camping thanksgiving dinner

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Hosting A Thanksgiving Camping Trip – Our Best Tips and Recipes

While it might sound crazy to host a Thanksgiving camping trip with friends and family. It’s actually more doable than you think. Even if you are in a cold area, many campgrounds and RV parks have common areas that can be used or even rented to get you out of the cold. Here are some tips and tricks plus some recipes for a unique twist on the classic Thanksgiving Diner.

Researching Thanksgiving Weather

Use something like the WeatherUnderground which lets you view historical temperature trends for your area. This will help give you some idea of what to expect. As you get closer to the big event you can start checking long term forecasts to hone in on Thanksgiving day weather. Remember, plan for the worst and hope for the best.

After this first bit of research you should now have a better idea whether an inside or outside camping Thanksgiving is best for your area.

Pick An Appropriate Campground or RV Park

Picking the right spot to host a camping Thanksgiving is essential. Based on where you live and the expected temperatures will likely determine whether an indoor or outdoor gathering spot is most appropriate.

Consider a campground or RV park that has a covered outdoor area or bring your own covered area like an E-Z Up. Have plenty of firewood and consider using propane fire pits to keep everyone warm. A great trick for staying warm while seated at a picnic table is to put down a thick blanket on the bench seat to sit on. Trust me it really helps!

If an outdoor camping Thanksgiving is out of the question then you have a couple of choices. My favorite is to find an RV park or campground that has an indoor common area that you can rent for the evening. If your RV’ing then you could host a dinner in an RV. Hopefully you or your friends/family have a nice big one.

Keep The Meals Simple – No Need To Over Do It

Space and especially cooking space are very limited even in an RV. So plan accordingly and don’t make every single dish you would normally make at home. Consider a potluck style Thanksgiving where you can plan with friends and family to bring side dishes. Have a sign up sheet vie email so that nobody makes the same dish.

Do as much prep as you can at home. Many sides can be made ahead of time and reheated. Get everything chopped at home and place in ziplocks for a quick prep at the camp. You can even pre-measure spices and have those ready to really speed things up.

Thanksgiving Over A Campfire Is Just Plain Fun

If you can, consider cooking at least something over the campfire. It really ads to the experience and will make for a very memorable Thanksgiving dinner. We love to cook in a Dutch Oven over the fire. But if you don’t have a Dutch Oven, cooking meals in tin foil packs over the fire is easy and really fun. Even if it’s just a side dish I promise you won’t regret it.

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Camping Recipes

From Scratch Dutch Oven Cinnamon Rolls

dutch oven cinnamon rolls

We’re gonna start this off with a bang featuring the classic cinnamon roll. This from scratch recipe tastes amazing and is really fun to make over a campfire. There’s a bit of prep to it but remember this can all be done ahead of time freeing up valuable time on the big day. Your fellow campers minds will be blown with this delicious warm treat. Get the recipe HERE

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Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

dutch oven sweet potato and peanut stew

This is a great tasting and much healthier option than the classic Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole. The sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and peanut butter…yes peanut butter, makes for a delicious and unique dish. While this does use a Dutch Oven this could easily be made using your normal stovetop pans. Get the recipe HERE

Dutch Oven Mac and Cheese

dutch oven mac and cheese

I’m just gonna let this one speak for itself….Get the recipe HERE

From Scratch Corn Bread

dutch oven from scratch corn bread

This classic from scratch corn bread is easy to prep at home and can be baked over the fire in a Dutch Oven or in the oven. Get the recipe HERE

Cheesy Garlic Bites

dutch oven cheesy garlic bites

This garlic and cheesy goodness can easily be made in the oven using a baking pan and is always a crowd pleaser. Get the recipe HERE

Bacon Ranch Grilled Potatoes

bacon ranch grilled potatoes over campfire

Here’s a perfect dish for a tin foil campfire packet. If you don’t have a dutch oven you should at the very least throw this together for a delicious side dish you can cook over the fire. Courtesy of Gathering For Bread, get the recipe HERE

We Wish You a Happy Camping Thanksgiving

Well I hope we got you thinking about how to plan your next camping Thanksgiving feast. It really is fun and with these tips I think you’ll find that planning this unique dinner is easier than you might think. Be sure to check out our Dutch Oven recipes and Foil Packet recipes for more campfire ideas. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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