make ahead camping meals

Feeding Your Adventurous Side with the Best Make Ahead Camping Meals

by Hailey Light April 17, 2019

Make ahead camping meals

When Hunger Strikes at the Red Rocks

Imagine yourself climbing the last pitch after a long day in the dry heat of the Mojave Desert. Your hands are chalked, your arms are pumped, there’s a subtle ache of hunger in your stomach. All you can think about is the veggie masala from last night’s camping meal that’s waiting for you in your pack, to give you the last burst of energy to make the walk off possible. You pull yourself up over the lip of the sand stone ledge, exhausted, and turn around to see the breathtaking rolling hills of Red Rock Canyon. As the sun is reaching a low point on the horizon and the night life of a once quiet desert emerges, you sit up on the ledge eager to tear into your pack to get yesterday’s leftovers. You flip off the lid of the container that holds the delicious stew and reach for your camping spork, finally food at last.

Climbing is an art. The pursuit of such a treacherous adventure requires style, drive, and a creative mental twist on the vertical terror. Why do we climb? Why do we pursue the perilous? For some, the danger is enough. To know your fate if you make an error on that intricate sequence of pitch. For others, the desire of adventure into the unknown is the attraction. To stand on a precipice, face a vast barren desert, and know you’re the only one for miles. For me it’s the sweat, the silence, the rush of triumph of accomplishing what I thought I couldn’t. Regardless of what brings you to the wall, we all have one thing in common; we must eat.

Food gives our bodies the power to take on the day. To conquer some of life’s most challenging obstacles we must give our bodies fuel to do so. Whether that challenge is the last pitch of a ten pitch climb in the beautiful wonders of the Red Rock Canyon, or after another long grueling day at your desk job. The hunger for the semi-warm veggie masala waiting for me at the top of the cliff was what drove me to power through that last pitch. Hunger drives us all, whether that be the hunger for our next grand adventure or the hunger for the meal we crave after a hard day’s work.

Part 1 of our Make-Ahead Camping Meals Series

It's important to fuel our bodies with the most nutritious and beneficial foods for life’s greatest adventures. This is the first article of a blog series of that will focus on make ahead camping meals to drive all of your adventures, whether that be your weekend warrior camping trip or week long climbing expedition. However you feed your adventurous hunger I will be here every two weeks with new ideas and make ahead camping meal recipes on how to make the most out of your adventurous culinary experiences. For now, I will leave you with the edge gripping veggie masala recipe that pulled me through the last pitch in Red Rock Canyon.

Recipe for Veggie Masala


Prep time: 30 minutes. Serves: ~3

1 Yukon Gold Potato

1 Head of Broccoli

1/2 White Onion

1/2 Bell Pepper

1 Jar of Masala Simmer Sauce

1 Can of Full Fat Coconut Milk

2 Tbsp. of Oil of Your Choice

2 Cups of Rice of Your Choice

1 tsp of Salt


  1. (At Home) Pre-cut all veggies and put them in a bag to store in your cooler.
  2. (At Camp) Combine four cups of water, one tablespoon of oil, salt, and rice in a medium sized pot. Stir and cover, put on medium heat. Checking in every five minutes, wait until water has completely boiled down then stir. Once no more water is left remove from heat.
  3. (At Camp) Combine all veggies in a large sauce pan with one tablespoon of oil. Sautee the veggies on medium/high heat until potatoes and broccoli are soft, about three minutes.
  4. (At Camp) Combine the coconut milk, masala simmer sauce and veggies all together in the same sauce pan and simmer on high heat for 7 minutes.  
  5. Serve over rice, or put it in a to-go container with a Morsel for later

Hailey Light
Hailey Light


Hailey Light is an experienced outdoor guide and aspiring steward of the natural world. When she's not skiing, climbing, backpacking, canyoneering, or white water rafting you will find her trying out new recipes to share in her articles.

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