You are currently viewing Food To Take Camping: Camping Food List, Recipes + Tips

Food To Take Camping: Camping Food List, Recipes + Tips

If there’s one thing we love more than camping, it’s food. However, we recognise the idea of eating and sleeping in the great outdoors fills some people with fear so consider this camping food guide as your sidekick to dining alfresco, in el-tento… you get the idea.

Cooking when camping is tough for numerous reasons, the most obvious being there’s no kitchen (duh) but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook up a storm. You are limited on space, time, water and storage but our camping food guide is here to prove that with a pinch of enthusiasm and a sprinkling of creativity camping food can be delicious AND easy!

From the tastiest camping breakfast recipes to a camping food list we’ve perfected over the years we have everything you’d need for some overindulgence, under canvas. If you’re fed up of the same old menu of hot dogs or pot noodles, you’ll enjoy these tips and camping recipes as they promise adventure fuel for foodies.

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Tent With Backback In Front

WHAT KIND OF CAMPING TRIP?

Firstly, before you decide what food to take camping, you need to consider the kind of camping trip you are going on. For example, the food we take for a weekend camping at Belladrum music festival is wildly different from our camping food list during our time campervanning in New Zealand.

The main difference being if you’re car camping or cooking in a campervan you don’t have to carry all your food; you have the luxury of storage and possibly even a second ring if you’re feeling fancy. Cooking when camping can also mean getting right back to basics, with a good old campfire for your alfresco feast but don’t fear, we have a few tips for that too.

For ease, this camping food list is focused on tent camping and we prefer a camping stove (we’ve listed our exact one later in the guide) as it’s quick and simple to use and probably wins the majority vote. You also don’t need to rely on finding dry wood which is often impossible at home in drizzly Scotland.

Camping cooking can be tough, but it is so incredibly rewarding – don’t give up after one failed recipe, take note of our tips and feel free to ask us any questions in the comments!

OUR TOP CAMPING FOOD HACKS

So regardless if you’re headed on an overnight hike with just your tent and backpack, or a month-long road trip in a campervan, there are a few camping food hacks to always consider before you pack for your trip. 

1. Storage

a) Will it leak?

b) Does it require a fridge?

c) Is it bulky or easily squashed?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these, return to the shelf – do not take along on your camping adventure! If you’re in a campervan complete with cupboards and fridge like a fancy flashpacker then there are obvious exceptions.

2. Is it perishable?

You need food to last, things like dry food or tinned foods are ideal as perishable goods not only waste quickly and stink up your tent, they attract wildlife. We recall one particularly scary ant invasion of a tent at Benicassim music festival all because of a baguette. Not to mention bears or snakes if you’re in more exotic parts of the world so consider the food you take camping wisely if you don’t plan on some camp buddies.

3. What is the weather like?

When we were camping in Australia, chocolate was a no go as it melted almost instantly. Camping in Scotland on the other hand, a flask full of hot soup is your best friend because it’s bloody Baltic all year round. How you protect your food from the elements matters too – keep your supplies safely stored for rain or shine!

4. Is it filling?

The most ignored camping food hack is to pack less food, but more filling food. In other words, swap the Haribo’s for trail mix and the coco pops for porridge. Choose camping food you know will keep you full up longer and your backpack lighter.

5. Is there enough?

Probably our most important camping food hack – have you packed enough? Camping trips don’t always go to plan, whether its an awful time or an epic time they sometimes last longer than planned so make sure you have enough food for any eventuality. If you plan on cooking on a campfire and it rains all weekend, do you have a backup cooking solution? Chances are if you’re enjoying the tranquillity of tent life you won’t have a Tesco next door, so ensure you have enough supplies to last the full trip.

6. Freeze beforehand

Nothing beats a bacon butty around the campfire or a sausage sizzle under the stars but taking meat camping can be tricky business. One of our best camping food hacks is to freeze the meat before packing it into your cooler. Frozen meat will last far longer in your cooler meaning you can diversify your camping meals.

woman cooking on camping stove with red tent and red car

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THE ULTIMATE CAMPING FOOD LIST

We understand diets, tastes and budget to come in to play here but as a general guide, this is our camping food list. The essentials which have made this list have seen us through many a rumbling tummy and best of all most are multipurpose, filling and easy to pack! Although it varies depending on country and season, if you’re wondering what the best food to take camping is, these staples are a very good start. Have we missed any of your camping cooking favourites? Let us know in the comments.

