Real Food While Camping

Camping Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Whole-Wheat Banana Nut Muffin, Bacon, and Fruit

If “camping” is on your Labor Day agenda and you’d like to do it without straying too far from real food then you are in luck. Car camping is a lot of work (blow up beds, fluffy mattress covers and all!), but at the same time it’s SO much fun.

We go once or twice a year ourselves and I just love spending time outside with family and friends and best of all being truly unplugged. It’s also hard to beat the excitement of the kids when taking them on such an adventure!

We just went camping with two other families a couple of weekends ago (we scored a great campsite right on the lake) and before we left I made a list and took photos of all the food we brought, which is detailed below.

I divided up the food into three pictures: pantry goods, perishable items, and non-real food. Yes, even the “100 Days of Real Food” family would never go camping without bringing along some marshmallows to roast! Plus sugary treats are definitely okay on occasion and I think camping is the perfect time to indulge in our weekly treat. :)

Pantry Goods for Camping Trip

The pantry goods we brought camping (from left to right):

  • Homemade whole-wheat banana nut muffins
  • Ak-mak crackers
  • Multi-seed crackers (original)
  • Peanuts
  • Organic milk boxes (we thought this would be easier than dealing with one of our glass milk jugs in the cooler…I agree it’s weird these things fall under the “non-perishable” category!)
  • Balsamic vinegar (for Caprese Salad in the next pic)
  • Apples
  • Trader Joe’s whole wheat hot dog buns (these have more ingredients than I’d like, but they are an occasional food for us)
  • Lara bars (just in case)
  • Homemade granola
  • Sandwich bread (just a few slices) and small hamburger buns both from Great Harvest Bakery
  • Raisins
Perishable Food for Camping Trip

The perishable food we brought camping:

  • Prepared vegetable kabobs
  • Prepared burgers (in foil)
  • Trader Joe’s organic hummus
  • Homemade pimento cheese (yum)
  • Eggs (next time I’ll bring these in a styrofoam container so it will hold up better in the cooler)
  • Raw spinach leaves
  • Diced fruit (mango, peaches and grapes)
  • Pre-made caprese pasta salad
  • Plain yogurt (I mixed it with a little maple syrup and vanilla extract)
  • Applegate organic bacon (we also sometimes buy local bacon as well)
  • Sliced cantaloupe
  • Butter
  • Blueberries
  • Trader Joe’s havarti sliced cheese (have I mentioned how much we LOVE this cheese?)
  • Applegate organic hot dogs
Non-Real Junk Food for Camping Trip

The “non-real” junk food we brought camping:

  • Cheese puffs (Oh yeah, yummy cheese puffs. This was my second time buying these since cutting out processed food, and I confirmed they are still awesome. This was my special treat for myself. :) )
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole-wheat graham crackers
  • Marshmallows (without artificial flavoring or high-fructose corn syrup)

Okay, so now the question is…what meals did we make with all of this food? Here’s a run down:

  • Friday night – Our family grilled vegetable kabobs and the other family brought a yummy quinoa/black bean side (if you try the recipe she recommends adding the cilantro at the end).
  • Saturday morning – Egg breakfast pictured above.
  • Saturday lunchCaprese whole-wheat pasta salad (my kids prefer theirs without the balsamic vinegar), pimento cheese on whole-grain crackers and fruit. Oh and this is when we dug into the cheese puffs.
  • Saturday dinner – Our family grilled burgers for the adults and hot dogs for the kids, another family wrapped potatoes and squash in foil and cooked them in the campfire (it was delicious!), and the other family brought condiments and a yummy avocado/tomato salad. Then of course we had s’mores after dinner.
  • Sunday morningGranola, yogurt, and berries.
  • Sunday lunch – This ended up being at home because the last day got rained out, but we had hummus/cheese/spinach sandwiches with fruit.
Please share your real food ideas for camping in the comments below!

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122 thoughts on “Real Food While Camping”

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  1. Thank you for the ideas! We are planning a camping trip this month and I have been nervous about what to pack! This makes it sound SO easy! It’s also during my birthday, so thanks for saying it is okay to indulge a bit. Haha.

  2. im curious how most of the ideas in the comments section are considered real food. Every meal consists of some kind of bread, pasta yogurt, oatmeal or rice which is not compliant in any of the whole food diets i have tried. I am looking for recipes that can use while camping that use only real whole foods. I was taught that this meant, if it wasn’t picked out of the ground or raised on a farm it is not considered real or whole foods.

