Camping Tips And Tricks

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Camping Tips and tricks   

I discovered some great camping tips and tricks for cooking. It is not actually necessary to do your cooking with a pot. Check out this article which is an excerpt from “Roughing It Easy: A Unique Ideabook for Camping and Cooking” by Dian Thomas. To read a review of the book, take a look at Roughing It Easy


“One of the best parts of outdoor cooking is being able to experiment with not only different cooking methods, but also different utensils.  In camping, less is often more, so try these ideas for cooking without pots and pans. 


Cooking in Clay 

A wrapping of clay (if you are in an area where the soil is claylike) will protect food from too much heat as it cooks in a bed of coals. 


  • Wrap potato to be cooked in foil.  
  • Wrap 1 inch of clay around the potato.   
  • Bury it in the coals for 1 hour.  
  • Remove it, crack off the hardened clay, remove the foil and rinse the potato if necessary.   Eat it immediately.  


If the clay-wrapped article of food is cooked on top of the coals, you should double the cooking time, turning it over when half the time is up.  


To hard-cook an egg, make a pinhole in its large end to relieve air pressure during the cooking.  Cover the egg with clay and bury it in coals for 20 to 30 minutes.  If it is placed on top of the coals, it may take as long as 40 to 45 minutes to cook.  Remember to turn it over after 30 minutes if cooking the egg on top of the coals. 


Cooking on Leaves 

Large leaves, such as cabbage and lettuce leaves, may be used to cook meats.  Be sure the leaf is edible (nonpoisonous). 


  • Season the meat and place it on the leaf.   
  • Place the leaf over the coals.  


The outside edges of the leaf will become brown and limp, but the area under the meat will remain cooler and more moist; consequently, that part of the leaf will retain its body. Remove from coals and turn meat over to finish cooking. 


Cooking in Paper 

Food can be cooked in paper if the paper is wet before it is placed on the coals.  Fish is the food best suited to this type of cooking. 


  • Place oiled fish on a piece of wet paper.   A brown paper sack works very well.  
  • Wet one sheet of newspaper and roll the package in it.  


The size of the package and the temperature of the coals will cause the cooking time to vary – 10 to 15 minutes should be adequate. IF you like this method, you may want to experiment with other foods. A paper bowl will also cook a hamburger. Set the bowl on a piece of foil and then onto the coals. 


Heating Milk in Paper Cartons 

Heating milk or milk products (including chocolate milk) in a pan can be a long (and sometimes not so successful) experience.  Milk products scorch quickly and leave a hard-to-clean residue in the pan.  Milk products purchased in nonwaxed cardboard containers can be heated quickly in the carton.  This method shouldn’t be used with a waxed carton. 


  • Wrap foil around the bottom of the carton to prevent the seam from burning and causing a leak.   
  • Open the top of the container so stream can escape as the product heats.  
  • Place the carton in the coals and leave it for a few minutes.   Watch closely; it heats quickly.  


Coffee-Can Cooking 

One of the simplest methods of cooking with contact heat is to use an empty 29-ounce coffee can as a pot. 


  • Place food in layers in the can, seasoning it as you go.   (Several different kinds of vegetables may be used, along with hamburger.   A suggested combination is onion, carrots, potatoes, hamburger, potatoes, carrots and onion.)  
  • Cover the top of the can with heavy-duty foil.   
  • Place the can on medium-hot coals.   
  • Put coals on top of the foil.  
  • Cook for ½ hour to 45 minutes.  
  • Using heat-proof gloves, remove the can from the coals and serve a delicious meal.”  

Armed with this information, you should have a few more camping tips and tricks to add to your arsenal. Try these out and let me know what you think.


*To get some good ideas for quick fire starters, check out fire starters.


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