1. Gnocchi

Although pasta is probably one of the easiest camping foods to make, we prefer gnocchi as its slightly healthier and much quicker to cook. It also takes less gnocchi than pasta to fill Darren up which means carrying less so that’s a win, win.

2. Peanut Butter

Not only can it be used with meat or noodles for a sauce at dinner, but it can also be used for smores or paired with apples as a fulfilling camping snack or a dollop on your porridge for some added hiking fuel. Peanut butter is versatile, cheap and one of our most used camping foods.

3. Pesto

It’s insane how one tablespoon of pesto can turn even plain pasta into a taste sensation. Those tiny jars of green goodness are ideal for spreading on crackers, meat, sandwiches, pitta, pasta – you name it! It lasts for ages; costs pennies and we couldn’t make our caprese wraps without it.

4. Chickpeas

Again, these are all-round good guys and absolute camping food essentials. You can chuck them into stews, soups, salads or curries for added protein or mash them up for veggie burgers. For a sweet treat that will keep you full for longer than Haribo’s will, pat them dry then fry them up with maple syrup (a fulfilling alternative to popcorn) or sprinkle on some paprika and lime. They cost pennies and last forever, add to backpack pronto.

5. Nuts

Apart from the obvious that they provide endless energy, taste delicious and are cheap, nuts are an excellent boost to stir-fries, porridge and salads. They are every outdoor enthusiast’s best friend as they are easy to pack and can be consumed with breakfast, lunch or dinner making them some of the best food to take camping.

6. Chorizo

The joy of chorizo is that it’s already cured which means it can be enjoyed hot or cold and it won’t need refrigerated so it’s a perfect food to take camping. Simply chop up to jazz up omelettes, pasta, risotto, stews or if you’re anything like Loz eat it straight out the packet.

7. Tortillas

Forget bread, which is bulky, squishable and goes off quickly, tortillas are your camping food BFFs. We use them for breakfast (see banana & Peanut butter quesadillas), lunch (hello, caprese wrap) and dinner (campfire burrito anyone?) they take up far less space and can be used in SO many ways. Ditto for pitta bread.

8. Halloumi

Getting your cheese fix can be tough in the great outdoors, melty, sweaty cheese isn’t a tasty (or sweet-smelling) treat but halloumi is our best alternative. As it’s a firm cheese it lasts far longer in a cool pack, it’s practically odourless and is the perfect meat substitute on BBQ skewers, pasta, or even as halloumi burgers.

9. Eggs

Okay, this one is controversial. Carrying eggs in your backpack ain’t for the faint-hearted so you’re probably wondering how they made it onto our camping food list. These lil guys add much-needed protein to our camping adventures and again are so versatile, we take them on every trip. From omelettes to egg fried rice to a cheeky boiled egg as a snack – once you master transportation, these are camping staples!

10. Mixed Beans

You might regret adding these to you camping food list if you are trapped in a tent with Darren after eating beans BUT they are a great source of protein and can be used in so many meals. Cannellini beans are perfect for stews (like our coconut & red pepper stew) or a 5 bean chilli is always a popular camping meal. We also used tins of mixed beans as a cheat salad for fish tacos or mashed up for quesadillas.

11. Tomato Puree

This compact tube of tomato tastiness is ideal for campers – it can be spread on tortillas for a campfire pizza, stirred into stews, chilli, curry, pasta and more! Packed full of flavour, put pocket-sized – ideal camping food essential!

12. Potatoes

We’re Scottish, so naturally potatoes make up 9/10 of our diet BUT they are perfect camping food because they can be used in so many ways. Wrapped in foil and chucked on the campfire, grated up for breakfast hash browns, cubed into curries – the list is endless. They are filling, cheap and easy to transport without squishing or smelling – win, win!