  3. Just a small correction: eggs, butter, and yogurt are all non-parishable items surprisingly. Others if you hadn’t opened the package yet or sliced into it but would save you room if left outside the cooler until it’s time to use would be the hotdogs, the tomatos for the caprese, and if you bought packaged organic diced fruit

  4. I need ideas for backpacking, not the same as camping. Need healthy food that’s lightweight, compact and sustaining.

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Check out outdoor herbivore for freeze dried meals. I’m not affiliated with them at all, just another backpacking mama who wants real food when I hit the trails!

  5. We have a reusable egg container for camping. It’s just like the egg carton, but we don’t have to resort to Styrofoam and it doesn’t disintegrate in the cooler.

  6. I’ve been looking for ideas to camp with REAL food. So thanks for sharing your ideas. I just wanted to pass along an idea we use. Eggs. Break them open and put them into a jar with a lid. We use a glass jar. When you want to cook them they pour out individually like magic. The bonus… it takes next to no space for a dozen eggs and you don’t have to worry about breaking them. Just pack the jar carefully and no worries. :)

  7. My big thing is to make food stretch, even camping. I make a huge meatloaf, freeze it raw, and use it to help keep stuff cold. Usually, on the second day, it is ready to cook. So, meatloaf the second night, cooked on in a dutch oven over sliced potatoes and onions. Then, some of the leftover meat and all of the veggies are used the next morning for hash with fried eggs over the top, and we have meatloaf sandwiches for lunch. Major hit every time. It is my husband’s favorite part of camping.

  8. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi. Are you talking about the Marshmallows? No money was made by answering that question. Marshmallows are a rare indulgence for the Leakes and that is the brand they buy when camping. Beyond that, Lisa does recommend some products that are tried and tested in her family. She is very open about affiliate sponsors/partnerships that are a part of some posts. She’s very picky about those sponsors, as well. ~Amy

  9. What brand are the marshmallows without high fructose corn syrup? I can’t quite read the name in the photo. I have been looking everywhere for these! Thanks!

      1. I love your posts and have been following them bc I felt they were real. But this clearly is a post for money. (Which clearly you deserve!) It’s sad that it has come to that and I am glad for your sponsers. But do YOU really believe in your heart, this is the best product OR are you getting paid to tell us that?

  10. Thanks for sharing these great ideas for real food when camping! I love camping but find it hard to stick with my real food diet…definitely gonna try some of these!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Leslie. You can find them at Whole Foods, Earth Fare, and other health food stores. ~Amy

  11. We have a camper that has a small refrigerator/freezer. We make ahead soups, grilled chicken, breads, and muffins and store in fridge and freezer and bring a lot of fruit and veggies. We take organic beef and homemade sandwich buns for burger night. We like to visit farmer’s markets while traveling. Great for picking up local fruit and produce along the way

  12. Great post! Thx- we love to camp, too, so I’m often searching for camp food ideas (which is how I found your site, btw!). I find myself amazed with the c-rrr-a-p people make during trips! Thanks for providing some wonderful, simple & healthful options, and spreading the word. :) yay!

  13. We are heading out for a long weekend of camping with our 3 and 6 year old boys and another couple with kids the same age. Tonight we’ll have turkey and vegetable chili that i made last night with from scratch chili-cheese corn muffins. Banana boats for dessert tonight (slice a banana in half in the peel – add marshmallows/dark chocolate chips and peanuts – wrap in foil and heat over fire). Breakfast tomorrow will be pancakes and lunch will be PB&J wraps. Dinner tomorrow night is chicken sausage packets with the last of our CSA veggies (squash, zucchini, red onions) and potatoes. Dessert will be baked apples with cinnamon sugar. Eggs and turkey bacon for breakfast on Sunday followed by pasta caprese salad for lunch. Dinner for the last night will be veggie burgers/brats and some olive oil bread. And smores. Not entirely clean eating but nothing was from a box/mix and its a lot of fruits and veggies. Now if only the rains stays away.

  14. we bring our eggs prescrambled in a pitcher from the dollar store. It has a pour spout for easy pouring and is spillproof. MUCH easier than using an egg container.

