Skip to main content

Wisconsin Parent

Camping with Kids: Camp Cooking

Aug 05, 2013 05:00AM, Published by Abbie Chaffee, Categories: Food+Dining




Camping with kids doesn't have to be intimidating. Here are some tips and advice on what to cook when camping with your kiddos.

Our first camping trip of 2013 started on Mother’s Day weekend at Devil’s Lake State Park. It was really really cold the first few nights; with temperatures dipping down to 30° ( how cold was it? I made the dog sleep in the sleeping bag with my daughter and I in order to keep us all warm. My husband had to fend for himself). Thankfully, the weather was really beautiful for the rest of our weeklong stay.

Happy Mother's Day to Me! 

Being “the planner” that I am, I started planning out meals way back in March for this trip. The key to a successful camping trip is proper preparation. When bringing small children in tow for a camping trip try not to get too “wild and crazy” with recipes; but also don’t be afraid to cook something other than hot dogs.

When we go camping, I like to do big breakfasts. I find that it’s easiest to actually sit down and eat in the morning, when everyone is still a bit groggy and the fun of being outside hasn’t quite set in yet (but if your child is anything like mine, that sets in about 15 minutes after waking up, so it’s best to make breakfast ASAP). We save pancakes and bacon for our end of the week breakfasts (and sometimes dinner), and stick with scrambles for the first few days. They’re simple and fast to whip up. Here is my preferred camping  scrambler:

Sausage and Potato Breakfast Scramble:

camp cooking

(this recipe is based on 2 adults and 1 child consuming it)

-4 eggs; beaten

-1 cup Potatoes O’Brien (frozen potatoes with onions and peppers)

-1/2 of a package of ground  breakfast sausage (save the other half for the next day)

-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

-salt and pepper to taste

**I use a propane fueled camp stove to cook our breakfasts.**

(Turn on the camp stove and adjust your flames to about a medium heat…this takes some practice if you’re new to outdoor cooking, so don’t be afraid to “fiddle” with it while you’re cooking.)

In a large skillet (I prefer cast iron), brown your sausage. If there is an excessive amount of oil, spoon off into a cup. Next, add your potatoes (it’s ok if they are still frozen). Allow the potatoes to soften a bit (time varies depending on your heat). Next, add your beaten eggs and a few shakes of salt and pepper. Scramble together until eggs are a desired “doneness”. Remove from heat and stir in your cheese (until everything is nice and melty). Serve immediately.

camp cooking

*Tip: To clean your egg and cheese coated cast iron skillet, bring along a box of coarse ground kosher salt (and a scouring pad). Add enough  salt to coat the bottom of the pan, then use a scrubbie to break up cooked on bits. The salt will soak up extra grease and flavors left behind too. Discard “dirty” salt in the garbage and apply a thin layer of oil (I use coconut oil that I bring camping with us.) to the pan and work it in using a paper towel. Your pan should look like new, and be ready to use for your next meal. Store the pan upside down on your picnic table (or camp kitchen table) to prevent bugs from sticking to the freshly oiled surface.

 

camp cookingcamp cooking

On to lunch!

When we go camping, lunch is always a “grab and go” option. Sandwiches like PB &J  or roasted turkey are typical crowd favorites, but my child is the only child on earth who won’t eat a sandwich so I have to think outside of the box. I like to bring along a big bag of trail mix (either store bought or homemade) to made sure we’re snacking on high protein nuts in the middle of the day to keep our energy levels up. After the first day, lunch typically consists of leftovers from the night before (if there are any). Since our family is so small, and refrigeration is very limited, we’ll cook a whole pack of brats in one night, knowing that we’ll eat them for lunch the next day (cold). Here is a list of items I bring with us for quick lunches:

camp cooking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-cheese (I usually buy a brick of local cheddar to cut up)

-applesauce (in those handy pouches)

-trailmix/raw nuts/raw seeds/granola

-cut up veggies (like carrots and celery)

-peanut butter (to eat by the spoonful or dip carrots and celery into)

-whole apples (once again, to eat on their own or with peanut butter)

-raisins

-hummus (to eat with veggies.)

camp cooking

Can't forget the cheddar bunnies!