13. Coconut Oil

There is nothing worse than oil leaking all over your camping food – not only is it super sticky, but spillages will also attract insects. Instead of packing cooking oil we use coconut oil as it solidifies then cool, and melts to an oil when in the pan making transportation safer. It also adds a creamy deliciousness to our camping meals.

man in check shirt cooking on camping stove with red pan

CAMPING COOKING:
RECIPES FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER

Now we’ve discussed the best food to take camping, here are a few recipe ideas for what to do with it. We have narrowed it down to our favourite camping recipes for breakfast, lunch & dinner but feel free to read our dedicated camping food guides which discuss all our camping recipes in more detail.

Camping Breakfast Ideas

Scrambled Egg Croissant

Scrambled eggs are a camping breakfast basic – they’re filling, quick and easy. Jazz up with some chilli flakes, jalapenos, spinach or cheese (whatever camping food needs to be used up) and stuff into a croissant to breakfast like a boss.

Donut Toast

A favourite camping breakfast of ours as it’s the perfect sweet treat to start the day. Whisk an egg, then soak a slice of bread in the egg for a few minutes each side. Cover a plate in sugar and dip your eggy bread into the sugar. Fry up the bread in a griddle or frying pan until golden on each side. Drizzle on honey and strawberries or go wild with Nutella and marshmallows and enjoy the donutty deliciousness.

French Toast Topped With Strawberries

Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes

In a bowl mash 1 large banana until it’s a thick puree. Then chuck in 2 eggs and whisk up. You can add vanilla extract but that might be a lil boujee addition to your camping food list. Spoon the mixture into a non-stick frying pan, cook for 1-2 minutes each side and top with nuts and honey or whatever you fancy.

The Ultimate Breakfast Bagel

Hands down, Darren’s fave camping breakfast. Add some bacon to your pan, then slice a bagel and add alongside in your pan. The bacon fat will help toast your bagel. Crack open an egg into the middle of one side. To speed up cooking the egg, put a lid on the pan. If you’re feeling fancy smash up some avocado and spread this on your bagel before topping with your bacon and egg filled bagel lid. If you’re veggie swap out the bacon for our camping food fave – halloumi.

Egg Bacon And Avocado Bagel From Cooking In a Campervan

Porridge / Overnight Oats

Oats are one of the best foods to take camping because again, they are super versatile. Overnight oats are perfect for camping as the don’t need a fridge or gas! For overnight oats, simply mash a banana with 3 tablespoons of yoghurt. Mix in a cup of oats and sprinkle in cinnamon (or cocoa powder if you have.) Leave overnight – or a few hours – for the oats to soak up the liquid and enjoy! Porridge is essentially the hot version. Mix oats with double amount of milk (we prefer almond when camping as it lasts longer) and top with sliced banana and cinnamon.

Shakshuka

Shakshuka may sound fancy but it’s a super simple camping breakfast. It’s also super filling – perfect for lunch or dinner too! Fry up peppers, chorizo and red onion in a pan with paprika until soft. You can also add chickpeas or spinach for an added protein kick.

Stir in tinned tomatoes and make a wee “well” using your spoon. Crack your egg into the well and cook for 5-10 minutes (it will be quicker if you have a lid.) then we simply enjoy with a spoon straight out the pan – you might be more classy and decant it onto a plate.

eggs cooking in frying pan with tomato, chorizo and peppers

Easy Camping Meals for Lunch

Baked Potatoes

One of the best camping meals as you chuck them on the campfire and forget. Simple. We like to use sweet potatoes, basted in olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap in tin foil, leave in the campfire for around 45 minutes until soft. Top with chorizo and crème fraiche or simply baked beans and cheese – options are endless!

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Hash browns are perfect camping food because they are literally one ingredient! The only hard part is that you need a cheese grater, which not many campers will have handy. If you do, simply grate a sweet potato and fry up a little butter in the pan. Add your grated sweet potato as little mounds then flatten with a fish slice to cook. Season with salt and pepper and cook until crispy on both sides, flipping halfway. They are best enjoyed topped with a fried egg (you can cook alongside in the pan) or with hummus inside a tortilla.

