Your kids would gleefully eat hot dogs on sticks for three nights—and you’re tempted to let them. Here are some more ideas for keeping camping food easy courtesy of The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids, by Helen Olsson (Roost Books).
- Prepare ahead as much as you can—store condiments and spices in smaller containers; pre-cut your veggies; mix dry ingredients for pancakes and portion out coffee in labelled, resealable bags.
- For camp-style scrambled eggs, crack the eggs at home and pour them into a wide-mouthed water bottle. Then just pull the bottle form your cooler, give it a shake and cook within two days.
- Eat food that’s the most perishable (chicken, steaks, burgers, peaches, arugula) on the first night (or the second if you chose to eat out on the first night, see tip 5) and save things like eggs, cold cuts, and hard cheeses for later in the trip. Oranges and apples do just fine out of the cooler for a few days as long as they aren’t cut up.
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- Don’t debut a totally Pinterest-worthy recipe on the trip—do a practice run at home first to test it out.
- Grab your first and last meals from a restaurant—full stomachs make camp set-up go smoothly, then hit a diner for brunch on your way home.
A version of this article appeared in our Summer 2016 issue with the headline “Happy campers,” p. 78.