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Wanted: Camping cuisine suggestions

June 22, 2011 |  7:00 am

El capitan 2 The first day of summer has officially arrived. With more opportunity to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle, L.A.’s nature-loving folk are setting aside more time for outdoorsy getaways -- camping included -- while the season is in session.

As a camping enthusiast, I’ve satisfied my breath-of-fresh-air cravings with one- or two-day trips to some of Southern California’s most scenic settings. Some especially cool locations to have your camping thrills are Santa Barbara’s El Capitan State Beach, Joshua Tree’s White Tank, Hidden Valley, Indian Cove or Jumbo Rocks campgrounds and Sequoia National Park. A longer drive in a northern direction will take you to Big Sur, with Andrew Molera and Pfeiffer Big Sur as top campground destinations.

El capitan I always come home feeling refreshed and revived, but this is my dilemma: figuring out what the heck to eat. I’ve been putting off buying a camping stove for some time now (I know, it’s crazy talk) and have had to make do with caveman circumstances -- cooking over a fire. Because my fire-making skills are average and I’m no expert at taming the beast enough to cook well (maintaining a high or low flame, etc.), I’ve settled for baked potatoes, spaghetti and hot links …

And that's where you come in: I'm looking for suggestions that might be of help to campers who, like me, have hit a brick wall when it comes to thinking up excellent meals, with or without a camping stove. I want to enjoy the scenery and eat well too, you know? What do you cook when you camp?


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Photos: El Capitan State Beach. Credit: Caitlin Keller