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Food for the Family Camping Trip

Marcia Adair
Category Cooking

No camping trip is complete without an old, green Coleman stove. This propane-powered stove has kept generations of campers well fed in the most adverse weather conditions. Because they are so common and virtually indestructible, it should be quite easy to find a used one in a second hand shop or the classified section of your local paper.


Now that you've got the stove, the question is, what to cook? The answer is, anything you want as long as it fits in a pot or two.

For the traditional camping meal, nothing beats wieners and beans with toast made on the campfire. Simply open the beans, cut up the wieners and heat them up in a pot on the stove. The toast can be made on the campfire, or if it's raining and you're really desperate, you can use the other burner on the stove to brown the bread a little.

Other easy camping dishes include bacon and/or sausage and eggs, soup, chilli, stew, mashed potatoes, grilled cheese, stir fry and rice, spaghetti and macaroni with cheese.

When planning a camping menu, the thing to keep in mind is the number of perishable items required for each dish. For example, macaroni and cheese requires both milk and cheese, mashed potatoes take milk and grilled cheese needs, well, cheese. In contrast, spaghetti doesn't strictly require beef and stir fry can be made with just vegetables and rice. Stew, chilli and soup can all be heated up out of a can but making up batches yourself and freezing them beforehand makes a better tasting meal, and also means you can eat them later in the week after more perishable meals.

Planning the menu for a week of family camping can be a bit tricky but putting the time in before you set off means you don't have to worry about what is slowly spoiling in the less-than-cold cooler. Instead you can concentrate on the snake your eight year old in intent on "rescuing."

By Marcia Adair

About The Author: Marcia Adair is a freelance writer and photographer living in Manchester, England.

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 23, 20060 found this helpful

They now have an oven attachment for your coleman propane stove. It is collapsable for easy storage and works great!!! Put the oven on top of the two propane burners and there you go...oven while camping. It's good for cakes, breads, casseroles, etc.. Enjoy! :)

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May 26, 20060 found this helpful

I have often thought that a Coleman stove would be a good thing to have in case of emergencies - like power outages. We lived through lengthy power outages in Florida during the hurricanes. Are they safe to use in an open garage or on a patio?

Editor's Note: As long as you don't use them in the house, you should be fine. I often use mine on my patio and if the garage door was open, it should be safe in the garage.

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May 26, 20060 found this helpful

Oh, the memories of that Coleman green stove! When I was a child, I thought that was the greatest thing invented for camping, and still do! My DH and I haven't been camping in a long time (and we used a little stove to heat our Mountainhouse meals) and when we did, we had to hike, so large stoves were out! Now I may invest in one, so my boys can have the same memories I did of my mother cooking breakfast in the Great Outdoors....

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May 27, 20060 found this helpful

My boyfriend got one of these for his 5yrs of employment award. Last Thanksgiving our electric went out, we have total electric, and we still needed to get a shower before going to his brother's for dinner, thank God I wasn't cooking. Well we used the stove to heat up our jugs of water and it saved the day. Very memorable Thanksgiving.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 30, 20060 found this helpful

I have many wonderful memories as a kid about my dad's green Coleman camping cook stove. (I am 50 now). When I got married at 19, and my mom & dad traveled cross country with my husband to meet me, out came the same old faithful Coleman stove. Mom had a couple iron skillets, and she would fry bacon & eggs, pork chops, and fried potatoes, etc. For travel or just a fishing camping trip, it's a great tool. Daddy also had the old green Coleman latern. I'm older now, but, I still have that stove & latern, and they still work!!! Yes, it would also be a great tool for power outages, to use on the patio, or carport. Also, Coleman stoves give new meaning to an "all night fishing trip", good meals!

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July 4, 20060 found this helpful


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May 30, 20080 found this helpful

My DH's stepmom has told me stories about one Christmas that a bad storm knocked out power at the house and they used their Coleman stoves to make the entire Christmas dinner. When my DH was driving long haul truck, we went out and bought him one for him to cook his meals on. It saved us so much money instead of him having to eat out for every meal. He had a cooler in the truck that plugged into the cigarette lighter that he could keep the perishable food in. It worked out great.

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