How To Cook When Camping

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Camping is a great way to get back to nature and enjoy the outdoors, but it can be hard to cook when you’re camping.

Cooking over an open fire or camp stove can be challenging and time-consuming. You have to plan ahead by bringing all of your ingredients with you, then figure out how much fuel you’ll need for cooking. And if there’s no water nearby, that means lugging heavy containers of water from home or buying expensive bottled water at the store.

This article will teach you the different ways to cook while camping.

I have an agreement with my camping friends. I am the person responsible for finding the campsites and organizing the trips. And I drive. In exchange, my friends cook for me.

Which is fine by me because left to my own devices on a camping trip, it would probably be canned tuna and hot dogs.


The most classic way to cook while camping is over a campfire. There are many challenges to campfire cooking.

You have to gather wood, which requires more time and energy.

And lighting a fire is often its own challenge, in particular, with the food you find at a state park. Their logs are big and haven’t had time to cure.

Predictable heat levels are important for many types of cooking. And this is more of a challenge with campfires.

This is why for most campouts, we use campfires for enjoyment but not cooking.

Camping Stove

The most common way to cook at a campout is with a camping stove. Camping stoves are great because they allow you to cook with propane or liquid fuels like white gas or kerosene.

And they are easy to set up and use. You simply light the fuel, turn the stove on, and start cooking. No chopping wood, no looking for dry tinder.

The simplicity and reliability of a cooking stove means you can cook when you want. You can even cook at night when it’s cooler.

But most importantly, the more steady heat you get from a stove allows you to use your camping gadgets and equipment, which greatly expands your cooking capabilities.

BBQ Grill

Another popular option for dinner cooking is a charcoal grill. Many campsites will have a grill available for you to use.

Or you can bring one from home.

Charcoal is simpler to use than wood, and you’ll have more of it at a campsite.

And the steady heat of charcoal does come in handy for cooking on a grill even if it’s not as romantic as a campfire.

Electric Cooking

Because campsites wish to attract RV campers, more and more campsites offer electrical connections.

If you own an RV, then you can cook using your RV’s kitchen.

However, if you are a tent camper, you can take advantage of the electrical connections when cooking.

For example, I have been on campouts where we do group potluck dinners. And people will bring Crockpots to cook chili, beans, or Sloppy Joe.

While Crockpots are not the traditional camping cooking method, they are certainly a great way to cook while camping.

Another benefit of an electric connection at the campsite is that you can bring your coffee maker and have freshly brewed coffee every morning.

Don’t get me wrong, you can make coffee without a drip coffee maker but if one is available it’s a nice treat.

No-Cook Options

You don’t have to cook every meal at a campout. You can bring luncheon meats, peanut butter, or canned tuna to eat.

Of course, you can bring bread or tortillas to eat with these foods.

However, there is another option if you really want a no-cook meal: freeze-dried camping food.

Freeze-dried food such as Mountain House and Backpacker’s Pantry allows you to enjoy fresh meals while camping without any cooking.

These meals simply need to be rehydrated with water and then cooked in a pan or on a grill.

Cooking over wood or charcoal is romantic, but for most people, it’s impractical or impossible because of the time spent gathering firewood or the challenge of starting a fire.

Instead, it’s possible to have everything that comes with cooking at home while enjoying the outdoor experience as well.

You’re really looking forward to your first camping trip. But you have no idea how to cook over a campfire.

You’ve heard that hot dogs and s’mores are the traditional way to eat on a campout, but you want something more exciting than that!

Now that I know how to cook over a campfire, I can enjoy my camping experience even more!

I learned how to build an effective fire from scratch using just wood and paper. It was difficult at first, but once the fire started it burned for hours and made cooking easy with its steady heat. My favorite dish was chicken cooked in foil packets on top of the coals.

Camping season is here and you’re ready to go!

You’ve got your tent, sleeping bag, and cooler full of food. But what about a reliable way to cook?

That’s where the camping stove comes in! With this handy device, you can cook up anything you want without worrying about maintaining a fire.

It doesn’t matter what type of campout you have planned – a camping stove is always perfect.

Camping stoves are portable and lightweight.

If you’re hiking into your campsite, a backpacking camping stove is the most convenient way to prepare all sorts of campfire meals, including pasta, rice, potatoes, and steaks!

If you are at a traditional campsite, you can bring along a larger stove. A griddle-style stove is perfect for cooking up pancakes, eggs, bread, and other traditional campout breakfast foods.

If you do want to cook over a campfire, I would invest in a set of cooking grates. They provide a stable cooking surface that lets you grill fish, vegetables, and even meat without fear of dropping them into the fire.

Even if it’s not as romantic as a campfire, an electric grill is still a great way to cook breakfast or dinner when you’re camping.

If there are electrical connections at your campsite, you can plug in your electric grill and grill away!

Cleanup is a bit easier than with a campfire grill, too.

Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get in touch with nature.

There are many different activities that you can do while camping, but cooking over a campfire often feels most authentic. However, you will most likely want to invest in a gas stove because it’s simpler, faster, and more reliable than a campfire.

If you want to learn how to cook over a campfire check out our essential outdoors skills course.

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