There is nothing quite so maddening as having your camping menu set and then finding out that there is a campfire ban in place. Some people are intimidated by the thought of camp fire ban cooking (that is, without a camp fire), but it’s easier than you know.
You can have just as good a time camping without a camp fire. I will admit I would always rather have one, but it doesn’t ruin my camping trip if a ban is put in place for the time I want to camp. And you don’t have to worry about what to do for cooking, either. All our recipes can be used for the following cooking methods. Here are your options:
Take your portable grill with you and fire up that barbie! You haven’t lived until you try barbecue-grilled food in the great outdoors miles away from any back yard. With a portable grill you can still have hot dogs and s’mores if you want them, and your steak will be awesome. If your portable grill is low to the ground you would be surprised at how pleasant it is to sit around it, too.
Most people never go camping without a camping stove anyway. We take two, and quite frankly most of our meals are prepared on the propane camp stove; the heat is easier to regulate. If there is a campfire ban we just make sure to leave the Dutch oven at home and bring along a portable grill (see above).
This is admittedly iffy. Some authorities will allow a rocket stove and others won’t. It depends on the size of the campfire ban and all sorts of stuff. Quite frankly we don’t mess with rocket stoves unless there is no ban and we want to impress the kids. But if you check with the authorities in the area you will be camping and they are okay with it, it’s a handy little item to carry with you; easy to pack and great to make a quick pot of boiled water for coffee or tea. Or soup. Or what have you.
This didn’t used to be a real option but now there are more solar cookers than you can shake a stick at. You have parabolic cookers, solar ovens, and even a solar panel-powered generator you can plug an electric two-burner on, if that’s the way you want to go. If you’re looking for adventurous cooking, look no further.
No cooking at all:
Granted, it may feel like a challenge to create a weekend menu that doesn’t require any cooking but it’s surprisingly easy to do. We have a menu, complete with recipes, with all kinds of options for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts and snacks–five days’ worth! If you want to take a look at the menu, click here.
Yes, yes, I know I said we leave the Dutch oven at home, but if we wanted to take it we could. And so could you. A Dutch oven cooks great with charcoal briquettes; just bring a base for it to sit on so the heat isn’t sucked into the ground. If you’re not sure how many briquettes you’ll need, estimate and then double your guess. Nothing’s worse than running out of briquettes.
What about you? Any suggestions or ideas about cooking during a camp fire ban? What have you done? I’d love to hear your comments!