Many of my favorite memories from childhood were from camping out. Even the worst trips seem quaint and charming in the dwindling light of memory.
Remember how far away from home it felt? The fear and thrill you got when it did truly sound like bears scavenging around the tent in the middle of the night – even though you knew there were probably no bears in a 3 state radius from where you were. The joy of finally hitting that last leg back to camp after your dad insisted on you joining him on a “short hike” 6hrs earlier. As if the walking poles weren’t a dead giveaway that he meant business dude! And, if you were lucky enough to be camping near a stream, wishing the afternoon never ended as you floated along downstream in your little inner tube. Those are some pretty sweet memories!
Now that you are old enough to choose the destination, where do you go to get away from it all, explore nature and recharge?
Just like when I was young, it’s the evening..after the tiny fish you caught have been served and everyone is relaxed around the campfire picking tiny bones out of their teeth… that’s my favorite moment when camping. Counting stars, listening out for the night time sounds of the woods, and roasting whatever you’ve got over the campfire. Then the after dinner sharing of spooky stories and urban myths from camp outs from our youth. Passing on the same myths & legends that you just spent half your life debunking, to the next generation.
Oh and those sweet fireside treats! YUM.
While I love the old Roasted Marshmallow on a stick fun – which will always be a winner, I think we can up our game now that we have better ways and means, naughty snacks and friends to impress. Sticky hot marshmallows rock, but you can do better – And I don’t mean by stopping off at Taco Bell en route to the camp grounds! (Unless you’re stealing sauce packets, which is totally ok if you’re making juevos rancheros!)
Knock the socks off your friends and family (and I don’t mean that literally by trying to outdo them in the ‘I can go the longest without a shower’ competition) by whipping out a few little dessert treasures at your next big Get-Out-of-Town camp out.
Do you have a campfire food winner? I found this recipe recently and while it isn’t a twist on tradition campfire fun food I had as a kid, it does kinda dip its lid to the good ol’ baked potato wrapped up in tinfoil favorite.
I just dig this idea SO MUCH. It is super easy, but looks like you put in maximum effort and the citrus infusion will have you lookin’ all Cool Chef in the Woods:
Take along a premix chocolate cake batter or go ahead and be lazy and use a packet mix on site (that’s what camping is all about right?) and at dessert time, or as I like to call it: spook-the-crap-out-of-each-other-after-dinner time, chop the tops off and scoop the pulp out of about 8 oranges (Hello Juice in the morning!) Fill each orange about ¾ of the way up with cake batter and pop the orange tops back on..roll those little Choco-Orange bombs up in tinfoil and find a place amongst the smouldering coals for them to do their thing. It will take about 30 mins and a couple of turns for them to be eating ready. It’s the perfect amount of time to scare everyone with the story of the one armed hitchhiker, or killer beavers..or the crowd favorite, who you’re supporting for the next president.
I’m always down for upping the Smore’s game too – throw aside that Graham cracker and get creative! How’s this for the ultimate quick hack of the old Favourite: Oreos separated, roasted Marshmallow.. come now, don’t stop there… AND a big ol’ Dollop of Peanut Butter thrown in the middle. BAM. So easy, it can even be made with shaky, scaredy cat hands!
Wanna impress your Boo with some tricky Campfire moves? Take along your guitar and replace everything in between those Graham Crackers with Sliced Peaches, Brie cheese and Dark Chocolate…then serenade while munching – Oh, It’s Love!!
So challenge yourself next wilderness escape with a campfire cook off! Just don’t leave any crumbs out for the bears 😉
Oh, and don’t forget to have a big hearty meal on your way home at your favorite local restaurant. Don’t worry, if you reek of campfire smoke, we won’t judge!