This year, Americans will once again gather to celebrate the 4th of July, AKA Independence Day. We do so with fireworks, beer, burgers, and flags aplenty. It is righteous indeed to commemorate the date on which our revered forefathers officially stated their intent to cleave from Britain and form “a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” (thank you Abraham Lincoln’s superlative Gettysburg Address). However, even this finest, most hallowed of holidays can become rather blasé after years and years of the same beer ‘n burger celebrations.
So this year, if you’re looking for a unique new way to celebrate America’s birthday, why not take advantage of one of your country’s greatest resources: the American wilderness!
Camping out is a great way to have a great time that’s both memorable and affordable, and with a bit of planning, it can be a uniquely American experience, too.
PATRIOTIC CAMPSITE CUISINE
The Main Course – Campfire Pot Roast
Guess what, America? Meat and potatoes in on the menu for your 4th of July Camping extravaganza. You can prepare an amazing take on the classic pot roast even when you’re miles away from an oven. All you need is a big ol’ campfire and a Dutch oven or a large cast iron pot with a lid.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- One 3 Pound Chuck Roast
- One Large Onion, Chopped
- 1 Cup Red Wine
- About 2 cups of water (ideally broth, but water is fine — you’re camping, dude)
- 4 or 5 Carrots, chunked
- 2 or 3 big ol’ potatoes, chunked
- Salt and pepper and maybe garlic powder and such
OK, here’s what you do: put all that stuff in your Dutch oven or iron pot. Now stick the pot right next to the fire. Keep the fire going, and turn the pot (or oven or whatnot) around about once an hour. Plan for about two hours cooking time and check on the meat from time to time; once it’s cooked through, it’s dinner time. Be ready to add more water and a bit more wine if things get dry.
For Desert – S’Mores
What sweet do you eat on a 4th of July camping trip? Dude… you eat s’mores. The simplest answer is always the best, right? Right. So, for the three of you not in the know, here’s the 4-1-1 on the s’more:
- Graham Crackers
- Chocolate Bar (better make it a Hershey’s)
Roast a marshmallow over the fire, then sandwich it between graham crackers with a layer of chocolate on one or both sides. Allow for brief melting. Eat. And sure, go ahead and try fancy varieties like flavored crackers, varieties of chocolate (like cayenne pepper infused chocolate FTW) and such.
To Imbibe – The Old Fashioned
Our Campsite Cocktail Old Fashioned is a simple twist on the original. For each serving you’ll need:
- 2 Ounces Whiskey (Bourbon or Rye)
- 2 Dashes Angousta Bitters
- 1 Sugar Packet (easier than a cube when you’re roughing it!)
- 1 TBSP Water (sourced and filtered from that nearby stream?)
- An Orange
Pre-mix the whiskey and bitters, if you’d like. At the campsite, mix in the sugar and water with the booze, then cut a wedge of fresh orange. Squeeze a few drops in, drop the rest of the slice into the glass (or mug or what-have-you) and enjoy.
HAVE A REST, AMERICA STYLE
If you love kicking back and taking it easy and you love America, then you’ll love taking a snooze or leafing lazily through the pages of a book in the Freedom Flag American Flag Hammock from The Lazy Patriot. This 105″-long, 65″-wide hammock is a double-wide, suitable for use by two proud citizens at the same time.
It weighs just a little more than a pound, so you can bring it along even if you’re headed rather far afield for a 4th of July camping trip. Or you can hang it up in your backyard or on the front porch to show the neighbors you like to take it easy with pride, dammit. Your patriotic respite awaits.
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT
When camping in the wilderness, a safe, well-monitored campfire is a great way to stay warm, keep things cozy and festive, and cook your food. Fireworks, on the other hand, are a great way to start a wildfire that ruins both your holiday and untold acres of priceless habitat at the same time. So lets avoid using them. Even sparklers have no place in the woods. But glowsticks? Those babies couldn’t hurt a fly! Unless you used one like a little bat and went around hitting flies, but you probably won’t do that. Red, white, and blue glowsticks are safe and patriotic at the same time, so use them as bracelets, necklaces, or hang them around your campsite (clean up later!) to bring some safe American luminescence to the evening.