It’s hard to beat a surf camping trip. There’s something really special about waking up next to the ocean, catching some morning waves before breakfast, surfing or hiking your day away, watching the sunset over the whitecaps, and then falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves before you wake back up and do it all over again. It’s simple, elegant, and beautiful.
But it doesn’t matter how great the waves are, or how perfect of a camp spot you get if you’re stuck eating terrible, over or undercooked food, or worse, pre-packaged backpacking meals.
Nope, you deserve food as great as the rest of your experience, and that’s why we’re here to help with a few of our favorite surf camping recipes.
The key to cooking on any camping trip is the old boy scout motto: be prepared! If you’ve got a decent camp kitchen set up. You don’t need anything excessive, but a few basics make cooking on the beach a whole lot easier and make a big difference for your final product.
No matter what sort of cooking setup you end up going with, you should always keep a small bag with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and hot sauce in your camping kit. That way you’ve got seasoning ready. A camping store should have backpack-sized options for all of those seasonings, as well as camp stoves, pots, and pans.
If you’re trying to go super minimalist, you can make a lot of great meals just using boiling water. That way there are no pots and pans to wash. All you need is a camp stove, fuel, and a pot to boil water. Add to that a knife to cut up vegetables, and sporks and bowls for everyone in the group, and you’re set.
If you’re more into cooking, consider bringing a grate and firewood so you can cook over a beach fire, a skillet, and some aluminum foil. From there, you can get as fancy as you’d like. Want to bring a propane grill? Your friends will probably thank you for it. Dutch oven? Sure! Just have a plan to do the dishes in an environmentally friendly way once you’re done.
Here are three beach camping recipes, ranging from options so quick and simple you can cook them while you’re putting your wetsuit on, to full-on post-surf feasts.
This one is simple but so delicious. Just bring a few packets of your favorite ramen, and then stock up on some local produce in whatever town is closest to your surf break. Maybe ask around at the local surf shop to find out if there are any local suppliers you should grab ingredients from.
Get some cilantro, snap peas, limes, basil, and any other vegetables you like in your ramen. If you’re feeling really fancy you can hard boil some eggs at home and then add them to your bowl as it’s cooking. Boil water on your camp stove, add to your ramen packets and mix in vegetables.
Boom! You’ve got a hot, tasty meal that costs just a few dollars each, takes just a few minutes to make, and warm you right up after chasing waves all morning.
If you’re in a camping area where fires are allowed, make sure to pack either BBQ coals, or firewood, and your own grate.
With those simple ingredients, you can make just about anything. Our personal favorite is beach kebabs. You can cut up all the ingredients at home, package them in separate bags, and then let everyone make their own delicious skewers on the beach.
We’re big fans of seasoned chunks of pork or chicken, red and green pepper slices, pineapple, onion slices, and cremini mushrooms. Just make sure to keep the meat cool before you cook it, and make sure it’s fully cooked over the fire before you eat it. Serve them over instant rice that you can make at the same time with your camp stove.
Like the fancy ramen, beach kebabs are delicious, don’t require too much effort to make, and don’t leave you with a big mess to clean up.
Bomb Breakfast Burritos
Finally, if you’re looking for a hearty snack, and don’t mind taking a little more time to cook, it’s pretty easy to make breakfast burritos at camp.
You’ll just need either a fire pit or a grill and a skillet. Cook your bacon or ham first, to season the skillet, then add hash browns or cubed potatoes.
Once your potatoes are fried, warm tortillas over the skillet, and let everyone wrap their own burritos. Remember to pack salsa, shredded cheese, and avocado to top them with.
You can get as fancy as you like here, or keep it simple. Sauteed onions and peppers make great additions. It isn’t much harder to make a great breakfast burrito on the beach than it is to make one at home, and everything tastes better on the beach.
Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you need to eat terrible packaged food.
With the right equipment, fresh ingredients, and a little creativity, you can eat well on your surf trip, while staying within your budget and not wasting too much time cooking.