Camping season is in full swing now and my family has already been out a couple of times this year. It’s an activity we love to do and around the Bulkley Valley there are a lot of beautiful spots to camp.
While travelling has been restricted, there have been many local locations to check out. We truly live in a beautiful area. Some of my favourite memories growing up were of camping. I want my children to have those memories too. Camping with kids is no holiday but it is fun and worth the work.
There are so many benefits of camping: the fresh air; the exercise; the socializing— even with your own kids, and the slower pace of life. The other great part of camping is the good food.
I buy my kids snacks we don’t usually eat at home and if we camp at Tyhee Lake we’ll bike down to the ice cream stand. But lately, I feel like I’ve been in a camping recipe rut. I usually make the same meals because they are easy and fun. I need to spice it up. I thought if I’d share my favourite camping meals, you’d share some with me.
One of my go-to dinners is homemade hamburger helper. There are a ton of recipes online for it. The one I use calls for a lot of spices but I measure them out at home and put them in a small Tupperware container or a Ziplock bag.
I also measure out the noodles and grated cheese and pack exactly the right amount so when it comes time to cook it, I just have to dump everything together in a frying pan over the camp stove.
It almost feels like I’m on a cooking show putting all my pre-measured ingredients together. Although my kids don’t find it funny when I pretend to be Rachel Ray. (Lucky for them though it’s not Gordan Ramsey.)
The recipe calls for macaroni noodles but if I’m feeling like a fun mom, I’ll use a different shape pasta like wagon wheels. I also usually add a vegetable or two, because I’m not that fun.
It’s always a hit around our campfire.
Another pro tip: if you don’t have a fridge or an electrical hook up at your site, freeze your ground beef beforehand and throw it in your cooler. It’ll act like an ice pack until you’re ready to use it.
Another favourite meal of ours is pulled pork wraps. We make them on wraps because we used fresh buns once and they got squished. I make the pulled pork ahead of time so its ready to go. We just throw it on a wrap with some pre-made coleslaw for an easy lunch.
Again, the pork can be frozen flat in a ziplock bag and used to keep your cooler cool.
We always do hot dogs roasted on the campfire (when there isn’t a fire ban) as one of our meals too. My husband would be happy to have that every night but I need a bit of variety.
It’s also nice if my kids can at least look at (or if I beg, lick) a vegetable over the weekend at some point too.
Another great idea if you are camping with another family is to share at least two meals. One night you cook, the next night they cook. It is easy to double a recipe but hard to come up with another meal idea and pack along a whole different set of ingredients.