What Food to Take Camping (Checklist & 5 Easy Recipes)


If this is your first time camping. Knowing what food to bring & exactly how much food you will need to prepare. Could be a little over whelming. Good thing you found this article! I’ve got the ultimate check list. To help you know what food to take camping.

So if your wondering what food to take camping. To find out what food to take camping you need an ultimate food check list. To help guide you to make the proper choices, while shopping for your food. This will make it easier:

  • First figure out how many days & nights your camping
  • Write down how many breakfast, lunch, and dinners
  • Write down snacks
  • How many drinks
  • What food to buy
  • What miscellaneous items you need to bring
  • What cookware will you need to prepare the food

I know if you have never prepared a shopping list for camping this seems like a lot to sift through. But just stick with this checklist I’m going to share with you. This should help you with what food you need to bring camping.

Also as my little treat. I’ve got some really easy recipes that I love and will share with you.

Making the Camping Trip Shopping List AKA Checklist

When I make my camping checklist it’s based on how long I’m going to be camping. Which is easy enough. Then the next thing to look at is how many people are going to be eating.

After that how many meals am I going to be preparing. How many times will I need food for breakfast. How many lunches will be made. And how many dinners will be made. And don’t forget the snacks. Which account for a large portion of the food bill.

Then I get out my trusty pen and paper. First thing I’m adding to the camping trip shopping list checklist is BREAKFAST.

Under this heading, I’m going to write what I’m going to need to buy at the store. To make breakfast for the whole camping trip. This is where it gets fun. And based off of how many people you plan on feeding is how many loafs of bread, cartons of eggs etc. You will need to list.

Here is the food products that are actually from one of my camping trip shopping list for breakfast. So that you can get the idea. What food to bring camping to make breakfast.

Camping Trip Shopping Breakfast List

Breakfast ItemsStoreDrinks
2 BreadCostco2 Cases Water
3 Dozen EggsCostco2 Large Bottles Diet Coke
3 Bacon Low Sodium12 Pkg Coke in a Can
1 Sunny DCostcoCoffee
1 Country Crock Butter LgCotscoTea Bags
Donuts/Devil DogsBeer
1 Half Gallon MilkIce
Half & Half
1 Salt & Pepper
1 Pancake Mix Aunt Jemima &
Syrup
1 boxes of cereal

This is Just a breakfast list for four people. And the drinks are not just for breakfast, but to drink. This list was for a camping trip that me and some friends would go on. We would all pitch in for the food and drinks and one lucky person had to go to the store and buy all the stuff.

The rest of the list is under the title of food. Because in general you can swap out lunch for dinner and dinner for lunch. Oh and don’t forget the snacks.

Related Article: Camping Etiquette do’s and don’ts.

Snacks to Bring Camping

Here are some snacks from the same camping list.

  • Cheese and cracker tray
  • 2 bags Wavy Lays lightly salted
  • Skinny Pop Popcorn
  • 1 Box assorted chips

You can tell this list was for four adults. But here are some more yummy snack ideas. That you can bring camping.

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Box of raisin
  • Hummus
  • Veggie Platter
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Nuts
  • Assorted Chips (Mini bags)
  • Salsa & Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Cheezits
  • Trail mix
  • Protein Bars

These are just simple easy idea’s that are great for camping. And easy to pack up. There are also foods that are specifically made for hiking. They are a little more nutritional and taste great. They are easy to put in the backpack, check them out here.

What food to buy to go Camping?

You should already have an idea of how much food to buy. Which is going to depend on how many people are going. But then you need to know what food to buy. Here is a food list for four people. This will be a road map for you so you can see how much food to bring.

Remember you need to buy enough so that you don’t run out. But you want to be efficient as possible. You still need to pack the rest of the gear into the car too.

