As you backpack through the country side, you’re going to be using up a lot of energy. So when you finally settle down and make camp for the night, you’re going to want food that is going to replenish that energy, give you strength, and perk you up. Camping food also should taste good, too!
How Much Camping Food Do I Need?
The tough part of planning for a backpacking or camping trip, you want to have enough food on hand, but you also want to consider what kind of food you bring, as well. You don’t want to pack a bunch of junk like soda, chips, and the like. You want nutritious food that tastes good!
As a general practice, you should plan on bringing between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds (or anywhere between 2,500 and 4,500 calories) of food for each person. This, of course, will depend on the person’s size, weight, and how much energy they will be expending.
With that said, you don’t want to carry too much food, either. It’s a common mistake among novice backpackers is to carry too much food, which leads to extra, unnecessary weight. As you become more familiar with your needs while backpacking or camping, you’ll have a better sense of how much food you’ll need.
How to Meal Plan for a Camping Trip
When you’re trying to plan your camping food list, there are some meal planning considerations that you will want to take into consideration:
Food Options For Camping Meals
As you begin meal planning for your trip, you may think that you’re very limited in what you can have. That doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
Here are some foods that you may want to consider:
Camping Food Ideas
The food you bring is going to have to be highly nutritious and easy to make. Here are some great options you may want to consider.
Can I Cook While Camping?
You may be wondering what kinds of things you can cook while camping. Hot dogs and hamburgers aren’t the only hot camp food you need to make! If you’re going to be fishing, you can definitely cook your fish on the fire. You could either fry it in a pan, boil it, or roast it!
Cabela’s has a great recipe for flame broiled fish:
What if you don’t like fish? You can cook other food like chicken, vegetables, and eggs! Reserve America even has a recipe for pasta!
How To Cook Water for Drinking
While you are backpacking, you’re going to want to stay hydrated. Unfortunately, because water is so heavy in large quantities, you can only bring so much water with you. So what are you to do? You can actually use water that you find out in nature. Of course, you aren’t going to want to drink it straight from the stream – you’re going to want to take steps to purify it.
One of the ways you can do that is by boiling it – it’s actually one of the most reliable methods of purifying water.
To do this, you will want to bring the water to a rolling boil for 1 minute (if you’re at a lower altitude) or 3 minutes (if the altitude is above 2,000 meters). Boiling the water will remove bacteria, protozoa, as well as viruses. A draw back to this is that you will use your cooking fuel. You can account for the need to boil water and bring more fuel.
Some of the other methods you can use to purify water include:
Whether you are going backpacking for a few days or you’re going camping, you are still going to need to eat. Eating out in the wilderness can be a challenge if you aren’t prepared, which is why it is very important that before you actually head out, you have some kind of meal plan.
The best camping food should be delicious, sure, but it also needs to provide you with the nutrition your body needs, especially since you will be using a lot of energy along the way. You will want to bring with good quality proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats.
Some people believe that when you’re eating on the trail or at the camp site, you have to make do with trail mix, dried meat, and sandwiches. Although these foods are good staples, you aren’t limited to just them! With some planning, you can have delicious meals out in the woods. Just be sure that you bring enough food to last the entire trip (and some extra, for just in case), but you also have enough fuel and some cooking supplies. Check out our backpacking checklist to see a full list of backpacking essentials!