what food to bring camping

Ideal Camping Foods – Planning Your Outdoor Menu

Take the stress out of prepping for your next camping trip with this camping food list! When you have these essential ingredients with you, it will be easy to make simple but tasty camping meals from scratch. Planning out exactly what you’re going to eat for each breakfast, lunch, and dinner means you’ll always know what’s coming up and only bring the ingredients you need. If you prefer a more free-form approach to camp cooking, a camping food list can be a great option. It provides a list of ingredients that are well-suited for camping and can be mixed and matched to make a variety of meals.

Below is a go-to camping food list that includes English muffins, eggs, peanut butter, oats, granola, pancakes, bagels and cream cheese, yogurt, milk, cheese, meats and proteins, and sandwich meat or cold cuts. These ingredients can be used to make a range of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options while camping.

Key Takeaways:

  • Planning your camping meals in advance can make your outdoor adventure more enjoyable and less stressful.
  • A camping food list is a helpful tool to ensure you have all the necessary ingredients for delicious and convenient meals.
  • Don’t forget to include versatile ingredients like eggs, peanut butter, and oats for a variety of breakfast options.
  • For lunch, consider making sandwiches with deli meats or opting for pre-packaged meals that can be easily prepared on-site.
  • Dinner is the perfect time to gather around the campfire and savor hearty meals like grilled kebabs or Dutch oven dishes.

Essential Breakfast Camping Foods

When it comes to breakfast while camping, there are a few essential foods that you should bring along. These options will ensure you start your day with a nutritious and delicious meal. Here are some camping food preparation ideas to consider:

English Muffins

English muffins are a versatile option that can be toasted and enjoyed with a variety of toppings. Spread peanut butter, jam, or butter on them for a satisfying and energizing breakfast.


Eggs are a camp breakfast staple and can be used in various ways. Make scrambles, omelettes, or even pancakes with them to kickstart your day with protein-packed goodness.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is not only a delicious spread; it is also a great source of protein. Use it on toast, in sandwiches, or in sauces for a convenient and healthy camping food option.


Oats are a versatile ingredient that can be used to make a quick and easy breakfast. Cook them with water or milk, or use them as a base for fruit desserts for a wholesome camping meal.


Granola is a convenient option for a no-fuss breakfast. It provides a crunchy and nutritious start to your day. Enjoy it with milk or yogurt for a quick and satisfying camping food.

Bagels with Cream Cheese

Bagels with cream cheese are a classic and easy camp breakfast option. They require minimal preparation and provide a filling and flavorful start to your day in the great outdoors.

Yogurt and Milk

Having yogurt and milk on hand is always a good idea for a simple breakfast or to use in recipes. They can be enjoyed on their own or added to oats, granola, or smoothies for added creaminess and flavor.

Cheese and Meats/Proteins

To create hearty breakfast options while camping, don’t forget to pack cheese and various meats and proteins. Chicken, steak, bacon, and sausage can be used to create delicious and satisfying breakfast meals.

camping breakfast

Breakfast Food Usage/Preparation
English muffins Toast and enjoy with peanut butter, jam, or butter
Eggs Scrambles, omelettes, or pancakes
Peanut Butter Spread on toast or use in sandwiches and sauces
Oats Cook with water or milk, or use as a base for fruit desserts
Granola Enjoy with milk or yogurt
Bagels with Cream Cheese Quick and easy camp breakfast option
Yogurt and Milk Simple breakfast option or use in recipes
Cheese and Meats/Proteins Create hearty breakfast options

Convenient Lunch Camping Foods

Lunch can be a challenging meal to plan while camping, as it often needs to be prepared ahead of time for portable adventures. Here are some convenient lunch options to consider when packing your camping food:

  1. Sandwiches with various deli meats: Make a variety of sandwiches using your favorite deli meats like turkey, ham, and roast beef. Add some cheese, lettuce, and condiments for extra flavor.
  2. Sides: Pack some potato chips, pickles, and potato salad as easy and tasty side options for your sandwiches.
  3. Trail mix and snack bars: These quick and easy portable snacks are perfect for on-the-go lunches. They provide energy and nutrients to keep you going throughout the day.
  4. Pre-packaged meals: Consider bringing pre-packaged meals like Mountain House meals that can be easily prepared with just water. They are convenient and require minimal preparation.

For more substantial lunch options, try these easy camping recipes:

  • Turkey Sandwiches: Use leftover turkey from dinner or pre-sliced deli turkey to make delicious and filling sandwiches.
  • Chili Mac with Beef: Prepare a hearty chili mac using canned chili, macaroni, and ground beef.
  • Chicken and Rice: Cook some chicken and rice in a portable camping stove for a satisfying meal.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: Make classic grilled cheese sandwiches on a portable camping grill for a quick and tasty lunch option.
  • Deli Wraps: Combine your favorite deli meats, cheese, and veggies in a tortilla wrap for a convenient and flavorful meal.
  • Quesadillas: Fill tortillas with cheese, vegetables, and cooked chicken or beef to create delicious and satisfying quesadillas.

