Archive for Camping Food

Food to Bring Camping – Meal Ideas For Your Camp Trip

Meals are an important part of each day, especially when you’re outdoors camping or backpacking. Your body needs the calories and the energy to explore the backcountry to its fullest. However, being in the backcountry, access to a fridge and oven is usually scarce, if at all. Bringing food that is dry, requires no preparation, or is already prepared is highly recommended to save time and stress, so you can be free to enjoy your relaxing vacation in the wilderness. These are a few popular choices for each meal, some of them requiring a campfire and others being grab-and-go foods.


To start your day off right, breakfast is a staple. A large eggs-and-bacon breakfast is sure nice to wake up to in the morning, but usually when camping it’s best to just have something basic, light, and energy boosting. It saves cleanup time and ensures a large appetite later in the day. A few breakfast ideas would be fresh or dried fruit, granola bars, instant oatmeal/hot cereal, coffee, instant tea, pancake mix, cinnamon buns, dry cereal and powdered milk, and yogurt.


If you’re a backpacker or an active camper, your lunch may be spent out somewhere along the trail, on a huge rock, or perhaps by a lake. Wherever your choice lunch area, instead of unpacking, preparing, cleaning up and repacking, a quicker and easier option would be to eat many simple, small things throughout your day. This keeps your energy and calorie intake up as well. Some suggestions for a bigger lunch are tuna salad (which can be put on bread and made into a substantial sandwich), bean salad, or cold-cut sandwiches or wraps. Smaller portions that can be eaten throughout the day and on-the-go are beef jerky, dried fruit, bagels, energy bars, and trail mix.


After lots of outdoor fun, a great way to end the day is with a large, rewarding dinner. It’s a good idea to make dinner near your camp, so you can have a fire or grill and cook something delicious. Some options for a big dinner to consider are hot dogs, steaks or pork chops, chili, soup, pizza, or hamburgers. Of course, as a backpacker or an active camper or hiker, preparing a large dinner may just be too much after all of that, or perhaps you’re just really hungry and would rather not wait for the food to heat up. Some substantial yet quick and easy to prepare meals are chicken or tuna salad pasta, roast beef wraps, chips and dip, pasta, instant rice or soup, instant potatoes, or ramen noodles.

Remember to bring tools to prepare your food! Can openers, tin foil, plastic wrap, ziplocs, cooler, ice, utensils, pots and pans, bowls and plates, and cutting boards are all useful things to bring on your camping trip when planning to make these meals. No matter what your food preference is, these tips and suggestions will be able to help you make the food that will help you to enjoy your trip!

Huge List Of Camping Recipes

Tired of eating the same 3 meals every day when you’re camping? If you’re anything like me, this may be something you struggle with. Whenever I find a camping meal I like I tend to repeat it too often and everyone else gets sick of it.

Don’t be like me! There’s hundreds of different meal ideas that you can take camping, so there’s no reason to hang on to that one favorite recipe that everyone else is tired of.

Use this huge list of camping recipes to pick and choose the meals you want for your next camping trip:

Meal Ideas That You Can Reheat On Your Camping Trip

Camping is a blast but cooking everything from scratch can be a huge time sink. While this can be a great activity to involve everyone in, sometimes it’s just best to eat a quick meal so you can get back to having fun.

Since you probably won’t have a microwave on your camping trip, you won’t be able to nuke anything in 10 seconds like you can at home, so choosing which “reheatable” meals to take can be a challenge.

Here’s a great article with 8 ideas to help you eat fast by reheating meals over the campfire or on a skillet.

Food For Camping – Taking A Look At Good Food For Camping Trips

Good food for camping tripsNo matter where you go camping, cooking meals and eating tasty food can be one of the most enjoyable parts of your trip. To make it even better, spend a little time before you leave to prepare and plan some good food for camping. Doing so will make your camping trip go much smoother and you’ll have peace knowing you brought enough food for everyone you’re responsible for.

Good Food For Camping Trips

A lot of times, the best food for camping (and the easiest) are simple meals that you can barbecue or roast over the campfire. Bringing a couple pounds of ground beef, some buns, and cheese make for a great meal that doesn’t require much preparing or time to cook. It all depends on how involved you want to get.

Other good foods for camping are meals that you can cook up all in one pot. Stews and soups work great since you can cut up all the ingredients before hand, put them in separate bags and throw them in the cooler until you’re ready to cook your food. Then just throw all the ingredients in the pot, cook, and stir.

A similar idea to the one above is learning how to use a Dutch Oven, which is basically a big cast iron pot that you can cover with coals to cook your food. Dutch ovens make great food for camping since all you have to do is add the ingredients, cover it in coals, and set a timer – no stirring required!

Another good food for camping trips are pastas. Noodles are very easy to prepare and depending on what pasta dish you’re going to prepare, you can either whip it up real quick on the spot or even prepare the sauce before you leave home and store it separately. Then all you have to do is cook the noodles, heat the sauce, and put them together.

