by Staff Writer
Enjoying a delicious meal around the campfire is a wonderful way to bond with loved ones or reflect on your amazing survival skills and the wonder of nature. To keep your camping trips simple and your camping gear collection inexpensive, consider camp cooking without a camp stove. Many bonfire lovers bring wire hangers to straighten out and use, but as a savvy camper and a smart shopper of camping supplies, you know you can find a better way. To make perfect hot dogs, juicy casseroles and award-winning cobblers as part of your camp cooking, look for handy camping equipment and camping supplies.
Choose the right equipment. Camping without a camp stove requires a few special pieces of camping gear to keep the process smooth. Start with camping forks. These long-handled forks allow you to roast hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire with ease. For perfect hamburgers and kabobs, invest in a camp grill. Place this handy piece of camping equipment over the burning embers of your campfire and start the camp-cooking party. A picnic set will ensure that you'll always have the plates and other camp cooking accessories you need to eat comfortably. Invest in a camp kettle and you'll be prepared with a morning cup of coffee. You may also want a small shovel in your camping gear collection. It will come in handy when you need to dig your own fire pit or put your fire out.
Spring for cast-iron cookware. Dutch ovens are the most popular choice for cast-iron camping cookware and consist of a large pot with a fitted lid. You don't need a camp stove when using a Dutch oven, but you will need charcoal. When you place red briquettes on, beneath, and around your Dutch oven, the coals heat the cast iron; this acts as an oven and cooks your food. By placing coals beneath the cast-iron oven, you can use it as a skillet pan. If you are backpacking or on any camping trips where weight is a factor, cast iron will be too heavy to pack along. You can put your cast-iron cookware to work in your backyard, however. When you barbeque with friends and family, you can whip up a batch of Uncle Earl's famous beans in a Dutch oven. The beauty of cast iron is its versatility. It is durable enough to withstand camp cooking and other outdoor applications, and its even-heat conduction makes a seasoned cast-iron skillet a favorite in the kitchen.
Try a cookbook or two. Playing it by ear around the campfire can be fun, but having a cookbook on hand to refer to can make camp cooking less stressful. Choose from camp cookbooks made specifically for use with a Dutch oven and cookbooks for those who want to really rough it.