Fall camping in the brisk autumn weather means planning and preparing warm and comforting meals. No longer will cold sandwiches and salads cut it; hearty dishes like stews, chilis, soups, and one-pot pasta are on the menu instead.
Make sure to keep it cozy by adding hot drinks, sides, and even desserts that fit the fall theme. After a day of hiking and leaf peeping, you and your fellow campers will enjoy winding down and warming up around the fire with plenty of tasty treats.
While it may sound like a lot of work to prepare everything at your campsite, you can easily enjoy plenty of delicious food during your camping trip with some planning and prep and the right cooking equipment and tools.
What to Bring
The proper equipment for cooking during your fall camping trip will ensure that you can make the best recipes and be prepared for anything.
- Camping Stove: Cooking over the fire is a great way to slow cook your camping recipes. However, a camping stove will help you prepare things easily and quickly in a frying pan when you don't have a fire roaring.
- Dutch Oven: A dutch oven is a great cooking vessel over the campfire. It conducts heat throughout, giving the food an even cooking temperature. In addition, it is capable of withstanding high temperatures, perfect for directly over the flame.
- Cast Iron Frying Skillet: Similar to a dutch oven, a cast iron frying Skillet is suited to super high temperatures and does great on an open flame.
- Insulated Bowls: Bring insulated bowls camping with you to keep your food hot longer when the weather is cool. Also, consider insulated mugs to keep your morning coffee or tea hot.
- Extra Fuel: Bring extra fuel tanks for the cooking stove to ensure you don't run out.
- Cooking Utensils: Besides flatware for eating your meals, be sure to bring along a spatula, spoon, and some tongs for cooking.
- Oven Mitt:A heavy-duty oven mitt will help you to remove the cover of your hot dutch oven and aid in removing it from the fire
- Aluminum Foil: Perfect for making foil pouch meals, these can be thrown right onto the fire and cooked in the coals. Use aluminum foil to cover hot food and keep it warm in the cold air.
How to Prep
Here are a few tips for meal prepping ahead of your trip so you can cut down on cooking time and clean up while enjoying the great outdoors.
- Measure out your dry ingredients and put them in reusable containers or storage bags. Ingredients like rice, pasta, and dried beans will take up less space when measured out, and there is no extra to worry about packing up and carrying out of your campsite.
- Alternatively, cook your rice, pasta, and beans at home to eliminate this step while preparing dinner at your campsite.
- Bring grated and sliced cheese instead of blocks to eliminate dirtying a knife and making more dishes.
- You can prepare hearty vegetables at home by washing and then cutting or slicing them for your recipe. Carrots, broccoli, squash, green beans, mushrooms, peppers, and cauliflowers can all be prepared ahead of time to be added to your fall recipes while camping.
- Prep and marinate any meat you plan to grill during your camping trip. This trick cuts down on mess and prep time when it's time for dinner.
Fall Camping Recipe Ideas
Now that you have an equipment list and some at-home prep tips, here are some mouthwatering and comforting fall recipes to make for your next camping trip.
Spicy Pumpkin Pasta
This easy one-pot pasta is perfect for camping. Prepare your pasta as part of the prep for your trip, drizzling it with a bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking. Cook the rest of your ingredients in one pot over the fire and enjoy a filling meal that is entirely fall-themed.
Festive Five Can Chili
This fall chili is made with canned beans, cutting down on prep time. With just a few spices and a can of chipotle peppers in adobo, this recipe is perfect for camping because it is simple and filling. If you want to make this recipe with meat, add ground beef or turkey along with onions when you saute them.
Campfire Bean and Ham Soup
This easy recipe is easy to throw together with mostly pre-cut vegetables and tiny cubes of smoked ham. Prepare your beans ahead of time at home, or use canned beans to make the cooking process even faster and easier. This bean and ham soup is hearty and warm to enjoy around the campfire.
Red Beans and Rice
This one-pot recipe has loads of flavor and can easily be made vegetarian. All the vegetables can be prepped at home to make less mess at your campsite. If you don't like a lot of spice, use less cajun seasoning, but it will help keep you even warmer in the cold fall evening weather!
The ingredients for this sweet and savory cornbread can be measured ahead of time, making it quick and easy to throw them together and put over the fire in your cast iron skillet. Enjoy this campfire cornbread and some chili or hot soup to make a complete meal.
Hot Bourbon Apple Cider
Heat the spiced cider over the fire before enjoying it with or without a shot of bourbon. Not only will the hot cider heat you up, but the shot of bourbon will keep you warm from your toes to your fingers.
Apple Crisp Foil Packets
Make a foil pack, combine all of your ingredients, and seal before placing it on a grill over the fire or near the coals. In no time, you'll have a campfire apple crisp that is so delicious for fall.
Enjoy the great outdoors, changing leaves, and beautiful cool weather while camping this fall. With these recipes and tips, you will be prepared with hearty fall meals that will fill you up and keep you warm!!