Food to Bring Camping List

  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • 1 Onion Soup Mix
  • 3 Sour Cream
  • 1 Jar Pickle Slices
  • 2 Hot Dogs
  • 6 Black Olives (small can)
  • 4 Re-fried Beans (can)
  • 4 Taco Seasoning mix
  • 1 Taco Sauce
  • 1 Garlic Powder
  • 1 Chili
  • 3 Italian dressing
  • 3 Corn bread mix
  • 2 Soft Taco Shells
  • 1 Hard Taco Shells
  • 3 Onions
  • 1 Head of Broccoli
  • 1 Small bag Carrots
  • 2 Red/Green/Yellow Peppers
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 3 Jalapeno Peppers
  • 1 Head of lettuce
  • 8 Corn on the Cob
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Potato Salad
  • 4 Avocados
  • 4 Avocados mix Seasoning
  • Tricolor pasta
  • Large bag 4 cheese Mexican
  • 6 Hamburger meat
  • 1 pkg American cheese
  • 1 Hot dog buns
  • 1 Hamburger buns
  • 10 lb bag Chicken wings
  • 1 Pkg Chicken Breast

See the breakfast list and snack list above for a more complete list.

Related Article: What is a good sleeping bag weight.

Foods to Bring Camping – Recipe

Some of the foods that are in the previous mentioned lists. Will be used for making meals. Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Chicken wings, Chicken on the grill. Taco’s And a cool pasta salad for camping. Some of these things can be made ahead of schedule and taken there. Here is the first camping recipe.

Roxy’s Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 box tricolor Pasta (Spring Shaped)
  • 1 Green Bell Peppers
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Peppers
  • 1 bag mini carrots
  • 1 can black olives
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 large bottle Italian dressing
  1. First put the pasta on to boil. While the pasta is boiling, dice all the other ingredients. Peppers, Carrots, onion, olives, & Broccoli. (Cut Broccoli stem off)
  2. (After Pasta has cooled down) Put pasta into large bowl. Add all the ingredients. Then mix the ingredients into the pasta.
  3. Add half the bottle of Italian dressing. Refrigerate bowl, and then add more dressing as needed.

Then serve it up! Pasta Salad is great for snacks, lunch or dinner.

Camping Hack

To make it easier; You can buy the vegetables already diced. Which makes it too simple. But just as good to eat.

If you want to spice the Pasta salad up. Simply get the small salami dice it. Then add some Mozzarella. Yummy!!

This is really a good dish to take camping. If you have room in the cooler you can make it ahead of time. Or you can make it right before you eat. When your at the campsite.

Related Article: What kind of camping stove should I get?

2 More Easy Camping Recipe’s for Snacks

The first one is so easy what constitutes Recipe? Well anyways this is a delicious snack. Okay here’s the ingredients.

  • 1 Pkg. Lipton Onion soup mix
  • 1 Medium Sour Cream
  • 1 Lightly Salted Lays Potato Chips

Place Sour Cream in a bowl. Mix in the contents of the Lipton onion soup package. Dip potato chips in the bowl. It’s so easy, and that’s what makes it nice to take camping.

You can use any chip you want and the ingredients are a 1 to 1 ratio. So if you wanted to make a bigger bowl of dip. Then just add an equal amount of both.

Hot and Tasty

  • 1 bag Tostitos Scoops
  • 1 Jar Salsa
  • 1 Package Shredded Cheese

First Place the Salsa inside the scoops. Then gently sprinkle shredded cheese onto the scoops. Using a Grilling pan Place the Scoops onto the pan. Put the pan on the grill until cheese is melted. Step 2; Eat them up!

What Food to Bring Camping to Make an Easy Lunch

One of the best things to make for lunch. When camping or when your at home. Is a grilled cheese sandwich. And what makes it really easy is using a griddle. There are so many things that you can make with a Griddle. If you don’t have one or need an upgrade take a look at the best Griddle for camping. It makes cooking twice as fast.

Another fast and easy lunch is a Salad. You can get the packets of Salad. You know the kind. Where you can choose the lettuce Romaine, Organic, Baby Kale, or Iceberg.

I like the fancy mix, where it has a mix of iceberg lettuce, Romaine lettuce, Carrots, Red Cabbage, and Radishes. All in one bag. Then I clean and cut up a cucumber. And add Italian dressing. This makes a nice quick healthy lunch.

A Sloppy Joe is Always a Good Choice for Lunch When Camping

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup green peppers chopped
  • 2 cans baked beans
  • 1 cup Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp brown mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 package hamburger buns

Place Meat in frying pan and cook at a medium temperature. After the meat is browned mix in onions and peppers. Cook until veggies are soft. Drain the fat. Put the rest of the ingredients in the pan and Stir. Cover pan and simmer about 10 minutes and serve up.

