Food for thought
One of the differences between your average family holiday and the typical camping break is the food. If you are on a standard holiday then presumably you will be eating in your hotel or in a situation without cooking facilities. When camping, you make your own facilities, and need to decide how you are going to feed the family. The more easy going of us will no doubt be eating out on a regular basis, while the rest of us are aware of the economy of cooking for ourselves while away. So what to take, and what to cook?
Obviously a lot depends on the sort of trip you are taking – a family break in Norfolk will be very different to a mountaineer about to tackle the peaks in terms of energy consumption, storage and of course personal taste. You will need to consider storage, as obviously a great deal of fresh and frozen produce won’t keep unless you have access to cold storage. There are plenty of camping equivalent dried and dehydrated versions of some common foods which are lighter to pack and easy to store. Unless you are traveling to some far flung wilderness area, you should be able to buy supplies regularly in small quantities, so your eggs and bacon are fresh each morning.
In the morning, cereals are a good option for kids and adults alike, being natural light and requiring no cold storage, as is fruit fresh and dried. Milk will need to be bought for this option, but will keep outside overnight if the weather is not too warm, and a cool box with plenty of ice packs will be a great help. If you are lucky enough to have a farm shop nearby, then you have access to lovely local produce which often involves eggs and bacon, making the perfect excuse for a regular fry up.
Lunch is simple – bread will keep and crisp bread or crackers work well. Preserved meat, tins and salads can survive outside of a fridge, and chocolate is the perfect pudding.
No doubt you will eat out in the evenings, but a camping stove, a couple of pots and a few staples can give you an enjoyable evening meal. Noodles and rice are as much of a staple as they are at home, and again don’t need cold storage. Plenty of tinned vegetables make good healthy substitutes for fresh, and a homemade tomato sauce from tinned with pasta is very simple to make whether at home or in a pot on the camping stove. Treat meat as you would at home, and remember, as with barbecues, hygiene outside is just as important. Avoid cross contamination with any meat you may buy, keep utensils clean and try and make sure everyone is still getting some balance, even if that means including more fruit and less veg.
Camping food can and should be fun, and remember, sausages cooked and eaten in the open air taste so much better than those fried at home, so make the most of the fresh air and increased appetite, and treat yourself – you are on holiday after all!
With all this in mind lets now provide you with our top tips for food for camping
Top food tips
1. A One pot meal is ideal for camping as the name suggests there is just one pot to cook in and one pot to clean, making the whole deal of campfire cooking that much easier, especially as many camping stoves have just one burner. Try just adding a few simple ingredients – pasta, pasta sauce, tomatoes, onions, mixed herbs. Meal done. Also perfect for cooking over a campfire.
2. Having a BBQ whilst camping is perfect so whilst you are at home why not make some homemade chutneys and relishes that you can put on the burgers and sausages, to give them that better taste.
3. Tinned food – A food tinned food meals whilst may not be as nourishing as good old home made food. is great as the cans don’t need to be stored in a cool place. You can more often than not just cook the food in the can over the campfire. Again, reducing the washing. In fact why not eat straight from the can – then all that needs washing is the cutlery.
4. Save money and pack your own food before you go. Ensuring that it is non perishable, keeps you well energised. As well as won’t be too heavy to carry.
5. Do not pack glass containers. Use plastic or non breakable light weight containers for storing all your food requirements.