Campfire food recipes.
Stuck for ideas of what to cook when your out in the wilds? Here's some ideas to get you inspired.
What are MRE's and Rat Packs?
Meals Ready to Eat and Ration Packs are simply food stored in typically a foil pouch that is commonly eaten when hiking and camping. Some pouches provide their own heating system so no cooker needed. The pro's are that they are quick, simple and easy to clean up. The con's include pricing. MRE's can be very expensive. A small pouch of chicken curry can cost £5. Ration Packs come from the military and are a lot cheaper than MRE's. However, UK forces Rat Packs are Crown property. They are not for resale and when they go out of date the MOD destroys them. So if you find some UK Rat Packs for sale, they are stolen goods and are probably out of date too. I am told the ingredients include a binding agent so that you don't need to go to the toilet as often whilst on duty. I have no idea if this is true. MRE's and Rat Packs have long shelf lives. This is gained through removing air from the pouches and adding considerable preservatives.
It's a personal choice whether to eat them. I have never found the need to eat them. With a little careful thought and planning camping meals can be much more enjoyable and healthy.
We're going foraging for wild foods then?
Foraging is a great way to add additional food and flavour to meals outdoors and gain a greater connection to nature. It's an often overlooked skill as it seems too difficult to learn or too deadly to try. I often speak to people who say 'I don't eat any wild fungi, it's too dangerous'. Learning to forage in the wild is like learning to go shopping in a foreign supermarket. You need to learn to read the labels or recognise the food to be able to eat it.
So what's left?
Bannock Bread is a traditional campfire recipe. Made with a base ingredient of flour. There are many recipes giving both sweet and savoury flavours. We are also experimenting with Navajo fry bread recipes and getting delicious results.
Samosa's, Onion Bhaji's and spring rolls are excellent camping food. They cook in their own pastry wrapping so no pots and pans needed. Cornish pasties can do the same.
Catching dinner can be fun too. A nice pike or trout slowly roasted over the fire is delicious.
Dutch Ovens are cast iron pots that are great for cooking outdoors. Slow roasted beef is a favourite.
With a little bit of imagination and preparation, campfire food can be really delicious and enjoyable. If you would like to learn more about campfire cooking, we run backcountry cooking courses.