Fish Tacos

A super easy one camping meal as it’s ready in under 10 minutes. Chop tomatoes and red onion then chuck them in a bowl with sweetcorn and black beans (or mixed beans.) Mix up and spoon this mixture onto tortillas. Fry up some fish goujons in a non-stick pan – a few minutes each side until golden. Add your fish to the tortillas squeezing over fresh lime for added flavour. If you have sour cream, ranch dressing, taco sauce at hand squirt a dollop on too.

fish tacos with lime in sunny light

Couscous Salad

Couscous is another favourite camping food as it’s super quick, filling and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Generally, as a rule, you need 1.5x water to couscous ratio. Firstly boil the water in your pan. You can chuck in a veg stock cube for added flavour but not essential. Then add the couscous to (eg. 60g couscous = 90ml of water or 1 cup of couscous + 1.5 cups of water) stir then remove from the heat and cover. If your pan doesn’t have a lid, a camping plate on top will do. The couscous will cook in its own steam – should take around 5/10 minutes. Remove the lid, then fluff with a fork. We like to add tomato, feta, cucumber & chickpeas but anything goes.

Skewers

A strong contender for easing camping food ever – skewers. Our fave combo is chorizo with peppers and red onion but you can experiment with halloumi, courgette, potato or even sweet versions with marshmallows and strawberries! Simply chop your ingredients into chunks and slide them onto skewers, pop on a BBQ or campfire and rotate every few minutes until cooked through.

colourful halloumi BBQ skewers

The Best Dinners for Camping Cooking

Although we don’t mind travelling as a couple, we love camping in big groups but that does make cooking dinner a little trickier. Over the years we have perfected easy camping meals for family trips – focusing on dinner recipes that are cheap, quick and easy.

Chorizo & Red pepper Orzotto

Although risotto is a favourite camping recipe of ours, it does take a lot of time and therefore a lot of gas. To speed this up, use orzo instead of arborio rice. Orzo takes only 10 minutes to cook making it the perfect staple when making easy camping meals for family trips. Add chorizo, pepper and tomato puree or passata for a super quick “orzotto” and chuck in peas or spinach for an extra health kick.

Leek & Bacon Pasta

When it comes to food to take camping, pasta is often top of the list. However, pasta does not need to be boring. One of our favourite camping meals is a creamy leak & bacon pasta dish – it takes minutes and only has 4 ingredients! Slice up a leek and chuck it in a pan with diced bacon (we cheat and use the already diced bacon.) Boil up some pasta while the leek is frying. It should take about 10 minutes for the leek to go soft. When the pasta is ready, drain it and keep 1 cup of the starchy water. Add the pasta and water to the frying pan with the leek & bacon then mix in some crème fresh/sour cream/cream cheese – whatever you have to hand.

leek and bacon in frying pan with spoon

Fajitas

Fajitas always go down a storm but taking chicken on a camping trip – not so much! If you don’t have a cooler with you, use chorizo! Chop chorizo, red onion and peppers and chuck them in a pan with chopped tomatoes and some paprika or BBQ fajita mix is our favourite (And the sachets are easier to take in your backpack than spice jars). The oil from the chorizo will help soften the onion and peppers, not to mention add the most delicious flavour. Spoon onto wraps and top with guac, sour cream, cheese – whatever you have to hand!

Leftover tortillas? Use them to make banana and peanut butter quesadillas, as mentioned in our vegetarian camping food guide.

Cowboy Bean Stew

No camping food guide would be complete without this family favourite! Fry up sliced peppers and onion in a pan with garlic. Add some chorizo or sausages to the pan (to be honest, we chuck in both.) Once the sausages are cooked, add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a tin of cannellini beans. You can also substitute with baked beans, kidney beans or a tin of mixed beans. Add plenty paprika and serve up in bowls. For your entertainment, cowboy stew was our first ever cooking video – enjoy!

Veg Thai Curry

Another easy camping meal for family trips is curry as its quick, cheap and filling! Again, meat-free is often easiest with our favourite being cauliflower Thai curry. All you need to do is add coconut milk and Thai curry paste to a pan. Once simmering add cauliflower florets and chickpeas, you can also use green beans, spinach, broccoli whatever veg you have. Then cover with a lid (or tinfoil) for 10-15 minutes, make sure the pan is simmering not boiling or you’ll have mushy cauliflower, making sure to stir every now and then. Serve over rice/quinoa or with naan.

