what food to take camping

Essential Camping Foods: What Food to Take Camping

Planning your camping meals and deciding what food to take is an important part of preparing for a camping trip. One approach is to make a detailed meal plan, specifying what you will eat for each breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Another option is to use a camping food list, which includes a variety of ingredients well-suited for camping and can be mixed and matched to make different meals. Some essential camping foods to consider packing include English muffins, eggs, peanut butter, oats, granola, pancakes, bagels and cream cheese, baked goods, yogurt, milk, cheese, and various meats and proteins. These items are versatile, easy to prepare, and provide a good balance of nutrients for your outdoor adventure.

Key Takeaways:

  • Plan your camping meals in advance to ensure you have all the necessary ingredients.
  • Consider using a camping food list to simplify your meal planning process.
  • Pack versatile and easy-to-prepare ingredients such as eggs, pancakes, and cheese.
  • Choose foods that are nutrient-rich and provide energy for outdoor activities.
  • Don’t forget to include a variety of meats or proteins for balanced meals.

Breakfast Ideas for Camping

When it comes to breakfast, you have several options for quick and easy meals while camping. Here are some camping breakfast ideas that will satisfy your taste buds and fuel your outdoor adventures.

  1. Instant Oatmeal: Instant oatmeal is a convenient choice that only requires hot water. Customize it with nuts, dried fruits, and honey for added flavor.

  2. Breakfast Bars or Granola Bars: Portable and providing a quick energy boost, these bars are perfect for a quick breakfast on the go.

  3. Pancakes or Waffles: Prepare pancakes or waffles using a mix that only requires water. Simple and satisfying, they are sure to be a hit with everyone.

  4. Fresh Fruit, Yogurt, and Granola: Layer fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola for a refreshing and healthy morning meal.

  5. Breakfast Tacos or Sandwiches: Make breakfast tacos or sandwiches with eggs, sausage, and cheese for a more indulgent breakfast option.

  6. Bagels with Cream Cheese: Convenient and easy to pack, bagels with cream cheese are a delicious and filling choice for a camping breakfast.

  7. Baked Goods: Muffins and bread are convenient options that can be enjoyed on their own or with spreads like butter or jam.

These breakfast ideas are simple, require minimal preparation, and provide the energy you need to kick-start your day in the great outdoors.

camping breakfast ideas

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you’re camping. These camping breakfast recipes will make your mornings a delight.”

Lunch and Snack Ideas for Camping

When it comes to lunch while camping, there are plenty of delicious and convenient options to choose from. Whether you prefer something light and refreshing or a heartier meal, these camping lunch ideas are sure to satisfy your hunger.


Sandwiches are a classic and easy lunch option for camping. You can pack your favorite bread, cheese, deli meat, veggies, and condiments to create a quick and satisfying meal. Enjoy the perfect combination of flavors while embracing the great outdoors.

Charcuterie Board:

Step up your lunch game by creating a charcuterie board filled with savory delights. Include slices of salami, an assortment of cheeses, nuts, olives, and dried fruits for a variety of textures and flavors. It’s a perfect option for sharing and grazing.


Wraps made with tortillas, cheese, veggies, and your choice of filling are portable and customizable. Opt for hummus and veggies, cold cuts, or grilled meats for a satisfying lunch on the go. Let your taste buds embark on a flavorful adventure.

Prepared Salads:

Prepare refreshing salads like tuna, chicken, or egg salad ahead of time and pack them along with crackers or bread. These ready-to-eat options are not only convenient but also packed with essential nutrients to keep you energized throughout the day.

Instant Noodles:

When you’re in need of a quick and convenient lunch, instant noodles are a go-to option. Just add boiling water, and you’ll have a warm and satisfying meal in minutes. Explore different flavors to add excitement to your camping adventure.


Quesadillas are a simple and tasty lunch choice that can be made easily on a camping stove or grill. Fill tortillas with a combination of cheese, veggies, and cooked protein of your choice for a satisfying and flavorful meal on the go.

Grilled Sandwiches and Pudgy Pies:

Get creative with your lunch options by grilling sandwiches with your favorite meat, condiments, and veggies. Alternatively, indulge in the deliciousness of pudgy pies made over a campfire using bread and your choice of fillings. It’s like a campfire gourmet experience!

Camping Snacks:

Keeping yourself fueled with snacks is essential during camping trips. Here are some easy camping snacks to keep in your backpack:

  • Trail mix
  • Chips and dips
  • Fresh fruit
  • Energy bars
  • Jerky
  • Crackers and cheese
  • Popcorn
camping snacks

Enjoy these tasty snacks whenever you need a quick pick-me-up or a treat by the campfire.

With these lunch and snack ideas, your camping meals will be full of flavor, convenience, and satisfaction. Stay nourished and powered up for all your outdoor adventures!