  15. 2 words. Pie iron! Think fresh hot calzones made with whole wheat pitas, bubbly, cheesy egg sandwiches, spicy honey sweetened pies, endless opportunities for fun whole foods made to order.

    1. Hi Amanda – How funny…I bought that plate my sophomore year in college (about 18 years ago) in preparation for a camping trip. I had virtually no money so it was part of the cheapest plate/cup/pot kit I could find. The pots are terrible but we still use all that stuff when we car camp! – Jason

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Casie. Not sure of the brand but I’ve seen several varieties at both Earth Fare and Whole Foods and I’ve ordered vegan versions online. :) ~Amy

  16. My husband and I also love camping! This year we’ve decided to go every time he has a two day weekend (about every other week). One of my favorite things to do is prep food for the trip and storing it in Food Saver bags. One thing that we’ve learned in the past is to put the eggs in a zip top bag, instead of styrofoam, and keep it at the top of the cooler so it doesn’t get squished. I also put the cheese in this bag too depending on the amount we are bringing.

  17. To bring eggs camping just crack them all into a plastic jug-type thing to put into the ice chest. I love to do vegetarian breakfast tacos while camping and scramble the eggs, anyway.

  18. Cheryl Zandbergen

    Gotta say that I’m pretty disappointed to see Green & Blacks in there as it is a Kraft food product. There are many non-Kraft, organic dark chocolates out there that are just as yummy! Otherwise, thanks for the ideas :)

    1. Cheryl,
      Look at the original date on the camping post — August 2012. Her Green & Black’s purchase came LONG before the Kraft petition.

  19. We always bring nut butter of one kind or another. It goes well with bread, celery sticks, apples, and so on. I also agree with the plastic egg containers. They work. And chocolate? Can’t it be real? We love the ultra dark kind. And a dutch oven for cooking.

  20. So glad to see this! This summer we’re going on the first week-long camping trip we’ve had in almost 12 years. When we camp I pre-mixed the dry ingredients for pancakes, muffins and bread with our home-ground whole-grain flours, which is a nice time saver and keeps me in control of the ingredients. We bring our own eggs and made the same mistake as you, not using foam cartons. But the comment above is true about bringing unwashed, never-refrigerated eggs. The only possible issue is if it’s super hot, if the eggs have been fertilized, they “could” start to develop blood vessels just from the heat of the air. But if there’s no rooster by those hens, you don’t have to worry about that.

    We also brought our own goat milk on that trip, in glass, which I agree is a pain to deal with. I’ll have to consider the milk you used, though changing from goat to cow and back again sometimes causes minor tummy issues that I don’t know we want on vacation.

    Thanks for sharing your menu and shopping list!

  21. We live to camp. Everytime we go we take what we call campfire meals…cut potatoes & carrots sprinkled with our favorite seasoning and add in broken up sausage. You need to butter the foil so it doesn’t stick. Roll up in foil and cook over the campfire…delicious! We just made homemade marshmallows as well so we will see how well they roast. Super easy to make and waaaay cheaper than the store bought no artificial ingredients ones. Happy camping 😊

  22. No don’t use a strofoam egg carton please!!! It will out live all of us combined!!! I recommend the egg holders that you can buy at any store that sells camping supplys. Yes they are plastic, but you can use them over and over, I have used one for years and have never replaced it. It keeps eggs from breaking and takes up far less space. Additionaly you can even stand it up on end. Also I have found that protein shake mixing cups are perfect for beating eggs! Works like a charm! Now I am trying to figure out why your saying organic dark chocolate is junk food. Nope don’t make a meal of it but 2 squares are a perfectly healthy desert! Have fun!!

  23. Wanna really amazing the kids. Google homemade cardboard oven for camping. Great scout trick. You can make an oven using a cardboard box and bake those banana muffin fresh.

  24. If you’re going to use the eggs for scrambled eggs/omelets only, don’t even bother with an egg carton! Break them into a seal-able container (I like the tall kind with a screw on lid) and pop it in your cooler… Then there are no worries about your eggs cracking or breaking during your trip. Added bonus is that if you separate the eggs based on how many you need for each meal, you can just pour in a little milk, close the container, and give it a good shake – then just pour your beaten eggs right in your skillet.

  25. What is “non-real” about dark chocolate? I’ve always read that dark chocolate (70% and higher) is full of antioxidants and important to incorporate in anyone’s day.

