What kind of food to take camping?
Well easy camping food can be prepared from whatever you can get your
hands on. It all depends on the part of the world you travel to.
But wherever you go, just be creative, keep it simple and have fun preparing your meals.
One thing I do is try to stay away from supermarket processed foods as much as I can. Why do I bother with that?
Well try to compare the texture and the taste between processed and whole, homegrown foods and you'll know what I'm talking about here.
Processed foods are full of chemical preservatives and additives to keep the food fresh for a longer time. Consider this fact even when you buy food to take camping.
Apart from being toxic to our body, I just can't bare the taste some of these foods have. I only use certain products and only when I really run out of other resources.
Recently natural preservatives are being added to some foods, so do check around if you want to find some of them in stores.
Meat is something I only eat on very rare occasions, so I don't have to worry about that when I travel around.
Fish, vegetables, fruit and other homegrown products are something that I can always pick up at the local market places or by the vendors by the road.
Camping refrigerators are
not exactly a vital accessory here, but if you have one, you will be
able to keep your food fresh for a longer time and in many cases safer
Many camping sites do have refrigerators, so you can use those if you don't have your own.
In general you can divide foods in four basic categories...
All kinds of pasta, rice, couscous and cornmeal (polenta) dishes prepared with olive oil are on my regular menu. They're all practical to store, simple to prepare and easy to digest.
Food to take on a camping trip should be fun and easy to prepare. Pasta, rice and couscous are all simple to cook and they make a healthy meal with any kind of sauce on top.
Before I hit the road, I usually prepare some cold pasta or rice dishes. They're very easy to prepare, my kids love them and they'll last for a few days in the fridge.
That way I don't have to worry about cooking when I travel longer distances.
It's a simple dish and you can mix in just about anything you want inside of it. Your imagination is the limit here. And it's always much lighter then a sandwich on your stomach.
Just cook the pasta, rice or couscous and slice in whatever you have at hand. Fresh tomatoes, grilled zucchini, cooked beans, chickpeas, lentils, tuna fish, all kinds of cheese, hard boiled eggs, basil leaves, parsley and other herbs and spices are excellent ingredients for this light, healthy and fresh dish.
Mix it all together with some olive oil and a couple of garlic cloves and you're done.
Most of the fruits and vegetables will last a few days even if not refrigerated. I just keep them outside in a shade when my camping refrigerator is full. It all really depends on the outside temperature though.
Vegetables like potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes all make delicious food to take camping.
Don't forget the herbs and spices for flavor. Remember that onions and garlic are natural antibiotics. You can get them dehydrated or fresh. And you can get many of them out in the nature as well.
They can all be a part of an excellent salad, side dish and some are even great on a grill.
My camping food ideas are inspired mostly from the Mediterranean world,
which has one of the healthiest diet's in the world. But be prepared to
adopt your meals to the country your visiting. But whatever the country, Mediterranean style is always excellent food to take camping.
Sun-dried tomatoes can be used as a condiment for all you salads, sauces or as a side dish with some olives, cheese and a drop of olive oil on top.
Dried mushrooms are great for a quick risotto or an excellent pasta dish for example. Just put them in water for an half of hour.
Lentils are a nice addition to any kind of tomato and vegetable sauce. Serve with corn meal, any kind of potatoes or pasta and you'll have a gourmet dish.
And if you have enough time to cook, you can always consider cooking
your own beans and chickpeas. They're great in salads, stews and you can
also prepare an excellent spread from chickpeas as you can see just above.
A mix of dried legumes makes a wonderful soup or a minestrone if you want it the Italian way.
Pineapple, apples and most of the citrus fruits will do just fine out of the fridge for a while. They're great for breakfast or snacks at any time of the day.
A mix of dry fruit and nuts is something I always keep in stock. They're great when you need too boost up your energy, specially when driving on longer trips.
After all, what is the best food to take camping?
A variety of different food groups that are easy to prepare or don't even have the need to be prepared in the first place.
The ready-on-the spot food to take camping comes in tin cans. However do keep in mind that these foods contain preservatives, too much salt and do absorb metal and aluminum from tin cans.
Stainless steel and aluminum are toxic metals for your body, therefore avoid tins when possible and use food in glass jars as a much healthier option.
A large variety of preserved food is available, therefore you can use them for many easy camping food ideas of your own. Just don't complicate to much when you're buying your food to take camping.
I make my own tomato sauce and some other preserved vegetables with no preservatives at all. It takes a while for the job to be done, but that way I can use my homegrown vegetables all year around. Even for camping food.
But it's only natural that I can't stock up my camper van for longer periods of traveling, so sometimes I have to buy preserved food myself.
Other food to take camping is mainly for breakfast and snacks.
The one and only drink that has a purifying and detoxifying effect on your body is pure natural water. Water should be taken at ambient temperature and a touch of lemon will bring out the fresh flavor.
The easiest and most important method of detoxification is through hydration. Our bodies need water, they are water, and this life-giving fluid can flush toxins out of the digestive system, as well as all organs and cells within the body.
Drinking water first thing in the morning is a great way to flush away toxins that have “accumulated during the night.” But don’t stop there, drink water throughout the day to keep your body running efficiently. If you get thirsty—you’ve waited too long. Keep water handy at all times and stay hydrated for optimal health.
If you really need your water to be drinkable, a camping water purifier can help you out.
Natural fruit juices and smoothies are excellent detoxing drinks as well. Unfortunately they're kind of hard to prepare out in the open, unless you take the blender with you.
You can of course drink anything else you like, but I think the above statement says it all.
Traveling and camping around means that you'll be pretty much active in the great outdoors. That said, you'll be burning more calories, therefore it's vitally important to learn what kind of food to take camping.
Remember that you and you're kids will need more energy out in the open and the last thing you need is to be hungry or even worse...thirsty.