Summer or winter, camping with your favorite people is always adventurous. But “there’s huge work to do, from where should I start?” can make things messier. Don’t panic, let’s simply go through complete meal planning for group camping.
Yes, we know how it feels when you are in charge of feeding a large group on your camping trip. But listen, it’s not that complicated if you have a solid plan beforehand.
So, let us walk you through the whole article, you won’t be disheartened. Because it contains everything you need to keep in mind regarding the camping meal.
Read More: Camping Meal Ideas For Families
5 Things to Think Before Your Camping Trip
Since you are going to plan for a crowd’s meal, you need to take every step carefully to have an overall successful camping trip. Keep these 5 things in your mind before you all leave for the trip.
1. Ask if Anyone Has Food Allergies
Before you do the shopping or make a daily menu, talk to your group members. Get to know if anyone has a dietary preference or food allergies. You will never love to pull out the pre-made dinner and find out that one or more members of your group cannot eat the food.
2. Plan for Daily Menus
Planning out the daily menus in advance will simplify the trip, at least you know what food you’ll eat on which days. Also, do the necessary shopping by following proper planning. Make a simple list for each meal, this plan will save you from overbuying as well.
3. Divvy Up Tasks to Your Group Members
Once you make the menu for your camping trip, communicate with your group members about who’s bringing what.
You can ask other people in your group for preparing certain meals or bringing food. It will ease up your workload and create a collaborative environment for the trip. But be careful about having clear communication till the end, check-in with the members who are joining the meal plan. You need to make sure that those members are on track.
4. Bring Reusable Plates and Spoons
Forgetting the plates or silverware is a classic mistake. Just picture this, you all arrived at the campsite, done with setting up the tents, and then realized no one talked about the utensils. Ugh, you don’t even want to picture it right?
Pack all the necessary utensils for the whole group. It’s even better if you bring reusable utensils because there’s no need to make excess trash, right? You can easily find inexpensive and lightweight items that are recyclable.
Also, bringing a cooler will be helpful for a summer camping trip, just a reminder.
5. Prep Beforehand
The more meals you prepare beforehand, the smoother your trip will go. You will find a lot of delicious camping meals that are suitable for making ahead of time at your home. Take pancakes as an example. You can make them in advance, pack properly, and bring them to your campsite.
Meal Planning for Group Camping – Morning to Night
We have crafted an easy-to-execute meal plan for group camping. It’s a solid plan for the whole day, let’s explore the ideas.
Camping Breakfast Ideas
Breakfast items should always be energy-boosting especially when you are camping out there. Even if not everyone is a morning person, every camper should have a filling enough dish to be satisfied until midday.
However, these seven easy breakfast ideas will not be much hassle or take much of your time.
You will find a few or no people who don’t love to start their day with a warm stack of pancakes.
Pancakes are very simple to make which is desired from a camping breakfast. You can cook pancakes over a stove or simply open fire. However, it’s better to prepare it in advance- all you are asked to do is, mix up a batch before leaving for the trip.
In this case, you don’t even need to carry extra ingredients throughout the camping journey, it’s boring I know.
You can bring jam, honey, fruit as well that will give you a light and fresh taste. People also love to make banana nut pancakes that are delicious and an ideal breakfast for autumn mornings. And, if you want something perfect for a festive atmosphere, gingerbread pancakes would be great.
Sausages can be an addition to your breakfast menu or can become a campfire treat for the whole group. Whatever it’s going to become, sausages are one of the best camping meals. They are easy to make, they can be boiled, fried, roasted, and even turned into casseroles.
People take sausages as a great alternative to other breakfast staples such as waffles, pancakes, or eggs. And, since sausages are versatile, if you’re not packing a skillet, you’ll want to roast sausage links over a campfire.
Another quick and filling breakfast item is scrambled eggs. The most common reason why people love scrambled eggs for group camping is, this dish is customizable.
You can bring extras such as ketchup, cheese, or salsa to add to your breakfast- each camper can design a meal as they wish.
However, we cannot deny that it’s a bit tricky to bring eggs to your camping trip. Because there are chances of breaking the carton or making a mess somehow. A pro tip as the solution is, crack the eggs at your home and simply store them in a water bottle.
Skillet Cinnamon Rolls
If you are a sweet lover and cannot avoid the chance of having a sweet, delicious breakfast while camping, here’s your dish! Some cinnamon roll cans can make you and your whole group happy.
First of all, take a skillet and lay some cinnamon rolls on it. Then, keep cooking them until they’re crispy, brown, and spread the frosting over the top.
If you want a more rustic method, take a stick and wrap the dough of a roll around it. Then, simply roast it over the fire. To make sure of an even bake, turn the stick gently. Once you see it’s cooked through, you can now pull off the spiral and then dip it in frosting.