  26. We just went camping this past weekend! We have a camp stove and a large pot, so we did ziplock bag omelets for breakfast both mornings. This may be questionable for your site because of the possible bpa contamination, but they sure are good,quick, and easy! We added fresh chopped bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cheese to ours.

    In case no one above mentioned it, you can get a reusable egg crate in the camping section at most stores. Ours was only a couple dollars, and it kept the eggs safe in our cooler.

    We did the typical burger/hotdog fare for dinner the first night, but our second night we had “baked” potatoes. We wrapped them in foil with a little butter and salt and threw them on the campfire for a little under an hour. They were perfect. We used leftover peppers and onions and cheese that we had brought along for our omelets. The potatoes were a hit, even with the carnivores!

    1. Just a note – When I was looking for economical freezer storage options for breast milk, I called and talked to Ziplock – their bags do not contain BPA in the formulation and never have. Not sure about Glad or any other brand, but if I use plastic bags for food storage, I make sure to use Ziplock!

  27. I try not to cook in tin foil but salmon while camping is awesome. Take some wild caught salmon and put it in double or triple wrapped tin foil at home. Put 2 dabs of butter (optional) on top, salt and pepper and a little fresh dill. The first night we cook the salmon on the grill. It doesn’t take long. Have this with a healthy pasta salad and your campers will love you.

  28. We r actually leaving to go camping tomorrow. And again in Nov …in Texas its too hot yo tent camp in the summer! This is our first trip since going real food and organic….I’m planning eggs bacon French toast and burritos for breakfasts….tacos and sandwiches for lunches ..and steak (pre-marinated) as well as some local chicken spinach n feta sausage/hot dogs for dinner

  29. Whole-Food (Non-Processed) Plant-Based (Vegan) Campers here.
    We pre-chop all of our veggies, pop into containers and into the cooler. Easy-peasy meals.
    Breakfast is Oatmeal (with Maple Syrup), fruit and/or juice, tea.
    Other meals consisted of Whole Wheat Pasta with herbs and veggies, PB and honey (we eat honey) on our homemade wheat bread, baked potatoes (I pre-cook them some of the way in the microwave before we go, wrap them in foil, cool and then toss them in the cooler) topped with vegan chili, hummus and veggies, salsa and tortilla chips, bean burritos…
    Dessert is a nice piece of dark chocolate and talking around the fire with friends.
    Yeah – we like to cook and we enjoy being healthier!

  30. Thanks for posting the few “non-real junk foods”. Would you mind sharing where you found these items? I would love to treat my children (and husband!) to s’mores again :-)


    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Jennifer. I don’t have the bag anymore, but, I know I’ve seen them at Whole Foods and Earthfare. Jill

  31. My family and I have been camping for a week for 21 years now and it is more like camp as there are anywhere from 30-45 people and our food is made together but planned ahead of time…my new husband and I just went camping this weekend and I marinated chicken in ziploc and made hamburgers before we left and cooked them on the propane camp stove…our only challenge was the clean up since this is only the second time ever camping with just one other person

  32. I’m not a huge camping fan but we’re supposed to go next weekend (Hubby and two boys means I’m outnumbered!). The thought of food was stressing me out, so this was super helpful. Thanks! I’m sure we’ll take lots of eggs and burgers and chocolate banana muffins.

    1. Also, I never knew it was called “car camping” until I got married. I thought everyone went to a campground with bathrooms and electric hookups and air mattresses!

  33. You probably know this, but if you get Farmer’s Market eggs or other “straight from the chicken” eggs that have not been washed and refrigerated, they can be kept at room temperature for several weeks. There is a protective coating on them after they are laid that keeps them from spoiling. It seems very strange, but it is handy not to have to refrigerate them, especially at times like camping trips.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Addy. I don’t remember the brand at the moment, but, I know I’ve seen them at Whole Foods and my guess is Lisa got them at Earthfare. Good luck. Jill

