Part of the wild camping experience is the cooking and meal preparation. You do not have the luxury of a kitchen. Nor do you have an expensive cooker, and a fridge full of ingredients! Wild camping cooking is basic, rustic, and frugal. However, it can also be immense fun, and allow you to try new meals and techniques. For inspiration, we have created a list of 5 great wild camping recipes for your benefit. We have also included some useful tips and a list of essential cooking gear for your camping adventures!
- Meat (chicken, pork, steak, diced beef etc.)
- BBQ sauce.
- Worcester sauce.
- Sunflower oil.
- Cherry tomatoes.
- Vegetable chunks.
Good for: A simple evening meal.
Kebabs are a brilliant meal to make for an evening around the campfire. They are easy to prepare, and you can be creative with the ingredients you add. Also, due to their nature, they are easy to cook using a camp stove or even a campfire!
The basic ingredients of the kebabs are diced or sliced meat, sauce, and vegetables. For meat, diced beef, pork, chicken, or steak all make great choices. Essentially, you want meat that can be quickly prepared, and cooked using a frying pan.
For the sauce, you can’t go wrong with BBQ, Worcester, and even soy. You can add the different sauces once the meat is fried, and it is simmering in the frying pan – in a similar manner that you would make a stir fry. Finally, you want some greenery and vegetables to accompany the meat and sauce. Chopped peppers and mushrooms are two ideal choices, but cherry tomatoes and courgettes also make a brilliant choice.
To create your kebabs, you essentially fry the ingredients in a pan and add the sauce at the end. Let the mixture simmer, and when ready, stick it all onto your skewers! Alternatively, you could first stick the items onto the skewers, and let them roast slowly over your stove or campfire.
Sausage, Egg & Bacon Baps
Good for: A hearty breakfast to start the day.
If you have a huge day of wild camping ahead of you, having a sturdy breakfast is essential. This is why a breakfast bap is one of the best wild camping recipes you can have. A sausage, egg, and bacon bap will give you sustenance and fill your stomach for the upcoming hiking. They also taste fantastic and are easy to make too!
The first step is to fry your bacon and sausages using a frying pan and oil. Once they are nearly cooked, you can then crack open an egg or two and fry them in the same pan. Don’t worry about the grease or fat – it all adds to the flavor!
Whilst the eggs and meat are frying, you can prepare the other items. Sliced tomatoes and cheese are great items to add to your baps – you could even fry the tomatoes. When everything is cooked and ready, slap it all together to make your tasty and filling baps! Two of these in the morning will set you up perfectly for the day ahead.
- Plain flour.
- Maple or Golden Syrup.
- Sunflower oil.
Good for: A tasty evening treat.
Yes, beer pancakes! These tasty treats may not be the healthiest, but they are amazing to enjoy in the evening after a hard day of hiking and adventure. For this recipe, you can either pre-make the batter beforehand and store it in a plastic tub or make it from scratch at your campsite.
These treats are simple to make and don’t really take much time at all. First, mix together the flour, milk, egg yolks, beer, and butter (the butter should be melted first). You must mix these ingredients together until there are no lumps in the batter.
Once properly mixed, heat your frying pan with sunflower oil. When hot enough, spoon around 4 tablespoons of the batter onto the pan and swirl to make a circular shape. You should then cook the pancakes until you see bubbles appear on the surface. At this point, flip them and cook until browned. If you want, you can then drizzle some maple or golden syrup over them and they are ready to eat!
Lentil and Carrot Soup
- Lentils (red, green, any color!)
- Chopped or grated carrot.
- Vegetable stock.
- Sunflower oil.
Good for: A quick and effective lunch.
Soups are a staple of any camping trip. They require little to no preparation, and you can heat up your soup easily on your camping stove. A healthy and tasty option is lentil and carrot soup. This is one of the top wild camping recipes for a quick lunchtime meal to boost your energy.
You can buy tins or bags of lentils from supermarkets and it doesn’t matter which color you buy. Red lentils work great with this soup, but any color is fine! Instead of bringing an entire tin or pack of lentils, simply place some in a sealable plastic food bag. For the carrot, you could place shredded carrot in a bag, or simply bring a whole un-cut carrot.
The first step is to peel, cut, and fry the carrots using sunflower oil. Once cooked, add the lentils, and your vegetable stock (a stock cube is perfect and you would simply add water to it). Bring the mixture to boil and allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Give the soup a stir with a spoon or even a clean stick and enjoy!
