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One of the most important parts of camping is meal preparation and cooking, especially when camping in cooler weather. In low temperatures, your body burns more energy to try and keep you warm, and it’s important to keep yourself nourished and hydrated to stay healthy.

Soup saturated in fat can keep you warm, hydrated, and filled with the energy you need. Even if it takes a bit more work than opening a pack of MREs, preparing and cooking soup in camp is still easy.

TOMATO SOUP AND CHEESE

This recipe is better suited for an established camp because it works best with a dutch oven and a pie iron, but if you can find a suitable substitute that won’t be as heavy, go for it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of tomato soup
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Sliced bread
  • Cheese
  1. Pour the tomato soup in your Dutch oven. Add 2 spoonfuls of butter and half a cup of milk before placing the pot over a bed of coals and heat slowly.
  2. Spread butter generously over the bread and put cheese on top. Set in pie iron.
  3. Place pie iron over coals and rotate from side-to-side for 2–3 minutes. Once done, serve soup in containers and with grilled cheese.

One of the best things to have during a winter trip is a hot bowl of soup.

POTATO SOUP

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This is something you can prepare at home to make cooking at the campsite easier. You can chop or get portions of most of the ingredients in your kitchen and store them in separate zippered storage bags for easy transport.

Ingredients:

  • Half a pound of bacon
  • 2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 chicken flavor bouillon cube
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ teaspoon red cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons minced parsely
  1. Cook the bacon in a pot until it’s tender. Remove after cooking and place on a plate.
  2. Use the bacon grease left in the pot to cook the onion. Once onions are tender, remove them and place them with your cooked bacon.
  3. Add 2–3 cups of water to the pot and add your bouillon and potatoes. Bring to a boil until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Add the carrots and the other ingredients and heat for 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the cooked bacon and onions and stir until ingredients are evenly heated and mixed, then serve.

Aside from warmth and energy, soup can keep you hydrated during your winter camping trip.

BEEF CHILI

Beef chili can be the perfect lunch or dinner for a cold camp. The extra kick from the spice gives warmth, while the beef and beans provides the energy you need. Like the potato soup, you can prepare most of the ingredients at home to make cooking at the camp site faster and easier.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped green and red bell pepper
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons chopped jalapeno chili pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Put the beef, onions, and bell peppers in a pot and cook until beef is brown.
  2. Add the beans and beef stock and bring to a boil.

Add the rest of the ingredients and allow to simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more chili powder as desired, then serve.