When I was a kid, my parents used to bring the bare minimum of food on camping trips. We ate hot dogs, potatoes, and s'mores. We then ate the graham crackers from the s'mores for breakfast and the hot dogs and potatoes for lunch and dinner. But my, how times have changed. Now when my family goes camping, we prepare a whole camping food list. And we eat just as well as we do at home.
Whether you're camping with friends or you bring the kids along for a family outing, you'll want to consider your camping food list. There's no need to sacrifice great meals just because you're out on the camping trail. With a little planning, you can make delicious meals for every occasion, even if you don't have your full kitchen. There are easy, delicious recipes for cooking in your RV, cooking over a campfire, and even some that require no cooking at all.
Cooking in the RV
These recipes work great on a stovetop in your RV. But you can also make them over the fire or in a dutch oven.
Omelet in a Bag
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you don't have to skip it when you're camping. And no, you don't have to stick with just milk and cereal. When you're making your camping food list, make sure that you add eggs. You will need to buy boil-safe silicone bags for this recipe. They will come in so handy camping you'll wonder how you lived without them. Many recipes on the internet insist that Ziploc bags will work for this purpose, but since they soften at only 195 degrees Fahrenheit, we recommend boil-safe bags.
What you need
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of water
- 2 tablespoons of cheese
- 1 tablespoon of chopped onion or bell pepper
- 1/4 cup of precooked breakfast meat
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Fresh basil
- Fresh rosemary
- Chili flakes
Start with a pot of boiling water. Then put the eggs and water into a boil-safe silicone bag and smoosh them around a bit. Add the toppings and then seal the bag, making sure to squeeze all of the air out. Then squish and mix the ingredients through the bag. Place the sealed bag into the boiling water, and cook the eggs for five to ten minutes. Keep an eye on the bag while it's cooking, you'll be able to tell when it's time to pull them out. Remove from the water, open the bag, and slide your omelet onto a plate.
Campfire Chili with Hamburger
If you're camping in the cooler weather, you have to have chili. It's a camping tradition. And it's delicious after a long day of outdoor fun. When you're making your camping food list, make sure you include hamburger.
What you need
- 1 1/2 pounds of hamburger
- 1 onion, chopped
- 14.5 ounces of stewed tomatoes,1 can
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 cup of ketchup
- 16 ounces of pinto beans, 1 can
- 2 cups of water
- 8 ounces of tomato paste, 1 can
- 4 teaspoons of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced without the seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
First, cook the onions, garlic, and hamburger together over medium-high heat until you've completely cooked the meat. Then add the tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, ketchup, and water. Next, stir in the chili powder, cumin, sugar, and peppers. And then add salt and pepper to taste. Stir the chili and then simmer over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
Cooking on a Camp Fire
You don't need a kitchen to make these delicious recipes. All you need is a campfire with a grill grate.
Hamburger Hobo Pie
Hamburger Hobo Pie is an easy recipe that you can make on the grill or over a campfire for a nice hot dinner after a day of camping.
What you need
- 1 1/2 pounds of ground chuck or ground beef
- 1 medium onion, sliced thick
- 6 to 8 medium-sized carrots, cut into chunks
- 6 red potatoes, cut into wedges
- Seasoning salt
Start by spraying a large piece of heavy-duty foil or foil bag with non-stick cooking spray. Then scatter vegetables on top of the foil. Break up the meat and loosely mix it with the vegetables. Don't mash them together. Sprinkle the mixture liberally with seasoning salt. Fold the foil into a pouch, making sure to seal the edges. Place the foil packet onto a grill grate over the fire. Make sure that you don't put the pouch directly onto the hot coals because the foil will burn through.
Cook the food for about 30 minutes, turning the packet over at least once. Be careful that you watch the fire, as grease starts to seep out of the bag so that it doesn't cause it to flame up. When the potatoes are soft, the meat will be cooked through. You can test it to see if it's ready by pushing on the bag to feel if the potato mashes. Or you can open the packet and check the potatoes with a knife. When you're ready to eat, cut an X in the top of the foil and be careful of the steam.
No-bake Bourbon Peach Cobbler
So you want dessert? Oh, we've got dessert! This peach cobbler is a nice sweet alternative when the adults are tired of s'mores.
What you need
- 3 ripe peaches, sliced
- 1 tablespoon of oil or butter
- 1/2 cup of bourbon
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 cup of granola
Start by placing a cast iron skillet on a grill grate over the fire. Heat the oil or butter, and add the peaches in a single layer. Cook them for two to three minutes, until the peaches begin to brown in spots and soften. Flip them over and cook on the other side for another two to three minutes. To be safe with the flammable alcohol, remove the skillet from the fire before you add the bourbon and sugar. Stir the bourbon and sugar together and thoroughly coat the peaches. Return the skillet to the fire and cook for another eight to ten minutes, so that you can reduce the sauce and soften the peaches. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the granola on top.