Don’t forget to pack some fruits like bananas and apples that can accompany your lunch meals and provide a fresh and healthy addition to your camping menu.

And now, feast your eyes on this mouthwatering image of a delicious camping lunch:

Convenient Lunch Camping Foods

Delicious Dinner Camping Meals

Dinner is often the highlight of camping meals, where you can gather around the campfire and enjoy a delicious meal. Whether you prefer hearty comfort food or flavorful grilled dishes, there are plenty of options to satisfy your appetite. Here are some mouthwatering dinner ideas for your next camping adventure:

1. Beef Stroganoff: A classic dish that is easy to make over a campfire. Tender beef strips, mushrooms, and onions cooked in a rich and creamy sauce, served over noodles or rice.

2. BBQ Hot Dogs: A quick and simple campfire favorite. Grill your hot dogs to perfection and top them with your favorite barbecue sauce, onions, and cheese.

3. Tin Foil Dinners: A customizable meal that is fun to prepare. Wrap seasoned meat, such as chicken or beef, along with potatoes, onions, and zucchini, in foil and cook over the campfire for a flavorful and easy one-packet meal.

4. Chili Mac with Beef: A hearty and satisfying meal that combines chili with macaroni pasta and ground beef. It’s a delicious comfort food that will keep you warm on cool camping nights.

5. Southwest Chicken and Rice: Tender chicken cooked with flavorful southwest spices, served over rice and garnished with fresh cilantro and lime. It’s a zesty and delicious meal that will satisfy your taste buds.

6. Customizable Kebabs: Skewer your favorite meat, such as chicken, beef, or shrimp, along with a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and zucchini. Grill them over the campfire for a delicious and customizable dinner option.

7. Shrimp Boil Foil Packets: A seafood lover’s delight. Combine shrimp, corn on the cob, sausage, and potatoes in foil packets, seasoned with Old Bay or your favorite spices. Cook them over the campfire for a flavorful and easy dinner.

8. Dutch Oven Enchiladas: Layers of tortillas, seasoned ground beef or chicken, cheese, and enchilada sauce cooked to perfection in a Dutch oven. It’s a Mexican-inspired dish that will satisfy your craving for a flavorful dinner.

9. Grilled Fish Tacos: Fresh fish grilled and served in warm tortillas, topped with a tangy slaw and a squeeze of lime. It’s a light and refreshing dinner option for those who love seafood.

10. Halloumi Tacos: Grilled halloumi cheese served in warm tortillas, topped with fresh vegetables and a tangy salsa. It’s a vegetarian-friendly option that is packed with flavor.

Sample Table: Comparison of Different Dinner Camping Meals

Meal Preparation Time Cooking Method Flavor Profile
Beef Stroganoff 30 minutes Stovetop Savory and creamy
BBQ Hot Dogs 10 minutes Grill Smoky and tangy
Tin Foil Dinners 20 minutes Campfire Customizable and flavorful
Chili Mac with Beef 25 minutes Stovetop Spicy and comforting
Southwest Chicken and Rice 35 minutes Stovetop Zesty and flavorful
Customizable Kebabs 15 minutes Grill Versatile and delicious
Shrimp Boil Foil Packets 30 minutes Campfire Seafood and savory
Dutch Oven Enchiladas 40 minutes Dutch oven Spicy and cheesy
Grilled Fish Tacos 20 minutes Grill Fresh and tangy
Halloumi Tacos 15 minutes Grill Cheesy and flavorful

These are just a few examples of delicious dinner camping meals. With a little preparation and creativity, you can enjoy mouthwatering meals while camping, whether you’re using a campfire, grill, or Dutch oven. Experiment with different flavors and ingredients to create your own camping culinary masterpieces!

campfire cooking

Sides and Salads for Camping

Sides and salads are a great way to complement your camping meals and add some variety to your menu. Whether you’re grilling over the campfire or using a Dutch oven, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from.

Grilled Asparagus Bundles

Grilled asparagus is a simple yet flavorful side dish that pairs well with virtually any camping meal. Wrap the asparagus spears in foil with a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Place the foil packets on the grill or over the campfire until the asparagus is tender-crisp.

Roasted Peppers and Onions

Roasted peppers and onions add a burst of flavor and color to your camping meals. Simply slice the peppers and onions, toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them in a foil packet or on a grill grate until they’re soft and slightly charred. These make a great topping for sandwiches, quesadillas, or as a side dish on their own.

Grilled Corn

No camping trip is complete without some grilled corn on the cob. Soak the corn in water for about 30 minutes, then place it directly on the grill or over the campfire. Rotate the corn occasionally until the kernels are tender and charred. Serve with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of salt for a classic camping side dish.

Vegetable Kebabs

Vegetable kebabs are a versatile and customizable side dish that can be made using your favorite veggies. Skewer a mix of bell peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. Brush them with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and your preferred herbs or spices. Grill the kebabs over the campfire until the vegetables are tender and lightly charred.

