Guides

How to Host a Campsgiving

by CampspotterNov 10, 2020

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and although it may look a little different this year, we’ve decided to spice up this year’s tradition with a “Campsgiving” dinner. That’s right, we’re bringing our favorite feast to the great outdoors and you can too. What better way to enjoy turkey day’s goodness than with some fresh air, delicious food, and a cozy campfire? So if you’re thinking about joining in on the “Campsgiving” fun or not quite sold on a feast around the fire, let us assure you with these tips and tricks to host your very own Campsgiving celebration.

Underneath an Airstream awning with string lights, a picnic table is covered with a Thanksgiving spread.

Something about the cool temperatures and a warm meal gives us a warm fuzzy feeling. It’s true that meals taste even better when you’re camping. Cooking a Thanksgiving meal outdoors can sound a bit intimidating but we’re here to show you it doesn’t have to be. Here are six tips and tricks that can help your turkey day be a success. 

A picnic table covered with mums, pumpkins, squash, and a Thanksgiving meal sits underneath an Airstream awning with glowing stringlights.

Check the forecast

First and foremost, check the weather and pack accordingly. There’s no bigger damper at a party than a surprise rain shower or an unexpectedly cold night. Pack rain gear, tarps, warm clothes, extra firewood, and a grill for back up. Prepare and plan so you can enjoy the outdoors fully and without surprises.

Decorative squash, kale, and pumpkins sit outside of steps that lead into an Airstream trailer.

Make a game plan

The build-up to holidays tends to be stressful, so we suggest starting the planning early. Gather your recipes and serving sizes, what dishes you will need, what you need to shop for, and what you can make ahead of time. This will help everything flow smoothly and efficiently. If you need some direction on what to make, we encourage you to visit our Camp Guide’s Camping for Foodies: Campsgiving post featuring several recipes you can make at the Campspot.

A platter of beets, campfire corn, and pumpkin pie sit on top of a campground picnic table covered with a tablecloth and decorative squash and flowers.

Make things ahead of time

No, it’s not cheating to cook ahead, in fact, this can be your best friend. This will be a huge help when preparing the meal the day of. If you can chop it, marinate it, or store it, this will not only save time but add to the overall experience at camp. For our Camp Guide, Campspot ambassadors Kendra and Tyler did just the same. They made their mashed potatoes, purple gravy, carrots, and pumpkin pie all ahead of time and turned out just as delicious!

A person sits at a campground picnic table scooping out the insides of squash, preparing a meal for Thanksgiving.

Teamwork makes the dreamwork

The best part about “Campsgiving” is the comradery. Don’t be afraid to let others help out, this makes it more fun. Whether it’s keeping the fire alive, setting the table, or chopping ingredients, the more helping hands add to the experience and bring the whole meal together. 

A person walks underneath an Airstream awning adorned with cafe lights at a campground.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Know that everything might not go as planned and that’s okay. Preparing dinner in the outdoors can be a tricky game but don’t forget to give yourself some credit for all your hard work–you’ve earned it. 

A couple enjoys a Thanksgiving meal sitting at a campground picnic table, surrounded by food and decorations.

Enjoy & be grateful

Sit back, relax, and enjoy! After all that hard work it’s finally time to take a breath and eat. Enjoy not only the delicious meal you’ve made but the company you share it with. At the end of the day, your famous mashed potatoes or the fact that your green beans burned isn’t going to matter. Look around and be grateful for what surrounds you!  

A campfire is roaring as an Airstream trailer adorned with cafe lights sits int he background with a picnic table with a Thanksgiving meal sits below.

Find your Campspot.