Are you someone who like us lives to eat, as opposed to eating to live? Are you tired of eating the pre-packed tasteless stuff and interested in trying out some new things during your next outdoor trip? Then this article is just for you.
In this article, we list out the best books for cooking in the outdoors. We share some great guides that have recipes for outdoor cooking over a campfire, camping stove or camping grills and tripods. While most of the books we list are specifically meant for camping, RVing, and backpacking, you can also try out the recipes in these books during your next backyard cookout or tailgate party.
We also list some of the factors that you should consider while picking the best outdoor cooking guide for your needs. Some of these books are also available on Kindle, as indicated in the list below. Finally, we also share a list of our favorite online resources for campfire cooking.
Best camp cooking guides listSome of the best books available in the market for camping, backpacking and RV cooking are listed below:
|Easy Campfire Cooking: 200+ Family Fun Recipes||No||- This comprehensive cooking recipe book is authored by famous author Peg Couch.|
- In 120 odd pages, the book covers more than 200 family recipes ranging from breakfast treats to hot dogs, s’mores and more.
- The book also has tips and trips to create and manage camp fires and ensure safe cooking.
- A great choice for family vacations, scout trips and RVing.
- The current edition was published in May 2015.
|Camping Cookbook Set|
Full-set kindle edition also available
|- This hugely popular set of camping cooking is authored by Louise Davidson.|
- Each book in set covers one aspect of camping cooking – grilling recipes for adults, dutch oven cooking, foil cooking and even easy grilling recipes for kids and teenagers.
- In a total of 290 pages, the set is filled with recipes tailor-made for family cookouts during car-camping, glamping or RVing.
- The set was published in 2015.
|The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild||Yes||- This bushcraft and survivalist cooking best-seller is authored by renowned outdoors expert Dave Canterbury.|
- This survival cooking guide is not only filled with some great recipes, but also tips and tricks on how to hunt and gather.
- In 260 pages, the book has details of how to hunt in the wild, how to forage for edible plants and what recipes to make for a quick meal. The book also has full-color photo guide of plants to forage and those to avoid.
- The current edition was published in Oct, 2016.
|Recipes for Adventure: Healthy, Hearty and Homemade Backpacking Recipes||No||- This best-selling backpacker cooking guide is authored by the famous Chef Glenn McAllister.|
- In 90 short pages, the author covers 75 trail-tested recipes together with full colored illustrations.
- The book also includes tips on how to store the prepared food by dehydrating it.
- The current edition was published in June, 2013.
|Lipsmackin' Backpackin'||Yes||- This all-in-one food guide is authored by Tim and Christine Conners and published by Falcon guides.|
- In 290 pages, the authors present some great at-home and on-trail preparation recipes, the nutrition values and unique weight management guide. A perfect choice for light and ultralight backpackers and hikers.
- A vegetarian only version - Lipsmackin' Vegetarian Backpackin' is also available.
- The current edition was published in June 2013.
|Scout's Outdoor Cookbook||Yes||- This scout cooking guide is authored by Christine & Tim Conners and published by Falcon guides.|
- In long 400 pages, the book is filled with over 100 recipes for Scout Leaders and others to follow for a healthy cookout.
- The book also has some great no-cook recipes.
- The current edition was published in May 2008.
|Backpack Gourmet: Good Hot Grub You Can Make||Yes||- This backpacking focused book is authored by Linda Frederick Yaffe.|
- In 160 odd pages, the book not only covers over 150 recipes for backpackers but also tips to dehydrate recipes at home.
- The current edition was published in Dec, 2002.
|Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors||Yes||- This cooking primer for outdoor trips is authored by Robin Donovan.|
- In 190 odd pages, the book covers about 100 recipes for camping and backpacking.
- In 2 parts, the book also covers the basic of how to shop, plan and pick the right cooking equipment.
- The current edition was published in April 2013.
|Grilling and Campfire Cooking||Yes|
(Also available in Hardcover and Plastic Comb)
|- This campfire cookbook is a worthy part of “Everyday Cooking” series and published by Gooseberry Patch group.|
- In 220 pages, the book covers a lot of interesting lip-smacking recipes to try out during campfires, picnics, backyard parties or backyard cookouts.
- The current edition was published in Feb, 2014.
|Camp Cooking: 100 Years||Yes||- This historical almanac is published by the National Museum of Forest Service History.|
- The book is filled with the best traditional recipes followed by numerous Forest Service Field agents over 100 years.
- The book is also filled with photos and historical accounts of the lives of field agents.
