Gone are the days of living on stale bread and tinned food while camping. You can now bring the ideal food for camping with you from home into the wilderness with a bit of thought and planning!
We’ve found a few great camping food ideas for meals and snacks you can make at your campsite with minimal effort so that you don’t have to give up on your delicious treats from home. These can either be prepared at home before you leave or whipped up at your campsite, so whichever method you prefer is best.
As always, when camping, it’s essential to clean up after yourself and leave no mess behind. When you’re cooking, you can become especially attractive to local wildlife, so it’s vital to clean up your scraps and not share your meals with anyone but your own family.
Ideal Food For Camping: 17 Delicious recipes
There are many fantastic camping food ideas for you on your next big trip! Breakfast, dinner, and snacks can taste great in the wilderness with a little extra planning and creativity. These foods are ideal for camping because they’re quick to prepare and cook, travel well, and, most importantly, tasty.
This is a simple dish you can create with the whole family, and everyone can choose their toppings to make it even more enjoyable.
- You’ll need a cast-iron skillet for all your ingredients to be durable enough to sit on top of the fire.
- Layer the skillet with tortilla chips, cheese, beans, red pepper, green onion, bacon bits, jalapenos, olives, and anything else you love to eat your nachos with.
- Place the skillet on top of the fire embers and cook until the cheese has melted and all other ingredients are hot.
- Dish a serving into everyone’s bowls, eat straight out of the skillet, and serve with sour cream and salsa.
Grilled Tuna Melts
This basic comfort food is easy to make over the campfire and is bound to hit the spot.
- Mix tuna and mayo in a bowl.
- Add a little pizazz to your tuna by adding chopped celery, spices, fennel, carrots, etc., or leave it plain and simple!
- Throw a little butter or oil in your frying pan and add a slice of bread.
- Put a quarter-inch layer of tuna salad on the bread and cover it with a piece of cheese.
- Add a quarter-inch layer of tuna salad over your cheese, and then put your final piece of bread.
- Let the bread brown on each side before removing it from the flame, and enjoy!
The best part about it is that there are many ways to make it your own! Whether you personalize your tuna salad with your favorite flavors or add a cheese slice of your liking, it’s easy to create the perfect sandwich.
Kielbasa and Cabbage Skillet
This is a simple polish inspired meal that’s perfect for camping. This crock-pot staple has turned into the ideal campaign food idea.
- Roughly chop up two apples, one head of cabbage, and two packages of kielbasa.
- Throw them all into a skillet over the fire with some olive oil.
- Next, add 2-3 cloves of garlic minced and some onion.
- Season the skillet with salt, pepper, and dijon mustard, and then stir.
This one-pot meal is an ideal food for camping. It ensures quick and easy clean-up and a lot of flavors! You can always sub minced garlic and onion for garlic and onion flakes if that makes it more camp-friendly.
Camp Pancakes Three Ways
Such a breakfast staple can’t be left out of your camping recipe book! Here we have four different simple ways to do pancakes over the campfire.
Option 1: Add Water
The most basic of pancake recipes require water, and this one is no different. Our only suggestion is to fill a bottle with your pancake mix and water before leaving home. Squeeze your desired portion of pancake mix onto a greased skillet and watch them cook! Bring maple syrup, of course, for the finishing touch!
Option 2: Add Stout
Before your trip:
- Fill a ziplock baggie with pancake mix.
- Add one can of beer, preferably a stout, to the pancake mix with a little vegetable oil.
- Mix the contents within the bag, and then cut a small hole in the bottom corner of your ziplock baggie.
- Squeeze the desired amount of pancake mix onto the greased skillet and cook away!
Option 3: Add Dehydrated Fruit
Choose one of the above ways to make your pancake batter. Then decide which types of dehydrated fruit you might want to add to your pancakes while they cook! Dehydrated blueberries, strawberries, and apples heat well in a pancake batter. Although dehydrated bananas will undoubtedly do the trick, they don’t become quite as soft as other dry fruits while rehydrating. As always, top with maple syrup and maybe even a sprinkle of chocolate chips before enjoying!
