Like many families this summer, we are going camping for a week. This is something that over the years we've practised quite a lot, and have found that there are certain things that make life a little bit easier in terms of food. Here are my top tips for a great camping trip.
The first one, which has been an absolute game changer for us, is to see whether any of the supermarket delivery services will deliver to your campsite. This is something that has worked really well for us for the past couple of years, although it is slightly weird when you're setting up your tent and the Tesco van rolls up the grass to come and deliver your food! But it does save you having to pack the car with all of the foods that you're going to need for your camping trip, or having to go out and find a supermarket. If you can't get a delivery slot to the actual campsite, another great idea is to do a click and collect order from a local supermarket. That way, you can plan at least the first two or three days food before you get there so you know what you're going to be eating. I would probably do two of these on a week's camping trip: have one arriving the day that we are arriving and setting up the tent, and then another one on day three or four to just top up the things that we need.
Keeping food stored safely is a bit of a challenge when you're camping. We have a big ice box that we fill with all of the refrigerated items, and we put a load of ice in there and just keep topping up the ice to keep everything nice and cold. You don't want to store meat in that way for any length of time, but things like milk, yogurt and cheese and the all important wine and beer can keep cold in this sort of storage for a while.
Another one of my top tips that I find works really well is to make something before you go: something like a bolognaise or a chilli con carne works really well. Make a big batch of it and freeze it, then pop it in the car with all your camping stuff. Then it can be defrosting along the way as you're travelling to the campsite. On the first night, all you have to do is cook some pasta and heat up the sauce or cook some rice and heat up the chilli, and you've got a meal that is ready prepared for you. Especially if you're going to be arriving quite late in the day, this is a great way to get your first evening's food sorted.
We tend to have a barbecue at least a couple of times whilst we're camping. So you can include the classic sausages and burgers, veggie sausages, corn on the cob. Sweet potatoes are really nice if you wrap them up in foil and stick them in amongst the barbecue coals, they take about an hour cooked like that if they're not too big.
A lovely dish to have while you're camping is lots of roasted vegetables like peppers, courgettes and aubergines and have these with some ready made falafels warmed up up on the barbecue. And when you have these with pitta breads and hummus, and maybe some couscous, that's a great meal that's lighter and a little bit different.
Of course, pasta and sauces are really easy: if you make something like pasta with pesto and veggies and cream cheese, that's a lovely camping meal as well. And also, don't forget about takeaways and eating out: if you can book a pub lunch one day, then you don't need to make more than sandwiches that evening.
For breakfasts while camping and we will normally have one or two days where we have bacon sandwiches or bacon and eggs for breakfast. But on most days it's usually porridge or cereal. I find that a bowl of porridge is a really nice way to start the day when you're camping. Especially if you stir in some mashed banana and some berries and a little bit of honey: most of the group will be quite happy with that.
I hope that you found that useful: enjoy your camping trip and I really hope that the weather stays dry for us all this summer!