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Camping Food Checklist

Coming up with a camping food list requires brainstorming especially when the campers are novice. It is not wrong to look for interesting ideas when it comes to camping food. Having a food checklist helps when it comes to camping-meal planning. Usually while camping with family, the campers prefer to make their own meals together. Ease of preparation is preferred by novice campers owing to their limited experience. Elaborate meals outdoor are preferred by experienced campers.

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Camping food checklist

This camping food checklist is divided based of the ease of preparation. People can pick their assortment of camping food based on their style. Tent campers have to plans their meals carefully as they have limited cooking equipment and counter space. A greater trailer or camp kitchen can enhance camp cooking experience. 

Camping Food Chart

Camping drinks

Cold drinks

  • Energy drinks
  • Soda pop 
  • Lemonade
  • Tang
  • Iced tea
  • Vegetable juices
  • Fruit juices
  • Mineral water
  • Milk
  • Beer 
  • Wine
  • Other spirits if permitted at the camping ground

Hot drinks

  • Coffee [coffeemaker, filters, milk, condensed or powdered milk, coffee packs, coffee cups]
  • Tea 
  • Cocoa 
  • Apple cider

As the campers lack access to refrigeration, you need to chill the canned drinks before taking them to a campsite in a cooler. This will ensure that the cooler ice lasts for long. You need to keep canned drinks such as soda pop in a separate cooler. This is because the beverage cooler is usually accessed frequently. Even if they get warm, they do not end up getting spoiled.

Ready to eat camping foods

Fingers [All you need to carry is cups or plates for serving. You can also eat directly from the package]

Dry foods

  • Breakfast bars
  • Granola bars
  • Protein bars
  • Chocolate bars
  • Candy bars
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruits
  • Packaged snacks
  • Trail mixes
  • Dips
  • Chips
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Hummus
  • Crackers
  • Cream cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Bars
  • Cookies

Ready-to-eat / veggies and fruits

  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Watermelon
  • Mangoes
  • Instant pudding packs
  • Yoghurt packs
  • Smoked meats
  • Smoked fish

Tent campers can hit a local food store for some interesting treats that they can carry along with them while camping. Hummus and nacho chips would make an interesting combination.

Camping foods that required slight preparation

For this the campers would require equipment such as cutting board, serving spoon, serving bowl or plate, can opener, knife, silverware, plate. Campers carry most of the food items that require certain amount of preparation.

Spreads and sandwiches

  • Bagels
  • Sandwich breads
  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Pita bread 
  • Jelly 
  • Peanut butter
  • Nutella 
  • Jam
  • Tuna salad
  • Chicken salad
  • Cheeses
  • Lunch meats
  • Cold cuts
  • Sliced ham, turkey, beef
  • Deli meats
  • Salami
  • Canned sardines, herring, salmon or tuna 

Sides and salads

  • Leafy salads
  • Bean salads
  • Pasta salads
  • Potato salads
  • Cole slaws
  • Other desserts or cold dishes that you can think of

Dips and vegetables

  • Celery 
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflowers
  • Snow peas

Pita bread and tortillas are ideally suited for use during camping trips. This is because these can be packed easily and are difficult to crush. These can be reheated in a pan quickly. These can also be used in numerous ways. If you are looking for a nice camping breakfast, then you need to consider carrying granola mixed with plain or flavored yoghurt. Salsa and sardines form interesting combo when used for preparation of a sandwich.

Camping foods that require moderate preparation

For this you would require equipment such as a fry pan, camping stove, stove coffee maker, cooking pot. You basically carry foods that have been dehydrated or pre-cooked. You just need to heat them or add to boiling water. These foods prove out to be handy for preparing a hot, quick meal when at the campsite.

  • Sausages and hot dogs that have been pre-cooked
  • Canned soups
  • Instant soups
  • Instant noodles
  • Canned pastas 
  • Corned beef
  • Canned meat
  • Pre-packaged cheese and mac
  • Instant potatoes
  • Parboiled rice
  • Canned beans
  • Canned vegetables 

Heat and serve meals

  • Oatmeal cereals
  • Hot cereals
  • Malto meal
  • Boxed frozen waffles
  • Popcorn
  • Freeze-dried camping meals

Freeze-dried camping meals can be purchased from stores selling camping food supplies. You can also checkout department stores. These meals are available in pouches. All you need to do is to transfer the content of the pouch into boiling water and the dish would be ready in a couple of minutes.

Campfire roasting foods

Campers love indulging in campfire roasting foods. Certain equipments are required such as campfire coals, pie irons, aluminum foil, grate, grilling basket, roasting sticks. Indulging in these food offers a camping experience that is unique. Campfire coals would be required by the tent campers. The cooking time may vary from two to ten minutes depending on the kind of dish being chosen.

  • Roasted hamburgers or hot dogs
  • Bread or buns
  • Sausages
  • Shrimp and fish
  • Chestnuts
  • Marshmallows
  • Streak strips
  • Hamburger strips
  • Chopped vegetables
  • Seasonings 

Other campfire meals

  • Treats or pie iron sandwiches
  • Pastries
  • Cheese melts 
  • Deep dish pizza
  • Fresh biscuits
  • Oven-ready rolls
  • Scones

Foil cooking

Foil meal recipes are quite popular amongst the campers. The recipes consist of the use of hamburger, seasonings and vegetables. Meats can also be cooked in foil and the best thing would be to utilize strips of chicken or streak so that it gets cooked easily. Cooking of foil wrapped potatoes can be done on the coals. This can be considered when you are cooking whole potatoes as these would require long time to cook.

