The long winter is over and past; let’s get ready to hit the campgrounds a runnin’. What should we pack to eat? Roast pheasant? Haunch of buffalo? Whole roasted hog? Should we have a seven-course dinner or just a five? Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Why go through all that? Make it easy on yourself. After all you have been busy all winter checking out sleeping bags for tears and repairing bad zippers. You’ve spread all of them out on the bed in the spare bedroom and fluffed them all up in the dryer. The bedding is ready.

You’ve tempted your wife into getting a cease and desist order by setting up your tent in the living room and getting leaves and dirt clods all over her furniture. You notice I said, “HER” furniture. Wives are very possessive of their furnishings and you are tromping on her territory when you do things like that or even cleaning fishing reels at the dining room table may set her off, so be careful.

After the dust settles (pun intended) and you’ve stomped on her last bit of territory, the dishwasher, when you ran all your fishing lures through the wash cycle; well, now it’s time to refurbish your chuck box and plan your meals for your first weekend camping trip of the season. Here is where I am easy on my self, since I do all the cooking on our camping trips. And since there’s just the two of us and maybe an occasional grand child, I make the meals simple. Now if I plan on cooking for a gang like at a family reunion or the hunting crowd at deer camp, then I make things a little more sophisticated and plentiful or I may try out a few Dutch oven recipes for a crowd and share with any neighbors in the campground. Don’t just stand there in the basement in your undershorts with a look of wonderment on your face; close the freezer door and get out your pencil and paper.

Check your pantry and cupboards, after you’ve made your list of things to take, and mark off the items before you go to the local Scott’s, Aldi’s, Kroger, or Save-A-Lot. Here is one simple put together meal.




(So simple)

1 (1 lb.) box of spaghetti

1 (28 oz.) jar of spaghetti sauce

1 lb. hamburger (browned, drained)

Garlic powder to taste

Parmesan cheese

Large pot



Garlic bread/toast (recipe to follow)


Prepare spaghetti per box instructions. Drain, rinse, and put cooked spaghetti back into pot and pour in enough hot water to cover. The spaghetti will stay separated and not stick together. All you have to do is drain as needed and use.

Heat spaghetti sauce in a pot with the browned/drained hamburger. Put one serving of cooked, drained spaghetti on a plate and ladle some of this sauce/meat mixture over the spaghetti. Serve with Parmesan cheese and garlic toast. Keep reserved cooked spaghetti covered and in a cool place for tomorrow night’s supper which will be: CHILI SPAGHETTI.



(Do this before you leave home)

Hamburger or hot dog buns (separate the tops and bottoms)

Olive oil or a mixture of olive oil and melted butter/margarine

Garlic powder

Put the separated buns on a cookie sheet and drizzle the olive oil/mixture over the bun halves. Sprinkle the garlic powder liberally over the buns. Set the oven temperature at 200 degrees and dry/bake the bun halves until they are crisp. Cool and put into a plastic Ziploc bag. Serve with the spaghetti or eat like a snack. Try this simple fare when you do your Kookin’ ‘round your first spring Kampfire.

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Ray McCune

He has lived in Waynedale for over 45 years. He has taken to his lifelong dream of being a full time Outdoor Freelance Writer and author. Ray has authored one book and has written Kampfire Kookin' as well as other outdoors articles for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer