Heading out on a camping trip is an exciting outdoor adventure, but making sure you have a well-prepared camping food list is essential for creating fond memories that can last a lifetime (I still remember how much fun we had making s’more by the campfire as a kid).
That’s why I put together this essential camping food list of various types of campsite-friendly foods, snacks, and meals, as well as tips on meal planning and storage.
Camping Food List PDF (Print or Download)
Here’s a Free PDF version of the Camping Food List, which you can print or download… your choice.
Shopping List For Camping
This Ultimate Camping Food Guide includes the entire camping food list… Plus, additional things like Camping Meal Ideas, Meal Planning Tips, Food Safety and Storage, and more.
Check it out…
Non-Perishable Camping Foods
Non-perishable foods are essential camping foods for any trip because they have a long shelf life and require no refrigeration, which comes in handy when camping. These items provide a solid foundation for your camping food list.
Grains and Starches
- Cream of wheat
- Breakfast cereal
- Instant mashed potatoes
- Breads and/or other related items such as:
Canned and Packaged Goods
- Canned Beans
- Mac & Cheese
- Canned Vegetables
- Canned Tomatoes
- Canned Artichoke Hearts
- Canned Peas
- Canned Fruit
- Canned Soup or Stew
- Canned Tuna or Chicken
- Packaged Soup Mixes
- Packaged Pasta or Rice
- Cooking Oil
- Pasta Sauce
Condiments, Seasonings, and Spreads
- Table Salt & Pepper
- Seasoned Salt
- Seasoning Mixes (Cajun, Mexican, etc.)
- Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
- Cinnamon sugar
- Hot Sauce
- Peanut Butter/Nut Butter
- Sunflower Butter (for those with nut allergies)
- Jelly or Jam
- Breakfast Cereal
- Pancake Mix
- Pancake Syrup
- Eggs (see “How to Pack Eggs for Camping“)
- Coffee and tea
Tip: Here are the 8 best coffee percolators for camping.
Perishable Camping Foods
Although perishable foods have a shorter shelf life, they can add variety and freshness to your camping snacks and meals. Pack these items in a cooler to maintain proper temperature and prevent spoilage.
Quick Tip: Check out our article What Size Cooler for Camping.
Tip: if you are car camping, then be sure to bring several coolers to help keep your meats away from the rest of your perishable food and beverages (extra coolers are also great for storing extra ice). See How to Keep Food Cold While Camping for more info and tips.
- Fresh or Frozen Meat (hamburger, chicken, beef, or fish)
- Sausages or Bratwurst
- Hot Dogs
- Hamburger Patties (less prep and clean up)
- Deli Meats
- Veggie Patties (for those who don’t eat beef and/or meat)
Fruits and Vegetables
- Oranges or Clementines
- Bell peppers
- Leafy greens
- Onions & Garlic
- Cheese (block or shredded – such as string, cheddar, or cream cheese)
- Sliced Cheese (Cheddar, American, Swiss, etc.)
- Milk (or Powdered Milk)
- Coffee (ground or instant) (how to use a percolator camping)
- Tea Bags
- Juice or Juice Boxes
- Soda Pop
- Hot Chocolate
- Iced Tea (bottled or instant)
- Adult Beverages (beer, wine, mixers, etc.)
Snacks and Trail Mixes
Tasty snacks and healthy trail mixes are essential for staying energized during your camping activities. Customize your trail mix with your favorite ingredients for a personalized touch.
- Granola bars
- Beef jerky
- Dried fruit
- Chips (Potato, Tortilla, etc.)
Trail Mix Components
- Nuts (such as almonds, peanuts, or walnuts)
- Seeds (such as sunflower or pumpkin seeds)
- Chocolate chips or M&Ms
- Dried fruit (such as raisins, apricots, or cranberries)
- Chex Mix
Camping Meal Ideas
Now that you have your essential camping food list, it’s time to plan some delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-prepare meals. Here are a few ideas to inspire your camping menu.
- Breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs, cheese, and salsa
- Pancakes with fresh berries and maple syrup
- Oatmeal with dried fruit, nuts, and a drizzle of honey
- Deli meat and cheese sandwiches with lettuce and tomato
- Tuna salad wraps with canned tuna, mayo, and chopped veggies
- Quinoa salad with canned beans, vegetables, and a simple vinaigrette
- Grilled chicken with a side of couscous and sautéed vegetables.
- Spaghetti with marinara sauce and canned meatballs
- Foil packet meals with your choice of protein, vegetables, and seasonings, cooked over the campfire
- Coney Dogs topped with a classic homemade Hot Dog Sauce chili.
- S’mores made with graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate
- Campfire banana boats filled with chocolate chips and mini marshmallows
- Fruit skewers drizzled with honey and grilled
Meal Planning Tips For Camping
Planning your meals in advance is essential for a smooth and enjoyable camping experience. Follow these tips to ensure you have a variety of meals while minimizing waste.
- Choose versatile ingredients: Select ingredients that can be used in multiple meals to save space and reduce waste. For example, tortillas can be used for breakfast burritos, lunch wraps, and quesadillas.
- Consider cooking methods: Plan meals that can be cooked using your available camping equipment, such as a portable stove, campfire, or grill.
- Prep ingredients in advance: Cut and portion ingredients before your trip to save time and reduce mess at the campsite.
- Plan for leftovers: Incorporate leftover ingredients into subsequent meals to minimize waste and make meal preparation easier.
Food Storage and Safety
Proper food storage is crucial for maintaining the freshness and safety of your camping food. Follow these guidelines to prevent spoilage and foodborne illnesses.
- Use a cooler for perishable items: Pack perishable foods in a cooler with ice or ice packs to maintain a safe temperature. If you are car camping, then consider bringing a second cooler to hold spare ice.
- Store food in airtight containers: Keep food in sealed containers to prevent insects from getting in, and to help minimize the chances of attracting wildlife.
- Keep raw meats separate: Store raw meats in leak-proof containers and away from other foods to prevent cross-contamination.
- Monitor cooler temperature: Regularly check the temperature of your cooler and replenish the ice as needed to ensure perishable items remain safe to eat.
Be sure to pack eco-friendly or biodegradable soap for washing your campsite dishes. However, not even biodegradable soap is environmentally friendly enough to be used anywhere near lakes, rivers, or seas. So, please do not dispose of your dirty dishwater by dumping it anywhere near the water.
With this comprehensive guide, you’ll have everything you need to create a delicious and nutritious camping food list for your next outdoor adventure. Bon appétit, and happy camping!