Cooking in the Great Outdoors: Car Camping Food

While I opt for minimalism when camping and hiking, there are some places where car camping is fun, necessary, and has its benefits. At the more popular national parks, for example, car camping is the most accessible option for spending time at the park. Backcountry permits are required for all areas away from an established campground, and the waiting list can be long. One of the benefits from car camping is the fact that it enables you to bring along heavy food items (like bottles and cans) or perishable items that can be kept in a cooler, thus making your cuisine that much more interesting. Here are a couple of my favorite dishes.


–Beans & Franks (A large can of baked beans with cut-up hot dogs from the cooler mixed in. It tastes pretty good in the great outdoors.)


— “Hobos” (We used to make these when I was a kid, camping out most summer weekends at RockCut State Park. In a foil packet, mix up some ground beef from the cooler and largely chopped carrots, potatoes and onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook in the coals of your campfire for about an hour.)


— Hot Sandwiches (You’ll need a sandwich iron for these- they can found at most camping-supply stores. You can make these either sweet or savory. My favorites were ham and cheese and baked apple filling. Just open the iron and lay in a slice of white bread, then your filling, then another slice of white bread. Close the iron then hold over the hot fire for about 15 minutes to heat through.)