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Does meal planning for a camping trip stress you out? You won’t have all of the kitchen gadgets that you tend to use in your residential kitchen.
You won’t have space for all of the spices you usually cook with. Plus, you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals. You want to be outside, enjoying the camping experience.
A Redditor recently asked fellow campers about their favorite camping foods, and some of the responses weren’t what you might expect. Let’s take a look at a few of the unorthodox camping meals!
What Are Typical Camping Foods?
Generally, you smell the roasting of hot dogs and hamburgers when camping.
You can easily slap a hot dog on a stick and grill it over the fire. Many people also use their own grills or skillets. It doesn’t take much work to grill a burger, and you don’t need a lot of extra sides or ingredients.
Many also enjoy sandwiches. It’s a cheap meal with lots of options, and you can throw them in your backpack for a picnic on the trails. Plus, you don’t have to stick with the same kind of sandwich every day. Make a turkey sandwich one day and peanut butter and jelly the next.
In addition, if you go out for the day — whether hiking, paddling, or biking — you can easily make a sandwich to throw in your backpack.
What Makes Certain Foods Good for Camping?
The biggest aspect of easy meal planning for camping is convenience. The fewer meal preparations you have, the better.
Again, you don’t want to cook for several hours every day. So a one-pan skillet over the fire or stove is easier than a five-course meal.
You also don’t have all the residential kitchen gadgets you might use at home. You can’t bring along a huge mixer for a weekend camping trip to cook one item. Many campers don’t want to bring along an air fryer that takes up space on the counter just to cook fries one night.
This also goes for ingredients. The fewer ingredients you need, the better. RV kitchens are small spaces with not much storage. So when meal planning, choose dishes that don’t require a lot of ingredients you’ll have to store.
Redditor Asks About Favorite Camping Foods on Reddit
When a Redditor asked about people’s favorite camping foods, the list got interesting. There were the typical quesadillas, eggs and bacon, and kabobs. But there were also a few unusual camping foods that people enjoyed eating at the campsite.
Let’s dive in!
It’s hard not to eat hamburgers on a camping trip. But one way to switch it up is to make smash burgers instead. It’s a ball of ground beef placed on a hot grill and then smashed into a thin patty.
The toppings and condiments remain the same, but it has a stronger flavor because of the maximum browning. Instead of a thick, juicy burger, you have a flattened, savory patty.
You can even add multiple patties for a double-decker or triple-decker sandwich.
Pie Iron Pizzas
Similar to the commonly cooked quesadilla, a pie-iron pizza is cooked over a fire in a skillet or pie iron.
This requires additional cooking equipment, but if it’s a meal you cook every camping trip or use for more than one meal, it will be worth it.
Everyone can make their own style of pizza with cheeses, toppings, and sauces. Then you close the pie iron and warm it over the fire. It’s an easy meal that kids and adults can enjoy.
Tater Tot Casserole
Several people mentioned tater tot casserole. Since you can make this a couple of different ways, you can choose the method that best suits your camping style. You can make it as an RV crockpot meal, where you layer the meat, seasonings, and tater tots in a slow cooker.
Or you can do it as a campfire meal where you layer the ingredients in a Dutch oven. Regardless, on a cool evening, the warmth of this casserole and the melted cheese will make for a delightful dinner.
Rolls and Cheese
One Redditor mentioned a delicious savory snack on cool afternoons or late-night campfire chats. “Rolls and cheese. Warm Hawaiian rolls dipped in hot nacho cheese. Perfect snack around the campfire.”
Instead of grabbing a bag of Tostitos or Lay’s, grab a pack of Hawaiian rolls to change it up. It sounds delicious!
Campers Biscuits and Gravy
Many enjoy eggs and bacon while camping. You’ve probably woken up to the smell or sound of sizzling bacon on a Saturday morning.
