Holiday meals can translate to the trail, and we’d argue that they might even taste better out there too. We offer nine standouts that can be assembled, baked, grilled or cooked on an open flame for the holiday season. For Thanksgiving, a full traditional meal is possible, or a hint of the holiday with cranberries. We suggest two Christmas trail mixes and an easy eggnog. The New Year’s focus should be on fun — and champagne-in-a-can is only the beginning.
9 Holiday Trail Meals to Enjoy for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years
1. Thanksgiving is usually about turkey, and there is no reason to forsake this delicious and nutritious main course while on the trail. Turkey jerky isn’t quite going to cut it, so we recommend a quicker roast turkey, by using a smoking method. This full Thanksgiving dinner includes smoked turkey and sides. To do this, you can benefit from a roaring campfire and a camp stove. This incredible menu is more of a holiday camp meal, but leftovers can be enjoyed over several days of camping.
2. A fabulous Thanksgiving is always made better with cranberry sauce. On the trail, you can dig into dried cranberries for that taste of fall and the season. Combine them with macadamia nuts, chocolate chips, and some pretzels for a delicious Thanksgiving trail mix.
3. Holiday trail meals should be portable, so for Thanksgiving, our third trail dish is a full meal in a bag, nearly instant, and extremely convenient. This Thanksgiving meal-in-a-bag can be prepped ahead of time, then cooked with your Primus Essential Trail Stove — or any of Primus' camping stoves.
4. A Christmas trail mix doesn’t require a recipe: just add green and red M&Ms to a standard mix, perhaps a handful of pretzels covered in white chocolate, and cranberries. Add some mini-marshmallows to make a base of white, and this mix is good to go.
5. Christmas needs eggnog, so a good recipe in a thermos will instantly bring the spirit of Christmas to your campground. Use this eggless recipe with just four ingredients before you strap on your boots for hiking and camping.
6. Our third Christmas treat is yet another trail mix, but this one comes with a tried and true recipe — although it’s more of a snack than a holiday trail meal. With sour cherries and ginger, and a touch of chili powder this gorp is satisfying and warming.
7. New Years requires champagne and finger food. We recommend a few recipes that can be made at home, including this easy but ingredient-rich party mix. Just melt the butter and garlic mix ahead of time and infuse when you are ready to cook, in camp or before you head out for your New Year’s hike.
8. Did we mention that New Years needs champagne? Well, we’re all in luck, because a recent addition to the canned wine movement includes champagne. These cans of sparkling wine are the perfect addition for a New Years celebration on the trail.
9. For any good New Years party, a sweet treat is a necessity. Many cultures have developed menus for good luck during this time of year, and we recommend a Greek cake called Vasilopita. Make it ahead of time, freeze it, and then thaw it out as you hike. For a simpler suggestion, a tin of celebratory cookies still look (and taste) amazing under starlight.