Two camping books for better camp eating and children's adventures

rphillips@idahostatesman.comMay 16, 2013 

THE NEW TRAILSIDE COOKBOOK

Not sure what the old one had, but this one will keep you camp cooking all summer and not repeating a recipe twice (unless you want to).

The book covers everything from the staples, such as great camp coffee and gorp, to fancier fare like lambchops with rosemary and grapes.

Author Kevin Callan and Margaret Howard show they are campers first and cooks second with this honest, real-world advice.

"If you're using a camp stove, then dinner should

only take a maximum of 30 minutes to cook to conserve fuel," they write. "Even if you're cooking over a campfire, it shouldn't take any longer. Hungry campers get cranky quickly."

So with that in mind, be ready to dive into some tasty camp cooking for breakfast, lunch, dinner and midday snacks.

And the book isn't just for use around camp. There are tips for shopping for the right camp food, packing it properly, and safe food handling and storage in camp.

There's also a cool chapter on living off the land if you want to seek meals straight from Mother Nature.

One final bonus, there recipes for camp cocktails, and you may find recipes here so tasty you end up using them at home, too.

Anyone up for some gin and tonic kebabs?

Price: $19.95.

Getting a copy: Check local outdoor stores or bookstores or go to fireflybooks.com.

THE KIDS' OUTDOORS ADVENTURE BOOK

While this isn't exactly a camping book, it doesn't take a wizard to figure out it makes a great camping companion for kids.

Hopefully, your kids will never get bored while camping because there's so much to do, but this book provides some cool ideas and activities.

So if you want something to keep them extra amused and challenged, you could do a lot worse than this book.

The subtitle is "448 great things to do in nature before you grow up," and that's what it provides.

I have minor issues with that because why should grown ups be excluded from the fun?

But anyway, with that in mind, here are some examples:

Æ Make your own ice cream.

Æ Jump in the middle of a lake.

Æ Identify constellations.

Æ Find antlers in the woods.

Æ Splash in a puddle.

Æ Hang upside down from a tree.

Æ Take a picture from the top of a mountain.

Æ Stare down a momma grizzly. (Kidding. Just seeing if you were paying attention.)

Each activity is rated on an "Adventure Scale" of one through five with "watch the sun set" getting a one-rating and "find at least five new animals in the wild" rating a five (don't make one of them a momma grizzly).

The book has activities for all four seasons, so it's useful beyond camping seasons, and it includes lots of projects, games and cooking.

It also covers a lot of different places, from the forest to the beach to the backyard.

Cost: $18.95.

Getting a copy: Check local bookstores or go to globepequot.com.

Roger Phillips: 377-6215, Twitter: @rogeroutdoors

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