You will love this cookbook. Love it.

Particularly if you are camping. But if you never set foot outdoors, ever, you still want the charming and flavor intense recipes in this book. Authors Marnie Hanel and Jen Stevenson won an IACP award for their earlier book The Picnic. The team has gotten even better.

This book combines how to camp out with how to eat when you finally get there. The camping advice will allow even amateurs to enjoy the experience with pleasant ease. What kind of shelter you need, what should be in your backpack, how to light and manage a campfire and even 99 ways to use a thermos bottle. Really. 99.

It’s the food, though, that made me smile. I’ve camped. Warmed beans and burnt marshmallows. I did not starve but when I got out of the woods and back to civilization, well, I stopped at the first fast food spot and pigged out. Bad form but I was a campfire novice.

The recipes here cover Trail Snacks, Sides and Salads, Mains, S’more and More, Fortifications [serious booze] and Morning Meal. That Morning Meal chapter is worth the price of the book with ideas like

The Flaming Paloma [grapefruit halves under a propane torch and flavored with mezcal whipped cream]

Honey-Lime Yogurt Granola Parfaits

Beet and Aquavit Cured Gravlax

Buckwheat Buttermilk Flapjacks with Maple Bourbon Butter

Before breakfast, we have those other chapters that present us with these trailblazing ideas:

Bacon Molasses Baked Beans

Coal-Baked Apples with Cinnamon-Cider Sauce

Green Chile and Cheese Cast-Iron Cornbread

Roast Garlic Parmesan Monkey Bread

Smoked Trout Bread

Spicy Chuckwagon Chile

The recipes here are camping-oriented. The writing is clear and the book is dense with over 100 lovely illustrations. This is a happy book to sit down with and information that is truly important for your pleasure and your safety. 

Many of the recipes need campfire preparation. You have instructions how to use a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. With these recipes, with your wonderful fire, with your cast iron utensils, you are going to have knockout campout meals. You probably won’t want to go home. But you will. And then, when you venture forth again to woods or lake or mountains, you’ll surely have The Campout Cookbook packed in your SUV.