There are some things you need to include on your camping food list that don't require cooking at all.
The Old Fashioned
For the adult campers, a nice cocktail at the end of a long day is just what the doctor ordered. You can't go wrong with a Bourbon Old Fashioned. Garnishes aren't necessary for camping cocktails, but if you brought along some oranges on your trip, then you can add a peel to this campfire drink.
What you need
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 3 dashes of bitters
- 1 teaspoon of water
- 2 ounces of bourbon
Combine the sugar, bitters, and water in a glass or cup. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add some ice and the bourbon and give it a gentle stir to combine the flavors.
Easy camping trail mix
You can't go wrong with trail mix. It's quick to make, and kids will love this recipe. You can easily make this at home, just put it in a Ziploc bag. And watch your happy little campers gobble it up.
What you need
- 2 cups of raisins
- 4 cups of Reese's Puffs cereal
- 2 cups of roasted peanuts
- 1 package of M&M's, 14 ounces
- 2 cups of pretzel balls
- 1 package of peanut butter M&M's or Reese's Pieces, 14 ounces
This one couldn't be any easier. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Or you could save yourself from washing a bowl and just mix them in a large Ziploc bag.
Making Your Camping Food List
Regardless of the recipes that you choose for your camping trip, there are some staples that you should include on your food list. Hamburger is a good option and is versatile for many different occasions. Eggs are another staple that you will need. And don't forget the cheese. Everything is better with a little melted cheese on top.
Fruit is another thing to add to your camping food list. You should also include milk and cereal for quick, easy breakfasts. If you're like me, then you surely want to bring along some hot sauce. To me, hot sauce is like cheese; it makes everything better. Noodles or rice are also great staples because they're so versatile and work with so many different recipes.
Other things you should add to your camping food list include bread, butter or oil, and vegetables. Bread works well for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And you will use butter or oil in many of your camping recipes. The veggies will also help fuel your healthy lifestyle. Don't forget salt and pepper, garlic, and any spices that you like. If you're bringing kids along, you can't leave marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers off your list. It's not really camping until you break out the s'mores. For the adults, you'll want to bring plenty of coffee and alcohol for campfire cocktails.
Be sure to also add sugar or syrup to your list for sweetening. Granola is another excellent staple for camping. And nuts are perfect for snacking. You'll want to include beans and potatoes to your shopping list too. And whatever you do, don't forget the bacon! If you include all of this on your camping food list, you are sure to have happy campers.
The Camping Foods List
Here is the list of basics we mentioned above, for you to flesh out with what you need for your menu! Whether you have an RV refrigerator and freezer or just an ice chest along for an overnight on the mountain, this list of basics will serve you well with some customizing.
- Ground beef
- Hot dogs
- Lunch meat (good ham can double as an ingredient in some recipes as well, like Ham and Bean soup)
- Cheese, shredded/sliced
- Tortillas (keep well and go great with chili and many stews)
- Hot dog/hamburger buns
- Fresh fruit (apples, oranges, peaches, and of course watermelon)
- Fresh veggies (snap peas and broccoli hold up well and double as snacks)
- Chips/snack foods
- Canned beans and other veggies you may need
- Breakfast cereal
- Rice/noodles (as called for in your menu)
- Clean water/purification tabs
- Alcoholic beverages
- Graham crackers
- Hot sauce
- Cooking oil
- Spices: salt, pepper, garlic, dried onion, cumin, chili powder, basil, oregano, rosemary, your favorite seasoned salt
- Napkins/paper towels
- Hand sanitizer/soap
- Biodegradable, non-toxic dish soap
- Heavy duty aluminum foil
- Ziploc bags, quart and gallon
- Silicone boil-safe bags
- Can opener
- Cooking grate, barbeque, or camp stove
- Dutch oven/cast iron frying pan
- Coffee pot
- Cooking utensils (high-heat camp spatula, spoon, and tongs, hotdog/s'mores skewers, knives)
- Cleaning brush for cooking grate
- Green scrubbing pads for cast iron
There you have it, a basic list of camp foods that you can flesh out with menu items from your own menu. Don't forget plates, forks, spoons (or sporks) enough to feed the crew you're camping with!
Did we miss one of your go-tos on this list? Your favorite camping recipe or menu items would be great suggestions for other readers - as well as possibly making it to other articles on this site. Let us know down in the comments, we'd love to hear from you.