Is there anything tastier than a campfire cooking and eating in the great outdoors? If so, we don’t know what it is. A slow-cooked stew made with tender chunks of venison, chopped root vegetables, clean spring water and freshly picked herbs offers a savory conclusion to a day spent hiking and exploring the wilderness. Camping in Canada can be a gourmet adventure, if you know how and what to prepare at your campsite. It all starts with a menu and a spark.
What to bring
Load a lidded cast iron Dutch oven or cast iron pot into your vehicle, and you’ll be able to prepare all sorts of hot and delicious campsite meals. Properly seasoned cast iron pots and pans are virtually non-stick and require little if any oil for cooking. Many dedicated campers have incorporated the right vehicles into their lives, which can be fitted with custom gear to make camping a breeze. You can fit a lot of cooking equipment in a Dodge Ram truck for instance.
Cast iron distributes heat slowly, so you’ll want to prepare a deep bed of glowing hot coals in which to nestle your food-filled pot. Be sure to use a cast iron pot that has a well fitting flat lid, because piling hot coals atop a closed pot can expedite cooking.
Bring a cast iron frying pan, too. When used in conjunction with a metal cooking rack, an all purpose iron pan will allow you to prepare bacon and eggs in the morning, grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and juicy steaks for campsite dinners. A roll of foil provides convenient wrapped cooking packages that can be placed onto hot coals for warming.
What to cook over a campfire
For a super simple camp dinner, dump a couple of cans of black beans into your Dutch oven. Add two chopped tomatoes, a can of corn, a can of chopped olives and a can of salsa. Cover and nestle pot into hot coals. Wrap tortillas in foil, and place packets atop hot coals. Once everything’s heated to perfection, wrap bean mixture in tortillas to make burritos.
For a more elaborate campfire meal, marinate steaks in zip bags before searing and sizzling in a cast iron pan. Wrap potatoes in foil to tuck among red hot coals and bake until you can poke a fork into them.
How to start a campfire
Pack in (or gather, if campground regulations allow) tinder, kindling and firewood, and don’t forget waterproof matches. If there are ashes in the fire ring, move them to the side of the ring. Lay tinder in the center of the ring.
Good tinder materials include small twigs, crumpled paper, dryer lint and candle stubs. Place slightly larger kindling over the tinder. Place logs teepee-style over the kindling, and be sure to leave lots of air space between logs.
Ignite the tinder from all sides, and soon your campfire will be blazing brightly.
Follow these simple tips, whether you plan to camp at Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland, the Tunnel Mountain campgrounds of Banff, or are planning an authentic cookout in your own backyard. You and your outdoor companions will enjoy mouth watering meals that are sure to satisfy.
Guest post by Laura Christensen: Laura Christenson loves getting outdoors whether hiking, camping, or sitting round the firepit at home! She enjoys blogging for travel and outdoor adventure blogs in her free time.