Pro Tips for Campfire Cooking in Northern Michigan

Set up a tent and stoke a fire for the simplest of summer pleasures—eating under the open sky. These campfire cooking tips make it easy. 

Sandwiching the solstice, the languid weeks of June are filled with the most daylight of the entire year. Take advantage of these extended hours; pack your tent, a sturdy Dutch oven and head into the woods.

Northern Michigan is home to numerous state park campgrounds—some with amenities like concession stores and showers—but the adventurous at heart seek out rustic state forest campgrounds. Each state forest campground sits on a river or lake and has vault toilets and potable water from hand pumps. Find a complete list at Michigan.gov/dnr.

Be sure to have a Recreation Passport and pay the necessary fees if camping within a Michigan State Park. For those venturing into the unknown (i.e. state forests), fill out and conspicuously post a camp registration card. Regulations and permits can be found at Michigan.gov/dnr.

After you pitch your tent, grab a stack of logs for a fire and unload that Dutch oven. Nearly as versatile as it is indestructible, this hunk of cast iron can be utilized for a variety of culinary delights. I’ve found enchiladas are an easy and satisfying camp meal, and always make for happy campers. While nearly any recipe will convert to over-the-coals cooking, I sourced mine from freshoffthegrid.com and tossed in some fried sweet potato as my own touch.