Far from stop lights and shopping malls, camping is a welcome break from daily life. But what's the best way to plan for all those meals when the kitchen is a campfire and the nearest grocery store is dozens of miles away?
If you're the Executive Chef of your family's new outdoor dining room, pull out your pen and paper or open a new doc on your desktop. Planning your family camping menu is as easy as five simple steps.
Step 1: Create Your Menu
First, take a look at what you might cook during a regular week at home, and then identify the dishes that could be made into simple camping meals. This way, you know you're pleasing everyone without putting too much stress on yourself. These Easy One Pot Meals are a great place to start.
After you've selected your meals, don't forget the snacks. Between hiking, swimming and kayaking, your family will need to fuel up a few times during the day. We have plenty of All-Time Favorite Camping Snack Ideas to inspire you, and when in doubt, it's easy to Create a Custom Trail Mix your family will love.
Step 2: Make a Shopping List
Being Executive Chef of the camping trip requires some creativity. You'll need a streamlined list, and you only want to pack exactly what you need. This requires an out-of-the-box mindset.
For example: What protein is the most versatile for your family? Ground turkey can be used in a variety of dinners, and leftovers can also be added to breakfast scrambles. Peanut butter is another multi-tasking ingredient. It's ideal for sandwiches, and also as a dip for celery and on toast in the morning. It also doesn't require refrigeration, giving peanut butter the edge over other perishable spreads.
Consider each of the items on your shopping list in terms of versatility and storage needs.