What Food to Bring When Camping: Creating an Unforgettable Adventure
As an experienced camper and father of three kids, many of my fondest memories involve camping trips. Those memories wouldn’t have been as special without the food we brought along! As so many campers know, the right food can take a camping trip from good to great. But it can be difficult to know what to bring when you’re camping. This blog post takes a deep dive on the food you should bring this camping season for an unforgettable experience.
What to Consider When Packing Camping Food
Before packing any food to bring along for your camping trip, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
- Storage space – On a camping trip, every bit of space is valuable. Make sure to pack food that doesn’t take up a lot of room. Think small, such as protein bars or individually packaged snacks.
- Food weight – Not only is space limited, so is weight. If you’re planning to hike, then you’ll want to bring light food items that still give you the energy to enjoy your camping adventure. Try to find options that are water- and calorie-dense, such as nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
- Meal planning – Decide ahead of time whether you plan to cook your meals or stick to pre-prepared meals or snacks. Meal planning will help you determine what food items you’ll need and portion them accordingly.
- Safety – Make sure to bring food that won’t spoil quickly. You can also pack emergency food items such as protein bars and fruit cups so you have quick energy if needed.
- Allergies – If anyone in your group suffers from any food allergies, make sure to pack food that caters to their needs. You can also prepare meals for them ahead of time to ensure they’re able to enjoy the camping trip without worrying about their allergies.
The Best Foods to Bring Camping
Now that you know what factors to consider when packing food for your camping adventure, let’s look at the best food items you should bring along. We’ll focus on three main areas: meals, snacking, and drinks.
If you plan to cook your own meals, make sure to bring enough cookware and utensils for everyone in your group. You can also bring pre-prepared meals to reheat and enjoy without having to do too much cooking. Here are some of the best meals to bring camping:
- Trail mix – Trail mix is a great camping meal that can easily be packed. You can mix your own mix with nuts, dried fruits, oats, pretzels, and more.
- Soups and stews – These are a great option for a cozy meal on a cold night. Pack cans of premade soups, or better yet make your own with fresh ingredients.
- Savory oatmeal – Oatmeal makes a great meal and is easy to make on the go. Try adding shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, bacon bits, and other favorite ingredients.
- Burritos – Burritos are a great camping meal because they are easy to pack and full of flavor. Make them ahead of time or create a “burrito bar” and let everyone make their own. Don’t forget all your favorite toppings, such as sour cream, guacamole, and hot sauce!
- Pasta and sauce – A simple meal that is sure to please. Pack some fresh ingredients or pre-made sauce and you’re good to go.
You’re bound to get a little hungry in between meals and on the go. Don’t forget to pack some delicious snacks to get you through your camping adventure. Here are some of the best snacks to bring camping:
- Trail mix – Get creative and make your own or buy some pre-mixed. Trail mix will provide you with a boost of energy and it’s a great snack to have on the go.
- Snack crackers – Try to pack a variety of crackers, such as wheat or cheese crackers, to go along with your favorite dip or spread.
- Pretzels and trail mix – Pretzels are a great camping snack option because they don’t take up much space and they can be enjoyed as-is or with a dip. Combine it with trail mix for an even better snack.
- Granola bars – These are perfect for on the go or in between meals. Look for bars that offer sustained energy and are low in sugar.
- Fruit cups – Pre-packaged fruit cups are a wonderful camping snack. They’re easy to pack, full of vitamins, and they don’t take up much space.
- Jerky and hard salami – Packed with protein, these snacks are great for a quick energy boost. They’re easy to pack and won’t spoil quickly.
- Popcorn – Popcorn is a classic camping snack. Try a pre-packaged, pre-popped bag and don’t forget the butter and salt to make it even more delicious!
Hydration is key on a camping trip. Make sure you’re packing enough drinks for everyone in your group. Here are some drink options to consider:
- Water – This is a must have. Bring a few gallons of water along for everyone in your group. You can also buy individual bottles for portions throughout the day.
- Fruit juices – Keep everyone hydrated with some fruit juices. Look for small packages that don’t take up a lot of space.
- Coffee – If your mornings are incomplete without some coffee then make sure to bring some. You can also get individual cups for on the go.
- Sports drinks – These are great for rehydrating and they offer an energy boost too. Just make sure to keep them in a cool spot or pack a cooler.
- Alcohol – If you plan on having some drinks around the campfire, make sure to pack enough for everyone in your group. Don’t forget to pack an opener as well!
Tips for Packing Food
Now that you know what food to bring camping, let’s review a few tips for packing food for your adventures.
- Be prepared – Set aside enough time to plan your meals and snacks. If you need help, there are plenty of camping meal planning guides available online.
- Keep it simple – Don’t overcomplicate your meals. Stick to simple recipes that can easily be cooked over a campfire or a portable stove.
- Pack a first aid kit – Make sure to bring a first aid kit with you and keep it in an easy to access spot in case of an emergency. It’ll come in handy if you or someone in your group gets an unexpected (but not uncommon) bug bite.
- Bring an extra bag – Pack an extra bag just in case you need it. Having a bag to store any leftovers or garbage is a great way to help keep your campsite clean.
- Involve the kids – Kids love helping with meal planning and preparation. Have them pick out their favorite snacks or create a meal plan with them. This will not only help you create a fun camping experience, but will also teach them valuable kitchen and meal prep skills.
Make Your Camping Adventure Unforgettable
Packing the right food can make or break your camping experience. With the tips and ideas above, you’ll be ready to explore the outdoors and have a truly unforgettable experience with your family and friends.
If you’re looking for more camping tips, watch this video to learn more: