Best Camping Food Ideas: Finding a Full Stomach and a Happy Face

What you eat when you go camping is extremely important. Many people actually love camping because it offers the chance of eating things you wouldn’t normally eat, in a different setting. And camping food always tasted delicious!

Of course, camping is no walk in the park, as oddly as this may sound, and there are quite a lot of things that you would need to take into account. From packing the appropriate gear, clothing and necessities, to preparing your food, everything is of great importance.

With this in mind, we would like to provide you with a list of the best camping food ideas which are going to make your trip nothing less than excellent.

We firmly believe that cooking while camping can be easy, quick and painless, let alone particularly delicious.

The variety of recipes that we would provide you with are going to bring an abundance of different possibilities based on what you feel like eating. Herbs and spices are capable of intensifying the meal and you could easily prepare a few before you leave.

Taking all of the above into consideration, let’s jump straight into our list of the best camping food ideas below.

Tip: Make sure your food remains fresh. See our list of the top backpack coolers to give you more options.

Camping food ideas for breakfast

They say breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day. You need all the energy you can get for your day ahead, so let’s see some good ideas for that!

1. Fresh fruit, yogurt and milk

All of these are particularly convenient as they are going to provide you with the necessary nutritional ingredients you need to start your day.

What is more, you can easily pack them in advance and get on with the breakfast as soon as you wake. You can pack a bag of cereal if you are bringing your kids with you as well.

2. Gravy and biscuits

This is another particularly delicious meal to begin your camping day with. You can pick up a bag of biscuits from the store or, if you feel particularly enthusiastic, you can spend the day before your camping trip cooking your own homemade ones.

As for the gravy, you can either improvise and make your own or you can always pick something already prepared from the store.

3. Pre-made Sandwiches for Breakfast

Now, we say pre-made because it’s a lot more convenient. You wouldn’t have to get up earlier than anybody else in order to prepare the meal and you can easily get it done at home before you leave.

Using sealed Ziploc bags is going to ensure that everything is contained properly and that no food goes bad while you are out in the open.

Of course, you can also pick up the ingredients for sandwiches and prepare them while you are already on the go.

4. Breakfast grains or Oatmeal

You’d be interested to find out that this is a breakfast which is particularly beneficial and is also recommended to a lot of people who are trying to build a great physique.

This is due to the fact that they are packed with vital nutritional ingredients and they are going to supply the energy that you need in order to get through the long day of camping.

You can also add a banana for a little sweetness and everything is going to be just perfect. Plus, nothing compares to a hot breakfast, especially since mornings when camping are usually cooler.

Also read: How to Keep Bears Away from Your Campsite

5. Pancakes

You’ve got two options here. You can either prepare the pancakes at home and pack them up, or you can simply prepare the mixture, put it in a Ziploc container and prepare it on your camping stove.

Once you decide that it’s time to make them, take out your portable gas or electric pan, cut the corner of the bag, and you will have the perfect setup.

Throw in some honey or maple syrup, cheese or some sort of fruit jelly and you are going to prepare a complete and delicious feast for everyone involved.

Camping food ideas for lunch

As the day progresses, you will definitely start to feel a craving somewhere at around noon. This craving is even more powerful when you are out camping as you are going to spend a lot more energy than when you are at home.

With this in mind, let’s see what you can eat for lunch when camping!

1. Jam and peanut butter sandwich

We put this at number one because you can never go wrong with peanut butter and jam no matter if you have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We choose lunch this time.

Even though it’s a sandwich, it comes packed with nutrients and it’s going to provide you with all the energy you need to go through the rest of the day with full force.

You can also take advantage of some fruits and vegetables on the side if you want to make the lunch even more refreshing.

2. Fireside Grilled Cheese

If you are a serious camping nut, you surely have a camping stove with you. If you don’t – you should reconsider your camping equipment as this is a must-have.

In any case, prepping a grilled cheese is always a terrific idea as it’s going to be easy, quick and delicious.

If you want to take it a step further, you can purchase a loaf of French bread, neatly cut it into slices and insert bacon, cheese and some spices. Wrap the whole thing in foil and cook it in the fire or on your grill.

3. Different types of soups

Soups are easy to prep and you don’t need anything special to make a hearty, good one.

What is even better, the majority of the times you are likely to have enough ingredients to prepare one even if you hadn’t planned for it in advance.

With this in mind, the soup is a convenient meal because you can use your bonfire if you haven’t bought a portable stove to take on your trip. And it’s even better if the weather is a bit colder.

4. Nachos

Nachos are traditionally made out of potatoes or corn, which are packed with carbohydrates.

This means that you are going to be able to easily get the energy you need in the middle of the day to keep going until the evening.

You can spice them up with a wide range of different condiments and spices in order to fit your personal preference when it comes to tastes and, of course, you should bring your favorite dip for a complete experience.

5. Hot dogs

It really doesn’t get any better or easier than this. The best thing about it is that you can easily prep the hot dogs using your bonfire, which is a great alternative if you haven’t gotten your portable stove.

You can add baked beans on the side in order to make it a lot more enjoyable. Of course, ketchup, mayo and mustard are absolute musts in this regard.

There is no shortage of ideas to consider when you go ahead and think of the foods that you can eat while camping. You just need to ensure that everything is made according to the field conditions that you are going to be in.

