Thursday, August 18, 2011

Breakfast Ideas For Camping

Because camping trips are full of physical activities like hiking, swimming, canoeing, and playing, breakfast is an especially important meal of the day. 

Country Living
 The recipes I'll be sharing are for basic camping trips where you have access to a cooler and camp stove or camp fire.  For those adventurous folks who like to wilderness camp - well, that's a whole different type of camping - and eating. 

First, I'll give you a list of breakfast ideas that have worked well for our family.  When our children were growing up, we'd allow them to each bring a friend along, so I was usually feeding 8 people for each meal.

Breakfast ideas:
Oatmeal with toppings
French Toast and bacon
Pancakes with campsite compote
Cereal and yogurt
Breakfast Burritos
Egg and Cheese on an English muffin
Premade muffins (for those non-breakfast eaters)

Oatmeal with toppings:
I like to use quick oats.  We add 1/3 cup of dried quick oats to a bowl.  Then add 2/3 cups boiling water.  Cover the bowl with a lid or a plate and let sit for 5 minutes.  Then add toppings of your choice. 
 We like to add a spoonful of coconut oil, a squirt of honey, a tablespoon of craisins, and some chopped walnuts.  Give it a stir and you're good to go. 
 By the way, Hubs and I eat this almost every day at home for breakfast.  In fact, it's Hubs speciality - actually it's the only thing he knows how to cook for breakfast - and I've very grateful for it. 

French toast and bacon:
I cook this over our camp stove, but you could cook it over a campfire if the temperature was low enough.  (french toast + high heat = yucky). 
 First figure out how many slices of bread you'll need.  My girls usually ate 2 and my guys ate 3-5 slices each.  For every 2 slices of bread, whisk 1 egg, 2 Tbl. milk, and a dash of cinnamon.  Set this egg mixture aside while you cook the bacon. 
 Try to use bacon that is free of nitrates and nitrites.  Pastured is even better.  Cook bacon in a skillet, 4-5 slices at a time.  Remove bacon to paper towels to drain.  I place the paper towels in a folded aluminum foil packet to keep the bacon warm.  After bacon is cooked, drain off most of the fat into a bowl you've lined with aluminum foil. This fat can be used to further grease the pan and then later thrown away when it hardens. 
Now, dip the slices of bread into the egg mixture and cook in the bacon fat, turning to cook both sides.  Serve with butter and maple syrup.  

Pancakes with Campsite Compote
I made up the compote  recipe one year when we found wild logan berries in the woods behind our campsite.  I needed to feed a lot of people and we were running out of syrup so I invented this  topping. 

I make up my own pancake mix at home and bring it along, but you could also purchase a premixed pancake mix like Bisquick.
To make your own pancake mix: 1 cup wheat flour, 1 cup white flour, 1 Tbl. sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt  
At camp add:  2 eggs, 2 cups buttermilk, and 3 Tbl. coconut oil  (you can use regular milk instead of buttermilk, but the pancakes won't puff up as much)
Spoon the mixture onto your greased griddle and cook until the top of the pancake starts to bubble.  Flip carefully and cook a few seconds more until golden brown.  I keep the cooked pancakes in a separate lidded pan to keep them warm.
To make the compote:
Add fresh berries to canned peaches and or pears.  Toss in some craisins and walnuts and give it a stir.  Top the pancakes with the compote.

Breakfast Burritos:
I make these burritos before big hikes to give us lots of energy.  They can be easily adapted to accommodate your family's tastes.  They are also great for using up small bits of leftovers.

Wrap whole wheat tortillas in aluminum foil and warm them next to the fire or in a pan on the camp stove.
Cook onion, garlic, and green pepper in oil in a skillet.  Add left over meat to the veggies (bacon, kielbasa, sausage, chicken, beef etc.)  If you have them, add leftover potatoes that have been cubed.  Stir to heat through.
Whisk 2 eggs for each tortilla with salt and pepper.  Add eggs to the skillet and gently stir as they cook.  Right before the eggs are set, add grated cheese and gently stir.  
Unwrap the tortillas and place a generous spoonful of the egg mixture into it.  Roll up and enjoy.  My guys like a bit of hot sauce on their burritos - to each their own! 

Egg and Cheese on an English Muffin

Spread butter onto the English muffins and toast them on a griddle. 
In the meantime, fry eggs in butter until desired consistency. Top with cheese (we like cheddar or pepper jack) and place on toasted muffins.  Easy!

To make life easier when feeding a large group with different tastes, I simply boil water on the stove and allow the campers to pick their own hot beverage mixes.  Coffee singles, hot chocolate packs, tea bags etc. 
For coffee, you can also use a french press, for a delicious morning brew. 

I make one pitcher of juice each morning, using  thawed frozen juice.  I try to vary the flavor each morning.  You can pack the frozen cans into the cooler and they'll be fine, while thawing, for several days. 


  1. These are some wonderful ideas! Where does your family usually camp?

  2. Hi Shari,
    We camp at Sherando Lake which is right outside Waynesboro, VA in the George Washington National Forest. It's a beautiful, family friendly place to camp. I'll be posting pics tomorrow of how beautiful it is.


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