There’s no question that one of the absolute best parts of camping is the food. Anything cooked over an open flame somehow seems better than anything you can get at home. Add that to the fact that you’re enjoying it in the great outdoors surrounded by friends and there’s really nothing like it. But there are some downsides to campsite cooking—namely the dishes, and the fact that you have to be able to carry everything. To make your next camping trip a little easier, and possibly more delicious, check out these 10 super easy camp food hacks:
Hack #1: Eggs in a bottle
It’s nearly impossible to traverse the countryside with a dozen or so eggs and not break any of them. For an easier, more convenient way to transport your eggs without having to worry about broken shells, take your eggs with you in a water bottle. Just crack all of your eggs into a water bottle or two before you leave, seal them up tight and pop them in the cooler, and you won’t have to worry about a single break over your entire trip. When you get to camp, shake up the bottle and pour your pre-scrambled eggs into the skillet. Breakfast in a snap.
Hack #2 Bacon and eggs in a bag
Keeping with our handy breakfast hack theme, check out this awesome camp recipe: bacon and eggs without the use of a pan or skillet! Take two pieces of bacon, cut them in half, and layer them in the bottom of a brown paper bag. Then, crack one egg on top of your yummy bacon nest, and fold up the bag. Put a stick through the fold in the bag, and hold it over hot coals for about 7-10 minutes. (Do make sure to be careful your bag doesn’t burst into flame) When you take the bag off the coals, you’ll have a perfect breakfast of bacon and eggs without having to dirty a single dish, and you can eat it right out of the bag! Just make sure not to set the bag on your lap—that’s a recipe for a greasy disaster.
Hack #3 Pancakes in a bag
Another handy camping breakfast recipe is pancakes. While they’re easy enough to make at the campsite, you can save yourself a lot of dishes and space by pre-mixing the batter at home. Throw it into a plastic Ziploc bag and store it in the cooler. When breakfast time hits, just cut off a corner of the bag, and you’ll have a ready-made pancake dispenser! No mess, no bowls to clean up, just yummy pancakes at the ready.
Hack #4 Boiled egg omelet
We promise this is our last bag recipe, but it’s a real doozy so we had to include it. Remember those eggs you prepacked in a water bottle? Well dump a few of them in a heat-safe Ziploc, along with some tomatoes, cheese, and whatever other omelet fixin’s you like, seal the bag, and shake it up. Bring water to boil in a medium sized pot. Drop your omelet-in-a-bag into the boiling water and wait until the egg sets—about 10 minutes. When it’s done, just dump your perfect sized omelet onto a plate and enjoy! If that’s not campsite gourmet, we don’t know what is.
Hack #5 Perfect camping coffee
If you’re like us and can’t live without your morning coffee, don’t worry about spending money on a camp coffee maker if you’re leaving in a hurry. Just grab some coffee filters and put one scoop of coffee in each. Then tie each filter up tightly with dental floss (unflavored, obviously). When you’re done, you’ll have perfect single serve coffee bags that you can simply drop into a pot of boiling water for your daily cuppa joe.
Hack #6 Seasoning in straws
Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you have to eat like a caveman with flavorless meats and veggies. Though it’s tough to take your entire spice rack on a camping trip, you can easily take perfect single-serve packets of your favorite spices with you on the trail with this simple straw hack. Simply funnel spices into individual plastic straws, and then use a lighter to melt the ends together. Make sure to label each straw with the appropriate spice name. The straws are easy to pack, will fit nearly anywhere, and just require a knife or pair of scissors to cut them open. Goodbye, bland tasting camp food!
Hack #7 Silicone drinking cups
Though this isn’t necessarily a food hack, we swear by silicone drinking cups on our camping trips. They’re lightweight, flexible, easy to use, and you never have to worry about them breaking. Just throw them anywhere—they’re impervious to crushing and easy to wash.
Hack #8 Frozen water jugs
It’s difficult to carry enough water and keep all of your food cold when you’re going on longer trips. An easy way to get around that little obstacle is to simply freeze a few gallons of water before you leave. You can put them in your cooler where they’ll keep your food cold, and as they melt, they can be used as drinking water. You might still have to bring a bit of ice to make sure everything stays cold, but frozen water jugs will save you a lot of weight when you’re using them for two purposes.
Hack #9 Beer can popcorn
If you’re a popcorn fiend, don’t worry about giving up the addiction while you’re out in the woods. Just bring some popcorn kernels and popcorn oil along with you. When it’s time for a snack, cut a flap into the side of an empty beer or soda can to create a “chute,” fill it with about a tablespoon of popcorn kernels, add a bit of oil, and carefully hold the can above the fire using a skewer, shaking slightly. Soon, the popcorn will start to spill out of your makeshift chute into the bowl. For extra flavor, sprinkle your popcorn with one of the spices from your handy straw spice rack.
Hack #10 Corn chips for kindling
One of the few negatives of camping is that we can’t always control the weather. When you go camping and it ends up raining, it can be tough to get a fire started when all the kindling around you is wet. An excellent hack for this common problem is to simply pack a bag of corn chips! We’ve found Doritos to be especially flammable, but most any corn tortilla chip will work to get your fire started. The best part is that once you do get the fire roaring, you can use the rest of the chips for some delicious fireside nachos.
When in doubt
If you’re ever in doubt of what to bring on your next camping trip, or how to cook it, rely on these two very solid rules of thumb:
Bring aluminum foil
You can cook just about anything in aluminum foil over an open camp fire—no camp stove or skillet required. Just remember to be patient when you’re cooking meat. It will take a bit longer to cook that chicken in an aluminum foil pocket than it would on a grill, but if you’re patient, the end result will be so worth it! If you’re camping light, a great way to cook almost any meal is to simply wrap it in aluminum foil and place it in the coals.
Prep food before you go
Additionally, there’s not much you can’t bring if it’s prepped and ready to just throw on some heat. We know campers who pre-cook almost all of their meals, freeze them, and then just let them thaw on the trip until they’re warm enough to throw in a skillet or on the fire. When you do this, your food options are endless! You can make anything from a stir-fry to rice and chicken. If you’re not sure what to bring, just take a look at what you can cook, freeze, and then reheat easily.
We hope these camping food hacks help make your next trip the most delicious yet! And if there are any camping supplies you need before you go, make sure to check out everything Earth’s Edge has to offer. From camp stoves to collapsible water bottles, we’ve got the camping gear you need.