Campfire Ratatouille Kebabs

Add a flavorful twist to your vegetable kebabs with this campfire ratatouille recipe. Skewer tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and onions, and brush them with olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Roast the kebabs over the campfire until the vegetables are soft and slightly caramelized. Serve as a side dish or over a bed of rice for a complete camping meal.

Dutch Oven Red Beans and Rice

If you’re looking for a hearty and filling camping side dish, try making red beans and rice in a Dutch oven. Sauté onions, bell peppers, and celery in the Dutch oven, then add red beans, rice, and seasonings. Cover the Dutch oven and let it cook over the campfire or hot coals until the rice is tender and the flavors have melded together.

Sides and Salads
Grilled Asparagus Bundles camping food checklist
Roasted Peppers and Onions
Grilled Corn
Vegetable Kebabs
Campfire Ratatouille Kebabs
Dutch Oven Red Beans and Rice

For those looking for lighter options, consider making sweet potato black bean burgers or a chickpea breakfast hash. Lentil sloppy joes and sweet potato black bean tacos are also delicious vegetarian options. Don’t forget to pack your favorite salad ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and dressing to enjoy a refreshing side salad while camping.

Scrumptious Camping Desserts

No camping trip is complete without indulging in some delicious desserts. Whether you’re sitting around the campfire or enjoying a cozy evening under the stars, these camping dessert options are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

One popular choice is grilled peaches with yogurt. Simply slice fresh peaches, grill them over the campfire, and serve with a dollop of creamy yogurt. The warmth of the grilled peaches combined with the coolness of the yogurt creates a delightful contrast of flavors and textures.

Another classic camping dessert is banana boats. Cut a slit into a ripe banana, fill it with chocolate chips and marshmallows, wrap it in aluminum foil, and place it on the grill or in the campfire. Once the chocolate and marshmallows have melted, open the foil, grab a spoon, and enjoy this ooey-gooey treat.

If you’re craving a taste of nostalgia, s’mores are a must. Toast marshmallows over the campfire until they’re golden brown and gooey, then sandwich them between graham crackers and a square of chocolate. The combination of melted marshmallow and chocolate creates a heavenly dessert that will transport you back to your childhood camping adventures.

For a twist on traditional camping desserts, consider making cinnamon apple pancakes, stuffed French toast, or chickpea blondies. These easy camping recipes can be prepared ahead of time and enjoyed at any time of day. Just pack the necessary ingredients and cooking utensils, and you’ll have a scrumptious dessert to satisfy your cravings.

Remember to include marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate in your camping food checklist to ensure you’re well-prepared for s’mores. Additionally, bring any other sweet treats that you enjoy to make your camping experience even more delightful.


What are some camping food ideas?

Some camping food ideas include breakfast options like English muffins, eggs, peanut butter, oats, granola, pancakes, and bagels with cream cheese. For lunch, you can pack sandwiches with deli meats, potato chips, pickles, and potato salad. Dinner ideas include beef stroganoff, BBQ hot dogs, tin foil dinners with baked potatoes, onions, and zucchini, and chili mac with beef. For sides and salads, consider grilled asparagus bundles, roasted peppers and onions, and corn on the cob. And for dessert, you can enjoy s’mores, grilled peaches with yogurt, banana boats, and campfire apple crisp.

How do I plan meals for camping?

To plan meals for camping, start with a camping food checklist to ensure you have all the necessary ingredients. Determine the number of days you’ll be camping and plan out each breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Consider the cooking equipment you’ll have access to, such as a campfire, grill, or portable stove. Choose recipes that are easy to prepare and can be made with minimal cooking equipment. Make a list of the ingredients you need for each meal and pack them accordingly. It’s also helpful to make meals that can be prepped ahead of time and stored in portable containers.

What are some easy camping recipes?

Some easy camping recipes include scrambled eggs with veggies, grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, tin foil dinners with chicken and vegetables, and one-pot pasta dishes. For breakfast, you can make overnight oats or yogurt parfaits. For lunch, assemble turkey or ham sandwiches with your favorite toppings. For dinner, try making foil packet meals with shrimp and sausage or grilled chicken and vegetables. Don’t forget to pack easy snacks like trail mix and granola bars for quick and convenient bites.

What food should I bring camping?

When camping, you should bring a variety of foods to cover your meals and snacks. Some essential camping foods include bread or English muffins, eggs, peanut butter, oats, granola, bagels and cream cheese, yogurt, milk, cheese, meats and proteins (such as chicken, steak, bacon, and sausage), sandwich meat or cold cuts, fruits like bananas and apples, and a selection of vegetables. You may also want to bring condiments, seasonings, and snacks like chips and trail mix. Don’t forget to pack enough water and consider any dietary restrictions or preferences.

What are some healthy camping snacks?

Some healthy camping snacks include fresh fruits like apples and bananas, pre-cut vegetables like carrot sticks and bell pepper slices, individual yogurt cups or Greek yogurt, trail mix with nuts and dried fruit, granola bars, rice cakes, beef or turkey jerky, and hummus with whole wheat crackers or pita bread. You can also pack individual portions of cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and single-serving nut butter packets. Choose snacks that are portable, non-perishable, and provide a good balance of nutrients.

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