Best Foods For Camping

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Foods to take camping

The Essential Camping Food List 

A great way to stock the camping kitchen is to take foods that don’t require refrigeration. You can include plenty of items on your camping food list that won’t spoil, so you can enjoy an easy, carefree camping trip without worrying about the grub going off! Don’t forget these food essentials when heading to the forest…

Dry foods

CerealGreat any time of day, but undoubtedly worth starting your day right, especially if you’re planning a full day of activities. As a dry food, cereal is non-perishable, making it a must-have on your camping food list. Porridge oats and trail mix (muesli) are cereals in the stocks.

  1. Bread

Another essential food item that can be used for any mealtime. At breakfast time, it’s perfect for toast, great for sandwiches at lunch and beans on toast as a quick and easy evening meal. Bread can be eaten up to seven days after its best-before date, and as a versatile food, it certainly should be on your camping food list.

  1. Pasta

Non-perishable, quick and easy to cook, pasta is an ideal main meal for hungry campers. Perfect for a Bolognese or Macaroni and Cheese, create a carb-filled meal to calm rumbling stomachs. If you cook pasta in bulk, you can eat it cold for lunch the following day (tip – mix the pasta in a bit of olive oil before it cools to stop it from congealing) for two meals for the price of one!

  1. Rice

Great for a ‘one pot’ camping meal, rice can be used for a chilli con Carne, paella, curries and more. A non-perishable food, rice is a great stomach filler after an active day of adventure. 

  1. Powdered Milk

Add to tea, coffee, hot chocolate and more, plus use it to stir into porridge oats to add flavour. 

  1. Crackers

A portion of excellent food for lunchtime, crackers are a camping favourite to which you can add all kinds of toppings.

Fuel food 

  1. Eggs

Eggs don’t need to be refrigerated; they are stored at a consistent temperature, under 20°C. Eggs can be used to supplement or supply the main meal; there’s so much you can do with them, whether scrambled, fried, poached or boiled. 

A quick and easy way to make use of eggs is an omelette. At the same time, at breakfast time, there’s just something about enjoying a hard-boiled egg and ‘soldiers’ while watching the sunrise in the forest. Give it a try!

Tinned food

  1. Beans

Baked beans, kidney beans, chickpeas and more are worth adding to your camping food list as they’re full of protein. Baked beans can be used for beans on toast or as a dressing for jacket potatoes; kidney beans can be added to chilli con Carne, while chickpeas can be added to salads, soups and more. 

  1. Tuna

Tuna is a great sandwich or jacket potato filler. It can be added to pasta dishes for wholesome meals for all the family to enjoy.

  1. Soups

Ready in minutes, soups come in various flavours, giving you plenty of variety. Perfect for lunches and as a main meal, soups are great with plain bread or buttered toast.

  1. Vegetables

Tinned vegetables are an excellent accompaniment for any lunchtime or main meal. Peas, carrots, runner beans, sweetcorn, mushrooms, mixed veg and more are worth adding to your camping food stocks to pad out meals. 

  1. Fruit

Fresh fruit perishes quickly, so take some tinned fruit to accompany breakfast or use it as a dessert. Everything from peaches and pineapples to pears and prunes come in the tinned form.


  1. Stir in sauces

Add flavour to your main meals with pasta, chilli, and curry sauces for tasty camping grub.


  1. Sauces

Tomato ketchup, barbeque sauce, mayonnaise, mustard, soy sauce and more will add flavour to camping meals and are a must-have on your camping food list.

  1. Jam

An excellent topping for toast, stirring into oatmeal or jam sandwiches for the kids at lunchtime, the jam has multiple uses for adding flavour to food. 

  1. Peanut butter

A camping condiment favourite, peanut butter is full of protein. It makes the perfect toast topping and sandwich filler and can even be used on crackers. It’s great as a chocolate dip, too!

  1. Sugar

Add a little flavour to your cereal or stir into your tea, coffee and hot chocolate to sweeten your beverages.


  1. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate

Tea and coffee are perfect camping beverages to accompany breakfast or flask up and drink. Hot chocolate is the best evening drink to enjoy before settling in for the night – don’t forget to add marshmallows.

  1. Long-life milk

Long-life Milk is an ideal camping trip grocery item as an alternative to fresh Milk, perfect for pouring over your cereals or adding to tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Be sure to take screw-top cartons so you can reseal them after use. 

Quick And Easy Camping Food Ideas

Food that’s ready to eat makes mealtimes much easier when camping. If you need something that’s quick and easy to rustle up with minimal ingredients or involves no cooking, here’s a selection of foods to stock in your camping kitchen. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, you’ll be ready with almost instant meals.

  1. Porridge pots 

A great way to start the day, pocket-sized porridge pots come in various flavours. All you have to do is add boiling water for an instant breakfast that the whole family can enjoy. 

  1. Instant noodle pots

Instant noodles are a camping favourite for lunch and dinner when camping in the forest. Add boiling water and enjoy delicious noodles that come in various flavours. They’re great if you’re on the go, too. Flask up some boiling water and enjoy a Pot Noodle while outdoors!

  1. Pasta and sauce

Quick and easy pasta ‘n’ sauce pots come in various combinations, including mac ‘n’ cheese, cheese and broccoli, chicken and mushroom and more. All you need is that magic ingredient, boiling water, for a tasty lunchtime or dinnertime meal. Plus, pasta ‘n’ sauce pots can be enjoyed on the go!

  1. Soups

Straight from the tin to the cooking pot, heat for a few minutes, and you have a great lunchtime or evening meal that will warm the core on a cold day. Enjoy with bread or toast to pad out your meal. Alternatively, you can take packet soups to save space, including Cup-a-Soups.

  1. Veggie pots

Enjoy Moroccan, Thai, Mexican and more veggie dishes straight from a pot! Packed with goodness and great taste, pocket-sized veggie pots are moreish meals that can be savoured at lunch or dinner.

  1. Boil in-the-bag meals

From all-day breakfasts to curries, there’s a boil-in-the-bag option for all mealtimes. These pre-cooked foods can be eaten hot or cold for quick and convenient grub.

  1. Freeze-dried Packs

Lightweight and easy to pack, freeze-dried food pouches are the perfect camping foodstuff. With dishes for every mealtime, add boiling water and feed the family fast!

  1. Tinned ready meals

From stews to chilli, whip up a camping meal quick, straight from a tin. Heat these ready meals on your camping stove for family camping food that’s ready in minutes.

  1. Protein Shakes

 Protein, or other powdered food supplements such as Huel, make an excellent camping meal. They are generally in powder and can be mixed with milk or water (depending on your taste). These shakes are designed for the fitness industry, so they come with a good balance of Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins and fibre to replenish lost nutrients….and they can be great as a sweet snack.

  1. Pre-prepared home-cooked meals

Prepare camping dishes at home that will last a few days; you only have to heat them when you’re ready to eat. Tinned and packaged food is convenient, but nothing beats the taste of a home-cooked meal when camping in the forest.

About the author - Colin M

I've been camping since Santa brought my first tent when I was a wee boy in Scotland. Since then, I've camped out, stayed in motorhomes and Glamped worldwide. By day I sit in front of a computer, and by day off, Im typically found (lost) in the outdoors.