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5 Old-School Camping Recipes (With an Upgrade)

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5 OLD-SCHOOL CAMPING RECIPES
(WITH AN UPGRADE)

By Abby Cooper

Food brings people together, and so do campfires. Aren’t some of your fondest memories made around a crackling fire with the enticement of a warm meal making your mouth water? On your next adventure, give these classic meals a try with our step-by-step recipes and ideas for upgrading them with a modern twist.



There’s something about the scent of a hearty meal being prepared over a campfire that just oozes nostalgia and makes the stomach growl. While our current culture might not be one for checkered tablecloths and napkins while eating in the woods, we can all agree that most classic camp meals will be around for decades to come. Here’s a roundup of our favourite classics with an optional twist to bring it into the present  – without losing the classic elements that made it so great to begin with!

And don’t be alarmed if a fire ban comes into play at any point this camping season – all of these meals can be made over a grill if needed. Just be sure to do your part and keep tabs on wildfire danger before each outing. Future generations will thank you for being a responsible campfire cooker!

NOTE: We’ve assumed that you’ve already packed your personal eating/drinking mug, plate and a spork for good measure! Gear up here, if you need some!

1/ GOOD OL’ CHILI

What you’ll need:

Ground meat, two cans of stewed tomatoes, two cans of beans (pinto and kidney offer a nice combo), one onion, a packet of chili powder, access to approx 700ml clean water, spoon to stir and serve with, a knife and pot. Recipe serves 4.

Directions:

  1. In your cooking pot start browning your ground meat of choice.
  2. Chop your onion and add to the meat.
  3. Once the meat is fully cooked, pour off some of the fat (bring a container along for the fat which you can responsibly dispose of later).
  4. Add stewed tomatoes, both cans of beans and chili powder to the pot.
  5. Fill one of the empty cans with water, add this water to the pot and mix in. Add another half or full can of water depending on desired constancy.
  6. Simmer and stir frequently until chili is consistently soft and warm.

Make it even better:

Fire-roasted garlic bread is a sure way to up your chili game! Simply purchase Pillsbury (or similar brand) “breadsticks” in a can from the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. Wrap the breadstick dough around a wood cooking stick, sprinkle garlic on top of it and roast it marshmallow-style over the campfire until it is fully cooked. Alternatively, add a few more veggies to the mix like celery, canned corn and/or fresh jalapeño.

2/ TINFOIL TROUT

What you’ll need:

1 trout, tinfoil, knife, 1-2 tbsp butter and seasoning (recommend a lemon pepper blend but cajun also works nicely). Individual serving.

Directions:

  1. Cut a piece of tinfoil large enough to envelop the trout when folded.
  2. Lay the trout on the tinfoil.
  3. Season trout with seasoning, as desired.
  4. Place butter in the trout.
  5. Wrap the tinfoil around the trout to seal it inside.
  6. Lay the trout on the fire or grill.
  7. Check every 8-10 minutes and flip while checking for desired flakiness – if the eye pops and is white, the meat inside is usually good to go.
  8. Scrape meat from the inside and devour.

Make it even better:

Take some inspiration from Park Distillery’s Bow River Tinfoil Trout found on their menu and serve a local trout with a grilled lemon. Or, tacos make everything better! Pack some corn tortillas, taco seasoning, avocado, tomatoes, lime and grated cheese to up the ante on this classic.

Photo by Anna Robi.

Take some inspiration from Park Distillery’s Bow River Tinfoil Trout found on their menu and serve a local trout with a grilled lemon. Photo by Anna Robi.

3/ SPIDERDOG

What you’ll need:

A hot dog, roasting stick and a knife. Individual serving.

Directions:

  1. Cut a cross (two slices) into each end of the hot dog, about 1”-1 1/2″ long so that the centre third of the hot dog is still solid.
  2. Place on a roasting stick and cook over the fire.
  3. Patiently await your spiderdog to form (you’ll see!).

Make it even better:

Give chorizo sausages a whirl and dip it into sour cream. Flavoured sausages work too! Or, keep it classic with a hot dog but add sriracha or smoky-flavoured ketchup for a simple twist!

Photo by Anna Robi.

Photo by Anna Robi.

4/ BANANA BOAT

What you’ll need:

Banana, chocolate, marshmallows, a knife and tinfoil. Individual serving.

Directions:

  1. Tear a piece of tinfoil large enough to fully wrap a banana in, but don’t wrap it just yet.
  2. Leave the peel on the banana and cut a slit lengthwise leaving only the ends of the peel intact.
  3. Place pieces of torn marshmallows and chocolate of any form into the slit in the banana (try not to overstuff it).
  4. Wrap in tin foil.
  5. Place near the edge of the coals of the fire for 20 minutes. No fire temperatures are equal so keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn, but feels soft to the poke of a stick.
  6. Pull it out when it feels mushy and let it cool.
  7. Unwrap the tinfoil and dive in with a spork! 

Make it even better:

Add peanut butter, bits of graham crackers or even Nutella to the inside of this tasty treat for a melted mash-up of campfire dessert!

5/ CAMPFIRE COFFEE

What you’ll need:

Preferably coarse-ground coffee, water, large pot with a lid and spoon and measuring cup or Nalgene with water measurements on it.

Directions:

  1. Add single cups of water to the pot for the desired number of coffees; it’s important to measure this.
  2. Boil the water.
  3. Remove the pot from the fire or stove and let sit for 30 seconds to lower the temperature.
  4. Add 2 tbsp of coffee for each cup added and stir.
  5. Let the coffee sit for two minutes, stir and let it sit for an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Add a sprinkle of cold water to settle the grounds and pour it into individual cups.

Make it even better:

Espresso Vodka from Park Distillery adds an extra little wake-me-up and will surely smooth over any campfire infused imperfections.

Coffee Variations: The Aeropress is a camp favourite right now – it only requires one extra piece for a proper americano in the woods. You could also go with instant with a sprinkle of dissolvable coffee right into your mug with boiling water. Coffee snobs might give you flack, but it’s nothing that a little dash of Espresso Vodka can’t boost into something great!

CAMP COOKING ETIQUETTE

There are a few “must-knows” when it comes to cooking in the woods to protect yourself, wildlife and your beautiful surroundings. Don’t forget to do the following on any outdoor eating experience.

  • Have disinfectant wipes or biodegradable soap to clean your utensils in between use, especially when working with raw meat.
  • Use hand sanitizer before digging in.
  • Pack all of your eats in and out – this usually requires bringing your own garbage carrying system unless you’re at an established front-country campground. We suggest a garbage bag. Since the waste is contained in a garbage bag you can press the air out of it, tie it up for the night and put back in your dry bag with your food.
  • Storage is very important. We recommend keeping your garbage with your food – all bear attractions together! Investigate your campsite for proper storage; many campgrounds provide a pulley system or food lockers. Learn about proper food storage here.
  • Be bear aware.
  • Check for campfire restrictions before you go and know if any fire bans or location restrictions apply. If needed, all meals can be cooked on a grill top with adjustments.

 


Brought to you by:

Campfire cookin & house made spirits

parkdistillery.com

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