Camp Cookbooks

Ah, summer! What better time to head out into nature and enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest? Camping is a favorite summertime activity at my house, and while I don't mean to brag, I think we've probably perfected the experience.

My secret weapon? Food.

Tell me, have you ever experienced this phenomenon? You're hiking. It's a beautiful day, and you're spending quality time with your favorite people. It's getting on toward lunch time, so you stop on the trail for some grub.

What happens next? Food tragedy: your sandwich is squished; you drop your apple or your granola bar in the dirt; that side you brought suddenly looks sketchy. And the day is all downhill from there (but only figuratively, natch): now your feet hurt, you're so itchy you're sure you walked through some poison oak, you run out of water, and your companions seem less companionable.

You, my friend, are hike "hangry." It's okay. It happens to the best of us. But whether you're backpacking in bear country or "glamping" it up in a motor home, you can avoid camping hanger by coming up with a camp food plan to impress! Here are a few books that can help:

The New Trailside Cookbook

This book has some seriously awesome stuff inside. From how to pack food and supplies for all sorts of camping trips, to how to cut the weight in your pack, to how to make an amazing Eggs Benedict in the great outdoors.

The Paddling Chef

Specifically written for canoeists, kayakers, and rafters, this book tackles the problems unique to this style of camping. Meal planning, fresh food storage, and organization advice abound; as do delicious sounding recipes. Anyone ready for some risotto with zucchini? Maybe along with some freshly caught trout? And what do you do if you don't catch anything? Lots of vegetarian options, too!

Hungry Campers

Camping with kids? Then check out the recipes in here! You'll find awesome twists on some of your favorite camping classics, like cheeseburger stew, s'mores, and the tinfoil dinner. Plus you'll find other awesome kid-friendly noshes like cinnamon rolls on a stick, shepherd cheese bread, and tacorittos. Childhood memories are calling!

The Great Outdoors Cookbook

For the truly fancy camp cook, check out this book from Sunset magazine. You'll find amazing dutch oven recipes, grilling tips, and even a section on how to forage in the Pacific Northwest! How cool is that? Now I want to go make their stuffed mascarpone french toast with blackberry syrup....

Wilderness Ranger Cookbook

Last, for the hardcore camper, we have a collection of recipes gathered from National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service Wilderness Rangers to celebrate 50 years of the Wilderness Act. You'll find interesting grub (but not grubs), ranger stories, and tips on how you can help preserve the wild areas of the United States. Sign me up for some GORP!

What do you like to eat while you're out camping? Let me know in the comments!