A little bit of planning goes a long way on a family camping trip, especially where food is concerned. The trick is to take enough ingredients with you to give you flexibility with cooking and eating options, but not so much that you need to buy a bigger car to get it there!
In our Family Camping Cookbook we’ve divided the book into four chapters:
1 ‘Quick Escapes’ is for when you make a sudden decision to go camping for a weekend and don’t have much time to gather together a long list of ingredients.
2 ‘By the Beach’ has recipes that radiate sunshine, using lots of fresh, summer produce and delicious seafood.
3 ‘In the Country’ has heartier recipes featuring meat, cheese and eggs, and all the good things you can get from the farm shop.
4 The final chapter, ‘Festivals & Parties’, has recipes for camping with a large, hungry group.
For each chapter, we have included a list of key ingredients. So if you are going off for a week by the beach, for example, you should take what you can from the list in that chapter along with you. Each chapter also has some tips to help you along the way and three different meal plans. The first is geared towards young kids, the second towards older kids and the third towards vegetarians.
Although we have given precise quantities for every recipe, they are not the sort of recipes that require absolute precision. We’ve tried to make sure that you can measure nearly everything with a handful, a cup, a teaspoon or a tablespoon, and that more complicated measurements can be worked out roughly from the packaging your food is bought in. There is absolutely no need for scales. We have also tried to make the recipes versatile so that most of the ingredients can be substituted for something similar, depending on what you have available.
Thinking about what you want to cook and eat when you get there is also a good idea. At the beginning of each chapter we have included three meal plans, complete with shopping lists. These have been designed to minimize the number of ingredients you need to pack. They are weekend plans so that you can take and keep all the ingredients listed for the two days with a cool box and a modicum of preparation. If you’re going for a week or longer, you can start with a weekend plan and then you can simply combine meal plans and add whichever recipes you’d like. Click on the link below to see an example of a meal plan, with it’s accompanying shopping list.
Good ingredients can make all the difference, particularly when you are keeping things simple. Tinned tomatoes are a cheap ingredient, so it’s worth buying the best you can get – the difference in taste and texture is huge!
Similarly with meat, it’s worth paying a bit over the odds for better quality, particularly if you are barbecuing. Useful ingredients are those that keep well in packs, like halloumi cheese (which is fantastic barbecued), and it’s also worth remembering to use fresh ingredients that don’t require a lot of cleaning, like bananas and avocados.