Someguy7234 does something different. “We’ve made Pillsbury biscuits in cast iron Dutch ovens, on propane grills, and in RV ovens. You can make packet white gravy with or without meat, but we like to use leftover sausage from spaghetti the night before, and the gravy goes together in a pot or even in a jet boil as a boil-in-bag. It’s a nice hearty filling meal.”
This sounds like a simple and resourceful camping meal for a traditional breakfast favorite.
One-pot meals and crockpot meals are common, especially in cooler months. But a twist in this traditional camping meal is camper’s stew.
Murphy1600 responded, “A long time ago, we took our kids camping, and my wife forgot to bring any cookware. So we took hamburger rolled into balls and put them in individual foil pouches, added frozen vegetable mix, diced potatoes, and some brown gravy mix to each pouch, and then threw them in the fire. We call it camper’s stew and have it every time we go camping.”
This juicier take on hobo meals sounds like a simple, delicious, unique camping food.
Keep in Mind: How Many of These Camping Food Favorites Have You Tried? Click the link to see what camping foods you’re missing out on!
Other Unique Camping Meals With 5 Ingredients or Less
If you’d like some ideas for unique camping meals with just a few ingredients, we’ve made a list of options. They don’t require a lot of meal prep or kitchen gadgets, making them ideal for camping.
Breakfast: Potato and Egg Scramble
Instead of the traditional eggs, bacon, sausage, or breakfast burrito morning meals, try this potato and egg scramble. You’ll need diced potatoes, eggs, chopped onion, peppers, and butter. You can even prepare this at home, put it in a Ziploc bag, and then throw it in the refrigerator for Saturday morning.
When you’re ready to cook the meal, add butter to your cast iron pan and then the potatoes, onions, and peppers. Add some more butter and then the eggs. Cover the pan with tin foil and let it cook over the fire for about five minutes. You’re ready for breakfast in no time!
Lunch: Pepperoni Pizza Grilled Cheese
Instead of settling for hot dogs or sandwiches for lunch, try this pepperoni pizza grilled cheese. You’ll need bread, butter, marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and pepperonis. Butter the bread just like a grilled cheese and lay it on a skillet.
Then add the sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperonis. Place the other piece of buttered bread on top, and flip until the sandwich is toasted to your liking. You may never eat a regular grilled cheese sandwich again!
Snack: Campfire Toasted Cinnamon Rolls
For a snack, you can try the rolls and cheese mentioned above, or you can try these cinnamon rolls. You only need a can of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and roasting prongs.
Slide the cinnamon rolls on the prongs and roast them over a fire for 8 to 10 minutes or so. It’s a nice change-up from the typical S’mores campfire snack.
Dinner: Bubble and Squeak
Instead of cooking hamburgers one night, try this one-pot British dish. It’s healthy and filling. You’ll need chopped cabbage, sliced potatoes, Polish or Kielbasa sausage, and water.
Layer the cabbage, potatoes, and sausage in a pot or pan. Continue layering until you use all ingredients, then add some water. Cover the lid and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll have a unique one-pot meal in less than half an hour!
Dessert: Banana Boats
Finally, instead of S’mores, try banana boats one evening. You’ll need marshmallows, bananas, and chocolate chips. Place a banana in tin foil and slice it like a hot dog bun without cutting all the way through. Add the marshmallows and chocolate chips and wrap the banana boat in the foil.
Cook it over a fire for about five minutes, and you’ll have a sweet, warm treat. On a cold night, you can even serve it with hot chocolate or put some ice cream on top in the summer.
Keep in Mind: We love ending our night with dessert! Take a look at 11 of our favorite camping dessert recipes you have to try.
Don’t Settle For the Same Ol’ Foods — Try Something New This Camping Season
So the next time you plan a camping trip, don’t settle for what you’ve always done.
Change it up a bit by adding in a new meal. Stick to a few traditional options and then surprise your partner or family with a unique camping dinner. Once you’ve tried it, it might become part of your cooking repertoire for every outing!
Which meal or snack will you try first? And if you have any other great recipes, share them in the comments. We’d love to try them out!