Even if you do have food with you, knowing how to cook it well while you’re out on the trail is still a challenge, but there’s no excuse for not knowing how to do it; the information is out there, and we’ve got it.
These are just a few of our favourite camping cookbooks, ones which we’ve all dipped into at some point to get us out a sticky situation. We’re particularly fond of the Cool Camping series, with its mixture of fun and delicious recipes, and practical tips for preparing food without the modern comforts.
Camp Cooking: Eating Well in the Wild by Mark Scriver
‘Over 50 years combined outdoor cooking experience.’
Between them, the authors of Camp Cooking have over 50 years of wilderness cooking experience. 20 of those years belong to Wendy Grater, founder of Black Feather outdoor adventures.
What’s not included in Camp Cooking, probably isn’t worth knowing, in our opinion. Learn how to forage and prepare food safely, and how to take food you’ve brought along with you, and cook it well without the use of a full kitchen.
Field cooking can be more challenging than you think, but by following the advice of these three wonderful professionals, you’ll never be too far from a good meal, whatever resources you’re beginning with. Highly recommended, essential reading.
Dutch Oven Cookbook for Meals and Desserts by Gordon Rock
‘One pot meals to satisfy and fuel.’
This lovely book from Gordon Rock isn’t actually designed as an outdoor companion, but when you’re on the trail, often all you’ve got is a single pot. Knowing how to use it is simple: just throw everything in and heat it, but what about some variety? Just because you’re out in the wilderness, far from the comforts of your own kitchen, doesn’t mean you can’t get creative, maybe even whip up something for dessert.
Rock presents his recipes in an easy-to-follow way, and many of his creations are ideally suited to small families. This is a great book to have if you’re a regular weekend camper with kids, on the lookout for ways to keep mealtimes healthy and interesting. This one comes highly recommended by the Camping Things team, as a reference book for both home and outdoors. Nothing too fancy, but a great mixture of savoury and sweet dishes to try.
Cool Camping Cookbook by Tom Tuke-Hastings
‘The original Cool Camping cookbook for outdoors-lovers.’
The 2007 original version of Cool Camping is as fun as it is informative. Packed with easy and delicious recipes on a budget, Cool Camping is geared toward those days and nights when all you’ve got is a gas burner and few pots and pans.
This understated bestseller is one of our favourites, and a great go-to for meal ideas when we’re off on a camping trip. Great for advice on barbecuing and grilling, as well as simple soups and stews, the original Cool Camping Cookbook is not intended as a fine-dining, sterilised cutlery experience. It’s simple, fast, good food on the go, stuff that’s easy to make and good to eat.
The Camping Cookbook by Annie Bell
‘Savoury and sweet treats from the queen of outdoor cooking.’
Dubbed The Queen of Outdoor Cooking, Annie Bell returns with over 60 recipes for use in the great outdoors. From picnic lunches to family meals, when resources are scarce and firepower is limited, Bell’s recipes deliver.
The Camping Cookbook is one of the most comprehensive outdoor cooking guides we’ve come across, and each recipe is created and tested by Bell herself. This wonderful book makes a great addition to any weekend camping trip, so you’ll never be far away from a healthy, delicious meal, one made all the more satisfying with the addition of your own fair hand.
Recipes include chicken tagine and baba ganoush with apricots, as well as sweet treats like sticky nougat (a fun and delicious alternative to marshmallows.) The Camping Cookbook is a one-pot wonder filled with enough recipes to keep you going for years.
The Cool Camping Cookbook (Updated) by Jonathan Knight
‘An outdoor cooking favourite, updated with new recipes.’
The Cool Camping Cookbook is back, updated with more delicious recipes and plenty of tips for getting the most out of your outdoor cooking experience. Compiled this time by Jonathan Knight, the updated Cool Camping Cookbook contains plenty of rustic campfire favourites.
Learn how to build fire pits and tripod cooking stands, and get your hands dirty cooking the way nature intended. The all-new cookbook is split into seven categories: one-pot wonders, barbecue bible, campfire cuisine, comfort food, something fancy, a bit on the side, and sweet treats. There’s also a section for vegan and vegetarian eats, and the whole lot is tried, tested and thoughtfully laid out to make prepping and cooking a breeze.
Try the spicy barbecued mackerel, sticky jerk rum ribs and cakes in a tin (just a few of our favourites, as suggested by the authors themselves.) All of the recipes in the new Cool Camping Cookbook are cheap and easy to prepare, without compromising on nutrition or flavour. If you buy one camp cookbook this year or next, make it the updated Cool Camping Cookbook.
Best camping cookbook