Going camping is fun, until one begins planning for it. There are clothes to pack, gear to carry, and provision lists to fulfill. If you’ve got picky eaters, then menu planning can be even more tedious as usual.
That’s because hot dogs and sandwiches will get old really quick. And foraging for fresh food is not an option, particularly if one isn’t even experienced in doing it. That’s why it always helps to have a handy camping cookbook around.
Depending on your choice of cooking method (coals, stove grill or campfire) and equipment (skillet, Dutch oven or grill), there are enough camping cookbooks that feature recipes that will provide enough variety to satisfy your cravings and appetites.
Some of them will focus on practical meals that can be done easily without any fuss, while others will feature gourmet recipes that can be initially prepped in a home kitchen and finished in the campsite.
The best camping cookbooks are those that also work as an all-around guide to camping. More than just reliable recipes, they also offer instruction on how to organize a camping trip, whether it be by RV, backpacking, or biking. These books provide much-needed guidance for camping newbies while giving extra tips and tricks that experienced campers will find useful.
Here are my top ten of the best camping cookbooks on Amazon.
Table of Contents
- Best Camping Cookbooks
- 1. The Great American Camping Cookbook Paperback
- 2. Cast Iron Camping Cookbook: Easy Skillet Recipes for Outdoor Cooking Paperback – Illustrated
- 3. Feast by Firelight: Simple Recipes for Camping, Cabins, and the Great Outdoors [A Cookbook] Hardcover – Illustrated
- 4. The Easy Camp Cookbook: 100 Recipes For Your Car Camping and Backcountry Adventures Paperback
- 5. Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures Paperback
- 6. The Camp & Cabin Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Prepare Wherever You Go Hardcover
- 7. Camping Cookbook: The Easiest and Most Delicious Recipes for Gourmet Outdoor Cooking with Cast Iron Skillets over Campfires with Family and Friends Paperback
- 8. The Dutch Oven Camping Cookbook: Campfire Cookbook for Making Tasty Outdoor Recipes Paperback
- 9. The Camp Cookbook 2020: New Camping Cookbook with Easy Outdoor Campfire recipes for Everyone – Paperback
- 10. Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors Paperback – Illustrated
- Top Pick
Best Camping Cookbooks
- The Great American Camping Cookbook – Paperback
- Cast Iron Camping Cookbook: Easy Skillet Recipes for Outdoor Cooking Paperback – Illustrated,
- Feast by Firelight: Simple Recipes for Camping, Cabins, and the Great Outdoors [A Cookbook] Hardcover – Illustrated
- The Easy Camp Cookbook: 100 Recipes For Your Car Camping and Backcountry Adventures – Paperback
- Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures – Paperback
- The Camp & Cabin Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Prepare Wherever You Go – Hardcover
- Camping Cookbook: The Easiest and Most Delicious Recipes for Gourmet Outdoor Cooking with Cast Iron Skillets -Paperback
- The Dutch Oven Camping Cookbook: Campfire Cookbook for Making Tasty Outdoor Recipes – Paperback
- The Camp Cookbook 2020: New Camping Cookbook with Easy Outdoor Campfire Recipes for Everyone. – Paperback
- Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors Paperback – Illustrated
1. The Great American Camping Cookbook Paperback
Part cookbook and part camping history book, this recipe collection is geared for novice campers and scout leaders looking for an easy guide to making outdoor meals. It features a provision list that covers both food and equipment which can be used for any kind of camping activity and is scaled for small and big groups.
Recipes are meat-heavy and generally focus on using natural, whole foods. They’re easy to pack, transport, prep, and cook. Samples of the featured dishes include Biscuits and Gravy, Pan-fried Trout and Baked Beans, Squash Fritters, Modernized Brunswick Stew, Blackened Yellow Perch, and Sautéed Walleye with wild rice and mushrooms. There is also a section on making the perfect camp coffee and camp bread.
Those who’ve tried the recipes found them delicious. One enjoyed the chapters on camping lore. Another found its provision guide very useful for deciding what cookware and utensils to bring along to the camping trip.