- The book was published in Dec, 2004.
|The Flaming Marshmallow's Guide to Campfire Cooking||Yes||- This international recipe book is authored by Nikki Fotheringham|
- In 150 pages, the book covers 50 delicious recipes from all over the world in full color.
- The current edition was published in Oct, 2015.
|Scout's Campfire Cookbook for Kids||Yes||- This campfire cooking book for kids and teenagers is authored by Christine and Tim Conners.|
- In 192 pages, this book provides illustrative information on cooking recipes from breakfast to dinner in the wild.
- The book also covers basic safety measures to keep in mind while cooking on a campfire.
- The current edition was published in 2014.
How to pick the best books for camping, backpacking and RV cooking?
Picking the best guide for hiking, backpacking, RVing or camping cooking is not much different from picking up any other cooking or recipe book. The small difference lies in the fact that since you would be cooking in the wilderness, you would need a book that would also cover the preparations that you would need to make beforehand. After all, you cannot run to the nearby grocery store to get the missing ingredients while in the wild.
Still, you can keep the following factors in mind while considering the best choice for you or anybody else you are buying it for:
- Type of Content
- Level and format of the book
- Popularity, reviews and ratings
- Publication year of the edition
Type of Content
The type of content that a backwoods cooking guide contains is an important consideration. One of the primary concerns people have about these cookbooks is that they are too biased towards glamping, car camping or RV cooking while leaving the backpackers, hikers etc. scrambling for ingredients or simply frustrated. In our choices of books, we have paid special attention to this fact and given preference to cookbooks which contain recipes for all types of camping. We have listed the best books for campfire cooking, cooking with minimal resources while bush crafting and cooking for hiking and backpacking trips.
Another closely related factor is the number and type of recipes. If you are just looking to diversify your outdoor meals then you should look for a book which covers all types of cooking – marshmallows, grilling, dutch oven cooking, cooking grubs, re-hydrated cooking and so on. Books such as Easy Campfire Cooking score big in this field as such guides are filled with recipes of all types. However, if you are a serious hiker or backpacker, then you need to look for a book that is filled with trail-tested, easy-to-manage recipes. You would find Recipes for Adventure and some of our other picks below as the best choices.
One additional consideration that gear-weight conscious backpackers (the elite ultralight backpackers) would like to check out is the size and weight information of not only the ingredients but also the book. After all, you would not like to carry a cooking encyclopedia on your back. If you are one such person, then you would find books such as The Flaming Marshmallow’s Guide to Campfire Cooking and Lipsmackin’ Backpackin’ the most backpacker friendly cooking guides.
You can check out the details about the content, size, and weight of the book before picking the best one for your needs.
Level and format of the book
The level and format of the book are also important factors. If you are someone, who is a master around the kitchen, then you would find advanced recipe books such as the Scout’s Outdoor Cookbook and Camping Cookbook Set by Louse Davidson more suitable. These books are filled with a lot of unique, advanced recipes to try out during your next outdoor trip.
On the other hand, if you are just a beginner and just looking for some variety in your food, books such as Easy Campfire Cooking and Backpack Gourmet: Good Hot Grub You Can Make would find a lot of favor for their easy recipes.
Moreover, if you are looking something for a teenager, then the Scout’s Campfire Cookbook for Kids is the best choice. This book not only has some great recipes that children can learn, but also safety tips and cooking tricks for beginners. Similarly, the bush crafting best-seller, The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild is focused specifically on advanced survival cooking.
The format of how the recipes and related information are presented is also important. The books that we have listed above, all have an easy-to-follow style filled with illustrations and break-downs of steps to follow. You would not have any issues with following the recipes or suggestions presented in the book. Still, you can utilize the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon website to get a preview of the book or check for excerpts in Google online bookstore.
Popularity, Reviews and Ratings
The popularity of the author, publisher, and book is often a great indicator of how the book would turn out to be. Most of the books listed above have been written by authors and edited by publishers with considerable experience in the field of cooking. But as one size does not fit all, you should look at the reviews, especially by other experts and authors in the field. A simple search can often reveal a lot about the popularity of the book.
Publication year of the edition
When it comes to outdoor cooking, the publication year of the current edition is probably not as important as in the case of other outdoor guides such as International Travel and Camping Manuals. After all, the basic ingredients and the cooking mediums have not changed over the years. Still, if you want to consider something that replicates the need of fast, quick instant cooking using latest cooking mediums such as stoves, aluminum foils, grillers, tripods etc. you can check the publication year of the books and see that none of them are from the previous century.
Which are the best outdoor cooking guides and what our picks are?