Other Good Food For Camping Trips

There are many different camping meal ideas out there, so be creative with what you find and how you can adapt it to camping. Some of the best meals may be ones that you already cook at home, just prepared a little differently since you’ll be cooking and eating it while camping.

One of the easiest ways to prepare food for camping is to do as much as you can before you leave home. We’ve gone so far as to pre-cook a giant pot of stew at home, then bringing it in the pot. Then when it was time to cook that dinner all we have to do is put the pot on the propane camping stove and reheat it. No worrying about cooking meat all the way through or anything!

What are some ways you prepare your food for camping trips to make it easier on you?

Backpacking Food Ideas – Best Backpacking Food To Keep Your Pack Light

Best backpacking food ideas

Planning is a very important part of every backpacking trip you take. To have the lightest pack possible, but still bring everything you need can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re going on a longer backpacking trip. These are the best backpacking food ideas that will help you pack light, but still eat well and stay energized.

One way to keep your pack ultralight is to buy freeze-dried food to bring. While freeze-dried food is one of the most lightweight backpacking foods, it’s also very expensive. If you’re not worried about the cost and want a lightweight food that still has nutritional value, this might be the way to go for you.

Best Backpacking Food Ideas At Lower Cost

If you don’t have a lot of dough to throw down on food for your backpacking trip, then you’ll probably want to buy or prepare your own backpacking food yourself. Since food can account for 25-50% of the weight in your pack, take care when planning out your meals.

The main thing you’ll want to be looking for is food that is dehydrated or that you can dehydrate yourself (if you have a food dehydrator) Breads, grains and pastas are already dehydrated so they are a good place to start. Dehydrated fruits and vegetables are some of the best backpacking food ideas since they are packed with nutrition to keep energy levels high.

When you’re out backpacking all day you’re going to expend an enormous amount of energy (much more than your average day at the office). Since your body will be burning through so many calories, your lightweight backpacking food is going to have to replace those calories or you’ll get drained. Depending on how intense your hike is you’ll probably be expending between 2500-5000 calories a day, which you’ll have to replace with food calories.

When planning out your backpacking food ideas, keep your meals simple so you can easily count the calories in them and make more than one. To save time during the preparing process you can just figure out 3 meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner – and repeat those 3 meals every day. If you have more time then obviously you can get more extravagant and plan however you want.

List of The Best Backpacking Food Ideas

I found a great list of backpacking food ideas over at a scouting website, check it out below:


  • Instant cocoa
  • Juice (Tang)
  • Fruit – fresh or dried
  • Cold cereal (choose a nutritious brand that packs small without being crushed, like granola, spoon-size shredded wheat, etc.)
  • Hot cereal (instant oatmeal)
  • Powdered milk (for cereal)


  • Powdered drink mix (Gatorade, Lemonade, etc.)
  • Crackers
  • Chips (corn chips, tortilla chips)
  • Cheese (cheddar, string cheese)
  • Salami or beef stick
  • Peanut butter and jam
  • Beef jerky
  • Canned meats (tuna, deviled ham, etc. – heavy – good for short trips only – must pack out can)
  • Nuts
  • Trail mix
  • Candy bars (watch out for melting)
  • M&M’s
  • Hard candies (like Brachs or Werthers)
  • Licorice
  • Granola bars
  • Fruit – dried – raisins, prunes, banana chips, etc.



  • Cup-of-soups (Nile Spice, Trader Joes, wonton, etc.)
  • Packaged dried soups (Knorr, etc.)
  • Top Ramen
Main & Side Dishes

  • Rice, pasta, or cup-of-soups, with optional meat (like pepperoni, beef stick, summer sausage, canned tuna, browned and dehydrated ground beef or turkey) added in. Examples below:
  • Chili cup-of-soup with browned, dehydrated ground beef and dehydrated tomatoes.
  • Lentil and couscous cup-of-soup with pepperoni.
  • Angel hair pasta with Alfredo sauce and extra chunks of cheese. (Thin pasta, like angel hair, cooks faster than thick spaghetti.)
  • Angel hair pasta with tomato-based spaghetti sauce, and Parmesan cheese (use packaged sauce, like Lawry’s or Shilling, with tomato paste, or make your own homemade sauce and dehydrate it).
  • Dried tortellinis (Trader Joes) with pasta sauce.
  • Macaroni and cheese with pepperoni slices.
  • Mashed potatoes (dehydrated instant) with gravy mix and optional browned, dehydrated ground turkey and dried cranberries.
  • Stove-Top stuffing mix
  • Hash browns (dehydrated, in a box)
  • Fantastic Foods dehydrated refried beans


  • Fresh vegetables (bell peppers and carrots keep well)
  • Freeze-dried vegetables (for long trips)


  • Instant pudding (bring a shaker to mix it in)
  • Cheesecake (packaged – Royal or Jello brand – you may need to bring butter, powdered milk, sugar, aluminum pie tin – check directions)
  • Cookies
  • After-dinner mints
  • Cooked dried fruit, with cinnamon added
This list is courtesy of Troop 132. To learn more about backpacking food ideas, check out this book: Trail Food: Drying and Cooking Food for Backpacking and Paddling

Camping Meal Ideas – Lots of Great Ideas For Camping Meals

camping meal ideasWhen you’re outdoors playing hard all day you’re going to be hungrier than usual and so will everyone else with you. When you’re this hungry just about anything tastes good, but that doesn’t mean you should slack off and forget about preparing some good camping meals. Cooking while camping is a bit different than cooking at home with a microwave, stove, and oven, so it’s important to have a lot of camping meal ideas to choose from when picking your entrees.

