Practical TikTok Tips That Make Cooking While Camping Easier

Cooking is already complicated enough when you do it in the comfort of your own home, but just wait until you try it when you're camping out in the wilderness. Unless you're glamping and have immediate access to cooking and cleaning tools, whipping up meals during a camping adventure can often result in a disaster, especially if you don't have a plan in place. You have to be incredibly resourceful as you can't exactly bring half your kitchen outdoors, and it's imperative that you choose meals that you can confidently put together (one-pot recipes, anyone?).

While you can probably survive on soggy sandwiches and s'mores for a few days, where's the fun in that? Luckily, there are plenty of ways to cook some of your favorites outdoors without going through the hassle of toting around clunky tools and dealing with a messy cleanup process. TikTok, as we've come to know, is a treasure trove of hacks on just about anything under the sun, and best believe camping enthusiasts have some tips to make your camping culinary escapades easier. From prepping scrambled eggs in a shaker bottle to cooking popcorn in a tin can, here are some nifty tips to simplify your camping cooking experience.

Store cracked eggs in a shaker bottle

You might think it's easy to carry a carton of eggs to a camping site, but there's no guarantee that some of them won't break during the journey. Egg carriers exist, sure, but if you'd rather not buy a special container, you can easily store cracked eggs in a shaker bottle instead — or any bottle for that matter. Simply crack the eggs inside, shake it up, and you're good to go. You can also use any bottle you have, as long as it has a tight enough lid to secure the eggs. 

Whatever the case, it's important to avoid adding any condiments or spices like salt and pepper, as TikTok user @getwanderlost warns that they may alter the "chemical composition" of the eggs, making them borderline inedible. Besides, you can simply store your spices in straws and sprinkle them in when you're ready to cook. However, it's important to note that pre-scrambled eggs need to be cooked ASAP. 

Per the USDA, cracked, refrigerated eggs should be consumed within two days. It's therefore essential to store the bottle in a cooler, so they're not at risk of collecting bacteria (for longer trips, keep them whole). Come breakfast time, pour the eggs straight onto the griddle, cook them however you like, and then toss the bottle in the dishwasher when you get home. With this tip, there's less cleanup at the campsite, and you don't have to deal with broken eggs and shells.

Use old ketchup bottles for pancake mixes

Pancakes are typically messy to make, so you'll want to do all the prep work ahead of your camping trip. First, put together your pancake mix in a bowl as you normally would, and then use a funnel to transfer the mix into an old ketchup or syrup bottle. Standard plastic bottles also work, but old ketchup bottles offer a unique advantage: They let you easily squeeze the mix out when you cook at the camping spot. It's also easier to control the size of the pancakes this way.

The end result won't be as fluffy as you're used to, but hey, at least you can be creative and make fun shapes out of the mix if you wish. When it's time to cook, you simply squeeze the batter directly onto the griddle, and just like the above egg tip, you can delay the cleaning of the bottle until you return home. Not only does this method let you ditch the ladle and whisk completely, but it also makes cooking your favorite breakfast treat so much more convenient, too.

Cook popcorn using tin cans

Gathering around the campfire and exchanging juicy stories while heating and eating s'mores is all well and good, but you may want to shake things up by munching on popcorn instead. Granted, you don't have a microwave and a popcorn packet in the woods, but you can easily remedy that by cooking it in a tin can.

The process is pretty straightforward. You'll need a clean tin can, ideally one free of any adhesives or labels that would interact with an open flame, some popcorn kernels, and cooking oil (bonus points if it's coconut oil so it can double as an insect repellant). Pour the oil into the can, followed by a handful of kernels, and pop the lid back on (it helps if the lid has a tiny hole to release steam). Then, place the can over the campfire using a tong, and shake it every few seconds to distribute the heat and prevent burning. You'll know it's nearly done when the popping has calmed down. 

Carefully remove the can from the fire, let it cool down, sprinkle in your desired seasoning, and enjoy! Alternatively, you can also use a regular soda or beer can, but you'd have to cut it open when it's time to eat, and that could prove to be dangerous due to the sharp edges. With a tin can, you can eat popcorn straight out of it without worrying about accidental cuts.