Great read for anyone interested in camping history and Boy/Girl Scout camp-out cuisine.
2. Cast Iron Camping Cookbook: Easy Skillet Recipes for Outdoor Cooking Paperback – Illustrated
This cookbook features 75 one-skillet meal recipes that are designed for quick prepping and simple cooking. It also has a section on how to maintain a cast iron, and a guide for cooking on charcoal, campfire, or portable gas stove.
Not all recipes have food photos but all of them have step-by-step directions and use short ingredient lists. They’re divided into Breakfast, Snacks & Sides, Lunch, Dinner, and Dessert. Most are meat-heavy but there are also some vegetarian dishes. Samples of the selection include Lemon-Blueberry Campcakes, Sautéed Mushrooms with Hummus, Rustic Crusted Salmon, Campfire Nachos, Honey-Butter Popcorn, and more.
Readers liked that the recipes are family-friendly and go beyond the usual campfire staples. One liked its section on cast iron desserts. Another tried the recipes at home and found them delicious.
Recommended for cast iron skillet users.
3. Feast by Firelight: Simple Recipes for Camping, Cabins, and the Great Outdoors [A Cookbook] Hardcover – Illustrated
Part coffee table book, this cookbook features 70 recipes that are best for cooking in a cabin or an RV. It also includes detailed menus, shopping and equipment lists as well as useful tips for packing smart and prepping food at home.
Recipes tend to be more on the gourmet side and will require initial prepping at home. Ingredient lists are long and also use some specialty food items. But there are lots of food photos and how-to illustrations to help the reader.
Those who’ve tried the recipes found them delicious, enough for one to use this as a regular home cookbook. Another enjoyed reading the author’s backstory and her recipe headnotes. One found the book’s packing tips very useful.
Great for glamping aficionados and anyone looking for gourmet camping recipes.
4. The Easy Camp Cookbook: 100 Recipes For Your Car Camping and Backcountry Adventures Paperback
This is a collection of family-friendly recipes that are organized into car camping and backcountry camping sections. It also includes a camping checklist, a safety guide and lots of useful camping advice.
Recipes are straightforward and accessible, with food photos and short ingredient lists. It also breaks down the prepping into “prep at home” and “at the campsite” sections. There are also some vegetarian options for some dishes.
Those who tried the recipes found them easy to do and delicious. One liked the variety of the selection. Another found the book handy and useful for first-time backpackers.
Recommended for anyone looking for family-friendly recipes for camping.
5. Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures Paperback
This is book tie-in to the popular outdoor lifestyle blog Dirty Gourmet. There are 120 recipes here that are organized by activity: Car Camping, Day Trips, and Back Packing. Each section provides a full range of meal types, from breakfast and trail meals to dinners and desserts. It also provides a base kit checklist of needed supplies per activity, as well as tips on getting organized, prepping ingredients, and cooking with different methods.
Recipes are user-friendly, with quick-reference icons, and step-by-step directions. Most of them use dehydrated ingredients so a dehydrator will be needed when using this book. There are also photos of every dish. Samples of the recipes include Ember Roasted Baba Ghanoush, One Pot Pasta Puttanesca and Grilled Green Bean Salad, Spicy Tofu Jerky, Curried Chickpea Salad, Pressed Sandwich with Sundried Tomato Pesto, Soba Noodles with Sweet Chili Chicken, and a Hibiscus Chia Cooler.
Readers liked that the cookbook has recipes that can serve large groups. Those who tried them said that they are easy to follow. Another found the featured tool list for every recipe a useful reminder when prepping the dish.
Great for those looking for doable and healthy gourmet meals for camping.
6. The Camp & Cabin Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Prepare Wherever You Go Hardcover
This cookbook offers a diverse selection of recipes that lean more towards international cuisine. It also introduces basic techniques for outdoor cooking, including how to set up, manage and clean your outdoor fire and how to select the best cooking method for your meal.
Recipes are straightforward and detailed with gorgeous photos of the dishes. Samples include Jalapeño Popper Hasselback Sweet Potatoes, Hungry Man's Dutch Oven Lasagna, Carne Asada Street Tacos, Campfire Paella, and Peach and Blueberry Cobbler with Chai Topping.
Readers liked how beginner-friendly the recipes are. One noted that it even shows how many coals to use when cooking a particular recipe. Another found the “Alternative Cooking Method” box that’s appended to most of the recipes very useful, in the case of sudden rains.
Recommended for experienced campers looking to upscale their camp menus.
7. Camping Cookbook: The Easiest and Most Delicious Recipes for Gourmet Outdoor Cooking with Cast Iron Skillets over Campfires with Family and Friends Paperback
This is a comprehensive guide to the camping lifestyle, which includes the basics of setting up camp and learning how to build the perfect campfire. It also discusses the pros and cons of cooking with a skillet or a Dutch oven. There are also lots of tips and tricks scattered all over the book to guide the newbie camper.
Recipes are presented from beginner-basic to grill-master levels. There’s enough variety in the selection for all types of camping. Most of them are meat-centric but there are plenty of vegetable side dishes to choose from. Nutritional content is also listed for most recipes.
Readers liked that the book has a lot of nice ideas for cooking over a campfire. Another liked how it also includes instructions on how to cook an outdoor meal using less popular utensils like a pie iron, a grate, and even with foil packets.
Recommended for newbie and experienced campers and anyone looking for an extensive resource book on camping.
8. The Dutch Oven Camping Cookbook: Campfire Cookbook for Making Tasty Outdoor Recipes Paperback
This cookbook features recipes that require a campfire-style Dutch oven for cooking. It also includes helpful tips and tricks to maximize the use of the Dutch oven for making large meals.
The recipe selection includes familiar favorites like Corned Beef Hash and Eggs, Campfire Chili with Beer, Porkchops in Creamy Mushroom Sauce, Lamb Shanks in Red Wine, Baked Halibut in White Wine, Green Chili and Cheese Cornbread, and Campfire Peach and Almond Crisp. There are photos of every featured dish for easy reference. Recipes are reliable and delicious according to those who tried them.
Recommended for beginner and experienced Dutch oven users.
9. The Camp Cookbook 2020: New Camping Cookbook with Easy Outdoor Campfire recipes for Everyone – Paperback
This cookbook is a collection of easy and practical recipes that are suited for all kinds of campfire cookware. Each piece of equipment is described, with tips and tricks on how to make cooking easier.
The recipe selection ranges from breakfast and main dishes to side dishes and desserts. The recipes are easy to follow with short ingredient lists. Those who’ve used this book found many helpful ideas and tips for camp-outs.
Recommended for Boy scout troops and anyone looking for new campfire recipes.
10. Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors Paperback – Illustrated
This cookbook has more than gourmet 100 recipes for every type of camping activity. It'll also teach newbies how to create meal plans and choose the right equipment to take on any outdoor trip.
Recipes are easy to follow and use a fairly reasonable set of ingredients. Some require prepping at home. Most of the dinner meals, though, will require a grill. It also has a nice selection of take-along sandwich recipes that even an 8-year-old can do.
Recommended for car campers and those into short bike tours.
DIRTY GOURMET: FOOD FOR YOUR OUTDOOR ADVENTURES by Aimee Trudeau, Emily Nielson, and Mai-Yan Kwan
Yes, it’s gourmet cuisine. But if you’re tired of the usual campfire food of hotdogs, burgers, and ramen, this is the cookbook that you should be bringing along during your outdoor adventures.
It’s a well-thought-out cookbook with recipes on one page and beautiful photos on the next. And while the dishes tend to be upscale, they can easily be adapted to one’s own cooking preferences and available ingredients. The explanations also include a breakdown of what can be prepared ahead at home and how to complete it at the campsite. Some of the recipes even have macro-nutrient information listed.
This is a great resource book for delicious, modern camp food cuisine.