Even with the cooking challenges inherent in tent camping, it’s still possible to prepare a warm, tasty meal that will nourish the body and hearten the spirit. Whether you cook over a fire or use a portable camping stove, you can serve up a meal that will warm the cockles of your family’s hearts without involving an inordinate amount of time and effort. Here are some ideas.

Making a pot of chili is about as easy as it gets because after browning the meat, all you do is add a seasoning packet and open cans of beans and tomato sauce. Adding corn chips and shredded cheese will make the savory dish even heartier. Remember your cooler won’t store the meat as cool as your refrigerator, so cook the meat on the first day of the camping trip to avoid getting sick.

A potato can be wrapped in foil and baked on a rock close to a fire. After only about half an hour, it will be steamed to fluffy perfection. Another idea for cooking over a fire is to make hobo pies and sandwiches with a cooking iron. You can use this for Reubens and grilled cheese sandwiches, as well as desserts using bread, butter and pie filling.

Pancakes are an additional option that is easy but very filling. Other choices include broiled fish or steak.

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