This is a great lunch or dinner when camping. You can easily make before hand and take the Sloppy Joes with you. Providing you have a way of keeping them cold.

Camping Hack

  • If you really want to make it easy on yourself. You can buy the Sloppy Joe Mix. Then you just need to brown the meat and add it to the meat. Prep time is 5 minutes and cook time is 15 min. 1 pack of hamburger meat. 1 pack McCormick mix. 1 can tomato paste, 1 & 1/4 Cup water, and a package of hamburger buns. Source

Related Article: How can I eat Cheap while camping.

Vegetables to Bring Camping to Cook

One of the best ways to make Veggies is by placing them in an aluminum pack. This is a cool and easy way to make a good side for any meal. This will make enough for four people

Ingredients:

  • 4 Potatoes
  • Small bag Mini Carrots
  • 1 white onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into bite size. Cut the carrots and onion. Take 2 good size pieces of tin foil. About a foot & a half long. Put them on the table in a cross shape (+).
  2. Then put the potatoes, carrots and onions in the center. Add salt and pepper to your desired taste. Then take 1/2 stick of butter and spread it over the potatoes and carrots.
  3. Pull both sides of the top part of tin foil together. Closing it in the middle. Then the bottom part of the tin foil bring together. And closing it in the middle. The tin foil should be a nice square pack when completely folded closed.
  4. Cook on the grill for 15-20 minutes each side. Or until the potatoes have reached the perfect brown. Enjoy a perfect side dish of veggies.

Food for Easy Camping Meals

Two of the easiest things to make while camping is hamburgers and hot dogs. With a nice side of Potato salad. Or you could have some macaroni salad. Both do a good job of filling you up. The best thing is you can simply buy the potato salad and macaroni salad in the store. Spoon it out of the container to serve it. Now that’s my kind of easy camping meal.

I love corn that has been cooked on the grill. You simply need to remove the husk and place the corn in tin foil. Then cook it for about 20 min. And flip it over, and cook the other side.

Or if you want, you can leave the husk on and put the corn directly on the grill. (remember to soak in water first). Then remove the husk, and add some butter. Hmm I’m getting hungry thinking about it.

Another good breakfast recipe can be found here in the camping essentials cookware.

What Food to Take Camping – Food for Thought

Now that you have some good ideas of what food to bring. And you have planned out your meals. Then you want to remember to either make another list of camping gear or simply add it to this list.

Since this is an article about what food your going to bring. Your also going to need cookware and miscellaneous items. Here’s some Gear that will come in handy.

  • Garbage Bags
  • Tin Foil
  • Zip lock bags
  • Red Solo Cups
  • Coffee Cups
  • Paper Plates
  • Napkins
  • Paper Towels
  • Plastic Silver wear
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Hand Soap
  • Grill brush
  • Grill lighter
  • Cooking Tins
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp Knife

Don’t forget the Cookware. Also cooking utensils, pot holders. A griddle makes cooking so much easier. You also need a cook stove. And if you have it, a folding table helps, when preparing food. Take a look at some of the Best Camping Gear here in the Camping Essentials.

Related Questions

Food to Bring Camping No Cooler

Most food needs to be kept refrigerated but if you just don’t have a cooler you could get some foods that do not need to be kept in a cooler. Here is a short list:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Bananas
  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts
  • Trail mix
  • Almonds
  • Peanut butter
  • Beef Jerky
  • Canned Goods
  • Black Beans
  • Pork and Beans
  • Powdered Milk
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Poptarts
  • Oatmeal
  • Cereal
  • Potato chips
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Chocolate

If you go camping without a cooler. You can get dried food and milk. You only need to add water. And they taste pretty darn good.

Packing food for backpacking

There are all kinds of food for backpackers and hikers. You don’t have to worry about packing bulky foods. These are dehydrated and ready when your ready. A lot of the foods you simply need to add water. This is a great choice when backpacking. You can still get your nutritional food that tastes great. Click to See the variety of food in the Backpackers Pantry. You will be set for the journey.

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