Thanksgiving is coming up, and food is on everyone’s minds! But what about delicious food when you’re enjoying the outdoors? Every trip is better with good food, and luckily our counselors know how to whip up some tasty meals to enjoy in the backcountry, whether we’re hiking, biking, climbing, paddling, or on our cabin overnights. Here are just three of our favorite campout classics, which you can make for yourself on your next adventure!
Cajun Kitchen Burritos
Warm, filling, and a little spicy, it’s no surprise that Cajun Kitchen Burritos are a favorite camping meal after a day of adventure. This recipe is hearty and tasty, but very simple. Plus, the tortilla doubles as a plate, so there’s no need to wash a ton of dishes!
What do you need?
- Frying pan
- Camping stove or campfire
- Small cooking pot
- Olive oil (enough to grease the pan)
- About 6oz ground beef (per person) – you can replace this with shredded chicken, soy crumbles, or anything else you prefer!
- About 2oz cheddar cheese (per person)
- 12” tortillas (1 or 2 per person)
- Box of instant cajun rice
- Salsa (for topping)
- Spice kit (for seasoning – we carry chili powder, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper)
How do you cook them?
- Drizzle olive oil in the frying pan. When the pan is warm, add the ground beef to start cooking. Stir occasionally with the spatula to keep from burning or sticking.
- If you have a second camping stove (or a big enough campfire), you can start the rice while the meat cooks. Add the water and rice to the pot and cook according to the directions on the rice box.
- When the ground beef is no longer pink (which means it is cooked thoroughly), you can add the seasoning to taste.
- Get your tortillas out, and fill them with the seasoned meat, cheese (while the meat is still hot so the cheese gets melty!), cajun rice, and salsa. Enjoy!
Campers young and old can recall the smell of frying dough, the taste of cinnamon sugar, and the excitement upon seeing Steve Longenecker (SFL) with his “lump cooking supplies” at camp. Though campers today will often cook these simple doughnut-like treats during free-time at camp with Steve, they are a favorite among those who have ever had the pleasure of being on one of Steve’s climbing trips, and are remembered as a backcountry cooking classic at Falling Creek, where boys eagerly line up to taste the tradition of the “lump legacy”.
The legendary Steve Longenecker has been a long time outdoor educator, nature enthusiast, falconer, rock climber, and “lump chef” at Falling Creek since 1975. Steve shared that his “lump recipe” was born during a backpacking trip in the 60s: “I was on a hiking trip with some boys and we were camping in the Shining Rock area. We had some leftover bacon grease in a small metal can and some left-over biscuit mix. I heated up the grease, dropped in a glob of dough and ‘Longenecker Lumps’ were born!” Steve brought the recipe from his time at Camp Mondamin, to Camp Sequoyah, and finally to us at Falling Creek.
What do you need?
- Cooking Pot (number 10 can or old cooking pan – 3qts)
- Large slotted spoon
- Pot clamp or hot pad (You’re cooking with very hot oil)
- A mixing bowl for the dough, container for the raw lumps, and a skillet for the cooked lumps.
- Small box of “Bisquick” dry biscuit mix.
- Liter of cooking oil
- Table sugar
How do you cook them?
- Put Bisquick mix in a mixing bowl, being sure to leave some in the box. Sometimes, you need to add more mix to keep the dough from becoming sticky.
- Add water to the dry mix and mix it around until you have a big lump of dough in your bowl that is not too dry or too wet. Play with this until you have a glob of mix that is about softball size and is the right consistency (too dry, it won’t hold together; too wet, it’s all yucky!) You’ll also notice how clean your hands are, now that you have been playing with the dough a while.
- Now it is time to pinch the dough into the perfect-sized “Lump”. Roll each one around between your palms until it is formed just right. What size is “just right”? About the size of a large grape, marble or a very small soccer ball is fine. Too large and they’ll be raw on the inside; too little and they’ll burn up in the oil.
- Now it’s time to heat the oil. Have your pot clamp or pad ready, just in case you need to move the hot oil. When you think the oil is hot enough, take your slotted spoon and gently roll a “test lump” into the hot oil. Never drop one into the oil so that it splashes on you. Hot oil burns!
- If the oil is hot enough, the “lump” will float to the top and cook there until the right color; if the oil is not hot enough, it will sink to the bottom of the pan.
- When the oil is just right, gently add more raw “lumps” to the cooking oil and let them cook until it’s time to roll them in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.
- As you take them out of the hot oil, drain them so that the oil goes back into the cooking pot. Now, put them into the cinnamon/sugar mixture, roll them around, then eat!
Calorically dense for fueling long hikes, these “pluggers” lunches are a popular trip lunch among FCC campers and counselors. With just three ingredients (bagels, cream cheese, and pepperoni), this is one of the simplest camping foods we make, but surprisingly one of the most requested. The combination doesn’t sound terribly appetizing (and it isn’t that photogenic either – hence our lack of photos of this meal), but it’s hearty, surprisingly tasty, and hard to beat when you need easy calories fast on the trail.
- What do you need?*
- Your favorite type of bagel
- Cream cheese (we like the classic “plain” kind, but any flavor goes)
- Pepperoni (salami, smoked ham, or any fancy cured meat will work if you want to mix things up)
No cooking required! Just put the cream cheese and pepperoni on the bagel and enjoy.
Send your favorite camping recipes to for us to try!