You've booked your camping trip, packed your sleeping bag, and fuelled up the car, but wait, what are you going to eat for the next three days? Campfire cooking doesn't have to be boring, so grab your shopping list; we're here to make sure your camping meals are something to write home about. Find out how to make your must-have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert below.
Waking in the wilderness deserves a hearty-breakfast to jumpstart your day of adventure. Burritos are the perfect solution for an energizing meal bundled into one easy-to-eat hand-held wrap.
- Tortilla wraps
- Eggs (crack your eggs before heading out and store them in an air-tight container, mix in your milk and spices for ready-to-cook scrambled eggs)
- Pre-cut bell peppers, red onions, and vine tomatoes
- Pre-shred your own Monterey Jack cheese
- Canned black beans
- Ripe avocado
- Pick up some of your favourite sour cream and salsa (or make it, if you’re really feeling adventurous)
- Fresh cilantro
- Hot sauce: optional
Heat your skillet or frying pan and grease it with a little butter or oil. Drain the canned black beans and add them to the bell peppers, red onions, and vine tomatoes in the pan and cook until warmed through. Set aside your cooked beans and vegetables, and add your pre-mixed scrambled eggs and freshly chopped cilantro to the pan.
Prep your tortilla by topping it with the cooked black beans and vegetables, grated cheese, sliced avocado, salsa, and sour cream. Your cooked eggs and cilantro are now ready to add to your almost finished burrito. Wrap your tortilla up and encase it in tinfoil. Add this to your stovetop, or grill it over the fire for another few minutes. Remove with caution, and you’re ready to eat!
LUNCH ON-THE-GO: VEGE SALAD
Using your campground as base camp for adventure is good in theory, but what about lunch? You don’t need the entire set-up to enjoy a drool-worthy mid-day meal, prep it at home and take it with you on your excursions.
- Chopped romaine lettuce, radishes, cucumber, green onions, and tomatoes
- Sunflower seeds
- Lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of pepper
- Pre-cook bacon slices and chicken breasts
Pre-cut your vegetables and mix with sunflower seeds into individual portioned reusable containers. Cook your bacon and chicken breasts at home, allow them to cool, and break them into bite-sized pieces to add to the salad base. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, and pinch of pepper into a separate sealable container.
When you’re out enjoying a day of hiking, biking, or sightseeing, pull out your spork (a spoon and fork in one), packaged salad, and add your salad dressing. You won’t have to pause your day to eat well, so don’t worry about checking off all of your must-do holiday endeavours.
DINNER FEAST: STEAK, VEGE AND POTATOES
Feasts shouldn’t just be reserved for special holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but every holiday you take, including camping. They also don’t have to take hours or make you feel like you need two ovens, so sit back and relax, making your camping feast will be quick and easy.
- Russet potatoes
- Sliced red onion and mushrooms
- Corn on the cob
- New York strip steak (or your own favourite cut)
If you’re cooking over the fire, wrap your russet potatoes in tin foil with a cube of butter; place your wrapped potato into the coals of the fire. Heat up your skillet or frying pan and add in your broccoli, sliced red onion, and sliced mushrooms. While these cook, add your corn with a water-soaked husk into the coals alongside your potato. After you’ve placed your corn, don’t forget to give your potato another flip.
Clear the centre of your pan by pushing your cooked vegetables to the edges of your pan. Rub your steak with a bit of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, and place it in the centre of your heated pan. For a medium-rare to medium steak cook for a total of 5-6 minutes on each side, flipping it every minute. Pull your potato and corn out of the coals and serve along with your steak and vegetables.
If you’re cooking over a stove, slice your potatoes and place them in a heated pan greased with butter or oil. Once the potatoes are almost cooked through add in your broccoli, sliced red onion, and sliced mushrooms.
Clear the centre of your pan by pushing your cooked potatoes and vegetables to the edges of your pan. Rub your steak with a bit of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, and place it in the centre of your heated pan. For a medium-rare to medium steak cook for a total of 5-6 minutes on each side, flipping it every minute.
With your second element, bring a pot of water to a boil, add in your shucked corn, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove your corn and allow it to cool before serving with your potatoes, vegetables, and steak.
CLASSIC CANADIAN DESSERT: S'MORES
Would a camping trip be complete without the classic Canadian S’more? We would hope not. If you’ve never made a S’more before, here’s the easiest, but still mouth watering, way.
- Graham cookies that are dipped in chocolate
Find the most suitable stick (or bring your own campfire skewer), and shape the end with a knife to skewer a marshmallow. Allow your fire to burn until you no longer have big flames and begin to roast the marshmallow over the coals, rotating it to achieve a golden brown colour all over. Sandwich the roasted marshmallow between your cookies (graham side out, chocolate side in). Enjoy, and repeat!
Depending on how you like to camp, you may choose to cook your meals a little differently. If you’d prefer roughing it or glamping, you’re going to need some tools to help you get set up. If you want to pick up your food once you’ve arrived Nester’s Market and IGA in Banff or The Village Market in Lake Louise will supply all of your essentials. To rent camping gear, including tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment, visit Snowtips-Bactrax in Banff.
Roughing it Fire Starting Toolkit:
- Campfire – most within Banff National Park have metal grates to cook over
- Tinder – shaved pieces of wood or newsprint
- Firewood – smaller kindling and solid firewood
- Enough water to put out the fire
Glamping Fire Starting Toolkit:
- Fuel-burning stove
No matter how you decide to cook, you’ll still need some cooking essentials.
- Skillet or frying pan
- Spatula or tongs
- Oil or butter
- Tin foil
- Salt and pepper
- Cutting board
- Cooler and ice (to store all of your food)
- Spork (spoon and fork in one)
- Plates or bowls
Keep the National Park in mind when packing, and wherever possible use biodegradable or waste-less materials, packing out any garbage you may have brought it. Bear-proof food storage and garbage bins are available at all frontcountry campsites. If you and your friends are heading into the backcountry, learn how to store your food here.