Plus, cooking can be one of the most enjoyable camping activities for you and your family if you’ve prepared before hand and have a plan. I think it’s a good idea to compile a list of camping meal ideas and keep adding to it as you find more. You can the ideas for camping meals below to start your list off right.

The Best Camping Meal Ideas Are Simple

If you’re looking through a cookbook for some good camping meals then keep in mind where you’ll be and what you’ll have available. Take into account what campfire cooking equipment you have to cook with, and what types of ingredients will store well. Remember: cooler space is limited and precious!

Breakfast Meal Ideas

We’ll start with the most important meal of the day, breakfast! Eating a hearty breakfast will give you energy that lasts so you can play hard all day. Never skip breakfast when you’re camping, those extra calories are important to keep you going. Here’s my favorite camping meal ideas for breakfast:

  • French Toast
  • Pancakes
  • Bacon & Eggs
  • Goulash (eggs, sausage, potatoes & onions all mixed together)
  • Cold cereal w/ milk (if we’re feeling lazy)
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt & granola
  • Omelettes (add onions, peppers, sausage, or other ingredients – be creative!)
  • Breakfast burritos
  • Hashbrowns (fresh or frozen)

That should get you started for breakfast camping meal ideas. Remember, add the ones you like to your list of good camping meals and keep building it.

Camping Meal Ideas For Lunch

In my opinion, lunch is much less important than breakfast or dinner, and we treat it that way. Lunches during our camping trips are usually very informal. If we’re getting hungry and it’s not quite late enough to make dinner, we eat lunch. Here’s my list of camping meal ideas for lunch:

  • Sandwiches (bread, meat & cheese…yum!)
  • Soup or Stew (open a can and put it near the fire for quick cooking)
  • Hot Dogs, Bratwurst, German Sausages (with or without buns)
  • Personal Pizzas (bread, pizza sauce & toppings in a pie iron over the fire)
  • Chips & Dip
  • Veggies & Dip
  • Meat & Crackers (don’t forget the cheese)
  • Apples, Oranges, Bananas, other easy fruit

Remember: simplicity is the key. We usually don’t hang around and cook something for lunch so the quicker the better. Good camping meals for lunch are ones that are easy to make just 1 or 2 of, and easy to put away the leftovers if there are any.

Camping Meal Ideas for Dinner

Dinner is my favorite camping meal and usually is the meal with the most time invested in. Breakfast and lunch, while important, are usually thrown together quickly while dinner can take hours to prepare. If you’re camping with a group or your family, get everyone involved to make it more fun and feel less like “work.”

Here’s my list of camping meal ideas for dinner:

  • Hamburgers
  • Hot Dogs, German Sausages, Bratwurst
  • Chili Dogs
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Steak
  • Pastas (Spaghetti & Beef Stroganoff are great)
  • Tacos
  • Baked Potatoes & whole onions (wrapped in foil in the fire)
  • Lentil Bean Soup (preparing soups or stews before you leave home then reheating works great)
  • Camp Kabobs (w/ meat & veggies)
  • Fajitas
  • Grilled fish
  • Pizza (pie iron)
  • Toasted cheese sandwiches
  • Jumbalaya
  • Hobo Bags (onions, peppers, potatoes, pre-cooked sausage or other meat wrapped in tin foil and thrown in the fire)

This short list of good camping meals for dinner should get you started.

Two things to keep in mind when coming up with camping meal ideas

There’s lots of different options to choose from for camping meals, and eating great food is one of those camping essentials that you should invest some time into. But keep these two things in mind:

First, if you’re going to prepare it at the campsite keep things simple. Burgers and steaks are a great example of this. Just take them out and throw them on the grill.

Second, there are a lot of camping meal ideas that you can prepare parts while you’re at home. Some soups or stews you can prepare at home, then bring and reheat for a delicious meal. For other meals like Beef Stroganoff you can prepare the sauce at home, then boil the noodles at the campsite to make it easier.

How fancy you get is up to you, but preparing whatever you can in the comfort of your home will make those good camping meals super easy to throw together when you’re out in the woods.

Click Here for a huge list of 580 camping meal ideas along with everything you need to know to prepare them.

Do you have some camping meal ideas that you’d like to share with our readers? Leave them in the comments below!