  34. Just wondering how you deal with GMO’s? Mostly because I see that you eat Larabar’s. Their parent company sinks millions of dollars into lobbists that are fighting against labeling GMO’s. They are listed in the ‘Dirty Dozen’ companies that call their products ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ but are using GMO crops. (Organic Consumers Association) Do you research before buying a new product or only buy after being recommended? I’m obviously new here, so I’m just wondering! Thanks for all the great ideas for camping, we do a lot of camping and the same old thing gets old!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Shannon. Correct me if I’m wrong, but, I thought if something was labeled as organic that it is free of GMO’s. I’m not saying that’s the case with the Lara bars, but, you mentioned below things being labeled as organic yet using GMO crops. As for products, I think you were asking specifically about things Lisa and her family consume and recommend on the blog? While she receives lots of recommendations, she always looks at the products and ingredients closely to see whether or not they fit into “the rules”. I hope that helps some to clarify things. Glad you are enjoying the blog. Jill

    2. Shannon,

      I am so glad you brought up Larabars and there support and use of GMO products. I dont’ understand why stores like Whole Foods even carry their products. Maybe Larabars should be taken off the 100 Days of Real Food.

  35. THIS post alone is exactly why I subscribe. It is the striving to eat as clean as possible, while being “real” and down to earth enough to still indulge. I have subscribed (and unsubscribed) to other sites that also promote clean eating, but the almost unattainable and overly strict views have soured me. The reality is that many of us are moms, with school aged children, and want to navigate our way through a culture of pizza snacks and soda. Your goals are like your subscribers: to attempt to change and educate our families, especially our children. Thanks so much, Lisa.

  36. I was looking for a post just like this about a month ago! I made veggie, sausage foil packs using applegate farms sausage for dinner. It was my first time trying that brand, and they were delicious! I also pre-made sandwiches for lunch (pbj, and chicken salad) and froze them. I used the ranch dip recipe from this site and bought kettle chips for snacking. The dip was a big hit! I did splurge and buy donuts and oreos (mine and my husband’s favs), but I was happy that we got through the majority of the trip eating unprocessed food and didn’t feel deprived at all!

  37. This was my first year doing camping sugar-free and with very little processed food. I have to say it went really well. Camping in the past was so focused on food for some reason and this time we just brought healthy cereal, sandwich stuff, tons of fruits, larabars, our favourite chips, and I had my favourite 70+ chocolate bar for a treat. I made all my homemade salads ahead of time and then we just cooked the meat. It was so much simpler and relaxing. I also didn’t buy any pop…and with 7 teenagers coming along, it didn’t seem to be an issue.

    I don’t know why but camping food in the past seemed so complicated and the grocery bill was always exhorbitant. Not anymore!

  38. Since firewood in WI has to be local, we try to stick to meals that don’t require a long cooking time. Sometimes the local wood we buy is damp and we have trouble getting the campfire started. Pasta and marinara is one of our favorites. We pre-boil the pasta, then reheat it in boiling water over the campfire. Hot dog are also fun to roast on toasting forks and can be pre-boiled as well. Glad to see you still do s’mores. My girls went backyard camping with Daddy last weekend and I made some homemade graham crackers for the s’mores. Yum!

  39. Hey, love your blog. I wanted to share this recipe for camp burritos (think hot pocket breakfast version but real food!). I’ve made them twice now and they are SOOO nice cause all the prep work is done and you can just pop them on hot coals and warm them up. they are filling and wonderful.

    A few notes. This makes ALOT more than it says. You can opt to half it, or do the whole thing and freeze what you don’t use. I have frozen them and they come out fine, if possible, even better. And I suggest using a cooking spray or lightly buttering/oiling the tinfoil. They stick otherwise.

    Have fun camping!!!

  40. I am currently on a camping trip right now. My family is not a fully whole foods family, but I do eat a minimal amount of junk and right now I am feeling the effects of being off my regular diet. I love the ideas you shared as well as the ones shared in the comments. It gives me great ideas for better planning for better eating next time.

  41. We have an RV with a complete kitchen, as well as a table-top gas grill, so cooking at camp is really no different than cooking at home for us. Still, I make a lot of our foods ahead of time, especially things like breakfast burritos, pasta salads, baked goods, etc. But like you, camping is a special event and is a time when I’m more likely to allow a little junk food.

  42. I have thought about making homemade marshmallows just for the sake of making s’mores. I don’t have any problem with some sweet treats from time to time, but it’s all the additives that we can’t have around here. The joy of seeing them enjoy the s’more wouldn’t be worth the meltdowns and seizures afterward.

    The other thing I keep reminding myself is not to project my own childhood ‘special memories’ on to my sons. They are 2 and 3- eating a s’more for them is just a food that tastes good. It isn’t a tradition or a memory that reminds them of a happy time like it is for many of us… We are forming the special memories that they’ll cherish later, and they don’t have to be centered around junk food.

