Anyone who has ever been camping, even if it’s just been for one night, will be aware of the importance of a good meal. Whether it’s a quick bite in the morning to set you up for a day of hiking and exploring, or a hot meal at the end of the day cooked on your camping stove, it’s key for your health (and spirits) to keep your strength up.
The problem is that packing a whole bag’s worth of food for your camping holiday can mean extra weight and another bag to haul from the car to your tent – and then you need to find somewhere to keep it all cool and away from creepy crawlies.
On top of this you also need to find someone who is willing to do the cooking. On a family camping trip, this is likely to fall on the shoulders of the adults (or rather dad’s shoulders) but you could always take it in turns and set yourselves a challenge to become the King or Queen of the Campsite Cook-off – think Bake Off without the cakes and the marquee!
Cooking in the great outdoors can be one of the most exciting aspects of camping, letting you try your hand at a different way of cooking away from gas or electric ovens and instead utilising a modern camping stove (depending on the rules and regulations of your campsite of course, as you should always check these wherever you set up camp).
You don’t have to be a culinary genius to cook outdoors – just think of it as barbecuing away from home. In fact, the most challenging part of campsite cooking is choosing what to make for everybody. Some people will take pre-prepared foods that can be emptied into a pan straight from the tin or packet, but there are plenty who would much prefer a genuinely “homemade” meal cooked over an open fire.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to cooking outdoors is to have fun. You’re in the great outdoors with miles and miles of sky, some rolling countryside and no cares in the world – so why stress over the cooking? You can whip something up from your own ingredients, go foraging or head down to a local shop, depending on where you’re staying, and you can be healthy and creative too.
To give you some inspiration it’s definitely worth downloading The Camping Cookbook from GO Outdoors – and not just because we’ve been featured in their 50 reasons to visit the New Forest National Park guide either! This excellent cookbook features recipes from GO Outdoors themselves along with a number of top food bloggers who have pulled together their favourite recipes from quick bites to full family meals that you can cook from the comfort of your campsite in the great outdoors.
There are a lot of people who believe that healthy eating is left at home when they go away, but this highly nutritious collection of recipes proves that that is a mere myth.
Inside the cookbook you will find some healthy breakfasts packed full of energy for the day ahead to mouth-watering meals at the end of a long day – there’s something to stimulate the taste buds for all the family and land yourself that crown of Campsite Cook-Off King or Queen. Although a traditional barbecue with burgers, sausages and kebabs still has a place around a campsite, it is by no means the only option anymore. Even the most health-conscious of campers can keep up with their diet and fitness regime around the modern campsite. In the GO Outdoors camping cookbook you’ll be able to browse through a variety of different recipes covering breakfast, lunch, dinner and even healthy snacks to keep you going throughout your day of adventures. Start with an energising breakfast granola to set you up for the day or a breakfast burrito - grab a healthy handful of trail mix for your hike and then head back to the tent at lunchtime for barbecued scotch eggs (with runny yolks!). Supper is taken care of with some delicious hearty meals from stews to pulled pork or even a twist on a familiar classic, whiskey meatballs!
We’d love to hear if you’ve got any particularly tasty or nutritious campsite recipes that you’d like to share with other campers! Leave a comment below to share your top recipes.
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