Best Food to Take Camping

When you are preparing for your next camping adventure, you will need to consider what type of food will fit the type of trip you are taking.  There is a wide variety of food to bring camping but the choice will depend on the length of stay, temperature, if you can keep items cold, and if you are able to reheat items.  When you take this in to consideration, you will be able to determine the best food to take camping.

Camping Food List for Three Days

This list is based off the type of food I typically take camping for three days.  This doesn’t mean you have to stick to these items because as you continue to read you will find I have listed multiple options.  It will all depend on your preference of food you enjoy to eat while camping and the type of camping you will be doing.

Breakfast:

  • Oatmeal: either bring a big container or the small pre-packaged oatmeal
  • Omelets in a bag: each person will need to have three bags
  • Eggs and Bacon: this can be made on the stove over your campfire

Lunches:

  • Cold Cut Meats or Burgers: you will need to bring three burgers per person or bring cold cut meat in Ziploc bags (a pound of ham and turkey should do the trick)
    • Tip: Since lunch time is usually the hottest time of day if you are camping in the summer, it may be best to stick to cold cuts. This way you don’t have to start a campfire to cook the burgers
  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Lettuce, tomatoes, and cheeses
  • Condiments

Dinner:

  • Pre-Cooked Chicken or Fish
  • Whole Potatoes
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Macaroni and Potato Salad

Snacks:

  • Granola Bars: bring two bars a day because you will need to refuel your energy after a long camping excursion
  • Trail Mix
  • Carrots along with a 16 oz. tub of hummus
  • Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter
  • Bananas: these will allow for you to obtain potassium to help you avoid your muscles cramping up after hiking, biking, or any other strenuous outdoor activity

Drinks:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea Bags

Tip: Make sure to freeze the meat you choose to bring ahead of time.  Also continuously replace the ice in your cooler to ensure the food is remaining at a temperature that bacteria cannot grow.

Options to Mix up Your Meals

Above is a concrete list of what to bring, which is helpful for some.  However, if you like to mix up your meals and stay away from the basics then below you will find a variety of options.  The list below will provide more options for a three day camping trip.  This allows for the opportunity to mix up your meals each day.  It also creates the opportunity for you to identify what meal will match the criteria you need for your camping experience.

Pre-Made Meals for Camping

So let’s get started by identifying meals that can be pre-made.  This category of camping food will be for those who prepare for a trip days ahead of time.  For that reason, this category doesn’t always mesh with me.  However, I plan to try some of these very soon because they sound so delicious!

  1. Omelets in a Bag: This will involve scrambling two eggs with your ingredients then placing it into a freezer Ziploc bag.  This will allow you to freeze the omelets until you are ready to go.  Once you are ready to eat them, you will place the bag into boiling water for about 12 minutes.  Or you can thaw it out and cook it on your skillet.
    1. 2 eggs per person
    2. Meat or tofu that you prefer
    3. Vegetables you prefer
    4. Cheese you prefer
  2. Burritos: You will need to use room temperature ingredients.  Cook the meat and rice, add any other ingredients, and then tightly wrap it up into a tortilla.  You will then wrap the burritos in foil tightly.  When you are ready to cook them, you can place them in the fire or on the grill rack that most fire pits contain.
    1. Tortillas
    2. Cooked Rice
    3. Cooked Chicken, Turkey, Pork, or Beef
    4. Chunky Salsa
    5. Shredded Cheese
    6. Lettuce and Sour Cream
      1. You will bring these items along to add to your burrito when you are ready to eat it, otherwise it will become soggy.
    7. Kabobs: This is an easy meal that can suit anyone’s preference. You will need to have skewers for each person on the camping trip.  Make separate skewers; one for meat and one for vegetables.  This will make it easier to cook evenly.  You will then make these by placing them on the grill rack over the fire.
      1. Meat or tofu that you prefer with seasoning
      2. Vegetables you prefer

Best Canned Food for Camping

Canned food is the most practical when going backpacking, however, it also makes for a convenient source of food for those lazy days around the campsite.  A tip is to make sure you bring a can opener.  It sounds like an obvious item to bring but when you are in a hurry it is an item that is easily forgotten.  Also bring spices to help add some zest to your entrees.

  1. Tuna
    1. You can bring along some croissants and mozzarella cheese to add some flavor to your tuna.
    2. Place the cheese on top of the tuna and heat up the tuna and croissant on a frying pan.  A spatula will help make this process easier to combine the items.
  2. Soup
    1. There is a variety of different soup that you can bring. This means that it makes it easy to match every ones taste.
    2. Allowing each person to be happy with their individual selection. You just need to bring along a pot for cooking it in.
  3. Ham or Spam
    1. You can spice these items up by bringing skewers along to make kabobs.
    2. Items to add flavor would be pineapple chunks or fresh mushrooms.

Easy Camping Meals for Kids

Kids can sometimes be picky, so I created a go to list that would hopefully suit any child’s pallet.  Keep in mind even though they are simple, you can mix it up by adding items that you fancy.  I particularly like all of the camping meals listed and if that is the case for you it will make it easy for everyone to enjoy the same dinner.  This means less clean up and preparation.

  1. Grilled Cheese: This is the simplest meal and most craved by children and adults. You can add whatever cheese you desire.
    1. I prefer to use pepper jack cheese then add tomatoes and bacon. This makes a once simple meal into a delicious and savory meal.
    2. However, for kids you most likely will stick to the basic ingredients of cheese and bread. You will know what your kids like so it will be an easy decision for the cook.
  2. Walking Tacos: This is something that your children can hold in their hands and walk around the campground with ease.  You can combine all the items into the small chip bag or place everything into a bowl.
    1. Chili
    2. Doritos or Fritos: either a small bag to easily eat out of or place into bowl
    3. And anything your child likes on tacos
  3. Hot Dogs: A common staple of camping food is the classic hot dog. It is a simple ingredient and even simpler item to cook.
    1. Hot Dog
    2. Condiments
    3. Buns

Camping Meals that Don’t Require Refrigeration or Cooking

These meals are best for breakfast.  Or if you’re like me it makes for a good meal anytime of the day because I love breakfast food.  They are made up of the most basic ingredients but the highlight is you don’t have to worry about your items getting warm or preparation time.

  1. Dry Breakfast Cereal with Powdered Milk
    1. You can enjoy the cereal by itself or mix water and powdered milk in a bowl then add the cereal.
  2. Granola Bars
    1. I really enjoy Cliff bars because it allows for lasting energy. It also makes for a great item to bring along backpacking, to give me a little pick me up when hiking.
    2. You can even get bars that contain caffeine within them, which is a perk for those long vigorous hikes.
  3. Bagels
    1. Bagels are a simple meal that it is great on the go. You can bring along peanut butter or Nutella to add some flavor to your bagel.

Get Ready to Have the Best Food to Take Camping!

The list of best food to take camping will help you establish the finest eating experience you can have while stranded away from a modern day kitchen.  So don’t let the lack of home convenience deter you from preparing meals you will enjoy.  While either preparing meals at home ready to be taken along or making meals at the campsite, you will have the luxury of knowing you aren’t sacrificing taste for the outdoors.

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