We have just returned from a week of canoe camping in Algonquin Park – a beautiful area of Ontario where you can easily get into the back country. JUST what my soul needed to end this adventure-filled summer…..after a couple of months of car camping across Canada, it was so nice to get back into our canoe and paddle/portage our way to where we would run into no one else and we could ‘really’ camp!!!!
Part of what I LOVE about back country camping is becoming creative about the food we bring and how we cook it. Obviously the first few days are pretty easy – we usually make stew or chilli and freeze it to keep other food cool and also to make it last until we’re ready to cook it. We’ve been known to roast our share of hot dogs on the fire, and snack on jiffy pop popped on the fire, but for the end of the week it’s nice to get creative so we can really enjoy what we’re eating.
Whenever we go canoeing, we bring lots of tinfoil, lemon, potatoes and onions on the off-chance someone catches a fish for dinner. One night Tiegan caught a perfect small-mouth bass, and we wrapped up slices of potatoes with onions and butter in tinfoil and threw them in the fire to go with the fish – super delicious!
I also like to pull out my dehydrator for some meals – a couple that have worked really well for us are lentil burgers (we make the mix, dehydrate that and then form the patties after rehydrating them) and quinoa chilli. This trip, I brought a couple of bags of the chilli and it was a big hit!
You just soak it in water during the day, and cook it once it is rehydrated.
We also rolled bannock on sticks to go with the chilli, and cooked it over the fire – awesome camping food!!!! You could make bannock with garlic butter, shred cheese in the batter, or serve it with nut butter, nutella or honey for a sweet snack – very versatile camping food and super easy to make!
The big hit this trip, though, was our discovery of banana boats. What an excellent camping dessert – one that you can make as healthy or unhealthy as you want! Essentially, you take about three layers of tinfoil and lay them on top of each other. Then place a banana on top and cut it in half. Inside you can place what you like: chocolate chips, peanut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, butter, sugar, marshmallows, etc – or obviously any combination of above (I particularly like peanut butter and chocolate chunks myself!). Once all the ingredients have been added, fold up the tinfoil to completely cover, and place in fire.
You want to check it fairly often to make sure it’s not burning, but you’d be surprised by how long it takes to really cook. It’s well worth the wait (and any burnt finger tips) when you open up the tinfoil and find the gooey goodness waiting inside for you – YUM!!!!!
I hope that there’s a camping trip in your future where you can try some of these food ideas – but if not, a backyard fire pit would work just as well. Enjoy the rest of summer, there’s only a few weeks left until the first day of autumn……