Camping & Survival

7 Meals You Can Make With Limited Ingredients

Cooking With Limited Ingredients

Many world-famous chefs and restaurateurs will attest that simple food made with quality ingredients often tastes better than elaborate, overwrought dishes that are meant to impress.

For survivalists and preppers, there’s no need to impress anyone. “Simple” food is less a choice and more a survival necessity.

No matter how well you think you’ve prepared for a disaster, it’s still important to know how to provide meals for yourself and any dependents, even with a limited store of ingredients.

As you think about which types of food and cooking supplies to stock in your cellar, shelter or bug-out bag, consider the following seven meals.

You’ll be able to cut down on the number of unique ingredients you have to hunt down, transport or store at a time when you’ll only be able to count on the essentials.

1. Roasted Meat Skewers

Meat Skewers
Steak on a stick is about as easy to cook as it gets, and it tastes especially nice when you prepare it over an open flame. That’s an important consideration if you can’t count on a “real” kitchen where you’re sheltering.

If you’ve got a fresh kill from a hunting trip that you can quickly butcher some strips of meat from, you can make this dish a little more sanitary by using metal skewers that will keep any dirt and grime from getting into your meat.

Apply salt, pepper, and other seasonings if you’ve got them, and enjoy one of these meals right off the skewer.

2. Foil-Wrapped Baked Potatoes

Cooking on Coals
History has proven the value of the potato as a staple food. This ingenious travel meal allows you to get the prep work done early on, and all you have to do is heat your wrapped spud and enjoy.

Slice your potatoes halfway through and load them with butter, salt, pepper, and your choice of additional condiments (if you’ve got them) like bacon and chives.

Place them in an area of medium- to low-heat coals and allow them to heat for 30 minutes. Unwrap and enjoy a tasty baked potato!

3. Grilled Lobster Tail With Garlic and Butter

You might think of lobster as a luxury item, but it wasn’t always that way. These tasty crustaceans were once so plentiful that people considered them to be “poor people’s food” and used them as fishing bait or fertilizer.

If you’ve just hauled a few fresh “bugs” in from a body of water near your beachfront camp or shelter, they’ll be delicious prepared over a grill grate with only the addition of a little butter and garlic. Preparation takes about 10 minutes.

4. Australian Campfire Bread

Cooking Bread on Fire
A slice of fresh bread makes every meal better, and you can have fresh-made Australian campfire bread with only a few ingredients. If you’ve ever had Irish soda bread, this recipe uses a similar technique: Self-rising flour for yeast.

The result is a hearty, more cake-like consistency that takes well to a dollop of butter, delivering some much-needed stick-to-your-ribs sustenance at the end of a long or difficult day.

Best of all, you can make this bread with only three ingredients.

5. Packet-Roasted Salmon or Trout

If you’ve had a successful fishing expedition, why not enjoy the catch of the day? Fish gets no fresher than a hand-cleaned filet wrapped in foil and accompanied by some lemon, rosemary and butter.

As with the potato recipe, all it takes to prepare a juicy, succulent fish is 30 minutes in the hot embers surrounding your campfire. If you’re using simple camping utensils, be careful to remove the small bits of bone you might not find in store-bought fish.

It might add some minor inconvenience, but you’ll notice a difference in flavor that’s well worth the nuisance.

6. Camper’s Dip

If you’re interested in reenacting your favorite “Blazing Saddles” scene, look no further than some hearty and tasty bean dip topped with melted cheddar cheese.

While it might not evoke thoughts of gourmet cooking, this dip can easily transform a bag of chips or a loaf of fresh campfire bread into a complete meal. Heat a can of hearty chili in your campfire oven, add sour cream, diced onions and cheddar cheese.

Serve right from the Dutch oven or spoon into bowls for a simple but effective meal that will satisfy everybody sharing your fire.

7. Homemade Trail Mix

Trail Mix - meals
A popular source of sustenance for generations of campers, trail mix has the advantage of being easily accessible while you’re on foot.

If hunger pangs strike while you’re driving to a new shelter location, or out for a hike, you won’t need to make camp to gain some much-needed energy.

You can also customize your trail mix using a wide selection of bulk nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and even chocolate or peanut-butter chips, although these are best when kept cool. Otherwise, it’s a meal as versatile as the name implies.

A Comfortable Post-Apocalypse

It can be easy to let the realities of few ingredients and bare-bones prep tools intimidate you into eating only premade food. However, there’s genuine value in crafting something hot and homemade around the campfire.

Of course, you can always stock up on MREs ahead of time to ensure you’re safe in an SHTF scenario. They provide all the necessary nutrients to keep you alive, and they’re easy to transport and store.

That said, it’ not so hard to provide a selection of tasty menu options that remind you of home, even when you’re sleeping under the stars or in other unfamiliar circumstances.

As long as you pack MREs or remember the seven meals above, you’ll enjoy a comfortable post-apocalypse.

Do you have any tips for meals you can make with limited ingredients? Let us know your survival stories in the comments below.

About the Author:

Dylan Bartlett

Dylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about the outdoors, survivalism and similar topics on his blog. He's an avid hiker and enjoys roughing it in unfamiliar territory. Check out Just a Regular Guide to read more of his work, or follow him on Twitter @theregularguide for updates.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (3)

  1. 30yrs a Boy Scout master, my boys wanted this every Saturday morning. 1 lb sausage,1lb frozen package of hash browns,1doz eggs. Cook sausage till almost done, add hash browns,cook till done. Scrambled eggs and add,cook till done. Add salt,pepper and other spices if needed. This feeds 5-6 boys easily…

  2. Bacon and Eggs in a Paper bag. (And a stick that you do not have allergic action to.)
    With campfire burning, skew the end of the bacon and start to cook like you would a hotdog. As the bacon starts to release the grease, hang the bacon inside the bag, massage the complete inside by multiple fire-to-bag cycles until fully coated. Then take the bacon, removed from the stick, and drop it into the bag. Crack the eggs into the bag. Now take the bag and attach it to the stick, and complete cooking bacon and eggs. When ready tear one side of the bag open, give thanks, and dig in. You can even eat it without any silverware, but it is messy. Nothing a little water can’t cure. Then burn the bag. Clean-up done.
    It is even a fun project for kids, and they get 101 on survival.

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