What Kind of Food to Bring for Camping

Last time my family had the idea to go camping my main concern was what kind of food to bring for camping, after some research I figured it out and decided to share that information, so keep reading...

Friends drinking and having fun in a camping

Nourishment is an essential factor to consider when you go into the wilds and set up camp for several days. Remember that when you go camping, there will be no stores nearby, nowhere for you to buy anything you need. OK, you can bring your beer, but don't forget to feed yourself properly with healthy food.

Kinds of Food to Bring When Going Camping

The kinds of food you bring when you go camping are very important. 

You must be prepared and bring the essential things with you when you go camping.

Camping food

Here is a list of food which you can bring when you go camping:

  • Biscuits, Chips, and Crackers – these are easiest to bring when you go camping. Biscuits, chips, and crackers will not be messy to bring and eat. There are situations where you will not be able to cook right away. These are the most convenient food to have on camping trips. You can just dig on your food sack and take out a pack of biscuits, crackers, or chips, and you can satisfy your hunger then. No need for you to build fire and cook, no need for utensils when eating. But you must make sure to dispose of your food wrappers properly. Do not leave them just anywhere.
  • Water – bottled water is recommended on camping trips. You are not sure if the water at the place where you will be camping on is safe for drinking. If it is, there are cases where despite the water on the campsite being safe for drinking, you may have some stomach problems when you consume it. So to be really safe, bring your own bottled water.
  • Bread and cookies – bread and cookies are also very convenient to bring when you go camping. The weather on the campsite will not always be favorable. There are times when it may rain and you will be unable to go out to cook. Bread and cookies, just like biscuits, chips, and crackers, can help you satisfy your hunger, for the time being, until you can cook a proper “camper’s” meal.
  • Fruits – before you react, relax! I mean dried fruits. Fresh fruits rot easily. And naturally bringing it will be inconvenient for you. Apples and bananas may be considered since they do not rot easily. Apples most especially. Dried fruits are very convenient to bring because they last long. And they provide you with good nourishment.
  • Nuts and raisins – mixed nuts and raisins are also one of the best foods to bring on a camping trip. You will no longer need utensils and other stuff to eat nuts and raisins. They are good for an energy booster.
  • Protein bars – camping does not just mean setting up your tent and starting camp. It also takes long hikes and trekking. You will need energy to tackle the trail until you reach your campsite. Protein bars are easy to eat. You just need to dig in your bag, take out your protein bar, and open and eat it while finishing your trail.
  • Powdered Milk and/or 3-in-1 coffee – individually packed powdered milk and coffee is one of the foodstuffs you need to bring to camp with you. Powdered and individually packed so it will not be difficult and messy to pack. And it will last longer. Of course, you need to add hot water to it, but when you are camping, one of the things you do is to heat water.
  • Sausages – now this is a classic. Canned sausages are one of the most common food you should bring when camping. No need for you to cook it, just open the can and eat.
  • Corned Beef – Corned beef is also a good idea. It can be eaten without cooking it, just like canned sausages. But make sure that your canned food is an easy open can package. But if not, just bring a can opener with you to be ready.
  • Condiments – do not forget to bring condiments. Ketchup, salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, and etcetera. Make sure to pack them in leak-proof containers, especially the liquid ones. But you do not have to bring all kinds of condiments. Just those which you feel you need. No use bringing mustard if you do not like it. Just those which you feel like bringing which you think you might need. It is also advisable that you bring condiments which come in sachets. Have you seen the ketchup in fast food chains which come with your fries and burger for take-out? Those kinds of packaging.
  • Marshmallows – this one is also considered as a veteran when we talk about camping. A bonfire will not be complete without roasted marshmallows.
  • Pancake – of course, we mean pancake mix. Ready-mix pancake mixes are also good to bring when camping.
  • Vegetables – You can also bring vegetables, provided it is canned or dried.
  • Soup – when we say soup, it means the instant ones. Those that you just have to pour on boiling water and Presto! You have a soup.
  • Noodles – cup noodles are best. You only need to add hot water and cover it for a few minutes, then eat. Easy.
  • Butter, margarine, and/or oil – Butter and margarine may be used on your bread and crackers, and you can also use it for cooking just like cooking oil.
  • Cheese – cheese may be eaten as it is or as filling to your bread when you make a sandwich. Cheese sticks are also good for bringing to camping trips.
  • Beverages – soda, juices (in powdered form), tea, and liquor are the most common beverages that are being brought to camp. Soda and liquor (beer especially) are usually canned so it will be easy to pack and consume.
  • Meat and poultry – of course, you can bring these kinds of food when you go camping. But you also need an ice chest for it. These kinds of food easily get spoiled if not frozen or iced.
  • Fish – this should also be iced just like poultry and meat. But make sure you have it cleaned before storing it. And do not bring too much.
  • Canned sardines – Just like corned beef and sausages, canned sardines can be eaten without cooking it. Just open the can, and serve.
  • Rice pouches – There are rice pouches available in stores today. These rice pouches are made up of rice and a variety of other stuff, like vegetables, for you to choose from. These rice pouches are ready cooked. You can heat it in a pan if you want to serve it hot.
  • Candies – these are just for the times when you want something sweet to eat after meals. Sort of a dessert.

Food Which You Should Not Bring When You Go Camping

The most important thing to remember when you plan for the food to take with you when going camping is to make sure that they are not perishable. You will not have the amenities of a home in the campsite. 

There will be no refrigerator or freezer for you to store your food.

Fresh fish on ice for camping

But if you really do want to bring fresh meat, fish, and poultry, make sure you have an ice chest (with ice in it, of course), and bring just enough for you to consume in, let us say, a couple of days. 

You may not be able to consume it all if you bring too much, which will just result in the spoiling of the food. Remember there is no supermarket nearby where you can buy additional ice for your ice chest.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are also not advised. Although there are fruits and vegetables which last long even without refrigeration, it is best that you bring dried or canned fruits and vegetables. 

Beverages in glass bottles are also discouraged. Even food in glass jars. Why?

Glass containers can be broken. It is not safe to bring them along when you go camping. And besides, they are fragile, making them difficult to pack.

Tips on How to Plan for the Food to Bring on a Camping Trip

Going camping does not mean depriving yourself of good food. 

All you need to do is plan your trip, and make sure you and whoever goes camping with you will not go hungry. Being hungry is not fun, especially if you are out camping with nowhere to buy food nearby.

Here are some tips on how to plan for the food to bring so you will not starve when camping:

  • Plan the food or meal you want to prepare. It is important that you make a list of the food you want to prepare at the camp. Make a daily menu, depending on your activities and how many days you plan to go camping.
  • List down the ingredients you need to prepare your planned meals. The reason for this is so you will not forget ingredients and make your meal enjoyable top the palate.
  • Think of the meals you want to cook and the utensils you may need to prepare them. This is for you to be able to bring what you need with you to camp.
  • It is best that you plan for a meal or food that is not hard to prepare. Remember that you will be doing it outside the confines of your kitchen at home.
  • Plan for meals whose ingredients do not spoil or rot easily.
  • When planning for a meal when you go camping, make sure you prepare food whose ingredients spoil faster first.

Things to Consider When Planning for Food for Camping

There are people who enjoy the outdoors a lot. These people are the ones who often go hiking, trekking, and camping. 

Camping is so much fun to most people, and they often find satisfaction and fulfillment when they get to experience the life outdoors, in a sort of “primitive” way.

If you are a camper, there are several things to take into consideration, when planning for food, most especially. 

Food is a very important factor to plan for and take into consideration when you go camping. How do you plan for the food to take when going camping? How much food should you bring along with you?

Consider these when you plan for the food to take when you go camping:

  • How long are you staying in camp
  • How many people are going to camp with you
  • What kind of meals will you prepare
  • How long is the trip to the campsite and back
  • Will reaching the campsite involve hiking or not
  • What beverages should you bring
  • How much water should you bring
  • What kinds of cooking utensils and tools should you bring

These are just the basic things you need to take into consideration and use as guides when planning for a camping trip. These will, at least, help you not to take too much food or less of it which may make your campers starve. 

Remember, if your campers are hungry, your efforts in planning the whole adventure will be useless. Hunger will not make them enjoy the activities in camp.

And don't forget to read the article about the best food for hiking trips, you don't want to mess up with your fellow hikers, do you ?

Safety on Food Practices on a Camping Trip

It is very important that you remember and practice food safety practices when you are on a camping trip. Responsible campers observe and follow these food safety practices:

  • Do not bring perishable food as it cannot last long under the heat of the sun
    Bring only kitchen utensils like kettle and pots and ladle, which are essential to camping.
  • Bring only kitchen utensils like kettle and pots and ladle, which are essential to camping
  • As part of your hygiene, do not forget to bring disposable wet towelettes or disposable wipes and soap.
  • Bring also bowls, plates, and eating utensils like forks, spoons, and knives.
  • Water purification tablets should also be brought, and/or a portable water purifier  if you have one.
  • Bringing trash bags is very important. You cannot just leave your trash lying around. A responsible camper cleans up after every activity.
  • Knives for cooking, and a can opener. Not all canned food you bring are packed in easy open cans. This is when a can opener may come in handy.

