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Trail gear

(article, Liz Crain)

Food cooked around a campfire is often deeply sentimental, because it usually signifies time spent with friends and family. But sometimes it's good to loosen the heartstrings a little and add a new recipe or gadget to the repertoire. 

If you've never cooked with a pie iron before, pick one up before the summer camping season starts. These inexpensive hinged tools (usually cast-iron or aluminum) are invaluable for cooking items like pizzas and paninis. There are all sorts of brands to choose from, and most outdoor stores carry them.
 
Last year Heidi Swanson, of the food blog 101 Cookbooks, posted a roundup of camp cooking resources. And Adam Roberts, of the food blog The Amateur Gourmet, posed a simple question for his bloggers before he left for a weekend of beach camping last summer: "Besides hot dogs and s'mores, what are some easy things we can cook on a campfire?" Check out the 40-plus comments he got in response.
 
For those who refuse to cook while camping, there will, of course, always be plenty of precooked oddities — such as the unappetizing-looking cheeseburger in a can. Just boil and bite. Or not.