Love camping, but want to kick it up a notch? These Camping Recipes for a Happy Glamper will help you camp with style, and eat well while you're enjoying nature!
Originally published April 21, 2017. Updated January 3, 2019.
What is Glamping?
Do you glamp instead of camp?
Glamping-- or "glamour camping"-- is a perfect way to "be one with nature," but still feel fancy-schmancy.
That's right-- it's how you can sleep in a tent, feel rugged and wild, but still not feel deprived or miserable.
Some people-- like my friend Jaline-- glamp by setting up giant tents. They bring along bed-like air mattresses, gorgeous rugs, and high-end lanterns.
Others-- like me-- stick with a simpler tent set-up, but refuse to compromise on the food.
How to Glamp
If you, fellow camper, want to step things up with a high-end camping experience-- start by picking what's most important to you! Do you want to wake up in the woods, but feel like you're in a 5-star hotel?
Try upgrading your equipment, or invest in some battery-powered twinkle lights. If you, like me, know that you will be positively grumpy without a hot breakfast and a savory, flavorful dinner-- keep reading!!!
These Camping Recipes for a Happy Glamper take a bit of planning and prep-work, but mean that you can dine in style while you lounge in the wild!
What Equipment Do I Need to Cook While Camping?
Sometimes, the answer is "nothing."
Maybe all you'll need is a butter knife and a jar of peanut butter.
A few well-chosen items, however, can make your campground cooking experience a lot more enjoyable. Here are a few items to consider:
A Camp Stove: We use a Coleman 2-burner propane stove for car camping, and an ultra-light backpacking stove for backpacking trips. (These stoves will need propane or butane to work! Some stoves also require a lighter to start the fire.)
Cast Iron Dutch Oven: I use a standard Cast Iron Dutch Oven, but you can also buy special Campfire Cast Iron Dutch Ovens. These are designed for campfire cooking, and will have flat lids for adding coals to the top, and feet to hold them up off the fire.
Percolator: We use a stainless steel percolator when we car camp. You can use it to make coffee AND to boil water for tea or cooking.
A Cooler: We typically camp without a cooler, but if you're packing any type of raw meat, eggs, or dairy product, a high-end cooler that will keep your food cold for days and days can definitely make life easier.
Basics: For car camping, I typically always bring along a metal spatula, a wooden spoon, metal tongs, and oven mitts. You'll probably also want plates, silverware, and glasses. (I also bring plastic wine glasses!)
How to Make Campground Cooking Easier
If you're reading this thinking, "this all seems like a lot of work,"-- here are a few tips to make campground cooking EASIER.
- Plan Ahead:
Even if you're not a fan of meal planning-- I suggest planning out most of your camping meals ahead of time.
Write down what meals you're planning, what equipment and ingredients you'll need, and mark meals off the list as you cook them.
- Stay Organized:
Keep your spices, oils, and kitchen equipment together, and then separate produce, breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods into different reusable grocery bags or containers.
That way, you'll know where everything is, and won't have to pull everything out at once.
- Clean Up Immediately:
As tempting as it will be to sit around the campfire and clean-up later, go ahead and wash your dishes and put away the kitchen equipment as soon as you're done eating.
You'll be less likely to leave things out and attract animals, and the dishes will be easier to clean.
- Use Available Resources to Add to Your Meal:
For example, this KOA in Durango, CO had free fresh veggies and herbs available for campers when we stayed there one summer, and Mather Campground at the Grand Canyon has an especially nice, camper-friendly market.
Camping Recipes for a Happy Glamper
Most of these recipes give you a heads-up about any special equipment you need to have (like access to a campfire or a camping stove), and others are simply travel-friendly-- using ingredients that don't require refrigeration or cooking.
All of these drinks and meals will leave you full, satisfied, and ready for another day of adventures!
Morning Camping Recipes:
For your morning camping meals, you COULD simply eat a protein bar, but these delicious and inventive breakfast ideas are a much better way to start your day!
Coffee: The most important part of breakfast, even on the go. Even when you're backpacking. This No-Cook Backpacking Coffee is brilliant.
French Toast: This Campfire French Toast.
Oatmeal: Try these on-the-go Porridge Sachets.
Featured Breakfast Recipe Ideas:
This warm cereal is my personal go-to for early morning hikes.
For a somewhat richer flavor, try making this granola at home and packing it along:
For a hearty, warm breakfast, you can prep this hash at home and then cook it over the campfire!
No-Cook Camping Recipes
It's always a good idea to have a few no-cook camping recipes planned for your trip.
Even if you plan on cooking most of your meals, these recipes will help as you're driving to the campground, as you're hiking without a backpacking stove, or when you're simply too tired to cook.
Want a no-cook option with lots of fresh veggies? Try this Mexican Chopped Salad.
Camp Stove Camping Recipes
These recipes use either a traditional camp stove or a smaller backpacking stove.
And of course, camping just wouldn't be the same without campfire meals.
After a full day in the great outdoors, this campfire hot chocolate with peanut butter whiskey might be exactly what you need to sip on.
Looking for a camping recipe to fix on the GRILL? Check out these grilled corn on the cob.
What's your favorite way to glamp? Let me know in the comments!