    1. Good point about projecting our special memories on our kids. Just because smores (or anything for that matter) reminds us of a special memory, it doesn’t mean it does the same for our kids. They’re in the midst of forming their own special memories now!

  43. Well, I wish I’d seen this before we spent two weeks camping up the Rocky Mountains from the top of New Mexico to Montana! Camp food is always a challenge for me; I can’t ever seem to think of anything other than fajitas or burgers. I got a little tired of fajitas after two weeks, although it’s really the perfect camp food since it doesn’t require silverware. We bought store bought fajitas but could have used these –
    Everything else was real food – sauteed chicken, fresh avocados, onion, peppers, and some local cheese we found at a shop on the way.

  44. We just returned from a camping trip. Some of our camping staples not mentioned are tuna fish in olive oil, Amy’s refried beans, Hodskin Mills mixes – corn bread, pancake, muffin mix.I also bring veges that
    I’ve dehydrated – zuchinni chips, onions, tomatoes, green peppers. They don’t take up much room and don’t spoil quickly.

  45. Thanks for all the suggestions :) I used to go hiking a lot, carrying all of our food. Some of my friends used to bring those packet meals that you just add boiling water to, but I always tried to stick with mostly real food.

    I usually ate muesli and powdered milk for breakfast, flatbread with salad, humus and avocado for lunch, pasta with cheese and veggies for dinner, and scroggin (trail mix) for snacks. Everything was fairly light and very tasty :)

  46. This sounds yummy, especially if you have a cooler. We’re going canoe camping this weekend, though, and will have to fit our gear and food and the four of us in a canoe. Any suggestions?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Vettie. I don’t have the brand in front of me right now, but, I know I’ve seen them at Whole Foods and my guess is Lisa got them at Earthfare. Jill

  47. Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}

    My kids are still little (8 months and 3), but when they get older I would love to take them camping. This is a fun look at your food choices for your camping adventures–looks like a delicious weekend. :-)

  48. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am camping this weekend and now I have a list of things to pack. I so appreciate this timely post!!

  49. I love the ideas for more real food while camping! We love to go every fall, but its the one weekend a year I let the kids go a bit crazy with crappy food. I know… 50 lashes with a wet noodle for me. But seriously, it’s the one time a year I let my kids get bologna (blech) & pop tarts and they really look forward to that “treat” every year. And it gives me an answer when they shop with me and ask “can we get bologna?”… “Nope, not until we go camping.” ;o)

  50. love it!!! thanks…and the metal plats in the photo are our everyday plates around here!! With 5 kids we went as durable as could be!!

  51. We are going camping this weekend so thanks for the ideas! I saw those marshmallows at the store the other day and was about to buy them until I saw Tilapia as one of the ingredients. Kind of freaked me out a bit. Not sure I can get past that…how did they taste?

  52. Hold on a minute. I’m saying take the chocolate out of the “non-real food” and put the hotdogs in there. :) I could go the rest of my life without a hotdog, but chocolate – no way. The rest looks great.

  53. I also premake a couple of our dinners and freeze them. They then cool the cooler until they are defrosted and ready to eat. Just got back from a 5 day trip of tent camping. I made chili verde (and froze it in a big glass container) and served it with tortillas and grilled veggies. Also made spaghetti sauce (freezes great) served with noodles and salad. Tacos with premade and frozen ground beef mixed with corn and black beans. For breakfast I made whole wheat English muffins with eggs, cheese and natural bacon. Wrapped individually and froze. Then just put them on the grate on the campfire to heat. No dishes!! Homemade granola with fruit and yogurt, breakfast burritos with premade and frozen potatoes onions and peppers. I’m all about premakiing as much as possible!!

  54. Such great recommendations! Did you use dry ice again in your cooler to keep everything cold, or was plain ice enough to keep the temperature in your cooler low enough for more than one day? Thanks for the great tips!

  55. Thank you so much for sharing. These all sound tasty and easy. We are novice campers, and I’ve been thinking hard to come up with good camping food that doesn’t take a long time to make (or a ton of different ingredients).

    We have two camping trips planned this fall so far. Will be trying some of these!

    1. Try reading the label (or their website), the applegate farms all beef hot dogs are made from real grass fed, humanely raised beef, no nitrates, fillers, etc. I get similar ones from a stand at my local farmer’s market. I classify both as “real” food.