Avocado Pasta

You may have noticed pasta sauce was missing from our camping food list. This is because jars of sauce and our camping backpacks are never a good mix. Instead, we like to make this super easy avocado pasta. Mash 1 avocado in a bowl, with the juice from 1 squeezed lemon. Add basil (we use the lazy basil in a tube) or a spoonful of pesto and mix it all up. Cook up some spaghetti (or orzo for quickness) and mix in your avocado “sauce” top with chopped cherry tomatoes.

Avocado And Tomato Spaghetti

One Pot Camping Meals

If you are looking for easy camping meals for family trips, your best bet is one pot recipes. This means you can chuck all ingredients into one pot, saving you time as well as washing up! It also means it’s super easy to make LOTS of food, for hungry tummies big and small as no one likes waiting hours to be fed after a busy day outdoors.

Vegetarian Camping Meals

You may notice a theme, that most camping food ideas so far have been veggie – this is because most people won’t have fridges when camping (shocker) and simply because we’re not the biggest meat-eaters. If you are vegetarian, we have an entire guide of vegetarian camping food, which includes exciting meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Basil, Mozzarella and Tomato Stuffed WrapsBasil, Mozzarella and Tomato Stuffed Wraps

Food to take Camping for Snacks

Now to me, the most important food to take camping is the mighty snacky snacks. These are the heroes that will keep you going until it’s time to spark up the stove again, they’ll fuel your next hike as well as packing up the tent or keep you cosy under the stars. Snacks are most definitely a camping food essential.

Camping Cones

Fill an ice cream cone with marshmallows, chocolate chunks (or M&Ms, smarties) and some biscuit pieces. Wrap the cone in tinfoil and put it on the campfire for a few minutes to make gooey, coney goodness.

Healthy Smores

Not two words you often see side by side, but if you swap out the cracker for apple slices and chocolate for peanut butter you can enjoy protein-packed smores that are a tasty treat.

No-bake Energy Balls

Grab some porridge oats, peanut butter and dark chocolate chips. Feel free to add chia seeds or flaxseed for an added protein kick. Mix the ingredients in a bowl before rolling into small balls for a handy snack on the go!

Apple & Peanut Butter

Sliced apple dipped in peanut butter is easy, quick and healthy – perfect camping food!

Banana Chocolate Balls

These tasty little treats remind me of camping as a Girl Guide and are perfect for family camping trips. With the skin still on, slice a banana lengthways but not all the way through. We then used to squeeze in a Cadbury Flake into the banana but any kind of chocolate will do (especially smarties, chocolate buttons or Kit Kats.) Wrap the banana in foil and place on the fire – ideally when the coals are smouldering not when there are flames. Remove when they’ve gone a little squishy (test with tongs, not fingers!)

children toasting marshmallows on campfire

THE BEST CAMPING COOKING EQUIPMENT

Now you know the best food to take camping, and even a camping recipe or two you may be inspired to get cooking up a storm – but not just yet. A good chef doesn’t just need ingredients, they need tools.  There are a few gadgets which make camping cooking even easier, here are the items we can’t cook without!

Camping Stove & Fuel

When buying your camping cooking equipment, your stove is the main event. They can be surprisingly affordable, but make sure you choose a camping stove suited to your camping style – do you need 1 or 2 rings? Suitable in all weathers or just Summer? Gas fuel or wood-burning?

Our stove has lasted YEARS and is so simple to use we’ve never seen a reason to upgrade to all-singing, dancing fancy one. Best of all you don’t need matches or a lighter as it simply ignites by pushing a button.

Although a camping stove means you won’t need to hunt for wood, you will need to remember fuel. Our camping stove uses gas which is also very affordable – it’s around £10 for 4 cans. One can lasts around 90 minutes with the stove on high, so you in theory 1 canister can last all weekend if you’re only cooking hot food in the evening and using it in the morning for your coffee.

Many people add a windshield to their camping cooking gear as if it’s windy the stove can struggle to stay lit. However, this stove comes in a handy carry case which we just prop up open and it does the same job – no need to pay for (or carry) an extra item, use the items you already have.