Food Safety Rules to Follow When on a Camping Trip

  • Number one on the list is to wash your hands. Before preparing or handling food, you must always wash your hands properly. This is not just applicable to preparing and handling food. Washing your hands should also be done before and after eating. 
  • If there is no water available, this is where the moist towelettes and disposable wipes come handy. You can use moist towelettes and disposable wipes to sanitize your hand when preparing and handling food, and before and after eating.
  • Make sure the temperature is right when you cook food so it will not spoil easily.
  • If you have fresh meat, poultry, or fish, make sure they are kept in a properly insulated cooler with lots of ice.

How to Store and Pack Food for a Camping Trip

Packing and storing food when you go on a camping trip takes skill and practice. 

Packing food for camping

First time campers often find packing and storing food for camping a tiring and stressful task. 

But there are tricks and tips on how to store and pack food for camping. These tips and tricks will make your food storing and packing activity for camping an easy task.

Proper storage of food is very important when you go on a camping trip. 

Keep the food in good condition

You do not want your food to be in bad condition when you reach the campsite. Improperly stored and packed food may suffer during the trip to the campsite, either destroying it or make it unfit to be consumed.

Make sure that you bring along with you fresh food. Choose food which can be prepared easily and can be consumed safely. 

Also Make sure that when you pack food, put it in leak-proof, and spill-proof containers. 

Check if the lids and covers of the containers are secured properly. 

Use containers for the food

Your containers being spill and leak-proof will be useless if the lids and covers are not properly secured.

If you have fresh or frozen food with you like meat, hot dogs, cold cuts, fish, and chicken, make sure that you have an ice chest where you can store these. 

Make sure also that your ice chest is properly insulated and secure for it to enable to keep these types of food fresh in good condition until the time you cook it. 

It is advised that you monitor your ice chest closely so you will know if you need to replenish the ice inside the ice chest.

Avoid heavy items

It is not advisable to bring heavy items. If you have an alternative for the heavy items which are much lighter, opt for the lighter ones. 

This will make packing and storage easier, and carrying of the pack lighter. 

When camping, with a lot of disposable and recyclable things available, bring recyclable plates, cups, and utensils instead of dinnerware and classes and silver spoons and forks and knives.

When packing condiments, opt for condiments on packs or sachets. It is impractical and unsafe to bring bottled condiments. 

Be careful with fragile packages

This will be difficult to store and pack and may be broken during the trip as bottles are fragile.

Boxed food like pasta, cereals, and a lot more should be transferred into sealed and resealable plastic bags for easy packing. 

Boxes take up a lot of space on your bag or storage container. 

Campers are also advised to bring trash bags and paper towels. Responsible campers clean up before they leave the campsite.

Cooking in a Campsite

Cooking in a camping site is very much different from cooking in a kitchen in the comforts of your home. When you cook in a kitchen, all types of cooking utensils and tools are readily available at your disposal.

Camp cooking, however, is a challenge. Camp cooking can test your resourcefulness and imagination. I guess it can also be said that camp cooking can bring out the “artist” in you.

Bring the right utensils and other stuff

You just have to make do with whatever available cooking utensils and tools are there in camp. And mind you, it is limited. 

Unless you brought your whole kitchen along with you to camp! Now that sounds not only absurd but very, very impractical and inconvenient.

Camp cooking may not be the same as the gourmet cooking you make in your home’s kitchen. But you need to be creative and resourceful to come up with meals which can compete with your home cooked gourmet recipes.

What should you do then? First thing’s first. Set up a makeshift kitchen. Covering above your head like a roof, tied with rope on the four corners, and tied to something sturdy will do.

Make sure that it covers your food supply and everything else that need to be protected from the heat of the sun in your “camp kitchen”.

See to it that all cooking utensils and tools which you have brought along with you to camp are readily available. It will take up too much time if you have to look for them on your bags and packages. 

Prepare your camp kitchen

Make sure that you have an area for cooking, washing and, preparation of your food in your “camp Kitchen”. 

With all these done and set up properly, you can now face the challenge of preparing meals for your fellow campers. 

Remember, imagination, creativity, and resourcefulness is the key to a successful meal preparation when you are out camping.

Enjoy your meal and don't forget to share this article with your friends.

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