Even if you’ve never been the type to do much camping, this year is definitely the time to give it a go! Of course, there are a lot of fun things to look forward to when it comes to going camping, and some perks that you can enjoy even in the midst of the coronavirus stay-at-home orders if that’s still the case for your city. You can get outside and stay physically distant from others, there are less surfaces to worry about sanitizing, and you can get fresh air after being inside for what was probably quite a few weeks. But if you ask us, the best part of camping, whether in the time of the coronavirus or not, is the food! S’mores are the first thing that comes to mind, but apart from those tasty gooey desserts, there are plenty more ways to make your mealtime around the campfire extra special and delicious.
Camping dinners don’t have to be super basic just because you’re roughing it in other ways. As fun as it is to roast hot dogs over the fire, think outside the box (or the bun, rather?) and remember that when it comes to mealtime – even around the campfire – the possibilities really are endless. If you’re going camping where there’ll be a grill available, we’ve got you covered – there are eleven grill-friendly meals on our June menu! Some we’d like to highlight: Backyard BBQ Chicken with Corn on the Cob, Gaucho Grilled Pork Tenderloin, and Peach Bourbon Chicken. One idea for a camp-friendly side with the Pork Tenderloin is to throw veggies in an aluminum foil pack on the fire. Here’s a recipe that has the veggies mixed together with sausage, but you can easily leave the sausage out for a side dish, or keep it in, which could even be a meal on its own.
While our grill-friendly meals are the most obvious choices to bring with you to the campground, there are many others that would be easy to do fireside. One of our guests at our Corvallis location made Dream Dinners Sante Fe Shredded Pork Burritos on their Mother’s Day camping getaway! They cooked the burrito filling on a small camping stove, and from the looks of the tasty burritos and the happy kiddos, it was a great success! Another fun meal option, maybe for lunches on a cloudy day, are mountain pies. These are nostalgic and easy for the parents, and the kids will be thrilled that they’re basically getting glorified grilled cheese sandwiches! And for all these meal ideas, if you want to cut down on the prep you have to do at the campsite, you can prepare most everything at home, and then all you have to do is the transport and the cooking.
Now that you’re set for the main course, if you also want to get creative when it comes to dessert, we’re here to tell you that S’mores are not the only option! Here’s a list of inventive, fun dessert ideas to make while camping, or if you’ve got a Dutch oven that you like to bring out for your camping trips, try these delectable options: Blackberry Cobbler, Cherry Chocolate Lava Cake, or Cinnamon Nut Pull-Aparts. All of them are five ingredients or less, so the preparation is easy but the results are bursting with flavor, and downright impressive!
All that’s left is to get out the door! Since many areas are still in the midst of heavy restrictions due to COVID-19, make sure to check whether your local campgrounds are open for visitors, and look into what restrictions might be in place before heading out. To keep your safety and hygiene at the front of your mind, another adjustment you can make to this year’s camping trip is to set up a handwashing station like this one. Keep your kids’ (and your own) handwashing habits going strong, even while you’re out in the wilderness. Then sit back and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of nature – including those coming from the tasty meals you’re making! Even if only for a couple of hours, you can revel in the experience and imagine that life is back to how it was before any trace of the coronavirus. Enjoy! And if you try some Dream Dinners meals around the fire, be sure to tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, so we can have a look.