An enjoyable camping trip requires a bit of planning. As you make your way through your checklist, don’t forget to include food. As fun as “living off the land” may sound, if you’re a recreational camper, you will need to bring food with you.
First off, we have overnight oats. Jessica Randhawa from The Forked Spoon says:
“Incredibly easy to prepare and clean up, overnight oats are my go-to meal for camping. There’s an added bonus to this easy breakfast food (especially if you have young children), no cereal spills or tiny toast crumbs all over the place – so no animal issues if you are making them while camping!
Rather than cooking oats in boiling water and serving hot, as with oatmeal, you combine rolled oats with cold milk, yogurt, fresh or dry fruits, nuts, and chia seeds. A much more hands-off cooking technique, the oats and chia seeds absorb the liquid from the milk and yogurt as you sleep or go on with your day. Four to six hours later, you have cold, creamy, soft, and chewy, luscious oats.
When it comes to pro tips for making camping foods without fire, my best expert tip is to think about meal prepping with your cooler instead of your refrigerator. For example, you can easily meal prep the heck out of these overnight oats. Make a big batch of a few different flavors the night before you go and enjoy various flavors the whole trip straight from the cooler!”
We asked a few more frequent campers what their favorite foods to bring along on camping trips are…
“The best foods for camping are things that don’t need a lot of preparation, last reasonably long in terms of nutritional value and taste decent after reheating,” shared Amir Behrozi Founder of My Home Dojo and expert in Home and Family products. “For example, fresh fruit, nuts, chicken breasts with BBQ sauce would work well.”
“Quaker Chewy bars are also an excellent choice when it comes to camping foods,” Behrozi continued. “These bars provide around 20g of protein in one bar! But do also check out the nutrition facts before grabbing this type of treat because some might not have what your body needs in them like apple sauce, oats or barley for those who don’t eat gluten.”
Homemade snacks and treats also work well on camping trips. According to Rebecca, homemade granola bars make a great snack to take camping. Pytell believes that homemade granola bars are the “perfect non-perishable fuel that can be eaten as a snack, breakfast, or mid-day meal depending on how you customize them!”
Fresh fruit and vegetables also make great snacks. You can eat them by themselves or use them together with other portable foods. ChihYu Smith, Founder of I Heart Umami, has a fantastic recipe for Chicken Apple Salad Stuffed Avocados that uses ultra-convenient foods that are easy to bring on a camping trip. It’s the perfect combination of nutritious, energizing, and fulfilling foods and doesn’t require extra equipment to make.
It’s important to pack food that will give you the energy you need while on your trip, but don’t forget about one essential sweet treat: marshmallows. Mary Garcia, The Godmother at GoodieGodmother.com, describes marshmallows as a “campfire requirement.” With homemade or store-bought marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate, you can enjoy s’mores once the sun goes down.
If you rely on a jolt of caffeine from coffee each time the sun rises, you don’t have to go without while enjoying the great outdoors. Steeped Coffee is great for camping trips because it doesn’t require machines or brewing equipment. Instead, the coffee comes in single-serve bags that steep in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. Plus, the packages are nitro-sealed to ensure freshness.
“Each Steeped Pack contains hand-roasted, ethically sourced, Direct Trade coffee that’s precision ground to showcase the distinctive flavor profile of every crafted blend. Whether you’re looking for light, medium, dark, French roast, or even decaf, there’s something for you. These go anywhere single-serve Coffee Bags are perfect for camping, RV’s, hiking, and travel.”
More great foods to bring camping include:
- Trail mix (homemade or store-bought) – A light, healthy snack that is especially convenient for hiking trips.
- Beef jerky – Jerky is loaded with protein which will satisfy your hunger and keep hunger pangs at bay for longer. Plus, it’s great for traveling, won’t spoil, and takes up very little room in your bag.
- Sandwiches – Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are great for so much more than just school lunches. Pack a loaf of bread and some of your favorite sandwich ingredients for a quick and easy meal. If you have a cooler, you can pack lunch meat, cheese, and condiments for a fully-customizable meal option.
- Muffins (homemade or store-bought) – Muffins are great for breakfast or as a snack at any time during the day. And with so many varieties of muffins available to make or purchase, you can enjoy something different every day.
When packing food for your camping trip, keep in mind that convenience and portability is key. Whether you’re hitting the hiking trails or relaxing at your campsite, chances are that you won’t have access to appliances and other kitchen equipment. Rather than relying on a limited selection of bland treats, plan ahead and pack a variety of flavorful, nutritious foods that can be enjoyed in the great outdoors.