The New Trailside Cookbook

Canadians loved to camp! With thousands of federal and provincial campsites, we can enjoy the beautiful landscape of our great country. If you’re like me and hate sleeping on the ground, there’s more options than just tenting these days.  Look at and see that we can now sleep off the ground in various accommodations and still enjoy the great outdoors.  Perfect!  

And while you’re interacting with nature, food becomes an integral part of the experience.  There’s nothing like the memories of roasting hot dogs and marshmallows on an open fire!  But according to authors Kevin Callan and Margaret Howard, there’s a world of possibilities for great food outside our comfortable kitchens. I asked Kevin what the biggest mistake people make when planning their food for camping and he said it was purchasing boring pre-made or dehydrated meals instead of making their own food. 

Kevin Callan is a Canadian canoe enthusiast, media personality, and author of thirteen books, including the bestselling The Happy Camper and “A Paddler’s Guide To” series. His expertise on all things camping in this book brings you tips like how and what to pack, safe proofing your campsite from critters, water treatments, and building a campfire. 

Kevin teamed up with Margaret Harwood to write this book and she brought her nutrition and cookbook writing experience to ensure we had the best food to eat while on the trails. She has authored both The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving and All Fired Up: Outdoor and Indoor Grilling.

We tried the Tuna Quesadillas in our Recipe section.  What a quick, easy and delicious meal.  Change up the ingredients to produce something for everyone around the campfire.  I used the small, flavoured tins of tuna and different shredded cheeses…so many varieties that will appeal to all palates! And Kevin’s favourite food to cook outdoors? “I make a great bannock pizza baked on a reflector over hot coals on the campfire.”

Win a copy of The New Trailside Cookbook in our Giveaway section or to purchase your own book, go to

Kevin’s book on Algonquin Park can be found at  And he told me, “I will have a new book out in a couple of weeks – Another Bend in the River: The Happy Camper’s Memoir. I will also have the third addition of Firefly’s Top 60 Canoe Routes of Ontario, to be titled Top 70 Canoe Routes of Ontario in the spring of 2023. I’m working on that one now.” Looking to read more of Kevin’s outdoor inspiration!

Content and images used with permission from The New Trailside Cookbook by Kevin Callan and Margaret Howard, and Firefly Books.