Rained Out? Bring the Campout Indoors


Camp-in Dining

Half the fun of camping is the food, and plenty of it still works for the indoors. Ants on a log (celery sticks covered with peanut butter and topped with raisins), for example, will add an outdoorsy flair to your campsite. S'mores, a classic bonfire snack, are also doable in the microwave. Zap them for just a few seconds to avoid overheating the marshmallows. With careful adult supervision, you can also roast the marshmallows over a gas stove burner or working fireplace. But no matter how you cook s'mores, that magical combination of marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker is the quintessential cookout treat.

Hobo pie and hobo stew are two variations of the same theme, one with bread and one without. If you have a pie iron (a camping device made of cast iron or aluminum similar to a waffle iron), line it with two pieces of bread, and then add cheese, fruit, meats and veggies, or anything else you can think of. Then, hold the pie iron over a gas burner or fireplace, and in a short while, you'll have a toasty treat. Hobo stew recipes are equally varied, which is part of their charm; each camper can personalize his or her stew to taste. Start with squares of heavy-duty tin foil, which you can top with uncooked ground beef, diced potatoes, veggies and seasonings as desired. Wrap up the foil into packets and place them in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet to catch the juices. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius) for about half an hour, or until cooked through [source: Cooks.com]. The results are savory and delicious.

If your campers are thirsty, serve up drinks in appropriately outdoorsy containers like canteens and thermoses. It will add just the right ambience to your rainy-day camping adventure.

So, now you've got a campsite, things to do, snacks to munch -- what are you waiting for? Get camping! And be sure to see the next page for lots more information about rainy-day activities.

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