Fall Car Camping Meal Tips

Camping in the fall is just asking for cozy meals, and we’re here to provide you with a few tips and ideas! Jumping in your car and heading up the canyon for a crisp autumn weekend camp trip calls for a little preparation! The key to success for any car camping meal is to prepare as much of your meals beforehand. This will save you time and space for your adventure!

Our biggest piece of advice is to prep as many parts of your meals as possible, even before leaving your house. This includes mixing spices and other dry ingredients for recipes. You can easily label each spice by putting a piece of tape on a container or reusable silicone bag holding the ingredients. You can even prep other ingredients, like butter on bread for grilled cheese sandwiches, and store them in tin foil. 

Speaking of tin foil, some of the best camping recipes can be put together in a foil packet and cooked over the fire. These can be an easy option for cooking all of your ingredients together at the same time. Plus, it’s easy enough to put together that everyone can make their own meal, even kids! 

We also suggest using dutch ovens while on your fall camping trips. Who doesn’t love a hearty, well seasoned meal in chilly temperatures? Dutch ovens give you the option to have a warm meal that often tastes even better than what you can make at home! The magic of dutch ovens make it easy to cook meals evenly and they taste amazing. *Please make sure to research the best practices of using a dutch oven before using one.*

Another tip we suggest for car camping is to make sure you have some thermoses handy to keep your warm meals, well, warm! This also makes it easier to have leftovers or bring a part of your warm meal with you on your adventures throughout the day.

Our Top Fall Car Camping Meals:

For breakfast…

Ginger Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Recipe by Kodiak Cakes. Click here for full recipe and other ideas! 


1 cup Kodiak Cakes Pumpkin Flax Flapjack Mix
1-¼ cup milk of choice
1 large whole egg
¼ cup canned pumpkin
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 tablespoon stevia or sweetener of choice

Directions: Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix until smooth. Preheat large skillet and coat with butter or non-stick spray. Cook pancakes until golden brown on both sides. Serve with maple syrup and garnish with fresh ginger if desired.

For lunch…

Lunchables (fall themed!)


Whole wheat crackers
Apples and peanut butter (add a little honey and cinnamon!)
Pumpkin seeds

Directions: place all ingredients in a tupperware container or bento box!

For dinner…

Vegetarian Dutch Oven Chili & Cornbread


1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon oil
4 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 teaspoons garlic powder)
2 teaspoons salt
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Cornbread Topper
1 cup cornmeal
½ cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons honey

Directions: In a 10” / 4 qt Dutch oven over medium heat, saute the onion in oil until soft and just beginning to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and saute for 1 minute. Add the beans, tomatoes, chiles, and tomato paste, stir to combine. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.

In the meantime, prepare the cornbread batter. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add the milk, egg, and honey and mix until a batter forms.

Move Dutch oven over indirect heat to reduce bubbling. Pour the batter over the chili as evenly as possible, then cover the Dutch oven with a lid and shovel embers or coals onto the top. You’re going for a temperature of approx. 400-425F.

Bake until the cornbread has cooked through and is no longer wet in the center, about 20 minutes.

Serve with your favorite chili toppings & enjoy!

Camping, car camping, cooking, fall, recipes, tips

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