*I try to avoid bringing bread along on camping trips because the extra moisture of the outdoors seems to make everything stale overnight. That, and one time raccoons stole my loaf of bread. I do bake a loaf of sourdough to bring along, because that never seems to be affected by the extra humidity, and tastes better a little stale. We’re also not a big sandwich eating family, so we don’t eat a lot of bread anyway. However, if your kids need their PB&J, bring the bread! Maybe store it in 2 Ziploc freezer bags to seal in the freshness a little longer.

Dinner Time!

When it comes to camping with a toddler, we try to keep it simple. Grass-fed burgers (pre-formed, and frozen before leaving), brats (what’s camping in WI without brats…and beer), and marinaded grilled chicken breasts (which I marinade, double bag, and freeze before leaving as well). Freezing various meats before leaving means we don’t need as much ice for the first few days camping; resulting in less waterlogged food in the cooler. On the final days of our camping trip, I try and use up the rest of the food we brought. Typically, that means pancakes and eggs at least one night for dinner (always a fan favorite).

For side dishes, I keep it simple as well.  I like to make vinegar based salads, like three bean, before leaving for our trip to eat with dinners during the week.

Three Bean Salad:

-1 can of black beans; drained and rinsed

-1 can of chick peas; drained and rinsed

-1 can of white beans; drained and rinsed

-1 cucumber; diced

-1 red bell pepper;  diced

-1 tbs olive oil

-3 tbs apple cider vinegar

-3 tbs water

-salt and pepper

-feta; to add later if you’d like

Add the beans, cucumber, and bell pepper to a large bowl with a lid. Next, whisk together oil, vinegar, water, salt and pepper in a small bowl and add dressing to bean mixture. Cover with lid and shake to coat.

Since this salad is vinegar based and has zero dairy, you don’t have to worry about keeping it super cold during your trip!

*Feel free to add any other vegetable, bean, or spice you and your family like! I like to sprinkle a little feta on mine before eating. Yum.

For other side options, we like grilled corn on the cob, and “foil packs” with seasoned potatoes.

*Tip: when we go camping, we bring a collapsible grill grate that goes right over the fire; making grilling a breeze. Just be sure to bring some cooking spray along so your grilled food doesn’t stick to the grill!

camp cooking

 Our simple dish washing station at the campsite. Jug of water, drying rack, and one happy toddler

Here’s a quick list of my “camp cooking must haves”:

-camp stove

-propane

-cast iron skillet

-coarse salt to clean skillet

-stainless steel tongs

-griddle

-sturdy wooden spoon

-a plate for each person

-fork, knife, and spoon for each person

-a sharp knife

-a cutting board (preferably plastic)

-cooking spray

-paper towels

-plastic tub to wash dishes in (and a sponge & scrubbie)

 

Happy Camping!!




outdoor fun camp cooking camping with kids summer fun


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Homeschool Community Meet-up

    01/24/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    An opportunity to meet, mingle, play, talk and learn with other homeschooling families and the Yo...


  • R.E.A.D. Dog Program

    01/25/2017
    03:30PM — 04:30PM

    Sign-up for a 15-minute session with a certified R.E.A.D. team. It's a great way for children to ...


  • Annual Dinner

    01/25/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join the Chamber as they celebrate the Business, Citizen & Non-Profit of the Year for 2016 on Jan...


  • Join us Wednesday, January 25, from 6-7 p.m. to learn about registration process, open enrollment...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Morning Play Date

    01/26/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00PM

    Spend a morning meeting new friends at DreamBank. While the kids enjoy interactive story time and...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Family Nutrition

    01/28/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    What better way to kick start the new year by helping your little one create healthy habits? Join...


  • Fam Jam

    01/28/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Monona Terrace is proud to present Fam Jam - a family-fun-day featuring giant inflatable stations...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/28/2017
    02:00PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • BDACT Annual Celebration

    01/28/2017
    05:00PM

    The public is invited to attend the annual end of season celebration for the Beaver Dam Area Comm...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/28/2017
    07:30PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • Waukesha Janboree "Flake Out" Family Concert

    01/22/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    What will your kids tell their friends after they've conducted the Philharmonic? Sing along to "L...


  • Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks

    01/22/2017
    02:30PM

    See country's biggest names come to life! Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks is a new musical revue tha...


  • Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks

    01/22/2017
    07:30PM

    See country's biggest names come to life! Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks is a new musical revue tha...


  • Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks

    01/22/2017
    07:30PM

    See country's biggest names come to life! Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks is a new musical revue tha...


  • Homeschool Community Meet-up

    01/24/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    An opportunity to meet, mingle, play, talk and learn with other homeschooling families and the Yo...


  • R.E.A.D. Dog Program

    01/25/2017
    03:30PM — 04:30PM

    Sign-up for a 15-minute session with a certified R.E.A.D. team. It's a great way for children to ...


  • Annual Dinner

    01/25/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join the Chamber as they celebrate the Business, Citizen & Non-Profit of the Year for 2016 on Jan...


  • Join us Wednesday, January 25, from 6-7 p.m. to learn about registration process, open enrollment...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Morning Play Date

    01/26/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00PM

    Spend a morning meeting new friends at DreamBank. While the kids enjoy interactive story time and...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/27/2017
    02:00PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • For the third year ever, the Godfather Daniel Buchner brings you WINTER SUCKS ROCK DOES NOT night...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/27/2017
    07:30PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Family Nutrition

    01/28/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    What better way to kick start the new year by helping your little one create healthy habits? Join...


  • Fam Jam

    01/28/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Monona Terrace is proud to present Fam Jam - a family-fun-day featuring giant inflatable stations...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/28/2017
    02:00PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • BDACT Annual Celebration

    01/28/2017
    05:00PM

    The public is invited to attend the annual end of season celebration for the Beaver Dam Area Comm...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/28/2017
    07:30PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • Mr. Pickles Reads to You

    01/29/2017
    03:00PM

    It won't take long for you to be charmed by the infectiously bubbly Mr. Pickles! Listen as he rea...


  • Special Touch Beaver Dam Chapter meeting

    02/03/2017
    06:15PM — 08:00PM

    The meeting will start at 6:15pm with tacos. After singing we will do the " Word Walk" "Mercy -...


  • Flick N' Float

    02/03/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Family Adventure Pool Doors open at 6:45 pm Movie starts at 7:00 pm Members: FREE Non Mem...


  • Random Acts of Comicality

    02/03/2017
    08:00PM

    Due to popular demand, the Hartford Players’ smash-hit musical revue is back with all new materia...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Engineering for Kids

    02/04/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    When it comes to engineering, kids are naturals! Drop into DreamBank and cultivate your child’s...


  • Saturday Science at Discovery

    02/04/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Science and sports collide during this free event held on the first Saturday of every month! Expl...


  • Random Acts of Comicality

    02/04/2017
    08:00PM

    Due to popular demand, the Hartford Players’ smash-hit musical revue is back with all new materia...


  • Spring Storytime: Family Storytime

    02/06/2017
    09:30AM — 10:15AM

    Enjoy stories, songs, rhymes, movement, dramatics and more with Miss Sarah while building early l...


  • Spring Storytime: Toddler Time

    02/06/2017
    10:30AM — 11:00AM

    Enjoy stories, songs, rhymes, movement, dramatics and more with Miss Sarah while building early l...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Morning Play Date

    02/09/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Spend a morning meeting new friends at DreamBank. While the kids enjoy interactive story time and...


  • Orthopedic & Arthritis Lunch & Learn

    02/09/2017
    11:30AM — 01:30PM

    Join us for a FREE LUNCH on February 9th and learn about arthritis, joint replacement and the Pra...


  • Random Acts of Comicality

    02/10/2017
    08:00PM

    Due to popular demand, the Hartford Players’ smash-hit musical revue is back with all new materia...


  • Winter Day At The Park

    02/11/2017
    08:00AM — 04:00PM

    A Winter Day at the Park: Model Horse Show ADS Sleigh Competition Bobsled Rides Skijoring Com...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Valentine’s Day Celebration

    02/11/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    Roses are red, violets are blue, DreamBank is excited for Valentine’s Day – how about you? Get in...


  • American Hero & Ice Queen

    02/11/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Calling all Superheros and Princesses - join us for a magical time! Crafts Face Painting Refr...


  • Random Acts of Comicality

    02/11/2017
    02:00PM

    Due to popular demand, the Hartford Players’ smash-hit musical revue is back with all new materia...


  • With a focus on the Cretaceous Period, Dr. T-Rex takes you on a tour through the Mesozoic Era — t...



Special Thanks to These Relaunch Partners


Woodman's Markets - Employee Owned
Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau