If you and your family plan to go camping this summer, you’re likely making sure you have all the right supplies to make your trip enjoyable. Don’t forget that you’ll also have to prepare meals during your camping trip, which is a wonderful activity to encourage bonding between your loved ones.
While you’re enjoying the beauty of Virginia State Park campsites, or wherever you are camping, here are some easy meals you can prepare to make your outdoor excursion even more memorable.
1. Campfire Bean Soup
A hearty stew or soup makes a filling meal when you’re preparing to sleep under the stars. You can place the pot over the campfire and add the beans of your choice, along with onions, peppers, and stewed tomatoes. Make sure that you are always nearby while the soup is cooking. If you leave your campsite while it’s cooking, you risk starting a wildfire or attracting wildlife directly into the campsite. Go for recipes that don’t take all day to stew, but instead, vegetables, and ingredients that can cook up quickly over a flame.
Add your favorite seasonings and cook a side of vegetables like carrots or corn on the cob on the fire as well–just remember to wrap the veggies in foil before placing them on the fire. This makes a delicious vegetarian meal, but you can also add ground beef or turkey to the stew before adding the beans and additional ingredients for a hearty stew your family will love.
2. Potato Skins or Baked Potatoes
If your family loves potato skins, they’ll enjoy the smoky flavor of potato skins cooked on the campfire. After the potatoes have cooked completely, top them with melted cheese, scallions, and bacon bits, or you can add diced onions and bell peppers for enhanced flavor and sneak more vegetables into the meal. The potato skins taste great with a side of chili, and if your loved ones like spicy food, you can top the potatoes or the chili with fresh jalapenos.
Baked potatoes are a fun and easy campfire meal as well. Set up a baked potato bar so your family can choose the toppings they enjoy, like roasted broccoli, sauteed onions, cheese, sour cream, or diced mushrooms. You can also use a campfire grill to prepare shredded chicken or beef to stuff into the potatoes and make the meal especially filling.
This is one of the best ways to ensure that everyone gets a meal they like. You can also give everyone in the family a cooking task to make prep time faster as you spend some quality time together.
3. Hot Dogs/Sausages
Perhaps one of the most classic campfire foods, your family will love having hot dogs on your vacation. Get some metal skewers before you go to your campsite. Metal skewers are a great utensil to own even if you’re not camping as you can use them for cooking or BBQ at home as well. Put the hot dog or sausage at the end of the metal skewer and hold it over the open flame until it’s ready to eat!
This meal is really simple and easy to both pack and prepare. Bring along some tortillas or bread to wrap your sausage in and you’ve got a delicious camp meal the whole family will enjoy. When you’re done with dinner, you can use the metal skewers to roast marshmallows for smores!
4. Breakfast Tacos
This meal is another fantastic option if you are camping with kids who are picky eaters, or if you are traveling with a large group you need to feed. Breakfast tacos are diverse and delicious. Be sure to budget well and purchase plenty of beans, cheese, eggs, peppers, and any other ingredients you’d like to add to your tacos. In the morning, throw the eggs and everything onto your camp stove, or in a pan over your campfire to cook.
Everyone will love this option, especially as a nice hearty morning meal before a long day of hiking, swimming, or any other outdoor activities you may have planned. Be sure you pack plenty of tortillas, even consider making them yourself beforehand if you dislike the taste of store-bought tortillas.
The trick with breakfast tacos is to keep it simple. There’s no need to add special meat or tons of veggies. Keep it simple with taco combinations like bean and cheese or bacon and egg. You can always bring along a jar of salsa and a jar of sliced jalapenos if you want to add some spice to your morning.
5. Campfire Bread
While you may have some meal ideas for lunch or dinner, you’ll also need a delicious meal for your family to wake up to. Campfire bread is a delicious variation of French toast that will make your camping trip one to remember. Bring a campfire grill along and set the grill to low heat. In a sheet of aluminum foil, arrange cinnamon raisin toast and pour a mixture of eggs, heavy cream, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup onto the bread.
Bring the sides of the foil up and pinch the sides to keep the mixture intact. Let the bread cook for about half an hour or until the egg mixture is cooked throughout. Remove the bread from the grill and top with chopped nuts and fresh fruit before serving. You can also bring along whipped cream and sprinkles to make campfire bread more colorful and fun to eat.
Once you remove the bread from the campfire grill, you can prepare scrambled eggs, potatoes, and sausage to make this tasty breakfast complete. Fresh jams, butter, or cream cheese can also be great additions to this meal!
In addition to these delicious campfire treats, you can also serve some tasty beverages for your loved ones to enjoy with their meal. Bring a cooler with fresh fruit so you can make lemonade and let your family members choose the chopped fruits they want with their lemonade. You can also use powdered drink mixes if you don’t feel like squeezing your own lemons. A great drink is a lemonade with black berries, or your favorite type of berry, mashed up and mixed in. Add a hint of gin if you’re camping solo or with friends for a fun and refreshing camp drink!
Or, you can bring along some carbonated water and fruit purees to create your own healthy sodas. And of course, s’mores are always a welcomed treat when you’re camping. Customize your s’mores according to your family’s tastes by using white chocolate, adding roasted nuts to the s’mores, or using shortbread cookies instead of graham crackers.
These meals are easy to make and are filled with flavor. You can even get some vegetables into your outdoor meals, since the setting may motivate your children to try something new. If your children are picky, there are always simple options like hot dogs or tacos that you can make easily and cheaply on your next camping adventure. Don’t forget to meal plan before you head to the campsite and make a comprehensive ingredients list so you aren’t left without food during your trip. These recipes may become family favorites so you can cook these meals each time you go camping, or even once you return home.