S’mores Cookie Sandwiches
For a spin on the traditional s’mores recipe that we all know and love, you can get creative by adding anything you like when you’re out camping. These s’mores cookie sandwiches are particularly decadent and a fun meal for everyone to get involved in.
- Rather than using graham crackers for your s’mores, you substitute them with cookies.
- Since this has chocolate, you can feel free to leave out the square inside, but chocolate lovers will undoubtedly enjoy the double chocolate hit.
- Up your s’mores cookie game by spreading peanut butter inside each cookie!
Campfire Cajun Shrimp
A delicious meal with little clean-up, especially if you make time to prepare them at home! We’re about to throw a lot of cajun flavor into a foil grill packet. It’s pretty basic; all you have to do is throw in all the food you’re looking to combine, fold it up, and put it over a grill or campfire.
- Combine corn on the cob, cut into ⅓ pieces, cubed red potatoes, uncooked shrimp, smoked sausage chunks, melted butter, and cajun seasoning into a tin foil packet.
- Once you’ve folded the tin foil up tightly, you’ll put them on the grill or in the outer coals of the fire for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Use tongs to remove from heat and open packets with caution as steam will be escaping.
Macaroni & Cheese Dogs
A true campfire staple! Hot dogs are a summer, bar-b-que staple and taste even better over an open flame.
- First, you will want to boil water for your favorite flavor, macaroni, and cheese. While the macaroni and cheese are cooking, find the best way to roast your cheese dogs over the fire.
- You can poke a stick through them or use a cooking broiler. Once both are ready, cut up your hot dogs and mix them with your mac and cheese.
You can always doctor your macaroni and cheese up with some upgrades! Add a little spice to your meal by choosing jalapeno cheddar hot dogs. Throw some vegetables for added nutrition, or leave it plain and simple. Whatever works best for you while you’re camping is ideal.
Spicy Chicken Stir Fry
This easy camping meal contains protein, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. In other words, it’s everything you need to keep your energy up while enjoying the outdoors!
- You can buy a frozen stir fry mix or choose to chop up some bell peppers, onions, broccoli, and snap peas.
- Boil some rice and fry up your veggies in a pan with oil. When the vegetables are just about done, dump canned chicken into the frying pan and add hot sauce and soy sauce to taste.
- Last, scoop rice into your bowl and add the chicken and vegetable mixture.
This is an excellent meal for large camping groups and will hit the spot. Stir fry provides the opportunity for many creative liberties; you can add a fried egg to the rice, change up the vegetables used, or try a new sauce!
Campfire Cheese Fries
For some proper comfort food by the fireplace, why not make your chili cheese fries? This is a tin foil dinner that works perfectly when you’re camping, thanks to the minimal fuss and mess.
- Use a small packet of frozen French fries and pour them into a tin foil boat you’ve made; spray them with cooking oil, cover them up, and cook them on the campfire BBQ or grill.
- Once done, open the foil back up, pour a jar of chili on them, and top them with loads of jack cheese and mozzarella. Fold the foil up again and return to the heat for a little while to let the cheese melt.
- When ready, you can simply eat with forks straight off the foil to save from washing up.
Feel free to top them with sour cream if you want something even more delicious. Minimal clean-up and prep times make this an ideal food for camping!
You can quickly tire of the same old breakfast foods when camping, so why not add some French toast to the menu? This is an excellent camping food idea, a simple french toast recipe!
- Wrap a fresh loaf of bread in parchment paper and add some strawberries on top.
- Wrap some foil underneath to create a boat around the bread, and pour in some ready-made French toast mix. Tighten the top of the bread up with more foil so that it’s completely covered.
- Next, place the bread on top of the grill and let it cook for about 40 minutes, making sure you move it around to evenly coat and cook every slice of bread.
- Once thoroughly cooked and the bread is no longer soggy, remove it from the heat for 10 minutes. Open the loaf up and add sugar, syrup, and more strawberries for everyone to enjoy.
