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April 19, 2011 / flogginwater

Favorite Camp Foods

Over at the OBN Headquarters, the writing prompt this week was to write about your favorite camping/outdoor foods. Some folks like s’mores, some like hot dogs roasted on sticks… I like good comfort food when in the woods.

One tradition I’ve got, that happens on every camping trip I go on, is steak night. They don’t have to be T-bones or New York Strip, but a good steak cooked over an open fire is hard to beat, and almost insanely simple to make – you need fire, a metal grill, and if you choose, seasoning. Cook to your liking (I like a medium-well steak, as food should only bleed when you kill it).

I like my steak with a baked tater, wrap a scrubbed tater in aluminum foil with a couple stabs from a fork to vent steam, and place at the edge of the fire pit with tongs. Slather on some butter and shredded cheddar cheese, maybe some diced onions or bacon bits if you’ve got ’em.

Other foods I absolutely love, is breakfast cooked over an open fire. Something about the wood smoke flavoring up some eggs, bacon, and griddle cooked hash browns just makes my mouth watery thinking about it.

One of my new favorite foods is ribs – beef back ribs – foil cooked in the fire then slathered in good BBQ sauce. I double wrap a rack of ribs nice and tightly in aluminum foil after giving them a rub down with seasoning (I usually use a mix of garlic, paprika, chili powder, and black pepper) then bury them in hot coals for half an hour to 45 minutes, depending on how hot the fire is. The tightly wrapped foil keeps moisture in the meat, and makes them fall off the bone tender. They were a hit on the last camping trip.

Trips lasting more than a few days, I try to work in a hot dog night, a burger night, of course the steak night, and usually something like a chili or stew night – especially during colder weather trips. Fresh biscuits (Pillsbury’s light and fluffy flakey biscuits) are always a hit to go with any of these meals. These can be cooked in foil, or better yet – on/in a dutch oven.

My other camping/fishing/outdoor food is my home made trail mix. I’m not a huge dried fruit guy – so mine is kind of plain. I mix honey roasted peanuts, cashews, almonds, salted peanuts, and whatever other nut strikes my fancy at the time with chocolate chips – 2/3 semi-sweet, and 1/3 dark chocolate – or if I’m in a hurry, straight up semi-sweet chips. I normally make at least a gallon of this stuff at a time, and if I’m camping by myself for just an overnight trip, I’ll take a gallon ziplock bag of the stuff and call it good – in order to keep things really simple and light. It sucks foregoing steak night on such trips – but it’s also nice not worrying about lugging around a cooler. The trail mix does get old after a day of eating it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks… but a guy can survive on trail mix and water for a weekend if he wants/needs to. You can supplant that diet with fresh fish, if you’re inclined to keep a brace for dinner.

Great camp food is hard to beat, and harder to recreate at home. I guess that just means more camping trips, to enjoy the good food, doesn’t it?



  1. Mel / Apr 20 2011 20:39

    Mark, lots of good temptations in this post. Love fishing and food combined over a camp fire is tough to beat. I am hungry now!

  2. d. nash / Apr 21 2011 11:02

    trail mix is absolutely essential. good call.

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