How to Prepare for Camp Cooking in the Rain

How to Prepare for Camp Cooking in the Rain

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When you go camping you really have to be prepared for anything, and that includes rain. If you don’t have the proper gear, you and your family can end up miserable on your camping trip. Below you will find a few tips on items you should take with you for cooking in the rain just in case y’all get wet.

How to Cook While Camping in the Rain

Rain Clothes

While shopping for camping gear I stumbled across some really great rain gear for the entire family. They have adult-size and kid-size rain coats, pants, and jackets. Of course, you are probably wondering which store to find it at, but it should be no surprise that Wal-Mart is the best option.

They have reasonably prized rain gear for everyone. You can find this rain gear in the camping aisle at your local WalMart store. Of course, don’t forget the rain boots. Kids will still want to step and stomp in the rain puddles so having some rain boots are a must.

Screen House For Eating Area

A screen house is perfect for keeping your eating area dry. Since most campgrounds provide each camper with a table and chair area, all you have to do is set up your screen house over it. Then if you have an extra table or cooking gear you can put the screen house right over it.

Don’t put the screen house over the campfire; the fire will still burn even in the rain if you are using the right grill. Skip the camping store and go to Wal-Mart for your screen house. It’s affordable and they really have some nice options to choose from.


Charcoal Grill

Most campgrounds already have a fire pit, and some have grills. If you are going to a campground that has a fire pit, you can get a flat grill that you can easily place on top of the fire pit. Or if you are using a grill you can still light the charcoal and cook your food, and then transport it over to the screen house.

Get Enough Tarps

Putting a tarp under your tent and putting one over the tent will help to keep the inside of your tent nice and dry. You can hang the tarp over it by attaching the string to the trees the tent is located near. If there are no trees nearby, you may need to purchase some poles to secure the tarps.

Bring In The Games

Board games are a really great activity to keep your kids entertained at the campsite when it is raining. Before leaving on your camping trip, why not visit your local store and allow each child to pick out several board games that they would like to play? The games are a great inexpensive way for the family to really enjoy themselves.

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How & What To Cook While Camping In The Rain

Don’t break out the bread and bologna at the first hint of rain. Though it’s a little trickier to camp cook when it’s raining, some of your best meals and best memories include the soggy days when sightseeing and other outdoor fun may be limited.

If you’re camper camping with a kitchenette, then it’s business as usual. Rainy days are good times to try out some of the more exotic and time-intensive recipes. If you’ve been thinking about trying a complicated camp casserole or making bread, then a rainy day is the perfect time to putter around in the camper kitchen.

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A good family recipe to keep the troops busy and involved when it’s too messy to play outside is “Fried Fruit Pies.”

Fried Fruit Pies

  • 2 cans biscuits
  • 1 can fruit filling (any flavor)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • cooking oil

Put about ¼ inch of cooking oil in the bottom of a stand-alone griddle pan or in a frying pan on the stove burner. Heat oil to 350 degrees F. Give each camper a large canned biscuit or 2 small biscuits. Each camper will roll out the biscuit or biscuits to the thinness of a pie shell.

Put a tablespoon or so of fruit filling in the biscuit and fold it over like an omelet, or if using small biscuits, put the filling in the center of one rolled-out biscuit and use the second as a top (making a round pie). Seal the edges of the biscuit so that the fruit can’t be seen.

Use a fork to go around the edges making little line marks around the opening. Dip both sides of the crimped pie in sugar/cinnamon. Carefully place the pie in hot oil. Lightly brown. Flip over and brown the other side.

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No kitchen?

If you’re camping without kitchen facilities, then remember that you can’t use outdoor cooking equipment or techniques inside that tent. Do not give in to the temptation to move the camp stove inside the tent, and don’t try to tarp over the cooking area. Such plans are not safe and could result in injury or even death.

Though you can’t protect your fire source from the elements, you can suit up for outdoor cooking in the rain. A rain poncho or waterproof jacket and floppy rain hat work great for manning the rainy day cooking project.

Understand Rain

Remember that rain comes in waves. You may end up cooking later than planned, but if you wait and watch, you’ll likely find a lull for the quick cooking of a hot meal. Heat and eat items like canned meats and vegetables take only a few minutes to heat. Hot dogs are also quick and easy.

single wet leave floating on water

Keep it dry

Be sure to keep your cooking gear dry prior to firing up. Your camp stove will likely be hard (if not impossible) to start if it gets wet. Likewise, a charcoal or wood fire will be very difficult to get going if the wood is damp to wet. Keep such items in a dry place like the trunk of your vehicle until ready to use. It’s also good to invest in a small watertight container to hold fire starter materials like dryer lint or wood shavings.

When building a fire on a rainy day, then the following steps will help increase the odds of success:

  1. Select an elevated spot for the fire. A fire pan can be used, or dirt can be mounded to lift the fire area higher than the surrounding areas.
  2. Use a dry fire starter and kindling (or dry charcoal).
  3. Go with a teepee-style fire. Put the fire starter materials down first. Build a small teepee with kindling around the starter. Light and add more kindling until the fire is burning steadily and hot.
  4. Use dry wood or forage and get pieces closer to the forest floor. The dryer the wood the better, but damp wood will burn if the initial teepee is burning hot.
  5. Both stick cooking and pie iron cooking are quick. These techniques involve individual portions rather than larger amounts which will need more heat and time.
  6. A Dutch Oven over a small fire or hot coals will help protect the fire from the rain. Do not try the more complex or longer cooking recipes when Dutch Oven cooking in the rain, but if the cast iron oven gets hot and is positioned over the fire, you can pull off a good, hot meal on dreary days.
  7. Do not fudge on safety when it’s raining. Be sure that the fire is completely out before leaving the campsite or before going to bed.
Rain hinders the camping experience.

No Cook Back Up Ideas

There are times when the rain on a trip is so heavy that it’s just not possible to get a fire started or to keep it going long enough to cook a meal. It’s always good to have some “no cook” items on hand. Peanut butter and jelly is always an option, and build-your-own sub sandwiches can be fun. If you’re stuck in sandwich or salad mode, then add a fun recipe that does not require heat. Here are a couple of zip-lock bag treats to keep in the camp recipe box:

Zip Lock Fudge

  • 1 3 oz. box cream cheese
  • 1 16 oz. box powdered sugar
  • 1 stick margarine
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
  • nuts, raisins, or even M&Ms – these are optional

Put all the ingredients except the optional items in a gallon zip lock bag. Pass the bag around and squeeze until everything is mixed and looks like creamy fudge. Add the optional treats right before serving and lightly mix with the fudge.

Have an extra zip lock bag in case someone gets overly energetic and breaks the bag during the mashing stage. Cut the corner out of the zip lock bag and squeeze out portions or open and spoon out the treat.

Instant Camp Pudding

  • 1 box pudding mix (any flavor)
  • milk (as called for on the pudding box)
  • ice cream cones

Put pudding powder and milk in a zip lock back. Mash until the pudding firms up. Cut the corner of the zip lock bag and squeeze pudding into ice cream cones.

recipes for cooking in the rain

Final Thoughts

Consider a rainy camping day a challenge and an adventure. The real beauty of cooking outdoors is in being creative and having fun. Stir in a little rain, and you’ve got the recipe for one of those camping trips that will be remembered forever.

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