The Foodies Guide To Camp Cooking
By the Wild Women On Top Team | Experts in hiking adventures for women
If you’re a foodie, it can be a big ask to head off into the wilderness and be expected to survive on “camp” food. Especially if your idea of camp food is freeze-dried ready meals.
But camp food can be excellent. Really, really excellent. In fact, we wouldn’t be exaggerating to say some of the best meals we’ve ever had have been in the wilderness. Seriously. And we’re gourmet.
So, what are some ways to take camp food to the next level? Well, it’s all about the ingredients.
Here are some of our favourites…
Cold or hot-smoked salmon is brilliant for the first or second day hiking. It adds tonnes of flavour, tastes amazing and gives you lots of energy. Serve on wraps with a few capers, cream cheese and alfalfa sprouts – day one lunch, done.
You can also take salmon or tuna pouches – these are lightweight and keep well, adding some awesome protein and flavour to your day 3-5 meals.
No camp cooking kit is complete without salt. It brings out all the flavours. We recommend a blend such as garlic and herb salt to get the most bang for your buck. Stock cubes are also a winner.
Hard veggies such as carrot, snow peas, capsicum, olives, cabbage, beetroot, radish, dried mushrooms and dried peas all last a good few days and will stay fresh and crunchy. Enjoy fresh/raw at the start of your adventure and whack them in a curry or stir fry towards the end.
Just add water
Things that are “just add water” at home are awesome on adventures. Powdered milk (cows or coconut are both awesome), cacao powder, miso soup, chai, tea, curry paste/powder and cous cous are all excellent camp-friendly foods.
Sweet and salty snacks
Sometimes you want sweet, other times salty – so make sure you bring both. For salty snacks, we love: wasabi peas, seedy crackers, corn chips, rice crackers, salted nuts and seeds, dried seaweed and beef jerky. Our favourite sweets include: scroggin, granola, chocolate, skittles, chocolate-coated nuts and seeds, jelly snakes, dried fruit such as dates, craisins and apricots, and did we mention chocolate?
Freshly ground coffee
We told you we’re foodies – we’re not about to settle for instant coffee! Grind enough coffee for the number of days and people just before you leave, and store in an airtight container. You can buy fantastic camping coffee plungers that are lightweight and don’t break. It might not be barista made, but on the side of a mountain it’ll taste even better.
Yes, you need to hike it in, but there’s something wonderful about a really indulgent treat you ‘shouldn’t’ be carrying. It might be a cake you baked, or a decanted bottle of Frangelico, or an entire smoked salmon, or marinated eye fillet you’ve had vacuum sealed. This is the foodie showstopper and it’s so worth the extra carry.
Going hiking or camping doesn’t mean you can’t eat well – it just takes some out-of-the-pack thinking. And for us, that’s part of the fun.
Want gourmet camp food without the prep? Join us on one of our fully-catered Wild Adventures.