When we think about camping, we always get excited about taking a break from day-to-day stressors and spending time with nature. But preparation is key, because it won't be all relaxing and sightseeing. You also need to plan on how to feed yourself! Enjoying your meals while on a relaxing escape is all the more satisfying when you don't have a full kitchen at your disposal and have to get creative. Here are some of the most filling, easy-to-pack food items you can bring on your next outdoor excursion.
The Essential Camping Food List
Let's take it back to the necessities and talk about food items that are easy to pack and carry and often plenty of versatility.
Bread is the ultimate healthy comfort food you can take with you anytime, anywhere. White bread, however, isn't always the healthiest option because it can contain highly processed ingredients. Whole wheat bread is a better choice for a camping trip since it's less processed, more nutrient-dense, and will give you plenty of energy to stay strong while you're camping.
There are so many different kinds of bread you can take with you on your next adventure, from bannock bread and flatbread to bread rolls and sandwiches. Bread is a versatile food item and can last four to seven days if stored properly.
Store your bread in a tightly sealed container, like a zipped up plastic bag or a bread box, to keep it fresh. Avoid putting it in damp containers, as this can promote mold growth.
For a low-maintenance sandwich that doesn't need refrigeration, try peanut butter and banana. Delicious, nutritious, and filling!
Vegetables are probably the last thing on your mind when preparing your camping meals. But the truth is that fresh veggies are filling, nutritious, and easy to prepare — the perfect snacks even for extended camping trips. Cucumbers, carrots, celery, broccoli, and lettuce are just some veggies you can eat raw with little preparation time.
Vegetables also make great camping appetizers. You can grab a bite as you explore the trail or use them as add-ons to campfire recipes. Before leaving home, cut them into small pieces and store them in airtight containers or paper bags with air holes.
Cook veggies ahead of time and store your pre-made meals and side dishes in a cooler. Try beef, broccoli, and carrot stir fry or veggie hummus wraps on your next camping trip. Potatoes, chickpeas, and mushrooms are worth adding to the menu, too!
Munching on fruit is a fantastic way to get extra hydration and healthy carbs for energy while outdoors. The challenge here is that certain fresh fruits can get bruised and spoil quickly. Thus, only bring those that hold up well in small containers. Cut and freeze them one day before packing them in your cooler.
Store whole strawberries, pears, oranges, apples, and grapes in paper bags or storage containers. On the other hand, sliced fruits should always be kept in some sort of airtight container to keep them fresh longer. Some fruits you can cut ahead are pineapple, melons, and mangoes, which are also some of the most hydrating fruits you can bring with you during summer camping trips.
No time to prepare? Canned fruits are a better option for short excursions because they are lightweight and don't require refrigeration and preparation time. Dried fruits like raisins also serve as quick snacks during camping and backpacking activities.
4. Water and Other Beverages
Clean drinking water is crucial when camping, regardless of the season or weather. (Yes, even when it's cold out, you can easily become dehydrated!) The rule of thumb is to bring around a gallon of water per person for each camping day. This can be a considerable challenge when camping in a more primitive spot without amenities.
Many basic campsites provide clean drinking water, but if your preferred location doesn't have a freshwater source, bring a large jug of clean water. Another essential is an insulated water container, a must-have for hikers and campers as it's designed to keep beverages cold (or hot) for hours.
A Flobottle can keep your beverages cold for up to 24 hours and hot for about 12 hours. You can use it for tea, coffee, or any other liquid of your choosing. Flobottle is a versatile stainless steel beverage container with a small compartment at the bottom that can be used to store snacks, including...
5. Trail Mix
Trail mix is a nutrient-packed snack usually containing cereal, nuts, seeds, granola, dried fruit, and sometimes chocolate. It's 100% customizable, so if you can't find one at the store that you like, considering making your own at home before your camping trip. Some variations can be sweet, while others are savory, with spices like paprika, thyme, and garlic powder.
Trail mix is one of every camper's favorite on-the-go snack due to its convenience and portability. Not all trail mixes are healthy, though! When it comes to camping food, it's best to stick with an energizing combination that will keep you full and peppy while traversing the trails.
Use savory, nutritious ingredients such as roasted almonds, chickpeas, and green peas to create a trail mix rich in protein and healthy fats. Sweeten it up with dried fruit or dark chocolate chunks. Once it's prepared, you can store your trail mix in an airtight container for up to a month. Trail mix can also easily be packed in Flobottle's waterproof and scent-proof storage compartment.
Prepare Your Camping Essentials Today
Camping isn't complete without sharing delicious meals with loved ones and nature. Fortunately, you don’t need to dedicate long hours of preparation time for hearty camping food. No-cook sweet treats and savory make-ahead meals make camping and other outdoor activities more memorable!