Even only the smell of fried bacon can bring a smile to the whole group at the camping. Yes, crispy bacon can be named a crowded favorite.
The grease of bacon can be reused in other breakfast dishes as well. When you’re done frying some bacon, simply use that same pan along with the grease for cooking a skillet of eggs, easy-peasy!
Camping Lunch Ideas for Groups
What you can call a great camping lunch? We call one that is filling enough and easily constructed and boost everyone’s energy to enjoy the rest of the day.
Let’s have a look at some quick mid-day meals that are easy to make and ideal for a large group of campers.
In case, you were looking for something that is light yet filling enough, creamy pasta salad got your back!
You can even make pasta salad ahead of time at your home and bring it with you. It’s even a comfortable way to make it at your home and toss it with extra veggies and cheese. After that, simply add the toppings once it’s ready to serve at your campsite.
Can you guess the best part of this item? Well, it’s that you don’t need to heat the dish which makes it ideal for a lunch meal.
Subs & Sandwiches
Another easy and tasty option to feed a huge group of campers is making subs and sandwiches.
But you should not make anyone get tired of sandwich flavors. So, what can you do? You should bring a fair variety of ingredients for several types of sandwiches. Take jelly, deli meat, peanut butter, bananas, honey, tomatoes, and lettuce for example. Bringing different kinds of bread also will bring a variation.
This item is customizable as well. Let each camper have their own sandwiches and make the sandwiches as they wish. Don’t forget to keep fresh vegetables or some chips around you all (for handy sides).
Making a fair amount of skillet-fried vegetables is perfect for health-conscious people like me.
You can either make this item the main meal by loading it with delicious sauce and fresh veggies or use it as a topping for burgers or sandwiches. In case, you want it to make a full lunch, add noodles or rice. They will be great for making a starch-based, filling meal.
Cooking the starch before you leave for the trip will ease your load. Then, mix it into your skillet and warm it when you want to serve it.
Dinner Items for A Large Group of Campers
After a long day spent in the outdoors, every camper in your group will probably crave a satisfying appetite. Here’s what you can arrange for them.
I, personally, love to see a bowl of spaghetti as a camping dinner. It’s at the same time a filling, delicious, and simple meal.
Making spaghetti is a piece of cake, you need noodles, cheese, water, and sauce. You can cook it at your campsite within only a few minutes. Just boil the water and cook the noodles. As a finishing, pour a fair amount of sauce over the top of your spaghetti.
Burgers and Hotdogs
If you want something affordable in large quantities as well as fast to cook, a few meals can beat juicy burgers and hotdogs as a camping dinner.
Most campers keep rustic grills to their campsite, making burgers and hotdogs is a great use of the rustic grills. You can contact the best griller in your group and assign him/her to the dinner duty.
Take a piece of foil and wrap the meat in it. Then, add any vegetable as you wish (e.g sliced onion, yellow squash, and fresh carrots). Also, sprinkle pepper, salt, and any extra seasoning. Then, add a little amount of margarine or butter. Finally, roll up that foil and cook it in your campfire coals.
Once done, serve them with condiments such as mustard, mayonnaise, or ketchup.
Drinks For Camping Trips
Camping is not real camping without a few cocktails, hope you’ll not deny it. However, you should think a bit differently from summer camping to a fall camping trip.
Cinnamon Hot Buttered Rum for Winter Camping
To make this hot alcoholic drink, make a spiced syrup in the first place. Combine lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar, cloves, and water to make the syrup. Mix all the ingredients gently in a saucepan over the camping stove.
Now, continue cooking until you notice all the sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved properly, set aside it and leave it to cool down.
In a separate bowl, take room temperature butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Then, mix them all together to create the cocktail’s base. Lastly, mix all the ingredients with the rum that allows you to get a spicy and sweet taste.
Now, what? Enjoy!
Tropical Mimosas for Summer Camping
This drink will let you stay fresh and hydrated throughout a whole summer day. You will need orange juice, mango nectar, pineapple juice, champagne, and dry sparkling wine to make this refreshing drink.
To make it, pour the sparkling drink and champagne into your glass in the first place. After that, add all the juices and garnish with pineapple slices.
In case you or any camper in the group doesn’t drink, you can use sparkling white grape juice instead of alcohol.
Investing enough time and effort from the very early days of your trip will make things easier. It will smooth the path of getting a successful group camping trip. And, since we shared a complete meal planning for group camping, 50% of your pressure should be eased.
Make sure you all are on track till the end and execute every smaller or bigger plan carefully. Make sure you bring enough water, a napkin, and every necessary thing you may need on the trip. Happy camping!