In our list, we have listed more than 12 high-quality guides for camping, backpacking and RV cooking. These books are great choices in their respective domains. Still, we list out our top five favorite books below:
Top Picks for Camping and RV cooking
- Easy Campfire Cooking: 200+ Family Fun Recipes: If you are looking for some help with cooking recipes for family cook outs during RV trips, car camping or simple backyard, beach and tailgating parties, then this cookbook is just for you. In short 120 odd pages, the author Peg couch covers over 200 easy-to-follow recipes for cooking over a stick, over a fire pit or in an oven. In addition, the book covers tips and tricks to make the perfect campfire and how to stay safe around it while cooking. Overall, a great primer for beginner and experienced cooking aficionados who are looking for some diversity in their outdoor meals.
- Camping Cookbook Set by Louise Davidson: This set is more of a book divided into four parts. The four volume set is filled with some great recipes for family camping and RVing. In an aggregate of 280 pages, the author Louise Davidson covers all aspects of outdoor cooking – grilling and barbecue cooking, Dutch oven cooking and aluminum foil cooking. You can get one that fits your needs, or just get the whole set. And the best part is that the set is available for a competitive price as an e-book on Kindle.
Top Picks for Backpacking and Wilderness cooking
- The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild: If you are a bush crafter, survivalist or even someone who likes to explore the wilderness with minimal resources, then this book by world-renowned, best-selling survivalist author Dave Canterbury. This 2016 published book has tons of information on how to hunt in the wild, how to forage for edible plants and what recipes to make for a quick meal. The book also has full-color photo guide of plants to forage and those to avoid. A must buy for survivalists and bush crafters out there.
- Recipes for Adventure: Healthy, Hearty and Homemade Backpacking Recipes: How would you like having a world-famous chef helping you out with your backpacking recipes? Well, this book is just that. Authored by Chef Glenn McAllister of BackpackingChef.com fame, this short, 90-page book has a collection of over 70 trail-tested recipes with colored illustrations. And to make things easier for you, the book also includes tips on how to store the prepared food by dehydrating it.
- Lipsmackin’ Backpackin’: Falcon guides have been at the forefront of some great publications for outdoor recreation and when you have famous author-couple Tim and Christine Conners sharing their recipes, you are most definitely in for a treat. This excellent all-in-one food guide is a must buy for backpackers and hikers. In 290 pages, this book shares some great at-home and on-trail preparation recipes, embellishing each recipe with the nutrition values and weight information. What’s more, you even have a vegetarian only version – Lipsmackin’ Vegetarian Backpackin’ also available.
Best websites and apps for camping, backpacking and RV cooking
In addition to the recipe guide books listed above, there are quite a few websites that provide excellent information, tips and tricks for outdoor cooking. Some of the popular websites that we love are listed below:
- BackpackingChef.com: A great resource for backpackers to plan their dietary needs. Maintained by Chef Glenn McAllister, this website is a great supplement to the Recipes for Adventure book by Chef McAllister.
- BBC Good Food Camping Recipes: A collection of easy one-pot recipes provided by the BBC Good food media channel.
- ScoutoRama.com: A wide collection for camping food and Dutch oven recipes and resources from the scouts around the world.
- Fireside Provisions: A unique food ordering service designed specifically for camping and backpacking trips. On a week’s notice, the website ships the provisions for a campfire cookout to your home (not to the trail or outdoor location!).
Moreover, here are some phone apps that can help you plan, prepare and manage outdoor cooking:
- Camping Recipes! by the AppSack: For just $1.99, you get access to tried and tested 700 recipes listed by categories, time and keywords. The most popular camping cooking app on iOS.
- Camp Chef outdoor cooking app: An excellent app provided by the Camp Chef group – worldwide leader in outdoor cooking gear. Available on iOS and Android.
- Trail Chef iOS App: A decent iOS app, filled with more than 50 trail-tested recipes and options to help you plan your daily menu while on the move.
Final thoughts on the best books for camping, backpacking and RV cooking
In this article, we looked at some of the best guide books available in the market for cooking during camping, backpacking or RV trips. We listed out twelve high-quality and popular books that would help you learn some new recipes and do not rely solely on the tasteless pre-packed stuff or trail mixes. The recipes in these books can also be used for backyard cookouts and beach or tailgate parties. Some of these books are available both in paperback and Kindle editions as indicated in the list. These books also make an excellent gift for food lovers.
We also shared some of the factors that you should consider while picking the best recipe cookbook for your need. In addition, we also listed out some of our favorite online resources on the subject. You should definitely check some of them out while planning your next camping, backpacking or RV trip.
Do let us know how you found this article and if you would want us to consider anything else by providing your valuable comment below. Until next time, best wishes for your next outdoor cookout!!