I like to figure out how many of each meals we will have, where will be for them (Homebase, on a hike, at the lake, etc), and then pick what we should eat.
I make sure the meals are varied, have some fibrous options, and impress the kids (or non-outdoorsy adults).
From there, I make a list of the ingredients, go buy them, and then prep a day or two before we leave. Freezing what I can to make sure my ice lasts the longest. I try to wait until we take pee-breaks at gas stations to buy snacks. It gives everyone a chance to participate and makes us stretch our legs for a few minutes more.
What are your methods?
Great tips on how you plan your camp menu! Thinking and planning ahead can make it easier to feed a crowd of any size.
I like to look for any farm stands or farmer markets that we will pass on the way to camp to add in fresh, local ingredients. And identify any pre-prep that I can do ahead of time. That could be pre-chopping an onion at home or pre-measuring spices and having them mixed and ready-to-go in small up-cycled jars. Not only does this save time, but it decreases the number of cooking tools I need at camp!
We use the farm stand option too. Even if we have everything we always stop! We've gotten fresh pies for desserts, popcorn for snacks, and veggies for veggie foil packs. Always a favorite in my house.
We also prep everything ahead of time. My dream trip is to not have to chop anything at camp!
@Sandpiper99 but if you make it look TOOOOOO easy you won't get enough credit. 🙂
Depending on the time constraints and meal plan, I'm a big fan of prepping at home. Sometimes I'll chop up a ton of veggies qnd put together foil packets or pans that can go directly on the fire when we arrive. Super easy and delicious.
Totally agree on the snacks part, I'll usually stop somehwere to fill up water jugs before arriving snaand grabc the snacks at the same time.
I am all for freezing and cooking ahead of time. Freezing keeps things cooler, as you noted, and cooking ahead, decreases the risk of contaminating meat, if it rises to an unsafe storage temperature (not to mention reaching the perfect heat over a camp fire can be challenging). Some of the items we make before trips include: pulled pork, taco meat (chicken, carnitas or beef), meatballs, stew, curry, and sloppy joe. All only need a few fresh items to served, which can be picked up locally or will make it 4-5 days without storage.