Healthy Eating for Camping Adventures
Camping is an experience that allows us to get back to basics, reset and soak in the simple pleasures of life. It’s a time to unplug, breathe in fresh air, build relationships, reduce stress, be active, connect with nature and most importantly, eat great food! Although camping is intended on being a natural experience, it may motivate campers to reach for convenience foods that are processed, shelf-stable and easy to prepare, but sometimes nonnutritive. However, camping also presents a great opportunity to get creative with healthy, natural ingredients, use primitive culinary techniques, discover simplistic cooking hacks and experiment with various healthful recipes while using minimal equipment. These various strategies can enhance the overall minimalist nature of camping. The first step to embracing the wholesomeness of clean eating while being in the woods starts with preparation.
Preparation: Camping Kitchen Equipment Guide
Preparing for a camping trip can be overwhelming when compiling a list of necessities. The list below provides a stripped-down version of cooking essentials that will help to prepare meals with the absence of proper kitchen appliances:
Camp Stove: stick to a classic 2-burner propane stove. They are versatile, permissible everywhere even with fire bans, use widely available fuel (1 lb green propane canisters) and operate just like your home range.
Cooler: a cooler will ensure food safety and will improve the freshness of your meals. This piece of camping equipment might be the most essential to ensure a quality eating and drinking experience.
Water Cooler: not only is a water jug environmentally friendly but it’s cost effective (save your money on a jug instead of plastic water bottles while saving the earth!). Hydration is key. Also, the water jug will help with washing cooking equipment so that it can be reused for multi-purposes.
Cast-Iron Skillet with Lid: with a cast-iron skillet, nearly all recipes are feasible. The cast- iron skillet can be used on a camp stove, over a campfire, or nestled in the bed of charcoal. It is great for its non-stick surface and optimal heat retention.
Pan Scraper or Microfiber Sponge: these kitchen necessities make cleaning up a whole lot easier. Using either of these helps to scrub down dirty skillets with just a little bit of water and soap. Rinse with water and completely dry until next use!
Knife and Cutting Board: whether you are chopping vegetables, slicing meat, or whittling a s'mores stick, a good knife is essential when preparing meals in the woods.
Serving and Cooking Utensils: spatula, tongs, ladle, wooden spoons, metal skewers, and a can opener will all come in handy when cooking up foods and serving them to campers.
Others: insulated mugs, plastic silverware and plates, plastic cups, portable serving bowls, paper towels, rags, and tinfoil are all camping must-haves!
With the proper equipment, meal planning strategies, and quality ingredients, healthy cooking is possible during your camping adventure! Breakfast, lunch or dinner - the list below features some fun, creative and delicious inspiration for satisfying and healthful camping recipes for any meal.
20 Easy and Healthy Recipes:
Learn more about healthy eating and other wellness programs offered by Wellness Workdays.
Written by: Jayne Pinsky, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern