How to Create a Family Camping Menu

With no hotels, shopping malls or chain restaurants, sleeping under the stars is a welcome break from the craziness of life. But, with no place to eat within a 30-mile radius, who becomes the executive chef? 

If that's you, put the chef hat away and pull out your pen and paper; it's time to plan your family camping menu in five simple steps.

More: 4 Simple Tips for Campsite Cooking

Step 1: Outline Your Needs

The best way to handle this process is to take a look at what you make during a regular week and figure out how to transform that into a simple camping meal. This way, you know you're pleasing everyone in your family without putting much stress on yourself.

The meals are important but don't forget the snacks when outlining your camping menu. Between hiking, bird watching and kayaking, your family will need to fuel up a few times during the day. This is why you'll need to get creative with your menu.

More: How to Plan a Camping Trip in 3 Steps

Step 2: Get Creative With Your Menu

Being executive chef of the camping trip requires some creativity. You want to pack only what you need, which requires an out-of-the-box mindset. For example:

What protein can you get the most out of? Hamburger or ground turkey can be used in a variety of menu items including hamburgers, tacos and salads, making it a great item to feature on your menu. Buy a large portion and use it all weekend. 

More: Campfire Cooking Tips for Foodies

Peanut butter is another versatile ingredient to have on your family camping menu. Make PB&J for lunch or use it as a dip for celery or a spread on crackers. Pack one jar of peanut butter and enjoy a variety of meals and snacks.

Step 3: Pack the Right Gear

Your menu is likely useless without the right gear, making this an integral step in planning your camping menu. While most campsites will come with a fire pit and a grate over the top, the rest of your kitchen will stay put.

More: 10 Essential Tips for Family Camping

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