For those of you a little camping-shy, it may seem like the woods are a pretty difficult place to get a good meal. Even if you camp pretty often, you may be used to getting some hot dogs and pre-made s’mores bundles at the weird grocery store on your way in. But for me, good food and being surrounded by nature are two of my favorite things, and are both made better when done at the same time.
The first time I really “had” to cook was in the woods. As a camp counselor in Pennsylvania, we were responsible for cooking most breakfasts over the fire for our little tent groups. It doesn’t sound like much, but I’m willing to bet that you’d have a hard time finding better french toast or pancakes than some of those griddles produced in the guys’ camping area. Sometimes we’d even gather together and cook a mass breakfast together, dividing up the tasks of a sausage-egg-muffin sandwich between groups of spatula-wielding counselor men. Meanwhile all the hungry children would get bored of our ridiculousness, eat some froot loops, and wander off into the woods.
The point is, I love cooking in the woods, and our camping trip this weekend gave us the excuse to do a lot of it. I’m talking about “car camping”, where you can bring your own stuff in a big cooler, not necessarily backwoods backpacking. It’s possible to have amazing meals out of a backpack, but the secret that any real explorer knows is that any food tastes like the best thing you’ve ever eaten, when you’ve carried it ten miles up a mountain before eating it.
Anyway, I wanted to share some photos of our adventures cooking in the forest. We actually planned ahead for all of our meals, and tried to find a few that didn’t require much prep. For the rest, we brought our trusty 12-inch cast iron skillet. Take a look at our amazing meals; there’s nothing better than good food in the woods.