very handy camping tool.
  8. Wraps are a camper’s delight. Filled with salads for lunch and loaded with toppings and warmed for night-time pizzas, they’re worthy of a spot in the rucksack.
  9. Pre-made frozen meals can take the place of ice for the first day of camping. Then once they’re de-frosted, heat and eat.
  10. Nachos can be a great last-day meal when you’ve got lots of bits and pieces left over. Just pile them on and warm them up.
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