When you go camping, you can expect to indulge a little. While most of us try our best to stay healthy, you can’t help by grill a couple of hot dogs over the BBQ or wake up and make pancakes with maple syrup. You’re on holiday, so you deserve it, and if you are hiking or taking part in other activities, you need the extra energy. Of course, it is not always easy to choose what you should take with you on your camping trip, and that is why we have created this checklist, stating all of the essentials you should make sure you pack in your food box or cooler.
How to Choose the Best Food for Camping
When you go through a food list for camping, there are a few things you need to bear in mind before you start buying and packing. This checklist has been made with these criteria in mind, so if you want to add anything, ask yourself the following questions before you buy:
- Is it perishable?
- Is it going to get squished?
- Is it nutritious enough?
- Is it filling?
Of course, it is ok to bring some fruit and veg, but try not to bring anything that will go off quickly and make the rest of your food start to turn.
You should always pack more food than you need, and it should be enough to at least last you a couple of days. You never know what is going to happen, and having some extra food could come in a lot handier than you might think.
Make sure you pack all of the equipment you will need to cook with as well. This includes things like your camping stove, pots and pans, kettle, utensils for cooking, and even the cutlery you will use to eat. You can check out a list of things to bring, and great camping recipes, on our Yummy Camping Food post.
Below, we have the best foods for you to pack for each meal, as well as drinks, condiments, and special treats for sitting around the campfire. Of course, you can amend the list to your own tastes if you wish, but make sure you take a note of each of the items here.
Packing for Breakfast
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. Munching on something good and nutritious each morning helps to give your metabolism a much-needed boost, as well as providing you with enough energy to see you through until lunch. Here are some of the best foods that you should pack for breakfast:
- Pancake mix
- Maple syrup
Packing for Lunch
Lunch is a good time to head back to the campsite and chill out over a delicious meal together. Of course, you don’t want your lunch to be too filling as you don’t want it to sit in your stomach when you go to your afternoon activities. Unless you plan on spending the afternoon on the campsite, you should have something that is filling, but also light. Here are our suggestions:
- Pita bread
- Salad (if on the first day)
- Lunch meat
- Tinned tuna
- Tinned sardines
- Baked beans
- Tinned soup
- Dry soup mix
Packing for Dinner
Dinner time is the best time of day. It’s when everyone gets together after a long day of fun and activities so that they can share their favourite moments. Dinner gives everyone a chance to bond over cooking together, which is great for strengthening relationships and building good memories. We have some great suggestions for dinner ingredients, so check them out below:
- Potato salad
- Vegetables of your choosing (we recommend carrots, potatoes, and courgettes)
- Ground beef or pork
- Chicken wings or breast
- Tinned tomatoes
- Black beans
- Lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber
- Bell peppers
Packing for Light Snacks
When you are out hiking, you don’t always want to stop for a proper lunch, and hiking snacks are often the best way to go. They keep your energy levels up, while also providing you with the nourishment you need to keep going. Snacks are an important part of any camper’s diet, so make sure you take a look at our suggestions:
- Chopped fruit and vegetables
- Trail mix
- Granola bars
- Finger sandwiches
- Beef jerky (high in protein)
- Dried fruit
- Chocolate dipped in yoghurt
Packing Drinks and Condiments
Drink and condiments are also quite important. Making sure you have a good supply of water, as well as other refreshments, can be key to the full enjoyment of your camping trip. Similarly, camping trips can benefit from a few condiments to really bring out the flavour of your campfire meals. Here are some of the drinks you should think about bringing:
- Beer or cider for the adults
- Bottled water
- Hot Chocolate
Here are some of the condiments to consider bringing with you:
- Salt and pepper
- Hot sauce
- Seasoning mix (cumin, paprika, etc.)
- Dips for chips (e.g. guacamole)
- Dips for chips (e.g. guacamole)
Packing for the Campfire
In the evenings, there is little better than sitting around the campfire sharing stories and roasting tasty treats. It’s the perfect time to indulge in a mug of warm hot chocolate while munching on gooey marshmallows – something both adults and children enjoy. Here are our campfire recommendations:
- Graham crackers (these three items will make smores)
- Hot dogs
- Bananas (melt chocolate onto these as well)
- Steak kebobs with bell peppers
- Bread and cheese (grilled cheese)
It’s actually amazing what you can cook over a campfire, and it is a lot of fun too. You can even take an egg and hard-boil it using a stick. Why not try a few foods over your campfire on your next trip? It’s sure to be a fun experience for everyone.
Hopefully, you have found this food list to be informative and useful when it comes to deciding what you should pack on your next trip. From tasty treats to the bare necessities, everything you need for a good (and delicious) camping trip is right here.
What did you think of our camping food checklist? Is there anything that you would have added? We love hearing from you, so leave your suggestions in the comments below.