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Camping offers a rare chance for family and friends to spend time together and enjoy the simpler things in life. With the exception of meal time, that is. Hiking, biking, fishing, and even sitting still under a shade tree all have a way of creating huge appetites. Anyone who has ever tried to feed a hungry family knows that planning and preparing meals over a campfire can be a mindboggling experience. But outdoor meals don't have to consist of hot dogs and marshmallows with an occasional "pit stop" at a fast food restaurant. The time spent in food preparation can be just as much fun as other outdoor activities. These helpful hints and easy recipes will help everyone avoid "doggie on a bun" syndrome on your next camping trip.
Before you go camping, make a master list of menus. Be sure to pack both necessary cooking utensils as well as food.
Food safety is important. Arrange to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold or omit them from the menu. Be sure to have plenty of antibacterial hand wipes for when good hand washing isn't possible.
Make sure to bring along heavy duty aluminum foil. A wire whisk is also great for mixing dry ingredients. Heavy duty plastic storage bags can be used for tossing salads, coating foods, and storing leftovers. The cook can use them as substitutes for plastic gloves when preparing foods. (Just be sure to remove them before getting near the fire.)
Margarine will travel better if it's stored in clean jars with tight fitting, screw-top lids. Of course, it should always be kept in the cooler.
Whenever possible, pack ingredients for the same meal together.
The cook cooks! Others gather the firewood, set the table, and clean up.
Take nothing - leave nothing. Be sure to clean up all trash.

Try these easy recipes on your next camping adventure:

Campfire Foiled Chicken Dinner
6 chicken breasts, precooked at home
6 small potatoes, sliced lengthwise, parboiled
6 carrots, sliced lengthwise, parboiled
1 onion, sliced in 6 slices
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (can use cream of celery or cream of chicken)
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
Boil chicken breasts for 20 minutes. Boil potatoes and sliced carrots for 5 minutes. Place cooked chicken, carrots, and potatoes on six slices of heavy duty foil, dull side out. Top each packet with onion slice and undiluted condensed soup. Seal tightly and freeze until needed. At campsite, bury packets in hot coals. Cook 30 minutes, or until potato is tender, turning once or twice.

Campfire French Fries
4 medium potatoes, cut into strips
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon margarine
2 tablespoons bacon bits
salt and pepper to taste
Place each sliced potato on a large square of heavy duty foil, dull side out. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese. Toss to coat. Dot with margarine and sprinkle with bacon bits. Seal the foil, leaving a steam vent on top. Grill over hot coals for 30 to 45 minutes, turning two or three times, until potatoes are tender.

Campfire Muffins
6 oranges
2 (7 oz.) packages muffin mix, any flavor
Cut oranges in half. Scoop out orange segments to eat alone or to use with fruit salad. Reserve the hollowed peel shells. Prepare the muffin mix according to package directions. Fill the orange peel cups half full of batter. Wrap each one loosely with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place in hot coals, making sure that the batter side stays up. Cook 5-10 minutes until muffins are done.