Dinner Ideas for Camping

When it comes to dinner, camping offers a wide range of possibilities for flavorful and satisfying meals. Whether you prefer simple and fuss-free cooking or want to showcase your culinary skills in the great outdoors, there are options that will please every palate. Here are some camping dinner ideas to inspire your outdoor cooking adventures:

Foil Packet Meals

If you’re looking for an easy and convenient way to prepare dinner while camping, foil packet meals are a popular choice. The beauty of foil packet cooking is that it requires minimal cleanup and allows you to cook a complete meal in one package. Simply combine your choice of meat, veggies, and seasonings, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil, and cook them over a campfire or grill. The result is a delicious and tender dish full of flavor.

One-Pot Meals

If you prefer a more hands-off approach to cooking, one-pot meals are a convenient option. From hearty chili to flavorful pasta dishes and stir-fries, there are endless possibilities for satisfying dinners that can be made in a single pot. These meals not only save you time and effort but also require fewer cooking utensils, making cleanup a breeze.

Soups and Chili

On cool evenings, there’s nothing quite as comforting as a warm bowl of soup or chili. These dishes are easy to prepare in advance and can be reheated over a campfire or stove. Pack your favorite soup or chili recipe, or try something new and experiment with different flavors and ingredients. It’s a great way to warm up after a day of outdoor adventures.

Fajita Tacos or Burritos

For a southwest-inspired camping dinner, fajita tacos or burritos are a delicious and customizable option. Grill up your choice of meat, along with vibrant veggies and toppings like salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. Wrap them in tortillas, and you’re ready to enjoy a flavorful and satisfying meal around the campfire.

Classic Camping Foods

Of course, no camping dinner list would be complete without mentioning the classic camping foods that bring back nostalgic memories. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausages are easy to cook on a grill or over a campfire, and they’re always crowd-pleasers. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try making pizza using a portable stove or cooking it over the campfire.

Seasoning Salt and Pre-Made Hash Browns

To add an extra burst of flavor to your camping meals, don’t forget to pack some seasoning salt. It’s a simple yet effective way to elevate the taste of your dishes. Additionally, pre-made packaged hash browns are a convenient and delicious side dish option that goes well with a variety of main courses.

Camping dinner ideas

With these camping dinner ideas, you’ll be well-equipped to create delicious and memorable meals during your outdoor adventures. Whether you’re cooking over a campfire, using a camping stove, or grilling, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So pack your ingredients, fire up the grill, and savor the flavors of the great outdoors!

Dessert and Drink Ideas for Camping

After a day of outdoor activities, it’s time to indulge in some delicious camping desserts and refreshing drinks. One classic camping dessert that never disappoints is S’mores. Simply sandwich melted chocolate and gooey marshmallows between crispy graham crackers for a sweet and satisfying treat.

Another fun and customizable dessert option is Pudgy Pies. These tasty treats are made by filling bread with your favorite pie fillings, grilling them over a campfire, and enjoying the warm, gooey goodness.

When it comes to drinks, instant coffee is a must for a quick and delicious morning pick-me-up. And for those with a sweet tooth, try making tin foil packet desserts like crisp or cobbler using canned fruit and cake mix. These desserts are easy to prepare and can be cooked over a campfire for a delightful camping experience.

Don’t forget to pack plenty of water or bring a large container of water along with reusable water bottles. Staying hydrated is essential during your camping trip, and having refreshing drinks on hand will keep you energized and ready for more outdoor adventures.


What are some essential camping foods to pack?

Some essential camping foods to consider packing include English muffins, eggs, peanut butter, oats, granola, pancakes, bagels and cream cheese, baked goods, yogurt, milk, cheese, and various meats and proteins. These items are versatile, easy to prepare, and provide a good balance of nutrients for your outdoor adventure.

What are some breakfast ideas for camping?

For breakfast while camping, you can choose from options like instant oatmeal, breakfast bars or granola bars, pancakes or waffles made from a mix, fresh fruit, yogurt and granola, breakfast tacos or sandwiches, bagels with cream cheese, and baked goods like muffins and bread.

What are some lunch and snack ideas for camping?

For lunch while camping, you can pack sandwiches, create a charcuterie board, make wraps, prepare tuna, chicken, or egg salad, enjoy instant noodles or quesadillas, and grill sandwiches or pudgy pies over a campfire. Snack options for camping include trail mix, chips and dips, fresh fruit, energy bars, jerky, crackers and cheese, and popcorn.

What are some dinner ideas for camping?

When it comes to dinner, you can try foil packet meals with combinations of meat, veggies, and seasonings; one-pot meals like chili, pasta dishes, or stir-fries; soups or chili for cooler evenings; fajita tacos or burritos; hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausage; and pizza made using a portable stove or over a campfire. Pre-made packaged hash browns are a convenient side dish option.

What are some dessert and drink ideas for camping?

After a day of outdoor activities, you can enjoy classic camping desserts like s’mores and pudgy pies made with pie fillings and bread cooked over a campfire. For drinks, consider packing instant coffee for a quick morning pick-me-up. You can also make tin foil packet desserts like crisp or cobbler using canned fruit and cake mix. Don’t forget to bring bottled water or a large container of water along with reusable water bottles.

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