14 of the Best Kinds Of Food For Camping

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When you set out on a trail, it usually means hauling all the food you’re going to eat; but you don’t have any cooler to work with, unlike car camping. So what options do you have when hiking to make your food delicious and still get the required amount of essential nutrients you need every day?  

You can bring expensive freeze-dried food when you go camping or you can learn some amazing recipes. And since you don’t want to end up eating half-baked weenies for dinner, you need to learn how to make meals like a chef for your next trip. 

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of some of the tastiest food you can prepare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; because one thing you won’t take for granted when camping is a lovely, delicious meal. Some recipes are even included. We also added some food tips you would find very useful. 

Tasty Hot Dogs

3 hot dogs in buns with toppings
Chicago hot dogs from Bon Appeteach.

Hot dogs are a must-have for camping trips. You can also take them anyway: simple with ketchup and mustard, or fancy with many ingredients. Some tasty options here are:

  • Prepare smoked bacon that you can wrap around hot dogs. This recipe even has cheese in the middle of their bacon dogs.
  • For the topping, use guacamole, bell peppers, and onions.
  • Keto Chicago Hot Dog
  • Reuben Hot Dogs

Foil-Packet Dinners 

One thing that takes the joy out of camping is food that lacks flavor and freshness, but you don’t let this ruin your experience because, with the right ingredients, you can recreate the taste of home-cooked meals it takes is some early preparation.  In this case, foil-packet meals come in handy.  

It is probably the easiest way to pack flavor-filled meats, fresh veggies, and spices into your meals. To pack a delicious mix of foods, cut your veggies, prepare your meals at home, have a cooler ready to store them, and pack them neatly in a Ziploc bag. 

Your ingredients here should include things like chicken, mushrooms, rice (add some water with the rice), pepper, onions, etc. Wrap them up nicely in a piece of foil and stick them in the fire, but not directly over the flame – let it cook for maybe 30 minutes, and that’s it! 

Remember, you can put just about anything in a foil packet, so if you’re not sure what to bring, feel free to try shrimp with Cajun, pork with lemon slices or pineapple; and use these foils for cooking diced veggies such as potatoes and eggplant. 

Prepare all the food at home so that when you get to the campsite, all you need to do is put the food in the foil and put it on the grill. This way you have more time to relax and chat with friends.

chicken with veggies next to it cooked
Honey dijon chicken from The Forked Spoon.

Foil Pack Meal Recipes

Whole Fish 

Whole fish is far more delicious and fun to make than fish fillet: Which, by the way, easily breaks apart and spills over into the fire if you don’t pay attention. Now, if your camping trip involves a little fishing, and you like to catch fish yourself, then your meals will be delicious.

Leave the fish whole after cleaning to cut some fresh herbs, slice up a lemon or two, and stuff them in the fish. It needs to cook slowly on low heat until it starts to smoke. 

Now some ideas for making the best fish: 

The main supplies you need to make fish here are foil, garlic, rosemary, lemon, twine, salt, and olive oil. Clean out the stomach and liver if catching your fish because those areas carry a robust metallic taste that will be hard to mask even with spices and fresh herbs. 

Cut enough spices to fill out the whole fish evenly, and use as many spices and herbs as you prefer. Tie up the fish nicely to fuse these ingredients with the fish, and then wrap it up in a foil before putting it at the edge of the fire where it can cook slowly. 

When cooked, there are different ways to serve. You can eat as-is or turn it into tacos by flaking and using salsa verde; alternatively, have some cherry tomato to serve with the fish. 

Grilled snapper with lemon slices on a platter
Grilled snapper from Savory Experiments.

Or check out one of these three recipes for whole fish.

Short Ribs

Not everyone will go all out on camping food like this, but if you want to eat marinated ribs, try Korean-style short ribs. Not only are they delicious, they cook very fast, plus they also have a pleasant beefy aroma that will make you a hit with fellow campers. Another alternative is instant-ramen.  ha-ha

If you are looking for a few short rib recipes, give these a look.

Shakshuka For A Quick Snack

Shakshuka is a traditional North African and Middle Eastern recipe, and it’s amazing! Great to make camping on the first day because the ingredients are a bit heavy. You’ll need some veggies like onion and pepper and a can of tomatoes, preferably peeled. That’s the heavy stuff, along with several eggs.

The recipe is a thick tasty tomato sauce made up of tomato and veggies, some spices and then adding eggs, with different flavors depending on how you make it. The eggs are poached into a sauce, and all you need are the ingredients mentioned and some basic spices like cumin, pepper, harissa paste, some greens that you can put into the mix, and herbs.  

To get your sauce to cook well, simmer the sauce at a low temp, and don’t use eggs right out of the fridge. Room temperature eggs will do great which is why it’s a great camping recipe – your eggs can be warm (as long as they haven’t gone bad). The best part about shakshuka is that you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it’s delicious all the time. 

Shakshuka from Family Friends Food.

Check out these shakshuka recipes for some additional flavor ideas.

Pork Shoulder And Cooked Brisket 

If the foil dinner is something you enjoy, then perhaps you can try this one too. Cook your brisket and pork shoulder overnight; it requires a little more pre-planning, but it’s probably nothing you can’t handle. Place your pork or brisket on foil and throw some salt and pepper on it, then wrap it three times over to keep it from burning as it cooks.

When done with seasoning and other preparations, bury the meat under burning coal and let it sit there all night. In the morning, when you get up, you will find a slow-cooked, delicious meal waiting for you. 

pulled pork shoulder
Smoke pork shoulder from Bon Appeteach.

Check out this guide to make smoked pork shoulder on the grill for more help.

Pancakes For Breakfast 

Get a camping egg-tray carrier, so in the mornings, you have the option of whipping together some pancake batter. To make things easier, prepare a mix of your favorite dry ingredients into a small bag. Mix it up nicely so that your job will be to blend some eggs, water, and oil, and add this to the dry mixture.

Set a pan on the campfire and try to move it so it doesn’t get too hot, but not cool either. You can also get a pancake or waffle maker, but these are heavier than a pan so it’s best if used for car camping only. Try different pancake mixes to keep things interesting.

stack of blueberry panackes.
Vegan blueberry pancakes from Wow It’s Veggie?!

Give one of these pancake recipes a try the next time you go backpacking.


Tacos are a great meal to have while camping. You can cook the meats and prep the vegetables ahead of time before you leave on vacation. You can also use the open fire to grill any meat. Since chips and hard shells can break easily bring some tortillas along for your tacos. Salsa is another easy item you can add to your tacos.

Cheesy beef taco skillet from Low Carb Yum.

If you want a taco recipe, check out these three options.

Seeds And Nuts

Seeds and nuts are an easy food to bring with you. They can be a snack or a side to a meal you prepare. They are full of fats and fiber, which will help when hiking. Perfect for a low carb diet as well. There are also seeded breads that are dense in texture and will give you plenty of energy for hiking.

If you are low carb and keto, check out this Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix for your next trip. This recipe post also gives you a granola option as well.

nuts and seeds baked in a bowl
Keto granola from Keen for Keto.

Purchase Dehydrated Mixes For Your Trip 

Dehydrated foods are excellent when traveling or camping for the same reason that they’re easy to carry, with the benefit of providing vital nutrients and energy. If you have a home dehydrator, that’s perfect – but if not, you can still take some waxed cheese, old cheese, freeze-dried meats, bagged dry sausages, etc.


Oatmeal packets are quite handy, especially when you’re out on the trail, and the best part is, you can make your DIY version with a bulk of oatmeal and your preferred topping. Start at home with your desired amount of instant oatmeal and add the following:

  • Chia seeds
  • Dried cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Cinnamon 
  • Nutmeg
  • Coconut flakes

At camp, measure half a cup of the mixture per person and boil some water to add to it to your preferred consistency. Use coconut milk for added taste, and serve. It is delicious, and it’s packed with nutrients. 

For even more oatmeal ideas, check out these fun recipes below that you can enjoy while camping.

oatmeal in a bowl with berries
High protein oatmeal from Yummy Mummy Kitchen.

One-Pot Meals 

If you’re in a hurry, cooking your food in a single pot can save you a great deal of time as well as reduce the amount of cleaning work you have to do after. There are other reasons you might choose to cook meals in a single pot. For instance, it is known to discourage using disposable items such as tin foils, which is excellent for the environment. 

For this, you will need to do a search for your particular diet type recipes and figure out which foods to prepare so that you don’t get stuck eating pasta or rice every day. 

Check out this one-pot meal made in the crockpot for ribs. You can cook it ahead of time and bring it camping.

Or check out the post I made on soups to take camping here.

Cooked ribs in a pot of sauce.
Short ribs from The Suburban Soapbox.

Don’t Forget The Coffee!

For the java addict, don’t worry about packing or hauling your morning coffee through the trail. They make pretty lightweight coffee makers these days; search for the Cafflano Kompakt, a tiny silicone coffee maker that shrinks down to less than 2 inches and weighs just ounces. You shouldn’t have any problems here. 

Use A Camp Stove To Save Wood

A decent camp stove will use less wood for cooking your food or boiling water, so if you’re not in the mood to scour the woods for a pile of firewood, use a stove instead of building a fireplace. 


What Are Good Camping Snacks?

Some typical snacks include peanut butter on jelly sandwiches (or honey), hummus and veggie sticks, jerky, nutty berry trail mix, granola, and wraps.  

What Food Can I Carry For Camping Without Refrigeration?

Bagels and buns, beef and turkey jerky, chopped veggies, homemade brownies, tuna bagels, sandwiches, homemade cookies, packaged muffins, canned flaked chicken, etc. 

What Are Good Pre-made Meals For Camping?

Pancakes, breakfast burritos, banana bread, oats, bread, peanut butter and banana rolls, instant noodle cups, pasta salad, BBQ black bean tacos, kabob skewers, Margherita campfire pizza, mac & cheese.  

If you are looking for some recipes that you can make ahead of time, give these a try.

cooked brisket with sauce.
Instant pot brisket from Running to the Kitchen.

What Are Some Easy Camping Food Snacks?

Avocado chips, roasted pumpkin seeds, peanut butter protein balls, campfire popcorn, pumpkin coconut granola, walking nachos, campfire queso, etc.  


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4 images of pancakes, oatmeal, salmon, and ribs with text saying best camping food

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