My husband and I love to go camping. We both crave the seclusion of the mountains. Getting into nature and away from this insane world recharges our batteries. Over the past three weeks we have taken two separate trips. The first was a two day camping/hiking trip just the two of us and the other trip was a five day camping/hiking/fishing trip with our kids. Whether our kids tag along or not, we prefer to primitive camp (no electricity… modern conveniences… people).

Now, the distance and speed at which we hike is greatly different when our kids are with us, but everything else is pretty much the same. We like to set up a “base camp” with our tent, a camping stove to cook meals, a place to build a fire…..and a water source nearby (river, creek, etc.). That’s it. But this brought up some questions from a lot of my clients…..what in the world do you eat when you go camping?? Most people assume you have to live off hotdogs and potato chips. And many of you out there have some amazing tricks, hints, and recipes that work great for people seeking a healthier camping & hiking excursion and I would love to hear them. But here are just a few that we use to make getting outside fun while not destroying our diets.

The list below is only for trips where I WANT to cook at camp. Otherwise I will prep and cook the meals at home and then store ready to eat in a cooler. Or I might even take MRE’s and/or extra protein bars. But the last two trips in particular….I wanted to cook at the campsite.
1 – I keep enough meat on hand to cook for the first few nights, but not so much that it will spoil once the ice in the cooler melts. (Hint: invest in a good cooler)
2- I also keep protein bars for lunches and fruit (apples) to snack on. Perfect for carrying in a daypack during those long hikes in the mountains. Or just in case you run out of fresh food.
3 – Pack 2 or 3 spices that can be used to flavor a variety of foods.
4 – Take along a jar of coconut oil vs butter.
5 – As far as cooking tools…..we keep cast iron skillets and all the essential cooking utensils packed up and ready to go in a bin. All we have to do is clean them up good when we get home so they are ready for the next trip at a moments notice.

My goal on trips like this are to eat a hearty breakfast…usually eggs and some sort of meat. If we are lucky….fresh caught fish. Lunch is usually a protein bar and fruit during a hike (perfect for storing in my daypack). And dinner is a meal cooked fresh in a skillet….meat and veggies. Now….I will splurge on the occasional roasted marshmellow with my kiddos. It’s not truly camping without roasting a marshmellow over the fire. But this last trip…..someone snuck some oreos into the grocery cart. He shall remain nameless…..

Below I’m going to share two recipes that I fixed on this last trip that are great sources of carbs for those long days of hiking in the mountains. The ingredients also store well and are super easy to reheat the next day in a skillet. Beats potato chips and bread any day.

Garbonzo Bean/Veggie Hash (Click for link to recipe)

Sweet Potato & Andouille Sausage Hash (Click for link to recipe)

Let me know what you think! And feel free to share you own awesome recipes!

Eat real food. Work hard. Play harder. Cheers!