Everyone knows that food tastes best when eaten around a campfire. And it’s even better when it comes with a side of nostalgia. Remember the camping meals from your childhood? We do, and we love recreating them as adults. Here are 10 campsite meals (and a few bonus desserts) you enjoyed as a kid:
1. Breakfast Burritos
In Minnesota in the 80s these consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, and cheese, all fried up in the cast iron pan, then wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.
2. Cast Iron Pancakes
We love how the cast iron pan gives pancakes those delicious crispy edges. Pancakes in a cast iron pan get that little crispy edge that tastes so satisfying. For campsite simpliciy’s sake, we use a “just add water” mix.
Fry up the pancakes in butter. Add blueberries or bananas for an extra treat.
3. Single Serve Cereals
Sometimes you just don’t want to light up the cookstove. That’s where Cap'n Crunch and Fruity Pebbles in a tiny cardboard box come in. Stock up on your childhood favorites and just add milk.
Want the childhood nostalgia hit without the grown-up sugar crash? We love Magic Spoon cereals, which taste like your favorite classics, but with less sugar and more protein. https://magicspoon.com/
4. Foil Packet Meals
A camping tradition, the entire meal cooks up in one tin foil packet. Any combination of meat, potatoes, and veggies, will do. Season, and wrap in tin foil. Set on the grill and cook until ready (usually 30-40 minutes).
5. Chili Dogs
Who doesn’t love to roast a hot dog over an open fire? Add a bunch of gooey toppings and you have one of the most satisfying campsite meals of all time. Here in Minnesota, we eat ours with a side of Old Dutch potato chips and a tub of Top the Tater dip.
6. Steak and Ranch PotatoesGrill up a steak, fry up diced potatoes in the cast iron pan sprinkled with a ranch dressing packet. This is a simple dinner. After a long day of hiking this is a hearty meal that satisfies.
7. Pie Iron Meals
There are lots of meals, snacks, and desserts you can make in this midwestern camp cooking staple. Some of your childhood favorites were pizza, sandwiches, pie.
We especially love this meal when the weather starts to get cold in Minnesota. So, September. To save time at the campsite, you can even pre-make your chili or stew at home and reheat over the fire.
9. Walking Tacos
That’s right - as the name suggests, you can eat these tacos while walking. That’s because everything goes right into a portable snack sized bag of chips. Rustic? Yes. Tasty? You betcha! Bonus: We guarantee these will be a big hit with any kids who might be at the campsite with you.
10. Womp 'Ems
AKA - Campfire Biscuits. To make Womp 'Ems you need a thick dowel or stick, biscuit dough and fillings. Wrap the biscuit dough around the end of the stick and cook over the fire. Once it's fully cooked slide the biscuit off the stick and fill with toppings of your choice.
You can use sweet or savory fillings. Some sweet favorites are pudding, jam, strawberries and whipped cream. For a savory meal try sausage and gravy, or eggs and bacon.
Bonus: Camping Desserts
It’s not a camping trip if there aren’t s’mores. Use the chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallow brands you did as a kid and you’ll be instantly transported back to your childhood. Or, for an updated twist, try dark chocolate, homemade marshmallows, and Pamela's Honey Grahams (they're gluten-free and super buttery).
Berries and Whipped Cream
We’re keeping it simple with this one. Take berries, add a spritz of Redi-Whip. Or, if yours was a Cool Whip family, go ahead and use that.
Campsite Ice Cream
You don’t need a freezer to enjoy ice cream while camping. Make your own freshly churned ice cream with just a few ingredients and some muscle power. Kids and kids-at-heart will both get a kick out of eating and making this dessert.
You need half and half, sugar, vanilla, large and small Ziplock baggies, rock salt, and ice.
In small baggie mix:
1 cup half and half
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp sugar
get all the air out and seal tightly
In large baggie mix:
1/4 rock salt
Fill large baggie half way with ice
Add small baggie to large baggie, making sure each bag is sealed tightly. Shake until ice cream hardens (about 10 minutes). Eat right from the baggie.