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Cooking with Coleman: Camp stove tacos with Paulina Dao and the City Project

The Outbound Collective LA City Project partnered with Coleman and Paulina Dao to cook up incredible camping tacos. Read on for the recipe and some tasty inspiration!

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Presented in partnership with Coleman.

On Saturday, April 29th, City Project LA Founding Member Kat Calvin met up with Coleman Collective member Paulina Dao to make tacos on camp stoves at Switzer Falls Trail in Tujunga, CA

We were stoked to see enthusiastic attendees ready to pickle, chop, sauté, and nom on some tasty camp stove tacos! Here's the recipe so you can make your own at home or at your favorite campground/trailhead.

Paulina's camp taco recipe

In the left photo, a smiling person holds a bag of pickled red onions toward the camera. On the right, a person smiles at the camera while holding a plate of tacos.
Photos: Kat Calvin

At-home prep

Quick pickled onions
It's easy to make quick pickled onions at home to make it even easier to complete this meal outdoors!

-3/4 Cup thinly sliced red onion rings
-3 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice
-1/4 Cup drinking water
-2 Tablespoons granulated sugar


-1 Sealable bag
-Heat source

1. Thinly slice the onion.
2. Add 3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice, 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar to a small pot and bring to a boil.
3. When the liquid boils, stir to ensure the sugar has dissolved and remove the mix from the heat. Pour it over the thinly sliced onions in a small bowl or silicone bag. Let rest until room temperature.
4. Place in the fridge once cooled.

    At the campsite or trailhead

    Make the guac
    Guacamole is an essential part of tacos - especially when you're adventuring and need to fuel up! When you make it from scratch, you can make it as chunky or smooth as you like.

    -2-4 Limes
    -3-4 Jalapeños
    -2-4 Avocados
    -1 Garlic bulb or a container of garlic powder/salt (salt has a more intense flavor!)
    -1 Red onions
    -Kosher salt
    -Tortilla chips


    1. Carefully slice into the avocado and remove the pit. Cut a grid pattern into the fruit, keeping the outside intact.
    2. Scoop the avocado from its skin into a bowl. 
    3. Cut up the onion and jalapeño into small pieces. Add them to the avocado and use a fork to mash everything together.
    4. Cut up the cilantro leaves and add it plus salt, garlic, and lime to taste.
    5. Store in a container with a lid. Keep it in a cooler if possible. Or eat it all right away!

    A person is holding a spatula to stir fake meat in a pan over a camp stove that is resting on a picnic table outdoors.
    Photo: Kat Calvin
    The left image features a person smiling at something to the side of the camera. The right image features two people cooking on camp stoves outdoors.
    Photo: Kat Calvin

    Make the tacos
    Tacos are the ultimate camping food. They're customizable in a million ways based on dietary needs and preferences, and you can throw them together quickly after a day of outdoor adventure.

    -Several tablespoons of neutral oil (think vegetable or canola oil)
    -1 Package of corn or flour tortillas
    -Real or fake ground beef (Impossible and Beyond are great faux meat brands)
    -1-2 Taco seasoning packets (or make your own at home!)
    -1 Bag of shredded Mexican blend cheese
    -Several Roma or Heirloom tomatoes
    -1 Sweet white onion
    -1 Bunch of green onions

    -Propane stove & propane
    -Frying pan

    1. Set up your propane stove and start heating a frying pan on medium.
    2. Pour two tablespoons of oil into the pan and let it heat.
    3. Once the oil shimmers, place your meat or faux meat in the pan to start browning.
    4. When the meat is halfway browned, add your taco seasoning. Continue browning.
    5. Cut the tomatoes, green and white onions into small pieces. Mix together or keep in separate containers for easy taco customization.
    6. When the meat is fully cooked, remove it from the heat. Warm the tortillas directly on the stove or in a fry pan over the stove.
    7. Assemble your tacos, share with your camping buddy, and enjoy!

    Pro tipConsider adding black or refried beans for additional protein (or to substitute meat altogether!)

    Follow Paulina's adventures cooking, climbing, walking, and taking adventure photos on Instagram and the web.

    To join the LA City Project, check out our Mighty Network. Not in California? Check out our other chapters across the country!

    Feature image: Kat Calvin

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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