Top 5 must-have outdoor cookbooks

As camping, when done right, is one of the best family-friendly activities that you can do, it pays to make sure that it is an experience that will bring positive memories to all parties involved. When you think about it, a lot of family bonding happens while sitting around the campfire, taking the time to unwind after an active day while unplugged from the rest of the world.

Additionally, food is another thing that really brings families together, so it would make sense that some solid family time can happen while eating around the campfire. Beyond the standard hotdog on a stick, you should try to make sure that the meals you make when around the campfire are worthy of your campfire stories. Here is a list of some of the best outdoor cookbooks out there on the market, each giving you something fresh and reliable to try out.

1. The New Camp Cookbook by Linda Ly


Just out in 2017, The New Camp Cookbook has already earned its spot as one of the must-have cookbooks to have on your shelf. While some of the recipes in there will require some planning, they are still worth a look. Perhaps you’ve never considered grilling a watermelon before, but you may want to give it a try at your next campout. The New Camp Cookbook has received a lot of positive reviews for its amazing photography of the dishes, giving you a little bit more direction and inspiration when you try out one of the amazing recipes in the book. The recipes, however, could be labeled “gourmet” and might be more than you had intended for your outdoor cooking creations.

2. The Scout’s Outdoor Cookbook by Christine and Tim Conners

Both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are well-known for having well-tested recipes that can be used around the campfire. The Scout’s Outdoor Cookbook brings these time-tested recipes together in one book. If you were ever a scout yourself, you should remember that the food cooked at campouts always seemed to go well. Why not have the same success outside of the scouts? While some of the recipes may sound a little bit “wacky,” even by the book’s own description, you will no doubt have success with every recipe that you try. This book also works well for novice cooks who may just be trying cooking outdoor for the first time.

3. The Outdoor Adventure Cookbook by Coleman


Coleman is a company that is well known for its outdoor gear and supplies. It should be no surprise then that they have created a pretty amazing cookbook to use for outdoor meal making. The recipes included are all meant to be made around the campfire, realistically taking into account the kind of tools and supplies you would have on hand when you are camping. The cookbook holds 100 recipes, providing a variety of dishes from breakfast and dinner to snacks and drinks, giving you both classic recipes and new spins to take your camp meals to the next level.

4. Recipes for Adventure by Chef Glenn

This cookbook was specifically written for backpackers, which means that the recipes are not going to assume you are hauling a full kitchen along in your pack. The book also has some easy-to-follow steps with color photos to give you more help in knowing what you should be doing with a recipe. Recipes for Adventure comes with 75 full-color recipes, giving you a good amount of choice on your outdoors adventure.

The key to these recipes is that you need to plan in advance what you will be eating, something you should have already been doing when you are backpacking. The book will guide you in preparation and packing so you don’t run into any issues when the time comes to cook your meals.

Another Fork in the Trail by Laurie Ann March


Focusing on simple and easy recipes, Another Fork in the Trail aims to give people healthier options for cooking when out in the wild. A lot of the recipes included are actually gluten-free and meant to be friendly for people who have celiac disease. Regardless of your dietary needs, getting complete nutrition in the outdoors is often tricky, with the risk of filling up on junk food being all too real. Unfortunately, you will not have the energy that you should have if you are not eating well thus putting yourself at a greater risk of injury, so trying out recipes that are on the healthy side could benefit you more than you might expect.

You should remember that, regardless of the book that you use or even if you choose to not use a book, you will need to plan ahead for what you would like to cook during the trip. Whether you are camping or backpacking, so you are unlikely to have good access to a store to get the supplies that you’d need for cooking. Here’s what you need to do in order to plan well.

  1. Know how many people you are cooking for. Making sure that you have planned enough food is really essential for the benefit of the group.
  2. Think about how many meals you will need per day. Are you going to want three square meals during your adventure or will two suffice?
  3. Better to have too much food than too little. Though having extra food could run the risk of attracting unwanted wildlife, having too little food will only result in misery on your adventure.
  4. Understand the dietary needs of yourself and anyone traveling with you. Don’t leave out any dietary needs that would normally be covered.
  5. Be realistic. Know that you are not going to be cooking 5-star meals when you are camping. Knowing how to work within the limitations that you have, you can still produce some delicious meals and avoid stressing yourself out unnecessarily. Camping is fun – enjoy it!

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marion-fernandez is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival