7 Essential Foods While Camping
The Best Camping Foods
If you're planning on getting out of the city to go camping for a while, it's important to bring the right types of food. There are a few things to consider when you choose food for a camping trip--first, you're going to need the right nutrients to give you energy for hiking. You'll also need food that's either ready-made, or is simple enough to prepare with a simple camp stove--food that only requires some boiling water.
But there's also another consideration to make--whether you're planning on "car camping," or doing a more traditional backpacking trip, you'll need to choose food that doesn't take up a lot of space or weigh you down. Here are our picks for the 7 Essential Foods While Camping.
1. Yogurt and Granola
Having a bag of granola and a large container of yogurt on hand (we like simple vanilla or honey-flavored, but certain fruit-flavored yogurts are great, too) is one of the easiest ways to roll out of your sleeping bag and into a nutritious breakfast. If you love to cook, try making some homemade granola before you leave for your trip--if not, there are plenty of healthy store-bought brands. Be sure to choose one with nuts and dried fruit for extra protein and vitamins. Yogurt is one of the healthiest foods out there, complete with B vitamins, calcium, and protein to start your day off on the right foot.
2. Instant Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit
If you're in the mood for a hot breakfast, instant oatmeal is a great option. It's a tasty, easy-to-pack dehydrated food. Bringing along some fresh fruit like berries or bananas are an easy way to take instant oatmeal from being a "plain Jane" breakfast to a practically gourmet camping meal.
3. Italian-Style Antipasto
One of the tastiest, easiest lunch options for camping is to bring a selection of meats, cheeses, olives, and veggies. Picky eaters can have their fill of what they like, while adventurous eaters can take advantage of the full smorgasbord.
4. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
These no-stress sandwiches are a camping classic for a reason: they're quick to assemble, provide almost no mess, and they they taste great.
If you've got a camp stove, it's a snap to whip up a pot of spaghetti that will feed all of the hungry campers. It's as easy as buying a jar or can of sauce and some noodles (whole wheat noodles give your meal an extra health kick).
6. Chili Mac
Another simple camping dinner is the Midwestern classic Chili Mac. All you need is a box (or two) of macaroni and cheese and a can of chili (maybe some hot sauce, too!). Once the noodles have cooked, just mix in the can of chili, heat it up, and enjoy.
7. Hot Dogs
What list of camping foods would be complete without hot dogs? Seriously, what's better than kicking back around a fire and roasting some sausages on a stick? You can go simple or gourmet (smoked sausages like Andouille work surprisingly well, too). However, you should make sure you choose precooked sausages to avoid food-borne illnesses. With or without buns, plain or slathered in ketchup and mustard, a simple pack of hot dogs rounds out the list of essential camping foods.
No matter where your trail leads you, these nutritious, easy-to-make foods are the perfect choices for your next camping trip. Remember to keep your food at safe temperatures in a cooler, or with an ice pack in your bag. Bring along plenty of water, too, and dispose all of your food waste properly to keep nature areas pristine, and to avoid unwanted encounters with bears and other wildlife.