Kebab skewers

These come in handy while camping for grilling veggies and cubed meats over charcoal or fire. The center of the meat can be cooked thoroughly in these. 

Grilling baskets

This comes in handy for roasting strips of meat, fish, vegetables or shrimp over coals. The food is clamped to the wire grates and can be flipped easily to ensure that the food has been cooked uniformly. Apply oil while cooking foods that can fall apart easily. Raw food should always be coated with oil before cooking. Chestnuts can also be roasted on these.

Pie iron

Pie irons are ideal for preparation of a hot sandwich melt and requires minimal preparation. The crust should be trimmed before placing. You can consider placing pizza toppings between slices of bread for preparing calzone. You can make a pastry by using canned pie filling between two slices of bread. You need to be careful while cooking eggs or raw meat between slices of bread. The filling should be edible and must require no cooking. The filling gets heated in a pie iron. However, this does not work with raw food as over cooking may burn the slices of bread. 

Dutch oven

This permits the campers to prepare any dish in the same manner they would do at their home. charcoal briquettes are utilized for heating. It appears more like a cast iron kettle and sits of charcoal.

Camping foods [grill or cook]

You would require a grill, camping stove, cooking pot and a fry pan. These foods are more like a feast to the campers at the campsite. 

These consume more time in preparation. For lunch and dinner, you can consider:

  • Fish or raw meats
  • Ribs
  • Steaks 
  • Chops 
  • Shrimp
  • Chicken
  • Seafood
  • Sausages
  • Hamburgers
  • Baked potatoes
  • Casseroles
  • Pizzas
  • Pasts
  • Macaroni
  • Raw vegetables 
  • Frozen vegetables

For breakfast you can consider

  • Bacon 
  • Eggs
  • Sausage
  • Ham
  • Chorizo
  • Hash browns
  • Grits 
  • Waffles
  • Pancakes
  • French toast

You can consider biscuits, fried flat breads, pastries, breads and rolls as breakfast options while on a multi-day camping trip.

Along with necessary equipment and key ingredients required to be used while on a camping trip, you should not forget to carry basic spices and condiments.

  • Mustard
  • Relish 
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Salsa
  • Cooking oil
  • Olive oil 
  • Vinegar 
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Salad dressings 
  • Fish sauce
  • Pepper and salt
  • Cinnamon 
  • Sugar 
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Italian seasoning
  • Mixed herbs

Things to consider while cooking at the campsite 


Campers needs to create a hole in the center of the hamburger that is raw. This has to be done before placing it on a frying pan or a grill. This ensures even cooking of the hamburger. Carry ground meat in a cooler. Cook thoroughly. 


You can easily create a fish batter in a bowl. You would need egg, flour, milk, wine, salt, crackers, chopped onions, butter, pepper, lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil, onion powder and spices. You need to place the fillet in the batter and then fry. You need to be careful as fish fries quickly. It is ready to eat when it starts flaking easily. 


Bacon is a favorite camp food amongst regular campers. It can be used for flavoring several dishes. You can slice and fry it. You need to fry it separately if it is not pre-cooked. This is better than raw meat as it can be cured by salt and has to be smoked.

Canned meat

Canned meats are usually pre-cooked. Campers consider preparing them first. These can be sliced and then fried without any hassles like bacon. They can be added to scrambled eggs, foil meals, pastas and several other dishes. These can be used to make hash by mixing with potatoes and then frying. These can be kept well come in handy at the campsites. Campers prefer addition of meat to their meals. The fuss with raw meats is eliminated by carrying canned meat at the campsites. These come with sufficient quantity of salt and no further addition would be needed. 


Pastry dough or ready-made bread can be baked on a grill or in a Dutch oven. Bread can even be wrapped around a stick and held over campfire for crafting delicious delicacies. Flatbreads, rolls, cookies, biscuits can be baked in a fry pan. 

Dried soup

A suitable meal can be made from dried soup while camping. Dried soup can be used to season and flavor stews, foil meals, casseroles and other dishes. For instance, raw hamburger can be mixed with French onion soup powder for flavoring. Camping food is all about experimentation. All one needs to do is to figure out ways in which a complete meal can be cooked for the campers who have been starving due to the camping activities that are more rigorous than daily activities. Having complete food is essential during camping and this is when tips work in favor of the campers. 

Canned milk 

Evaporated milk or canned milk can be used to impart flavor to hot dishes. These do not spoil easily. Canned condensed sweetened milk can be utilized for making coffee or other beverages.


When the food supplies are limited while on a camping trip, the leftovers should not be discarded. Instead, these should be recycled into snacks, sandwiches or whatever you can think of. You need to ensure that you keep them at a lower temperature so that they do not end up getting spoilt. Reheat before using. Cook food well and avoid wastage or else you would be left starving over your camping trip. 

Resealable bags

You should place the food in resealable bags in order to prevent spoilage. Doing so will prevent the saturation of food with water. When you are placing the food in a cooler, it becomes crucial to make use of resealable bags. This will prevent the contamination of the melt water as well.


Raw meats have to be frozen. It is better to double bag raw meats and place them in resealable bags. This prevents the contamination of other food items by the juices from the meats. You should ensure that you do not open the cooler carrying perishable foods often. If the cooler runs out of ice, then it would result in food spoilage and you may have to end up starving yourself on your camping trip.

This camping food checklist will help you pick exactly the food items that you would be requiring during your camping trip. It is essential to carry the ingredients and the equipments or else you will have to face issues while cooking. Make sure there are proper arrangements for storing the food items. Carry the supplies based on the number of days you would spend camping. Personalize your checklist and have an awesome time while camping.

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