We are well into camping season in Colorado! As with anything, camping food can be as complex or simple as you want it to be. My mom loves to cook and grows her own produce, so when we camp together it is not uncommon for her meals to be more robust than the ones I make at home — meanwhile, I’m heating up mini frozen pizzas from Costco and shaking up salad-in-a-bag!
When I take my kids out to the woods now, we go in a 20’ hybrid camper (26’ when the canvas-topped tent ends are extended). We used to tent camp, even when the kids were babies. My husband and I loved being outdoors and going out on my parents’ fishing boat, but the lack of sleep, the cold, the crunch-crunching across the campground to get to the outhouse at night and the hassle of working out of plastic tubs was decidedly not relaxing! Ultimately it was a lot more difficult than just spending the weekend at home.
Of course I have friends who swear that tent camping alone is “authentic.” Others eschew anything but backpacking in the remotest corners of the woods. To each their own! I live in the suburbs but I want my kids to spend great expanses of the summer climbing on rocks, swinging each other in hammocks, starting campfires, making up games with sticks and pine cones, and star-gazing without the ambient light of a thousand street lamps — having a camper makes it enjoyable for me, too.
So, yes! I have a little oven in my camper, and a sink and a freezer and a fridge. This may push my woodsy outings into “glamping” territory — I’m totally fine with that. Here are some convenience foods we treat ourselves to on long camping weekends*:
- Individual-sized pizzas (Costco, Sam’s Club – usually packs of 8)
- Salad-in-a-bag (Kroger, Costco, Sam’s Club, Trader Joe’s)
- Frozen beer-battered cod fillets (Costco — really good)
- Pre-seasoned frozen vegetables (Trader Joe’s)
- Tots! Particularly Alexia Sweet Potato Tots (Kroger, Natural Grocers, Whole Foods – frequently on sale)
- Pre-formed frozen turkey burgers (Trader Joe’s – 4 in a package)
- Pacific Organics Creamy Tomato Soup (Kroger, Whole Foods – great with grilled cheese!)
- Hashed brown potato patties (Trader Joe’s – pack of 10 – just like the ones from the golden arches but they cook up in a skillet in minutes)
- Cheese-filled tortellini (Any grocery store, Costco – these usually boil up in just three minutes then we pour off the water and pour in marinara or vodka sauce)
- Mix-and-match fruit danish (Costco)
- Watermelon and cantaloupe spears (Trader Joe’s)
- Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausages (Most grocery stores and warehouse stores – slice and simply cook up in a skillet)
- Jolly Llama mango sorbet pops (Trader Joe’s)
- Jimmy Dean’s Turkey Sausages (Most grocery stores and warehouse stores – these cook up fast with a lot less mess than bacon)
- Frozen waffles (Most grocery stores and warehouse stores)
Please leave a comment about easy foods that you camp with, and enjoy your next campout!
* Most campgrounds don’t offer recycling so we stash recyclable packaging in a box or bag during the trip and bring it back with us.
What my 7-year old is reading: Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures