Summer vacation means it's time to go camping! This past weekend we headed up to Grand Lake, CO for some outdoor family fun.Camping with a family takes some serious planning. This isn't our first time, so we already have all the camping gear we need. That just leaves meal planning and packing up the car. This isn't exactly a "how to" post, just a glimpse of some ideas I have and some I found online that worked for me.
Day 1 Dinner- Hot dogs and Brats
When you first get to your campsite you have a lot to do with setting everything up. Any easy dinner is best, no need to add to the stress.
Day 2 Breakfast- Scrambled eggs, sausage, and biscuits
Cooked the sausage and eggs on our stove. I forgot to take a photo but this was the first time I made biscuits over a campfire! I got a tube of Pillsbury Grands, placed them in a foil baking pan and covered with foil. Set them on the grate over the fire. Worked great! The bottoms got a little burned but that easily peeled off.
Lunch- Tortilla Chip Tacos
I prepared beef with taco seasoning ahead of time and I added in a can of black beans. After the meat was cooled, I dumped it in a ziploc bag. This is super fast to heat up over a fire or on a stove. After meat and beans are heated up, just dump on some pre-shredded cheese, pre-chopped lettuce and I brought along some sour cream for me. Everyone can gather around and scoop up with tortilla chips. You don't even need plates!
Dinner- Chicken Parm Sandwiches
So these aren't exactly Chicken Parm since my chicken isn't breaded but close enough. Like my lunch, this meat was prepared ahead of time and just reheated. I took chicken breast and cut up into small pieces. I seasoned it and cooked on the stove top with some onions and green peppers. Allow to cool and place in a ziploc bag. For both this and the taco meat, I froze them at home. It stays cold longer and helps to keep the cooler cold longer. I reheated this over the fire in a foil baking pan. Place chicken in roll with some cheese then toast over fire! These were so good,I think I'll start making them at home too!
My daughter wasn't down with chicken so she used the pie iron to make make a spaghetti and garlic bread sandwich!
Dessert- Apple Crisp
Prep the crumble mixture at home ahead of time and place in a ziploc. I don't measure stuff but my mixture contains butter, brown sugar, white sugar, flour, oatmeal and cinnamon. This takes some time to cook the apples so start prepping this one same time as dinner. Cut up apples and cover with sugar mixture. Word to the wise...in the past I packed this in aluminum foil and cooked over the fire, occasionally flipping it over so it would cook evenly. Worked great. This year I placed in a foil baking pan and covered...it burned on the bottom. because of the sugar and maybe our too large fire. This one failed this year. I would definitely go back to the foil packet that you flip.
Day 3 Breakfast- Cereal or whatever you an find in the cooler while I'm packing!
It's already time to go and check out at this campsite is 11am. Some of us had cereal and others decided Chef Boyardee sounded good. Anything fast and not a lot of clean up is good for me.
The Dollar Store has some great supplies you can use for camping. Here's what I bought there before we left:
- outdoor solar lights
- plastic table cloth
- foil baking pans
- kid toys(shovel & bucket)
- plastic spoons
- hand sanitizer
- glow sticks
- playing cards
- kid flashlights
Entertainment is essential with kids. It takes about five minutes for them to get bored. Before we left I printed them maps to color in for the license plate game and a scavenger hunt list. I should have also printed them a real map to where we were going so they could follow along the route. I can't tell you how many times I was asked "How much longer?" We've stayed at this particular campsite before(Elk Creek Campground) and we come back because it's perfect for us. Besides the perfect location right outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, they have awesome bathrooms, a game room, playground, and small stream running through the property. My kids had a great time panning for gold and trying to catch minnows.
Going on a long car trip? Make a seat belt travel pillow!
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