It doesn’t matter if you’re a weekend camper or a thru-hiker, there’s no better way to enjoy the serene nature surrounding Mammoth Lakes than spending a day or more hiking and camping in it.
The only drawback is that camping and hiking requires a large amount of energy, and if you’re not eating nutritious, energy packed foods then you might find yourself heading home early. To help you make the most of your Mammoth Lakes camping trip, the team at ASO Mammoth has put together a short list of tips for camping and cooking. We can’t promise that everything you cook while camping will turn out perfect, but we can tell you that if you cook nutritious food using smart methods like those listed below then you’ll be the most popular person at the campsite!
Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
This may seem obvious, but when you’re camping there is no grocery store or take out you can turn to if you’re missing an ingredient, piece of cooking gear, or just don’t want to eat what you have. What you bring with you is all you have, so plan each meal out precisely and avoid disappointment.
You should also plan your meals out meticulously because each ingredient or piece of cooking gear needed for them will have to be brought in on your back. For example, you don’t want to carry a cast iron pan when your food can be made using only aluminum foil and embers.
Planning ahead of time will also give you the opportunity to use ingredients before they expire. For example, if you know you want to have steaks on your first night of camping then you can freeze the steaks ahead of time, wrap them in paper towels or baggies, and carry them with you in your backpack as you hike to your campsite. If you plan appropriately, by the time you arrive you’ll have thawed steaks that are ready for cooking.
Use Your Embers
One of the most effective methods of campfire cooking is also one of the simplest. Wrapping your food in aluminum foil and then placing it on the hot embers of your campfire is a safe, quick, and easy way to cook your food. Plus, you can easily combine ingredients into one wrap and cook them together to create more complex flavors.
Prep Ahead of Time
Everything is harder to do when you’re away from your kitchen, so leave as little work as possible for when you’re actually at your campsite. For example, if you bring whole vegetables with you then you not only have to bring a cutting board, but you also have to pack them appropriately or risk bruising or squishing them. That’s before you even have to cut them in a place where flat surfaces are no guarantee and insects will make everything more difficult. Make life easier by prepping all your food. Cut and package your vegetables, fruit, or meat before you get to camp and thank yourself later.
For Longer Trips, Dehydrate Your Food
If you’re planning a thru hike or long camping trip in which food spoiling is a possibility, then dehydration is your friend. If you research methods to keep your food dry until you’re ready to eat it, you’ll be able to hike and camp for much longer!
Always Keep Your Food Covered
The only time your food should be uncovered is when you’re eating it. You’ll want to keep your food covered with a lid or aluminum foil while cooking to not only keep insects out, but to help it cook faster. You should also cover, lock away, or properly dispose of all leftovers and scraps after your meal to avoid attracting unwanted wildlife.