Don’t be one of those wimps who use a camp stove. Learn how to cook in the outdoors the real way -- over a campfire!
Step 1: Get permission to make a fire Check ahead to make sure you’re allowed to have a fire at the place you’re planning to camp.
Step 2: Bring along a grill Consider grabbing the grate out of your toaster oven or off your backyard barbecue and stashing it with your gear. When you get to your campsite, just balance it between two rocks and you have yourself an instant barbecue grill.
Step 3: Pack cooking essentials Pack a few things that are essential to cooking over an open flame—heavy-duty aluminum foil, tongs, and potholders or camp gloves. Don’t forget the seasonings!
Step 4: Prep some veggies Before you leave, prep some veggies for kebobs. Cut them into chunks big enough to stick on a skewer, marinate them in salad dressing, and seal them in plastic bags. At the campsite, just stick them on wooden skewers (or braches you’ve cleaned) and hold them over the campfire.
TIP: For faster cooking, microwave potatoes for three minutes and then refrigerate them before taking them on your trip; they’ll bake much faster.
Step 5: Cook bannock Make the classic campfire staple, bannock. Mix together a cup of flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. When you’re ready to cook it, slowly add water until you have about half a cup of firm, sticky dough. Roll out a rope-like shape and wrap it around a skewer or stick. Hold it over a flame until golden brown. Serves two.
TIP: Add grated cheese or dried fruit to the basic mix for variety.
Step 6: Make pigs in blankets Make pigs in blankets. Prepare biscuit mix, wrap some around a hot dog, put the dog on a stick, and hold it over the flame until cooked, about 15 minutes.
Step 7: Make breakfast in a bag Make a complete breakfast in a paper lunch bag. Line the bottom with bacon strips – the grease will help protect the bag from burning – and then crack an egg or two on top. Fold down the top of the bag until it’s about three inches high, and skewer this folded part with a stick. Hold it about half a foot above the coals for 10 minutes.
TIP: Transport eggs more easily by cracking them into a plastic container before you leave home. They will pour out one at a time.
Step 8: Toast some cheese sandwiches Toast some cheese sandwiches by finding two sticks sturdy enough to squeeze a sandwich between them like tongs as you hold it over the open flame.
Step 9: Make your own hot pockets Wrap just about anything in heavy-duty aluminum foil—veggies, hamburger meat, thinly-sliced potatoes—and stick them directly on hot embers.
Step 10: Turn a rock into a skillet Find a large, flat rock that you can heat at the edge of your campfire and use it as a skillet to fry a steak or an egg.
Step 11: Extinguish the fire When you’re done with the fire, put it out with water. Stir the embers into the dirt until they are completely extinguished.
FACT: Hamburgers are the most popular camping food in general, but campers with kids cite hot dogs as their number one campfire meal.