16 Easy Camping Meals

If you're like me, camping is all about relaxing around a campfire with my friends and family in the fading light of a summer sunset, preferably with a cooler, car and running water within walking distance. Sure, I enjoy daytime hikes and swims, but I'm not exactly Bear Grylls. A huge part of the draw for me is the food: personally, I like to create a culinary balance between the campfire classics of my childhood (s'mores) and my more grown-up sensibilites (huitacoche tacos). 

Planning is essential to a successful and relaxing camping experience. That means remembering a flashlight, cooking equipment and utensils, a first aid kit, plenty of snacks and everything you need to make memorable campfire meals. Below, a list of some of our campire favorites: 

Breakfast

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This caramelly apple pancake is made in a skillet and uses our dried apple rings, which makes preparation a snap. Bonus: throw any extra dried apple rings into a trail mix for a healthy and convenient trail snack.

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Pre-baked muffins make great camp food. Apart from being delicious, they travel well, are endlessly versatile (switch out the cranberry for chocolate chips or any dried fruit and the walnuts for sliced almonds or pistacchios), and make a filling breakfast or snack.

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Smoked Serrano Egg and Bean Skillet

This skillet's double-shot of smokiness comes from our Smoked Serrano Chile Powder and Marrow Beans, the taste of which many people liken to bacon. This protein-and fiber-packed dish makes for a hearty breakfast, and cooks up in less than half an hour.

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Fruity, protein-packed quinoa porridge makes an easy and tasty campground breakfast. Just boil quinoa for 12 minutes, fluff with a fork, and stir in almond or coconut milk, fruit and optional brown sugar.

Snacks 

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Who needs jerky when you can have spicy candied bacon? Not only does this salty-sweet bacon make a delicious snack on its own with cold drinks, it can be crumbled into just about anything, from trail mix to s'mores.

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These crispy, crunchy, better-than-puffed rice quinoa treats are made with just four ingredients: popped quinoa, creamy peanut butter, honey, and tart, chewy dried cherries. Packed with protein and just a touch of sweetness, they're perfect for an afternoon fuel-up.

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There's nothing better than briny lupini beans with a cold beer after a long day of hiking. Trust us on this one. Just give yourself plenty of time to make them before your camping trip, as the beans must be soaked and the brining liquid changed for many days in a row in order to remove their toxic alkalinity.

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These sweet, spicy, protein-packed nuggets of joy are made with cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, chile powder and a blend of white and brown sugars which helps them carmelize in the crunchiest, most satisfying way. Mix them with dried mango and papaya, roasted almonds and hemp seeds for a delicious trail mix.

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We use peanut butter in these banana-coconut granola bars, but almond or cashew butter would work just as well. Ultra portable and durable, these bars make a great breakfast or on-the-go snack.

meals

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Frijoles charros were made for eating around the campfire. Really, they were. This dish is named for the charros, traditional horsemen from central Mexico. Just like the cowboys of the American west, they are said to have eaten beans during their travels as they were highly portable and required so few ingredients. Just remember to soak your beans overnight so that they cook quickly.

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If you've never tried huitaloche, you're in for a treat. Huitlacoche is actually a fungus that grows on corn, and it is considered a delicacy in Mexico where it's typically used as a filling for quesadillas, soups and tacos. In these simple tacos, the earthy, mushroom-like flavor of huitlacoche is paired with the spicy heat of poblano chiles. The result is a deliciously rich, yet simple to make thanks to our canned huitlacoche.

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The name Colorado comes from the intense color provided by the New Mexico Hatch Chiles, which should be blended with garlic, onion, oregano and cumin and stored in an airtight container before your trip for best results. Boneless pork shoulder is then simmered in the sauce until tender. Sop up sauce with a big hunk of campfire skillet cornbread.

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This recipe uses fresh herbs, root vegetables, and a spicy chile pepper to bring our Gourmet Lentil Blend and sausage together in a hearty, delicious one pot meal that takes about an hour to cook.

sides

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Elotes, or corn on the cob, are a popular Mexican street food that have made their way to restaurants and street-food carts across the U.S. The straightforward, uncomplicated heat of our De Arbol Chile Powder brings the perfect amount of spiciness to this dish, balanced by mayonnaise and Cotija cheese.

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Our Chile-Lime Seasoning lends a mildly spicy, citrusy note to fresh chopped melon, making a refreshing snack that's perfect for a summer camping trip.

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Unique among wild mushrooms, the candy cap’s maple syrupy aroma makes it a fantastic choice for flavoring baked goods. This cornbread is sweetened with just a touch of additional maple syrup added to bring out flavor. For best results, make this cornbread at home and heat as needed in a hot skillet over the fire.

Elizabeth Strickland