  56. Our family has camped together a lot over the years, and even though we’re all mostly grown up and married we still get together for an annual family camping trip. We are all foodies and we’re all, to varying degrees, concerned with eating real food. Each year we experiment with new fun and delicious things to make over the fire. This year, the huge hit was fish camper packets. We diced up a bunch of veggies (zucchini, onion, mushrooms, asparagus, etc.) and each made our own.

    Here’s how: put a piece of fish on a big piece of foil, season with your choice of seasoning (we brought about 6 different gourmet seasonings, cajun was my choice) put a small bit of butter on top of that then put all the veggies you can fit on top of that, add a little more butter and lots of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Wrap it all up tight throw it on some good coals for 20 minutes or so, unwrap and enjoy with a quinoa pilaf. We were all loving it! It’s fun because the kids can personalize it and everyone is involved in the food prep.

  57. To keep the eggs safe in the cooler for long weekends/camping, I’ve always cracked the eggs I need into a mason jar with lid (at home) without stirring or shaking them (so you can make fried eggs or scrambled). This way the inevitable water in the cooler will not effect the eggs, they are safe and protected and pre-cracked so they are fast and easy to use and there is no waste to dispose of etc. Just bring the mason jar home and use it again the next time. We also find it is easier to prep and cook as much of our food ahead of time here at home, and then just reheat things that need warming when using your propane stove or campfire.

    Our typical camping meals:

    For breakfast we do meals like yogurt/fruit/granola, oatmeal, pancakes, scrambled eggs with goat cheese, avocado, tomato and peppers or kale and side of sausage.

    Lunch: PBJ, Almond butter and nutella sandwiches, GF Teft tortilla wraps with goat cheese, avocado, roasted red peppers and walnuts, Cold veggie burger sandwiches (cooked earlier), with avocado, havarti, roasted red peppers, and sprouts. We also do homemade rice cakes with sushi rice and add in bacon & eggs for savory, or fruit and nuts, choc chips for sweet (you mix all ingredients and spread in brownie pan to cool, then cut squares which can be individually wrapped for hikes, etc.

    Apps: we make bruscetta, homemade tomatillo salsa and chips, hummus with veggies and rice crackers.

    Dinner, you can precook chili, crock pot shredded chicken or beef for tacos, chicken satay and veggie kabobs, shrimp with fettucini sauce and rice pasta, veggie or meat stir fry, or a cold salad made from Aztec red Quinoa with mexican ingredients of your choice: corn, cilantro, black beans, red onion, chicken, green chilis, etc.

    There are so many fun things you can bring car camping if you precook at home — don’t feel you have to limit yourself to just hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill.

    1. Thanks for this post. I am a vegetarian and think that you can definitely have a more well rounded diet without all the meat – especially processed meats like hot dogs. Your meals sound well rounded and delicious!

  58. We’ve gone car camping twice this summer (well my husband and son went a 3rd time when I was away for the weekend) and I still stress real food. I think it would be weird to be out in nature and loading up on garbage. We did have some junk like marshmallows and a bit of gummy candy. But for the most part we do oatmeal for breakfast, bring lots of fruit, milk, peanut butter, whole grain bread, cheese, veggies for sandwiches (spinach and tomato), etc. For dinner we’ve done veggie chili which is just various beans, tomato sauce, hominy and spice. It’s SUPER easy to make. We’ve also done ‘hobo dinners’ which is just a bunch of chopped and seasoned veggies and potatoes that are wrapped in foil and thrown onto the fire. Those are easy enough to prepare the morning of and use that night for dinner.

  59. You have me running to check the weather this weekend to see if we can go camping! However our camping would most likely take place in the backyard, but we would still sleep in a tent under the starts and grill hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner followed by s’mores. Thanks for the great tips, these would even be great ideas for eating on a road trip instead of stopping for “fast food”.

  60. I have been pre making salads in my milk jars, layering the dressing on the bottom and then veggies, then cheese and/or tuna or salmon, then the lettuce. When we are ready for the salad, I just dump the contents in a big bowl. I make one for my husband and I for lunch and then another for dinner with the family.
    Camping stores sell great egg carriers, preventing breakage of the precious eggs!
    Thanks for the great ideas!! I will definitely use some of them this weekend!!