The beautiful Swedish countryside is full of outdoor fire pits, making cooking outdoors very accessible to everyone. They come in all shapes, sizes, and conditions, but there is no doubt about it, being able to do your cooking outdoors on a hike or a camp, safely and responsibly, adds to the experience and memories, especially for our three children.
There is no knowing what you will find until you reach one. Some are marked on trail maps, others are not, but they are little gems tucked away in the Swedish countryside, usually complete with a stunning view to admire whilst you eat your tasty treat. Some are very basic, just a few rocks. Others are luxurious, with the ability to set your grill rack at different heights, and complete with picnic tables. Sometimes a kind person has provided wood for the fire and left it in a little shelter, and occasionally there is a bucket which you can use to collect water in (which we then have standing next to the fire as a safety precaution). Due to not knowing what we will come across, and being out with three small children, I carry our fire wood (I’m getting quite strong!), just to be on the safe side. As we get more experienced and the children get older, then we can think about rummaging around the ground for fuel supplies.
There is something very special about being able to cook over an open fire, and we now have made a habit of doing this at least once a week, rain, sun, or snow…..in the winter it provides a well needed warming meal, and in the summer, a break in the hike to relax while the children play for a few hours. If you need any ideas of what to cook (both sweet and savoury), I have lots of outdoor recipes that are quick and easy 🙂 The provision of the fire pits have benefits far more reaching than just being able to do your cooking outdoors. They allow you to connect together, and pause a while from whatever adventure you are on. Usually we are hiking. The children either immerse themselves playing in nature, or are busy helping me, learning good bushcraft and survival skills as they go along. They have now all learnt what you need and how to start a fire, as well as looking after it, and putting it out safely. Also, importantly, they have learnt how to behave around a lit campfire.
Top Tips for Cooking Outdoors
- Carry your food, water, and fuel for the trip
- Have a little fire starting kit ready made up. You can see what is in ours here
- Allow lots of time. This is not an activity that can be rushed, both for safety and enjoyment reasons.
- Be prepared to improvise, whether with cooking accessories, or fuel supplies.
- Let your children help. It teaches them valuable skills.
- Leave no trace of you being there, so there is less impact on the environment. If you’ve moved rocks to create a windbreak, put them back etc
- Use fire pits when you can, or a stove if there isn’t one.
- Take ALL your waste home.
- Put any fires out completely before you pack up and leave. We don’t want wildlife hurt, nature harmed, or it to become a safety risk.
- If you are using firewood from the surrounding area, only use from the ground. Don’t go chopping or tearing branches from trees and bushes.
We really enjoy eating our food cooked on a campfire, and I find the children tend to eat better too!! Make sure you check out our outdoor cooking recipes, and I have also written about campfire basics, and campfire problem solving here on the blog.