- Research and plan ahead. This is the most important tip to a successful camping trip. Even though you will be away from home, making a meal plan for your camping trip is crucial to keeping your travel budget on track, as well as insures no one goes hungry and no ingredients are left behind. As you plan your trip, research your campsite and surrounding areas, taking note of the closest grocery store or gas station for ice refills or forgotten supplies.
- Gather your supplies. As you prepare your meal plan, gather the supplies and tools needed for preparing your food. Pots, utensils, can openers, aluminum foil, coal, matches, lighter fluid, cleaning and sanitation supplies, ice and a meat thermometer are all items that should be packed.
- Know your cooking method. Research your campsite’s current fire bans and restrictions. Some locations may not allow any type of fire; while others may simply have a few restrictions. Propane and charcoal grills, portable stoves, campfires, and even crock-pot cooking are all popular camp cooking techniques depending on your resources. No matter your preferred cooking technique, practice proper fire safety. Prepare your fire or grill well away from tents, and vegetation. Have plenty of water on hand for emergencies and never leave a fire unattended.
- Store food properly. With record high summer temperatures, this is vital for avoiding illness. Canned food is convenient and the safe even if left outdoors. However, if the can is slightly dented or bulging it should be discarded. Perishable food should be stored in a well-sealed cooler and covered completely with ice. Drain old ice and add fresh ice frequently to ensure food is kept cool. If camping in areas prone to bears, food should be stored in a food locker.
- Keep it simple. Camping is all about enjoying the great outdoors and good company. Remember camp food does not have to be gourmet. Do as much prep ahead of time at home and simply transport to your campsite.
These Campfire Meatballs are conveniently made in foil packets and can be prepared ahead of time. Serve with some crusty bread and grilled vegetables and you have a perfect camp meal!
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 large egg -- slightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (24.0 ounce jar) marinara sauce
grated parmesan or mozzarella cheese, optional, for topping
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup marinara sauce, egg, garlic salt, and pepper; mix well. Shape into meatballs, each about 1 1/4 inches across.
Cut pieces of aluminum foil about 18" x 12" each. Place equal amounts of the meatballs in the center of each piece of foil. Top each meatball with 3-4 tablespoons marinara sauce. Fold the short ends of the foil together over the center and seal, allowing room for expansion and circulation. Fold in the open edges, sealing each packet securely.
Place the packets on the grill for 20 to 25 minutes, or until no pink remains in the meat, turning the packets over once during the grilling. Carefully open the tops of the packets to avoid steam burns and sprinkle with cheese just before serving, if desired.
Optional: Serve with garlic bread sticks for dipping into the spaghetti sauce, if desired.