Essential tips for cooking like a pro in the wilderness

Stef Zisovska
Cooking in the wilderness

It seems like there is a longstanding misconception amoung some, that camping food just consists of hotdogs and hamburgers, cold food, and can-flavored food. Well, if you are lazy and you really don’t want to cook, yes. But if you are a person who likes to make a little bit of effort and pull something creative out of the wilderness cooking plus having a tasty meal, then there is definitely a way to do so. All it takes is to follow these simple tips and organize your camping trip in advance.


Menu Planning

Cooking fresh

Depending on your route and your goals, it’s always better to plan your menu before your trip. Make sure you have quick, low-effort meals, as well as elaborate dishes for the daytime. Think about protein. Being hungry in the wilderness is not cool at all. Also, think about the food weight, depending on your way of travel. Making a meal order and think what you going to eat first is also an essential tip that will help you eliminate food from your pack by weight and freshness.

Bring the right equipment

Outdoor cooking

A frying pan is a must-have on every camping trip. Something to bake in is also crucial if you like to be well-prepared for cooking a nice meal. Dutch ovens are very popular these days, and very practical.  A light-weight cutting board makes a handy food prep surface and will keep your knife sharper. Bring a spice kit and a container with a tightly-fitting lid for leftovers. This way you’ll never have to throw away food and will have some for later.

Make a fire

Making a fire

First, make sure you are allowed to build a fire at the site you’re visiting. You can always bring a camp stove, but most of them come with only one setting while the heat of your fire is endless. Think about bringing a portable fire grate, and a pair of pot-grips that will make your fire much easier to cook over. Make sure that you collect the woods for the fire while it’s still light outside and collect only dry and old branches. After starting the fire, let it burn to the coals if you’re trying to bake something on it because of you bake on strong fire flames your food will burn. Use the flames to boil some water on top that you can use to make pasta, tea, or even take an improvised hot shower.

Flexible meals


Don’t limit yourself to eating boring food every day and be creative when it comes to cooking in the wild. Accept the fact that you don’t have everything you need in the forest and wake up your imagination. Think about what ingredients can you use to prepare a couple of different meals and never get bored of what you’re eating. For example, you can use potatoes and onions to make a soup or to make french fries and onion rings. Tortillas can be used for wraps, fried as chips, or even for a peanut butter sandwich.

Go fishing

Grilled fish

If you like to add a fresh flavor to your camping menu, try to catch some fish. Fishing in the wilderness and spending time around a spring or river is fun and refreshing, plus it will provide you with a tasty dinner. Grilled fish that you catch, prepared on a fire that you built will be the best plate you’ve ever had. And guess what, it’s free!

Cooking in the wild is way different than cooking at home, but it hundred times more fun and the food tastes better after a long hike. Be brave and jump into a wild cooking adventure without any prejudice or fears. Start planning your “wild” menu and good luck!

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