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Camping Tips & Trips: Camp Cooking Tips

camping tips and tricks

Cooking and eating outside is one of the great joys of camping. We know people who make camp cooking an art form, and you can too with a little practice.

For starters, we provide some tips that will make cooking a breeze.

Save some s'mores for us!

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  • If you’re leaving after work, have dinner on the road or make sandwiches that you can take in the car. You don’t want to have to set up camp and try to cook dinner if you’re arriving in the evening.

  • All Vermont state park campsites have fire rings or fireplaces with adjustable grills for cooking, so you won’t need to bring your own.

  • For easy cooking, put charcoal in the fire ring and light. Cook on the charcoal. When you’re done cooking add firewood and presto – instant campfire.

  • Block ice lasts longer than cubed ice. You can also freeze water in soda or milk jugs to use in your cooler.

  • Chop veggies ahead of time and store in zipper bags until needed.

  • Store dry goods in a plastic storage bin with a lid.

  • A little oil applied to the grill will prevent foods from sticking.

  • A simple two-burner propane stove is great for making quick coffee in the morning, or for cooking side dishes like rice or pasta. They are very safe and easy to use. You can also try a one-burner lightweight backpacker’s stove.

  • A plastic coffee cone works great for coffee in camp. If you forget the filters, paper towels work fine.

  • It’s easy to make lunch to-go right after breakfast and then do all the dishes at once. That way you’re free to go have fun without having to come back to camp to cook lunch.

  • Store cooked leftovers in plastic containers with lids and store in your cooler. Dry goods can be stored in zipper bags and put in your storage bin.

  • Foil is your friend! You can cook just about anything in it and on it.  Cut up your favorite veggies in small chunks, add olive oil, salt and pepper, wrap it up, and put on the grill. Use heavy duty foil.

  • Corn-on-the-cob works great for camping. Soak the entire ears in water for about a half hour (fill your dishwashing basin with water) then put the ears right on the hot coals. They’ll cook in about 15 minutes. Peel back corn husks to use as holders.

  • Freeze meat before putting it in cooler. It will keep other foods cold as it slowly defrosts.

  • Put all food in your car overnight to avoid unwanted visitors.

  • Put a pot of water on the fire when you eat so it will be hot when you’re ready to wash dishes.

  • It’s best to wash your dishes right after eating so the food doesn’t harden onto your dishes.

  • Scrape as much food as you can into garbage before washing.

  • Please don’t use water spigots or bathroom sinks for dishwashing – it makes it gross for everybody.

  • Use bio-degradable soap.

  • Use one bin for washing and one bin for rinsing dishes.

  • Dishes can air-dry on a towel on your picnic table.

  • When done, walk a little ways into the woods and sprinkle the wash bins onto the leaf litter. Make sure you’re at least 200’ from a water source.

  • Potable water spigots are located every few campsites in Vermont state parks.

More Camping Trips & Tricks:

These fun videos walk you through some important camping skills
Weekend Itineraries
Wondering where to go and what to do? These sample itineraries figure it all out for you
Checklists & Instruction Sheets
What to pack, first aid kits, cooking tips, pets, rain and more!
Menus & Recipes
Seven camp-tested menus with recipes and shopping lists for any appetite
Fun Activities
Here we give you some ideas of fun things to do on your next camping trip
iPhone & Android Apps
Download one of our free smart phone apps to find parks for the activities you want to do
Park Events
All summer you can attend free concerts, nature and interpretive programs in the parks, see our schedule.


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