If you have the itch to get out into the wilderness right now, you might be a bit hesitant because of the weather. We are inching closer and closer to winter and in many parts of the world, it’s already too cold to be going out without wrapping up first.
It might seem a little discouraging for those of us who have made camping a big part of our life. When it gets to this time of year, maybe you start thinking that you can’t pursue your hobby again for several months.
But that’s not necessarily the case. Camping in the winter is actually perfectly safe as long as you do it right. It can be a fun, unique experience and it does actually have some benefits over summer camping too.
For one thing, most other campers will have had the same thought as you and will stay inside. So camping sites that are typically jam-packed with people might be a bit quieter. You also don’t have to worry quite as much about bugs.
Now with that in mind, there are some big differences to camping in hot weather that you have to keep in mind. It’s important to know what kind of gear you’ll need, cold injury prevention, and of course, what kind of food to cook.
You need food that is high in calories and will also keep you warm. It’s always good to have some quick recipes in mind especially if you don’t want to spend too much time cooking, but it’s also wise to master some bigger meals too, so you can ensure you’re getting the nourishment necessary to survive the cold.
Here’s 5 for you to try:
Definitely a meal that every camper should be familiar with because it’s a pretty simple one. You get your vegetables and your protein out of it, and it’s all cooked together.
- Cubed beef.
- Sliced carrots
- Sliced onions.
- Crushed garlic cloves.
- Chicken broth.
On a single large sheet of foil, place the beef, carrots, onions, potatoes and garlic. Add any seasonings you want on top and then add the butter and chicken broth. That’s pretty much it for preparing the actual food.
From there, you just fold up the edges of the foil and twist it at the top so that it’s sealed and your stew won’t leak out. Then place that foil pouch directly onto your coals and let it cook for an hour.
You can also do it in a pot if you’d prefer, but this is the easiest and quickest way.
Fusing chili and lasagna to get the best of both all in the one meal. This is a delicious dish which is guaranteed to warm you up.
- Canned sweetcorn.
- Canned red beans.
- Canned hot chili beans.
- Ground hamburger beef.
- Hamburger helper with noodles.
- Diced onions.
- Canned black olives.
Cook the hamburger in a pot until it’s brown and then drain it off. Mix the hamburger helper with the recommended amount of liquid by draining all of the cans and if necessary, adding water to fill it to the right measure.
Add in the noodles, cover and cook for 10 minutes on the campfire. Cut the olives in half and then add them to the mixture along with the red beans and corn. Cook for a further 5 minutes, then add the chili beans. Stir the mixture.
Cook until the noodles are done and then serve with diced onions.
Cheesesteak Pot Pie
A cheesesteak is perfect for the winter because not only is it a good high-calorie meal, but it’s also great for warming you up. The best way to make a cheesesteak while camping is to go for the pot pie route.
- Beef broth
- Cubed Velveeta cheese.
- Amber Ale.
- Bacon fat.
- Quartered cremini mushrooms.
- Sliced yellow onion.
- Sliced green bell peppers.
- Sliced beef top.
- Red chili flakes.
- Refrigerated biscuit dough.
In a saucepan, mix together the beer, cheese and beef broth and whisk until they’re combined. With a cast iron skillet, melt bacon fat over the campfire and then add the top round, the salt and the chili flakes.
Let the meat cook and then add in the onion, mushrooms and bell peppers. Once the vegetables have softened, add in the cheese sauce you melted earlier. Top with the biscuits, and then bake over the fire for 15 minutes.
Mac & Cheese
This is an old American favourite and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s incredibly tasty, easy to make and it’s a good, hot meal to have in the winter too.
- Elbow macaroni.
- Whole milk.
- Cream cheese.
- Mustard powder.
- Shredded cheddar cheese.
Boil the macaroni over the campfire for about 8 minutes, and then drain it and leave it to one side. In a cast iron pan that’s boiling over the coals, whisk together milk, cream cheese, mustard, salt and pepper.
Stir this mixture until it’s nice and smooth and then add in the cheddar and stir that in until it’s melted. Add in the noodles and let that cook for 2 minutes so that it’s heated all the way through.
And then you’re ready to go. Really simple.
Beans & Ham Soup
You’re going to need to have a dutch oven for this one, so make sure you’re familiar with how to use one of those while camping.
- Dried navy beans.
- Small onions.
- Cooked, cubed, lean ham.
- Smoked ham hocks.
- Chopped celery.
- Chopped carrots.
Start a few hours in advance so you can let the beans soften. Put them into the oven and add enough water to cover it by 2 inches. Bring it to the boil and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Then leave them to soften for 2-3 hours.
Slice the onions and then put them to one side. Drain the beans then return them to the oven, and then add everything else including the freshly cut onions. Close the oven and place it on a grill tray above the fire.
Let it cook for 1 hour, then uncover the oven and cook for another 30 minutes. Get rid of the ham hocks and you’ve got your soup nice and ready.
Learning how to cook a few hot meals can make camping in the cold a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience. If you can master even just a couple of these recipes, you should be good to go for some winter camping.