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Packing up for a car camping trip this summer I realized I wasn’t going to have room in the cooler for all the food I’d planned to bring. This was weird, because it was just my wife and me out for two, maybe three nights, and the cooler has 45-quart capacity. Should have been more than enough room. But, no. Bacon. Eggs. Steaks. Hummus. Veggies. Cheese. Half and half for coffee. Guac. Homemade salsa. These incredible fresh masa tortillas from my neighborhood. Sandwich fixings. Fancy condiments. Expensive beer. That’s just the stuff I remember, too.

In addition to that cooler, there was a second cooler without ice, also 45 quarts, storing the dry goods. Chips, different kinds of bread, mountains of cookies. Several different pans.

See, I’ve always made camp meals a priority when planning. I’ll spend more at the grocery store for two days of camping than a week of meals at home. There’s something so satisfying about eating better under the stars than I do under a roof. Which is strange, because, really, I could survive on a diet of string cheese and Sunny D while eating under the stars and be just fine, really.

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Often, I camp with people like that. They’ll show up with a bag of gorp, couple packets of oatmeal, and a bag of chips. Or while backpacking, I’ll unveil my first night’s meal of a decadent sub I picked up on the road to the trailhead, and they’re busting out the ramen.

Ever garnished a boil-in-a-bag meal at 10,000 feet? I have.

We’re planning to post more fun camp recipes here in the coming months which has us wondering—are you a camp gourmand? Or an as long as it’s edible, I’m fine kinda camper?

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Photo: Myles Tan