Heading to the woods for a weekend of camping no longer means that you have to eat hotdogs and chips while you sit on a log. Instead, with the right gear and recipes, your dining experience can become so much more. Here's how to take your usual camping meal to the next level: a glamping meal.
1. Set the Mood With Music
If you don't have a friend who can serenade the group with their guitar, opt for the next best thing: portable speakers. Look for ones that are waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof; make sure that they easily connect to an iPod or iPhone via a USB port or Bluetooth as well. Top models include those by Jambox, Braven and Boombotix.
2. Use a Camping Cook Set
Sure, you can bring mishmash of random cups and plates, haul in a couple of pots and pans from your kitchen, and still make a decent meal. But opt for a real campsite cooking set so you won't have to worry about losing things between your campsite and your kitchen at home.
Consider the sets offered by GSI Outdoors or Snow Peak. These come with multiple cups, plates, pots and pans, bowls, and usually a washing tub too. The best part is that all of the pieces fit into one another, so the entire set takes up minimal space and stays together.
One piece to consider grabbing from your kitchen is a cast-iron skillet. These pans can withstand the heat of the fire, are easy to clean and can be used to cook almost any meal.
Learn more: Cast Iron Cooking Tips and Recipes
3. Swap Lawn Chairs for Lounge Chairs
Plastic chairs and cooler seating have no place in a glamping meal. Outdoor gear companies make camp chairs that take your camping meal to a new level and rival your in-home furniture. Comfy, stylish and with all the amenities you'll need at the campsite, like cup holders and built-in coolers, these chairs will transport you to a whole new level of campsite comfort.
Eureka makes a high-backed chair and a lounger chair; Kelty has a reclining chair as well as a low loveseat camp chair; and Alite makes a smaller, supremely comfortable chair, as well.
4. Cook From a Book
There are many cookbooks and magazines specific to camping meals, desserts and drinks. Read through the Sunset magazine's online camping cookbook for campsite desserts, dinners and breakfasts; print the recipes to bring with you to the campsite.