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!