Spicy Chicken Ramen
This is a great, quick meal packed with protein, vitamins and minerals, and flavor.
- Boil water in a pot for the ramen noodles to cook in. You can boil this water on a grate over an open flame or on a camp stove.
- While boiling, saute some peppers and onions in salt and pepper. Once the noodles break apart, you’ll add the sauteed vegetables and canned chicken to the ramen.
- Canned meat has shelf stability and adequate protein for any outdoor adventure. This makes it an excellent option for doctoring up a meal!
- Easily add ramen, vegetables, and cans of chicken based on the number at your party. Additionally, you can change your ramen’s flavor by changing the packet, vegetables, or canned meat used.
When you’re relaxing at your campsite at the end of the day but not quite ready for dinner, a simple spinach dip can be the ideal food for camping. With a few simple ingredients to keep cold, you can create a hearty snack to satisfy everyone.
- All you need is a large loaf of bread, one cup of sour cream, a packet of frozen spinach, and a cup of Parmesan cheese.
- Before you leave, you can mix the cold ingredients and keep them in a container until you’re ready to cook while camping.
- Keep the mixture in a tin foil container you’ve created, making it two layers. Cook over the fire embers until it heats through, and the cheese melts.
- In the meantime, grill or cook each piece of bread over the fire so it’s toasted, and then you can use these to dip into the spinach dip you prepared separately.
This is the perfect dessert for chocolate lovers.
- Find a large orange and cut the top off of it. Scoop out the insides and prepare a box of brownie mixes without the egg. Pour your brownie mix into the orange and replace the top.
- Wrap your orange in tin foil and place it in the coals of your fire for perfect cooking temperature.
- Let your brownies cook for 25 – 30 minutes in the coals. The orange peels can burn a little without affecting the flavor of your tasty treat!
An ideal camping food since you will have nearly zero clean-up after this tasty treat.
Cook up everything you love for breakfast in one pan!
- Start with breakfast sausage or bacon and cook it to your liking. Next, you’ll remove these items from your pan to cut them into smaller pieces. In that same pan, start to saute some vegetables.
- Tomatoes, peppers, spinach, and onion are great veggies for a breakfast scramble. Throw them all in together with a bit of salt and pepper.
- After a few minutes, crack two eggs per person into your pan. Scramble them up with a fork and keep them moving while they cook.
- When the eggs look fluffy, add your cooked breakfast meat of choice. Top your breakfast scramble with cheese and ketchup or hot sauce, and enjoy!
You can always add to your breakfast scramble by adding sliced avocado, chopped scallion, or chives. This is an ideal camping food because everything cooks in the same pan. Yay, easy clean-up!
Cinnamon Biscuit on A Stick
It doesn’t get much more straightforward than this! This is a perfect breakfast, dessert, or snack option for your next camping trip. You have two options here, and what’s the simplest?
Buy prepackaged cinnamon buns, unroll them, and then reroll them onto a perfect stick for fire cooking. Hold your stick over the fire for 8-10 minutes until your cinnamon biscuit is perfectly browned in all the right places.
If you’re not worried about prep time,
- You’ll need a bit of cinnamon sugar, brown sugar, and white sugar mixed in a bowl.
- Buy plain biscuit dough and have butter on hand or butter spray. Separate the dough into 5″ long ropes and then wrap them around a stick.
- Roast your biscuit over the fire for 8 to 10 minutes, then dip it in butter and roll in the sugar mixture.
Eat your tasty treat right off the stick after giving it some time to cool.
This simple concept is easy to personalize and sure to make every tummy happy.
- Chop your favorite vegetables and your choice of meat into chunks. Chicken, peppers, and onions are popular choices! Steaks, mushrooms, and onions are also excellent choices!
- Push the vegetables and meat onto your kebab, stick them in a pattern of your choosing and soak them in the marinade. This marinade can be oil, salt, pepper, or something more specific, like a chipotle or jerk seasoning.
- Then you’ll create a space where your kebabs can sit about 1 ½ to 2 feet above the coals of the fire to cook.
