The Best Food For Camping Trips


When my family goes on a camping trip it often seems like we are more like a “meals on wheels” crammed into a Subaru station wagon. Good foods for camping does not have to be complicated.   We seem to eat much better when we are camping in the woods or at our favorite national Park. Many people ponder what type of food for camping trips is appropriate. Whatever you can cook at home, you should be able to cook on the road if you improvise as long as you have the proper food storage and cooking equipment.  We store all of our camp kitchen dry foods in clear plastic Sterilite storage bins sold at Walmart.

The best fresh foods for camping are easy to make as long as you have the right equipment such as large portable Xtreme Coleman cooler, adjustable camping stove, and an organized camping pantry.

You Are Not Going To Believe That You Can Enjoy The Following Foods On A Camping Trip

  • Chocolate Cake.  We are able to bake cakes with a steamer that sits inside our wok.  The chocolate cake is amazing!
  • Gourmet Omelets.  We make restaurant quality omelets in a caste iron griddle.  We find locally produced farm fresh eggs, onions, peppers, and occasionally cut tiny pieces of sausage or bacon along with some grated cheese.
  • Home Made Granola.  For breakfast, I make granola in our wok.  Tastes just as good as the oven variety. I use old fashioned rolled oats, [easyazon-link asin=”B0013E7C0S” locale=”us”]100% Grade B Maple Syrup[/easyazon-link], dried coconuts, sun flower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped almonds, dried raisins, dried peaches, etc.
  • Bone On Chicken Soup.    We use an entire chicken in our pressure cooker.  If you have never made chicken soup with an entire chicken, you have to try this on a camping trip.  Our pressure cooker does double and triple duty on our camping trips.
  • Hot Buttered Pop Corn.  For an evening snack, we make gourmet  popcorn in our wok.  Who says that a wok is for Asian cooking?  While my wife is 100% Asian, we use it for cooking more than Chinese food on our camping trips.
  • Chicken Fried Rice.  We use or pressure cooker to make rice as a side dish for many of our meals. After a day or two, my wife will make chicken fried rice.
  • Grilled T-bone Steak.  Grilled steak can be easily made on a flat Lodge Logic cast iron griddle in minutes.  We eat T-bone steaks more on our camping trips than we at home.
  • Grilled Lamb with caramelized onions and potatoes.  Boil the potatoes in water before you grill the lamb and onions on a cast iron skillet.
  • Chia seed pudding made with coconut milk and fresh sliced fruit or berries.

This may startle you, but the best foods to take on camping trips are foods that you are most comfortable with and will enjoy eating. It’s not a good idea to reinvent the “wheel” when on a camping trip. For example, if you really enjoyed barbecuing at home, then you’re going to find an easy way to do this while camping. Bring along food that you already know how to prepare and enjoy eating.  Breakfast food for camping is easy whether your cook or just want to eat a bowl of granola topped with yogurt and fresh fruit.

7 Best Dry Foods For Camping  That Most Campers Need

  1. Dried fruit & raw nuts.  Raw nuts and dried fruits are easy foods for camping.  You can eat them for breakfast, pack them for snacks, and have them stashed away as an emergency food source.
  2. Coffee & tea.  Coffee and tea are not foods.  But why should you deprive yourself of these delicious beverages.  Don’t spoil your camping trip with a stop at Starbucks to get you out of your routine.  Bring Starbucks to your campsite.  This only works if you are coffee or tea drinker.  These are comfort drinks and will keep you happy if you are missing your home.
  3. Raw chia seeds.  [easyazon-link asin=”B003VXFJX6″ locale=”us”]Organic chia seeds[/easyazon-link] have been popularized by endurance runners and celebrities as a super food. Chia seeds are chock full of vitamins and energy.  I like to make chia seed pudding by adding  fresh cream, milk, coconut milk, or nut milk to a 1/2 cup of raw chia seeds and let it sit for several hours.  After the mixture gets firm like pudding, I will add a light sweetener like maple syrup or rapadura sugar.  The mixture reminds me of tapioca pudding.  I add sliced fruits when available.  Click here to learn how to make chia seed pudding.
  4. Dried beans and legumes.  Beans and legumes are part of my camping repertoire.  My boys insist that we make honest to God cowboy chili on every camping trip.  Cooking beans is an easy task for us since we travel with a pressure cooker.
  5. Hard dried cheese like Parmesan.  Hard cheese like Parmesan or Romano will stay fresh for weeks even when not refrigerated.  If you serve it grated on pasta or a bowl of camp chili, it will melt like traditional cheese.
  6. Dried pasta.  What can be easier to make on a camping trip?  Simply boil the water and add your favorite pasta.  Serve with cut up fresh zucchini, Parmesan cheese,  and pasta sauce.   Fresh pasta tastes great and is easy to prepare at your campsite.  I am not fond of the typical grocery store variety pasta sauces. I will a decent one from Trader Joes or Costco when we are near any of these stores.
  7. Canned chicken, tuna, or other high protein canned food for emergency.

Before you leave, make sure that you put together a food check list for camping and daily menus.  This will keep you from over-packing.  We do a majority of shopping on the road since we tend to enjoy fresh food as opposed to pre-packaged camping foods sold by REI.  I must admit that the freeze dried dinners produced today taste as close to gourmet food as you can get while camping.  It’s a good idea to throw a few freeze dried camping food packages in your storage bin as an emergency food source or when you are feeling lazy.

What my family and I have found is that we like camping foods that are easy to prepare in our camp kitchen and can be taken on hikes or even leisurely inside the car order campsite. We enjoyed fresh fruits and vegetables. So guess what we do? We enjoy foraging for fresh berries and edible plants. Last summer while camping in Northern Oregon, we discovered a scenic route called “The Fruit Loop”. We were able to pick our own organic blueberries and fresh cherries with a view of Mt. Hood and the beautiful Cascade Mountain range in the background. It was one of the most amazing camping experiences in her life.

On the same trip, we finished for trout and were able to enjoy some excellent fresh fish dinners.

Not too far away from the Fruit Loop was a beautiful remote campground located at Lost Lake. When we arrived at the lake, we noticed people filling small pails with beautiful berries. When we inquired what type of berries they were picking the young ladies explained to us that they were wild huckleberries. We spent the next 3 days eating as much huckleberries as we could.

Don’t Forget To Include The Following Spices

Camping food needs to be as tasty as it is at home or you will be heading for the nearest fast food restaurant or diner.

  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Dried Onions
  • Dried Garlic
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Cinnamon

As long as you bring food and cooking equipment that you are familiar with, cooking on camping trips is very easy and enjoyable.  Keep your food ideas for camping moderately simple and you will have a very rewarding experience.




  1. What in the world is astronaut ice cream? I can remember eating freeze dried ice cream on back packing trips when I was in high school. It actually tasted great!

  2. Same thing! I guess we just prefer calling it astronaut ice-cream. In fact I think that’s what’s on the package, but we always get it from Cabella’s.


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