Camping food ideas for dinner

Nothing beats a good dinner and this is exactly what we’re going to talk about next. Let’s see some interesting recipes that you can come up with while camping!

1. Pizza

Even though it might sound a bit challenging, it’s really not. Of course, if you are camping out for a longer period of time, bringing flour is a must.

You can make your own dough and fill the pocket with mozzarella, tomato sauce, bacon and any other types of delicious things that you find appropriate.

Wrap it up in foil and get your bonfire to produce nice, hot coals. Cook it for about 25 to 30 minutes and you are ready to feast.

2. The occasional steak

The truth is that a grill should definitely be a part of your equipment when you decide to camp out.

So, before you get on your trip run to the store and get a few pounds of steak. This is the perfect dinner for when you are out in the open.

Of course, the mandatory six-pack of cold and refreshing beer is something that you shouldn’t forget as well – non-alcoholic versions included.

3. Fire roasted vegetables

This is also something particularly delicious, provided you are a fan of veggies. This is easy to prepare while camping and no matter where else you make it, it will never taste as good.

Bonus points if you can make these over a regular fire – charcoal or wood – and not a gas-powered stove.

What you want to do is chop your veggies such as potatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions and what not, wrap them in aluminum foil (or not) and throw them in the fire for some time or place them on the grill.

When you get them out you will immediately be intoxicated by the charming aroma and you will surely ask for more. It is just that great.

4. Pre-packed dinner

Now, if you don’t feel like making your own dinner as you don’t want to waste time with it, you can always run to the store and purchase some already prepared meals that would only need you to cook them.

The examples are countless and you can probably find any meal you want. Check out some offers on Amazon (affiliate link) if you’re out of ideas.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are tons of things that you might be able to prepare, regardless of the time and the place you are camping at.

All of the above are particularly easy to get done while, at the same time, providing you with absolutely everything you might need in terms of nutritional value.

Furthermore, we’ve made sure that all of the dishes are delicious and that they would appeal to the majority of people.

However, you need to know that having the right equipment is particularly important when it comes to cooking out in the open.

While we’ve tried to keep things moderate and include dishes which could be prepared with nothing but aluminum foil and fire, having a portable gas or electric stove is going to provide you with tremendous amounts of additional cooking opportunities.

Be sure that the area you’re camping in allows for the use of these instruments, however.

Camping out doesn’t mean that you should abandon your cuisine standards. It simply means that you need to adjust them a bit in order to fit the altered cooking environment.

However, with proper planning and preparation, you can also make some of the most delicious meals while you are outside in the open. Check out our must-read article on the best backpacking cooking gear to give you more ideas.

Also, preparing the majority of the food before the actual camping trip is going to provide you with quite a lot of advantages.

Through the usage of sealed Ziploc bags, you’ll be perfectly capable of preserving your food for days.

Take a look at our article on the advantages of using odor-proof bags for backpacking to help you stay safe from wild animals.

Camping is something incredibly exciting. Of course, you can make it even better if you treat yourself with some delicious meals.

Contrary to what the majority of people tend to believe, you really don’t have to eat processed and frozen foods. If you are willing to spend a few additional minutes, you’ll be capable of getting some particularly delicious recipes executed while you are camping.

Have a great camping meal that’s fun an easy to make? Leave a comment down below, sharing your stories and recipes with us. We’d love to hear from you!

6 thoughts on “Best Camping Food Ideas: Finding a Full Stomach and a Happy Face”

  1. I always thought that my camping food (once I go camping) is probably going to be simple and “boring”. But then, I went to a festival. My first neighbors were six guys from Nigeria, and as soon as I arrived, I was invited to join them on lunch. I had the most exclusive food – incredibly flavored chichen with yellow, curry rice. I was like ” Damn people, how did you make this here?” I’ll never forget that lunch! 🙂

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  2. Haha I can also relate. My secret: I go camping with buddies who are great and patient cooks! Well, they can do the cooking and I can clean-up, and that routine worked so well – so far! Kidding aside, with the new and lightweight cooking stoves, preparing and cooking food outdoors is a breeze.
    Also, I use a dehydrator in my kitchen back home to dry up some fruits and veggies that my buddies and I can bring to camp.

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  3. I have my breakfast mix: wheat, millet, barley, rye (dietary fiber – checked) + ground cashews and almonds (good source of energy, fats) + dried cranberries. It’s easy to pack. Few spoons topped with yogurt/milk/water. Tastes amazing, and keeps me full and energized for hours!

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  4. Those are really nutritious! Nuts are very healthy and combined with whole grains make you energetic during the day. Besides, you won’t feel sluggish with this combination! Good choice of food selection Beatris!

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  5. I’m a big advocate of preparing food before I set off. On my most recent trip I made a pretty amazing chili (if I do say so myself!). Cooked and froze the ground beef the day before the trip as well as dicing the onions. For everything else you can just used canned goods so that’s pretty handy! Get yourself some canned beans, tomatoes and a sauce; wait for the beef to thaw; and you’re all set! I’d love to know of any other ‘pre-made’ meals that anyone can recommend?

    Reply
  6. One of the best tip I can give you is to get those inexpensive deyhydratos so you can “store-dry” your veggies, meat and veggies. You can just rehydrate whatever your ingredients are when you reach camp. Fresh omelette with the works, cool idea, huh?

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