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Forgot to pack a few essentials? These hacks will help your camping trip
You won’t believe what you can do with these everyday food products when you are in a pinch.
If you have ever been camping, you know how hard it can be to remember everything you end up needing by night’s end. Being a constantly connected people, we sometimes don’t even think about how we are going to pop that popcorn without a microwave to plug in. And while the point of the great outdoors is to get away from all of that modern technology, having a few modern tricks up your sleeve won’t hurt.
We found some extremely useful life hacks you are going to love if you are ever out in the wide world and find yourself without certain essentials.
Make a Light
Need some better lighting? Use an empty soda can, cut it, clean it, and stick a tea light in it for a reflective DIY lamp.
Keep Bugs Away
Use household herbs and your fire pit to help keep bugs away from your campsite.
Who knew that your beer can could help you air-pop perfect popcorn?
Easy Camping Recipes That Will Make You Want to Get Your Campfire Lit
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I can’t wait for camping season!! I’m already planning our summer camping trips and am excited to make these easy camping recipes. They are quick and family friendly recipes that everyone will love!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.
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About Nikki Cleveland
Nikki is a writer and editor for Do It Yourself RV, RV LIFE, and Camper Report. She is based on the Oregon Coast and has traveled all over the Pacific Northwest.
Camping Lunch Ideas
One-Pot Mac and Cheese
- 21/4 cups whole milk
- 21/2 cups cheddar cheese (grated)
- 2 cups macaroni noodles
- 1 tbsp salted butter
- ½ tsp mustard powder
To get started, light your campfire and pour milk and one cup of water into a pot and bring it to a rolling boil. Pour
the macaroni noodles into the boiling water and frequently stir until the noodles are tender.
After the noodles cook through, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter, mustard powder, and salt
and pepper to taste. Once the mixture is creamy and the cheese forms long, delicious strings, you know you’ve nailed the
One-Pan Campfire Pizza
- Premade pizza dough
- ½ cup tomato sauce (canned)
- 1 mozzarella ball (fresh)
- ¼ cup red onion (sliced)
- ¼ cup mushroom (sliced)
Start by kneading the batter into the pan so that two balls are formed. After that, spread one of the balls on the pan
and use olive oil to coat the pan if it’s sticky.
Ensure that the pizza dough evenly covers the bottom of the pan or Dutch oven. Then, cook the dough for roughly five
minutes until the pizza crust firms before flipping it over. Since you have a second pizza to prepare with the other
ball, only add half of the pizza toppings to this dough ball. Cook the pizza for five minutes or until the cheese has
Repeat these steps for the second pizza. Add fresh basil on top to garnish if you have any on-hand, and then serve
Easy Pesto Linguine
- 12 oz. linguine pasta (halved)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 oz. mozzarella balls (cubed)
- ½ cup of pesto
- 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
Throw all the ingredients (except tomatoes and pesto) into a saucepan over the campfire with 4 ½ cups of water and bring
it to a boil. As the pot reaches a boil, stir the pasta until al dente, or for about 10 minutes.
After the pasta is cooked, throw in the tomatoes and pesto and stir until thoroughly combined. Once the sauce thickens,
remove the pan from the fire and add the mozzarella before serving hot to everyone at your
Simple Campfire Nachos
- Extra-virgin olive oil (as needed)
- 1-1/4 cup tomatoes (diced)
- 1 avocado (diced, pitted, peeled)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ bag tortilla chips
Throw your cast iron pan in the campfire and toss in a light drizzling of olive oil once the pan is hot. Add the diced
tomatoes to the pan, and then add half of the tortilla chips, and half a cup of grated cheese. If you have extra
ingredients on-hand, consider tossing in some chopped onions and black beans.
Add additional layers of nachos until the pan fills, and then cook for 10 minutes in a foil-covered pan. Once the cheese
melts, uncover and remove from heat before adding the prepared avocado and a garnish of lime and cilantro if you want to
spice things up.
Classic Tin Foil Hotdogs
- 5 all-beef hot dogs
- 5 string cheeses
- 5 slices of turkey bacon (thin cut)
- 1 box of tin foil
These savory sausages are a delight to eat on a beach day, or they can be prepared in advance of a big kayak or canoe
excursion. Heat a campfire grill grate while you split the hot dogs down the middle without slicing the whole way
through. Wedge a stringed cheese inside the hot dog and wrap one piece of turkey bacon around each sausage before
wrapping it in tin foil.
