Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but it can also be a lot of work. One of the most important parts of camping is enjoying amazing food. This can be tricky, but with a little bit of preparation you can have some great meals while you're out in nature. In this blog post, I'll give you some tips on how to make the most of your camping food experience. So read on for all the info!
My family LOVES camping! Ever since we bought our first little, old RV in 2017 we've been hooked. Now, we have a bigger RV that's perfect for our family of five. We've even taken it on a 2 ½ week road trip with 64 hours of driving down to California!
After many camping trips, I have a system for our meals. Good camping food is essential for a comfortable experience, and we definitely have some tried-and-true favourites! These meals and camping food ideas will work whether you're tenting or have an RV - just make sure to pack a camp stove. I like this one with a grill on one side and a burner on the other. You'll also need a cooler with a ton of ice, or have a fridge & freezer in an RV.
Create a camping meal plan
The first and most important tip to making the best camping food is to create a meal plan and a grocery list to ensure you have everything you need while you're away. Here's a sample easy meal plan and grocery list for a 3 night camping trip. This is the simple meal plan we typically use:
Simple Camping Meal Plan
- Day 1 Supper: Hot dogs, chips & s'mores
- Day 2 Breakfast: Pancakes & fruit
- Day 2 Lunch: Ham & cheese sandwiches & veggies
- Day 2 Supper: Hamburgers & salad
- Day 3 Breakfast: Breakfast scrambler
- Day 3 Lunch: Charcuterie (sliced ham, cheese, fruit, veggies)
- Day 3 Supper: Steak & salad
- Day 4 Breakfast: Cereal & fruit
- Drinks, snacks & desserts: pop, milk, juice, water, fruit, veggies, muffins, s'mores, Freezies, pre-made apple/fruit crisp
- hot dogs
- hamburger patties
- sliced ham
- shredded cheddar cheese
- hash browns
- chocolate & shortbread cookies for s'mores
- pre-made pancake mix or ingredients for DIY mix (see below)
- favourite fruit (apples, oranges, melon, grapes etc.)
- favourite vegetables (carrots, cucumber, broccoli etc.)
- baby potatoes
- dips for fruit and vegetables
- 2 bags pre-made salad
- hot dog buns
- hamburger buns
- small boxes/bowls of individual cereal
- butter or margarine
- milk, juice, water, pop
- muffins (or ingredients to make muffins)
- condiments (ketchup, mustard, relish, steak sauce)
- seasonings (steak seasoning, salt, pepper - look for a multi-spice container)
- coffee & tea
Hot Dogs & S'mores
I love having hot dogs, chips & s'mores on our first night at the campground. We light a fire, get the roasting sticks out, and enjoy this classic (and EASY!) camping meal. To make an easy s'more, buy cookies that are already dipped in chocolate and use those to surround your toasted marshmallow! We like Celebration cookies.
Making pancakes from scratch while camping can be awkward and I don't always love the taste of store-bought pancake mix. Making your own pancake mix is a great option for a classic camping breakfast. I make some and put it in a lidded bowl for camping, and then I simply add some eggs, butter and milk to it when we were ready to make our pancakes. Here's a DIY pancake (or waffle!) mix recipe that I use.
Easy Camping Lunch Ideas
Our camping lunches are usually the same - we pack sandwiches and bags of fruit and veggies. A variation of this is packing a charcuterie inspired lunch - a tray of cold cuts, fruits and veggies. We're usually out hiking or exploring during the day, so lunches like this are perfect. Baking muffins before the trip is also helpful since the muffins can be used as an easy breakfast, snack or lunch addition.
Camping Breakfast Scrambler
This is our ultimate favourite camping breakfast! Fry bacon in a pan and place it to side. Fry hash browns, scramble eggs and mix into the hash browns. Chop and then put the bacon back in to the pan and add shredded cheese and seasonings. I like to pack pre-shredded cheese to make this meal even easier to put together.
Fancy Steak Supper
We like to have at least one "fancy" meal when we're camping, and for us that's a steak dinner! I like using a couple of tin foil cake pans, a multi-spice container and bagged salads make things easier. Cut baby potatoes in half and place them in a cake pan with cubes of butter. Cook the potatoes covered with tin foil on the camp stove while grilling the steaks beside. Serve the potatoes and steak with a quick bagged salad and you have a delicious meal!
S'mores are always our go-to dessert for camping BUT you can pre-make things like crisps and pies to cook on the camp stove. I like to make a rhubarb crisp, put the wet ingredients in the bottom of a tin foil cake pan, and put the dry ingredients (the "crisp" part) in a bag. I assemble the dessert just before I cook it on the camp stove so it's not soggy.
More tips for camping meals
- pack extra snacks - we always eat more when we're camping and so active!
- prep as much as possible in advance (chop veggies & fruit, shred cheese, do some baking etc.)
- have some "emergency" packaged food in case cooking a meal goes wrong (like canned soups, packaged pastries etc.)
- don't forget to bring bags and containers for packing your lunches on the go!
- tasty, fresh water is an essential. We'll either fill some clean milk jugs with water from home, or buy a big water bottle to bring along.
- some freshly ground coffee and an Aeropress is a great way to make coffee during a camping trip. Boil water in a kettle on your camp stove for coffee or tea.
I hope you enjoyed these easy camping meal ideas! Let me know in the comments below if you have any further suggestions for simple and yummy camping food.