- You can cook the kebabs over an open fire or on the grill. Chicken kebabs often take about 15 minutes to cook, whereas steak can take anywhere between 6 and 12 minutes, depending on how you’d like it cooked.
- Rotating your kebabs at the halfway point, is suggested!
This breakfast burrito recipe is designed for campers on the go! It’s quick and easy, and you can make it anywhere. For this meal, you’re going to need a breakfast skillet dehydrated meal. These generally provide two servings. Therefore, they can feed two to three people.
- Boil a cup of water and add it to the freeze-dried breakfast skillet bag. Seal the bag and mix the contents by massaging the outside of the pack.
- At this point, your breakfast skillet will need to sit for about 12 minutes to cook. While your breakfast skillet is cooking in a bag, it’s time to prepare the rest of the meal.
- Get out your wrap and prep any additional items you may want to add to your burrito. Common additions include avocado, shredded cheese, taco seasoning, hot sauce, and ketchup.
- Once your breakfast skillet is done cooking, you’ll use a spoon to scoop it into your burrito.
- Roll that ideal food for camping up, and you’re ready for a delicious meal that will provide you with hours of energy on the go!
Here’s a pro tip: Are you driving from your campsite to a trailhead and looking for an early start? Boil the water at camp and add it to the bag. After sealing and massaging, load up the car and drive to your trail. Once you’ve snagged a parking spot, create your burrito and eat it as you begin your hike.
Use Your Imagination To Create
Most camping experiences aren’t about rationing food and eating bland-tasting staples. People are now more creative than ever about what they make in the backcountry.
When you plan, you’re able to achieve a lot. This could mean planning and doing all the food preparations in your kitchen and using Tupperware containers to cart them to your campsite. Or it can mean bringing along a few simple ingredients so that you can do the bulk of the food preparation and cooking while you’re there.
We urge you to try some of the recipes. We also suggest taking a look at some of your favorite at-home meals. How could you make it campfire friendly? Give it a try, and share your recipe in the comments.
No rules state you have to have a gourmet feast for every meal while you’re camping. A simple burger and a hot dog will do the trick! However, it can be nice to indulge in something once in a while that tastes like it were cooked at home. These are simple ideal food for camping ideas that everyone will enjoy, will also help teach your children about the importance of cooking and creating their camping meals in the future.
FAQs – Ideal Food for Camping
What are good healthy camping food recipes?
Examples of good, healthy camping food recipes packed with nutrients to energize you are veggie burgers, eggs, tuna, bread, baked potato, baked beans, bean salads, and fresh fruits. Always bring sufficient water to stay hydrated while in the backcountry.
What is the best food to bring camping?
Some great options include packed sandwiches and salads, hotdogs cooked over a campfire or grill, fresh fruit, and yogurt smoothies. Whatever you choose to cook or eat, make sure it’s something that everyone in your family enjoys!
What are easy foods to take for camping?
Whether you’re tent camping, car camping, hiking, or backpacking, try out meal ideas that don’t require much time, kitchen supplies, or refrigeration.
One easy camping meal is chicken and bacon-wrapped dates. Skew a couple of dates, wrap them with some cooked chicken and bacon, and secure them with a toothpick. This makes a delectable date dessert that takes just 15 minutes to prepare!
Freeze-dried foods and civilian MREs are excellent options. Cereals, fresh eggs, and bread paired with other foods are among the top picks because they don’t get spoiled quickly.
What types of food should you bring backpacking?
We highly recommend lightweight and easily digestible foods on your backpacking adventure to avoid getting weighed down or carrying too much extra food on your trip. Popular favorites include freeze-dried meals, snack bars, nuts, trail mix, dried fruit, water bottles, and sports-type cups/containers.
What camping breakfast food ideas are good?
Homemade sausage patties are a great way to have breakfast, and an omelet is another quick and easy option. Additionally, if you’re looking for an unforgettable morning experience, try making a hard-boiled egg and eating it while watching the sunrise in the forest!