People often add chili flakes and cumin to this recipe too which gives it an excellent kick and more flavor. Salt and pepper seasoning can also make a difference.
Wild Camping Wraps
- Plain tortillas or wraps.
- Mixed vegetables.
- Salsa sauce.
- Sour cream.
- Ground beef.
- Grated cheese.
Good for: A minimal cooking meal.
Wraps are another simple but effective meal that requires minimal preparation time and cooking. Also, wraps are incredibly healthy depending on what ingredients you place in them. There are four basic components to wild camping wraps – the wrap, the sauce, meat, and the filling
Plain tortillas or wraps are perfect – you can pick up a pack of 4-8 from most supermarkets. Just make sure you bear in mind the use-by-date. Wraps generally do not last for a long time. Next, you need some type of sauce so the wraps aren’t dry. Salsa and sour cream make the perfect combination and are relatively easy to carry too. You could carry a small jar of salsa easily in your backpack.
For meat, the usual choice is ground beef or mince. Diced chicken or diced pork also make great alternatives. Basically, any meat that you can fry on your camping stove. Finally, we have the filling. Peppers, tomatoes, and courgettes make excellent options for wraps. You can have them raw, or you can fry them with your meat!
The basic process is to fry your meat and vegetables and spoon them generously into your wraps. You can then mix in the salsa and sour cream – simple! The result is a tasty wrap bursting with flavor and essential goodness.
Wild Camping Cooking Essentials
When wild camping, you do not have the luxury of a 5-star hotel, or a fully furnished apartment suite! You have limited storage space, and you must use this wisely for your survival gear, and your cooking equipment. Exactly what you take depends on your backpack, what you eat, and where you are camping. However, the following are items we consider to be essential for cooking wild camping recipes:
- Portable stove.
- Fuel for the stove.
- Frying pan.
- Cooking pot or bowl.
- Mug or cup.
- Cutlery (A knife and fork, or a spork!).
- Pocket knife or multi-tool.
Firstly, a portable stove is a must! If you want any type of cooked meal, or even a hot drink, you must have a heat source. Something small and portable like the Campingaz Stove is a great option. The stove will also require fuel so ensure you have plenty for your trip.
Next, you need items for preparation and storage. A cooking pot to place on your stove is important – this could also double as a bowl if you want to simply eat straight out of it. Alternatively, if you want, you could take a separate bowl, or a plastic plate. A decent-sized mug is also great – it can be used for hot drinks like tea or coffee, but also for liquid meals like soup!
Finally, basic cutlery is also handy to have. You may be happy eating with your hands, but a knife and fork do not take up much room at all. Something to cut and prepare any food is also vital. A pocket knife or multi-tool could be perfect for this.
Tips for Wild Camping Cooking
To finish, we have given three useful tips for cooking during your wild camping trips. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy your meals. However, these three tips will also help!
Understand your own dietary needs
Most importantly, you must cater for your own dietary needs. Each person requires a different amount of food and drink to maintain their energy levels. For example, a 5ft, 60kg male would require much less than a 6ft, 95kg male. Don’t bring food for other people – bring enough food for yourself, and make sure it is the right food for your body. What you need to survive could be drastically different to your wild camping partner!
Plan ahead for the entire wild camping trip
When looking at wild camping recipes, it is important to plan for the whole trip. Before packing, think about how long the trip will last. How many days are you camping? Also, how many actual meals will you need during this trip? There is nothing worse, and potentially dangerous, than underestimating your food allowance and being caught short.
Think outside the box and be creative
Lastly, cooking should be fun during your wild camping experiences. It gives you the chance to improve your skills and explore new possibilities. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new recipes. Try something new! Also, utilize the tools you have, and adapt your cooking to the surroundings.
Enhance Your Wild Camping Experiences With These Hearty Meals!
Eating doesn’t have to be a chore during your wild camping trips. It should be something that you enjoy. Also, it should be something that gives you the nutrients and energy you need to survive in the wild! This is exactly what you can do with these wild camping recipes.
Cooking in the wild is all amount thinking outside the box. You must be flexible, creative, and use the minimal tools you have! Regardless, it is quite easy to create some stellar meals and snacks that will keep you boosted for the journey ahead.