Cook the sausages over the heated grill for 10 to 15 minutes each. Once finished, the hot dogs should be heated through
and the cheese should have melted. Set the cooked sausages aside for five minutes or more while they cool—nothing can
ruin a camping adventure like a scorched roof of the
Easy-Breezy Campfire Quesadillas
- 8 large flour tortillas
- 1 cup Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese (grated)
- 4 oz. goat cheese (crumbled)
- 1 red bell pepper (sliced)
- 1 medium-large onion (diced)
Heat your campfire grill grate and throw on a buttered skillet. Sauté the vegetables until they fully caramelize, which
should take between 15 and 25 minutes. Lay buttered tortillas on tin foil squares. Add the various cheeses (and jalapeno
peppers if you have them) to the tortillas and then toss the sautéed vegetables on top.
Now, onto the easy part: fold the quesadilla in half and firmly seal them in tin foil pouches. Let each tortilla foil
pack cook over the campfire or outdoor grill for about five minutes, or until the cheese fully
Beans and Franks
- 1 can of baked beans (16 oz.)
- 1 package of beef hot dogs (sliced)
- 1 tbsp prepared mustard
- 1 package of hot dog buns
- 2 tbsp onions (chopped)
This campground favorite is one of the quickest meals you can prepare for the whole family. Melt margarine or butter in
a cast-iron skillet over the campfire and then sauté chopped onions until they’re translucent. Then, mix in the baked
beans and sausages before seasoning the mixture with mustard and salt.
Transfer the cooled bean and frankfurter mixture onto hotdog buns and serve warm. For a superior dish, try toasting your
hotdog buns on your campsite’s grill grate.
4. One-pot BreakfastAbigail Shipps
I make a variation this breakfast all the time when I'm home, and I'm happy to say I can also make this while camping! Over a fire, toss in veggies of your choice and some sausage. Sauté them for a few minutes until they're mostly cooked, and then pour in you eggs (from the bottle hack)! You can scramble the eggs or cook it omelette style.
#SpoonTip: I like to add spinach, peppers, and spicy Italian sausage to my breakfast bowl.
7 Recipes that Will Elevate Camping to Glamping
If you&rsquore sick of roasting weenies on a stick over the camp fire, or God forbid, instant dehydrated camp food, we have seven delicious and sophisticated recipes that will make you forget they were prepared under the open sky!
These delicious and elegant pinwheel steaks will elevate camping to glamping! It would be very easy to assemble these ahead of time, and pack in your cooler to grill at your camp site.
For this delicious sandwich, just prep the barbeque chicken at home and heat in a pot over the fire. Likewise, prep the slaw ahead of time, then just assemble your sandwiches at the camp site when it&rsquos time to eat!
Lots of people bring cold cuts on a camping trip, so why not take it a step further and prep your own roast beef and gremolata ahead of the trip, then assemble these divine sandwiches on the camp picnic table? Delish!
A blue-cheese aioli adds a sophisticated richness and depth to these spicy cheddar burgers, which are easy to prepare outdoors.
Tacos may not seem like an obvious camping trip choice, but these pineapple skirt steak tacos are actually super easy to prep at the camp site, and the complex flavors of this Josh Capon recipe will wow your fellow campers.
Want a sophisticated snack to bring on the trip? Make Graham&rsquos flavorful roasted almonds ahead of time and set out in a bowl on the picnic table as an appetizer.
The combination of sweet maple syrup, smoky bacon and tart blue cheese brings these turkey burgers to life.
We did not include a dessert on this list, because whether camping or glamping, there is only one possible dessert, and it doesn&rsquot require a recipe. You guessed it &ndash S&rsquoMores! Just toast a marshmallow, then assemble a sandwich with chocolate and graham crackers! Perfection!
What&rsquos your favorite food to eat when camping? Tell us in the comments.
Here are my top Amazon Picks for some of these Camping Tips, Hacks, and Recipe Ideas…
Melissa – Kid Friendly Things To Do
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30 Make-Ahead Meals Perfect for Your Next Camping Trip
These easy recipes will make everyone a happy camper.
As you start organizing your road trips to some of the best U.S. destinations and making your camping trip checklist, don't forget a very important order of business: figuring out what you are going to cook for dinner! Thanks to clever, make-ahead camping meals and easy Dutch oven recipes, you don't have to suffer through dinners of trail mix and freeze-dried soups. Many campfire dishes can be prepped ahead of time, and some you can finish completely before you head for the woods. Here, our favorite make-ahead camping meals.
Just because you're "roughing it" doesn't mean you can't enjoy appetizers. Start dinner off right with a everyone's favorite warm dip. Prep ahead and cook when you get back to camp.
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