Roughing it in the Bush

Posted by Lauren Dashwood

It's high summer with hot lusty days lasting straight through the weekends, with cool lakes for private swim, and with an excess of places to pitch a tent and get away from it all. I like my adventurous outdoor weekends to border somewhere between roughing it in the bush and five star hotel stays. I like sitting by a lake, dipping in for periodic swims, with lots of refreshing beverages in between, lest anyone get dehydrated. I love hiking, swimming, fishing and lounging in the great outdoors, but I refuse to do so without a MEC French press coffee maker, or my down pillow that collapses to somewhere around the size of a postage stamp.

With camping, hiking, boating and other open-air merriment, comes a whole new recipe retinue. Chili is always a camping staple. Nothing takes the nippiness out of a cool summer evening, or the damp out of a rogue rainy day like a steaming bowl of this Meaty Cheesy Chili. On a more temperate day for lazy lunches or suppers, try this ridiculously easy Caramelized Onion Dip paired with Pita Chips or fresh veggies. It takes about 15 minutes at home to whip this dip up, and to place in a Tupperware container. Then, just pack it along in the cooler with the rest of the hot dogs and jiffy pop for an easy and refreshing camping meal.

For the fishing able, these are not so much recipes than enthusiastic suggestions. Bring along plenty of salt, coarse pepper (another camping staple I can't rough it without my peppermill), lemon, and olive oil for when you can fry up that plump salmon or trout gutted and sliced open, spritz the inside with lemon or lime juice, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and fry for 4 minutes a side in a couple tablespoonfuls of olive oil. Rustic, tasty and perfect paired with a cool glass of white wine and a simple salad.

Water water everywhere... It is so nice to have a couple smart cocktails while camping to help you relax and to help you cool off. Pomegranate and lemon zest up the classic Screwdriver in this nouveau Citrus Splash. This is the perfect cocktail to pack in a thermos and enjoy on the boat, the dock or merely by the campfire. Try this Strawberry Peach Sangria allows you to take advantage of wonderful summer produce, and is also a perfect beverage to pack along in a large thermos.