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The absolute best way to end off a day of camping is with a delicious camping dinner. I’m wholeheartedly convinced that everything tastes better when cooked outside, so I’m a huge fan of making your family camping dinner really amazing.
At the same time, I’m a minimalist at heart, so the less work I have to do, the happier I am. I’m all about making easy camping dinners for kids that don’t take a lot of kitchen supplies, or extra work on my end. I’m also a HUGE FAN of easy camping meals that have a simple cleanup, so I can just chill and relax by the fire after dinner.
While it may be tempting to just bring a package of hot dogs and buns and call it good, we’re going to show you some kid-friendly easy camping dinners that actually taste AMAZING, so that you’ll enjoy dinner while you’re camping too.
Simplifying Family Camping Meals
Like I already mentioned, we like to keep things as simple as possible when we’re camping with kids. The best way to do that is to do as much of the camping meal prep work at home as you can. Here are some easy things that you can do to simplify your family camping dinners:
Plan Camping Meals Based on Expiration Date
When you’re out camping, make a plan for when you’re going to eat your meals and go from there. Plan on eating foods that will expire faster at the beginning of your camping trip. If I’m planning on grilling steaks over the fire, we’ll eat those the first night, since they won’t last as long. At the end of the trip, we’ll be eating pasta or quesadillas, since the ingredients can last so much longer without spoiling.
Plan Camping Meals Around Your Activities
Once you have your camping meals sorted by expiration date, it’s time to factor in what other activities you plan to do while you’re camping with kids. If you want to do a dutch oven chicken, know that it will take longer, so you should cook that on a day where you’ll be back at camp by mid-afternoon to start prepping your coals. If you’re heading out for an early morning hike, it’s a day that’s much more suited to bagels on the go, than pancakes and bacon.
Bring Along A Few Emergency Camping Meals
When camping with kids, we always advise parents to plan for the unexpected. This applies to meals just as it does the weather. We always take a few “emergency meals” on our camping trips with us, so that we’re prepared for the unknown. Maybe we had a cooler malfunction (ahem, a kid leaving it open), a sudden desire to stay an extra night, or even a toddler tantrum at the meal that I prepared (yes, that’s an absolute emergency to save mom and dads sanity).
There are a few things that we always keep in our camp kitchen box for times like this, such as dehydrated soup mixes, and instant oatmeal. When we’re packing our food, we always bring some extra bread and peanut butter for sandwiches, as well as a few extra boxes of granola bars for quick snacks too.
What Camping Dinner Recipes Are The Easiest To Make?
The easiest camping dinner is obviously hot dogs on a skewer, but there are plenty of other quick and simple camping dinners that actually taste great. Here are some of our favorite camping recipes:
Skewer Dinners Cooked Over A Campfire
Anything that you can roast on a stick falls into this category. You can roast bread dough, for something simple, or if you want something with more flavor, opt for kabobs. To keep things really simple, you can also opt for precooked chicken strips and let everyone warm theirs up over the campfire (this meal is sure to be a huge hit for the kids with the right dipping sauce). We’re also sharing some of our favorite camping recipes that can be cooked over a campfire below!
Foil Meals for Camping
Double wrap your dinner in foil and place it on the coals of the campfire. There’s not secret camping recipe to making a basic camping foil dinner. But to make one that tastes AMAZING only requires a bit more advance planning and is well worth the effort.The sky is the limit here, but we often opt for individual foil dinners filled with meat, veggies, and seasonings. We’re sharing some of our favorite family-friendly foil dinner camping recipes below.