Real Food Camping: Hobo Packs

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Camping is THE BEST summer activity.

There is nothing like getting outdoors, away from electronics, out exploring the world around you. Whether you tent camp, car camp, or stay in an RV or rustic cabin, camping is just plain fun!

One aspect makes camping fantastic is the food. Planning your camping menu is exciting and challenging at the same time. The excitement comes from the variety of foods and change in cooking method while camping. It needs to be portable, easy to cook, and nourishing (hiking can take a lot out of you!).

The challenge can be in avoiding processed filler foods and sticking to real foods that will keep your energy up. It would be easy to throw in a bag of chips for a snack, but how will that help you succeed on your epic hike? Cut up those carrot sticks and pack the hummus!

Our favorite camping dinner is what we call a Hobo Pack. It’s very easy to prep ahead of time and could be frozen if needed to last a couple days in a cooler. There is a lot of flexibility in the recipe. Be creative!

Before we head out, I chop up a variety of vegetables (onions, carrots, potatoes) and mix it together with some raw ground beef in a foil pack. Add some spices and butter and close up the packs. (I usually put the packs in a plastic bag as well just in case they leak.)

When you are out at the campsite get your fire going before dinner and let it die down just a little bit. Place your Hobo Packs on the coals and let it cook! You’ll want to rotate the packs around every five minutes or so for it to cook through. Your cook time will vary depending on how much food you have in your packs. I’d say 15-20 minutes and check that the beef has no more pink.

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Hobo Packs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion
  • 4-5 carrots
  • 2-3 small potatoes
  • (other veggies as desired)
  • 2-3 Tbsp butter per pack
  • salt and pepper
  • favorite spices

Instructions

  1. Divide meat evenly onto 2 sheets of foil.
  2. Chop vegetables and distribute on top of the ground beef.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and desired spices. (I like Thyme or Savory. But any single spice or combination will work!)
  4. Add butter.
  5. Fold up foil to enclose the food. Add an extra sheet of foil around the outside if necessary.
  6. Place packs in a plastic bag for transportation or until ready to cook.
  7. When cooking over an open fire, you can use a grate if one is available or you can let the fire die down a little and place the packs on the coals.
  8. Turn the packs every five minutes until the meat is no longer pink and the veggies are at desired doneness.
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Super simple! You can eat straight out of the packs or divide up onto plates for the kiddos. Remember the foil is HOT so bring tongs and a hot mitt or towel to handle the packs.

Eating real food while camping CAN be done. It takes a little bit of planning and usually a little prep ahead of time. But it is well worth it. If you usually eat real food at home, you don’t want to switch it up just for convenience when camping. Everyone wants to have fun while camping so feed your body well!

What is your favorite camping food?

 

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2 thoughts on “Real Food Camping: Hobo Packs

    1. I know..we do them too! I think I’m going to try my hand at homemade marshmallows next trip! :)

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