Prep work done at home pays off big at the campsite. It decreases the bulk of the food you need to bring, makes ingredients more organized and easier to use, and helps meals come together quickly—leaving you more time for lounging by the fire and enjoying time with your family.
In general, we like to smooth the way for campground cooking by prepping the following:
- Make any marinades and put them in a resealable bag or container with your meats. Freeze before packing the cooler.
- Pre-measure any dry mixes for breads, pancakes, etc. Pancake mix kept in a resealable bag can get a dose of milk at the campsite and be mixed right in the bag. Then simply snip off one corner and squeeze dollops of batter right onto the griddle for a simple breakfast.
- Peel, chop and measure out onions and other hardy vegetables like carrots, celery and anything else that won’t brown. Any remaining cooking steps can be written right onto the bag the veggies are sealed in for an easy-to-follow recipe.
- Measure out and mix spices into small bags or containers and mark which recipe each is for. This saves you a binful of rattling spice jars to deal with. If you’re particularly pinched for space—if you’re backpacking, for example—you can even store bits of spices in a plastic straw snipped to size, with each end sealed shut with a candle or lighter flame.
- Cut up bulky fruits such as melons and pineapples to save on space and to prevent a sticky mess at the site. Bring the slices or bite-sized pieces in a resealable container.