Camping Plates & Cups

Eating off plates can be a little tricky when perched on a camping chair so silicone bowls are ideal because you can’t spill your dinner and they also fold up flat – perfect for backpacks! They’re also pretty much indestructible which is ideal for clumsy campers like us.

Our Stojo Cups have been all over the world with us, and again they fold up flat making it perfect for camping! They are perfect for coffee (or wine) and are super durable.

Camping Utensils

Why take 3 kinds of cutlery when you can take 1. Not only does it avoid hellish disposable cutlery, but it will also save space and saves on washing up!

Camping Cookware

One of the most important tips when buying your camping cookware is to ensure all pans are non-stick. This will make washing up SO much easier and minimise the amount of water you use. Our camping cooking kit has only 1 frying pan and we use it for everything – but if you’re feeling fancy you could invest in a wee set for some pan variety.

Cooler / Thermos

Depending on how long your trip is and where in the world you’re camping, you may need to keep your camping food cool. There are many ways to keep your camping food cool, but the most obvious is a cool box.  There are so many different types of coolers from traditional cool box to insulated backpacks. It totally depends on how much camping food you have that needs to keep cold as to what option you go for.

Our stove has lasted YEARS and is so simple to use we’ve never seen a reason to upgrade to all-singing, dancing fancy one. Best of all you don’t need matches or a lighter as it simply ignites by pushing a button.

Although a camping stove means you won’t need to hunt for wood, you will need to remember fuel. Our camping stove uses gas which is also very affordable – it’s around £10 for 4 cans. One can lasts around 90 minutes with the stove on high, so you in theory 1 canister can last all weekend if you’re only cooking hot food in the evening and using it in the morning for your coffee.

When we were backpacking Hawaii, we went camping and found in America, coolboxes are BIG business – they were pretty much the same size as Loz. To us, a large coolbox with wheels may seem convenient (heck, it also can double up as a seat or table) but on the way home it will be empty so it’s just another bulky thing to carry. We prefer a wee cool bag as they can fold up once you’ve eaten all the camping food. It’s psychological too – if you have a smaller bag you’ll pack less. Bigger bag = pack more. You’re likely to waste less if you’re strict on the amount of refrigerated camping food you pack.

Collapsible Camping Basin

As you are limited on water, the easiest way to wash up is using a basin. Basins can be bulky which is why this handy foldable basin needs to be added to your camping cooking gear. You can use it for washing your face in the morning and your dishes at night, then simply pack up into your backpack.

Having multi-purpose camping cooking equipment is ideal as you will have less to carry. This chopping board come basin is another one of those items which will make life outdoors that little bit easier!

Biodegradable Camping Soap

On the topic of washing up, any responsible traveller would know chucking your dirty dishwater full of washing up liquid is gonna be harmful to the environment, so switch to biodegradable soap to minimise the impact on your beautiful campsite. Also, ensure to keep your soapy suds of any kind away from any natural water source such as a stream. Even if you purchase biodegradable soap, it is still unsafe to dispose of greywater near a water source – this guide shares the best ways to dispose of your dirty dishwater safely.

Biodegradable Wet Wipes

If you don’t have space for a basin, chances are you’re gonna want wet wipes. It’s no secret wet wipes one of the most used camping essentials for wiping down surfaces, dishes (and humans) however, they take 100+ years to breakdown and there are so many reasons they are bad for the environment. Not to mention the packets are bulky to carry and once opened, they dry out super quick as it’s tough keeping them airtight.

Well, taaadaa  – your prayers are answered! Not only are they kind to the environment, but they are also TINY tablet-sized wipes that expand when in contact with water. You can use them several times (perfect for cleaning up as you cook) AND they are biodegradable so you can dispose of them guilt-free. Add them to your camping cooking gear ASAP!

Compressed Biodegradable Wipes
$39.99

GLOYY soft compressed biodegradable wipes.

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11/27/2022 06:27 am GMT

Camping Towel

Ordinary tea towels will take a lifetime to dry outdoors and are not the most hygienic,  so we use a microfiber camping towel.  It dries dishes super speedy comes in a handy foldable pouch. You could also pack a Chamois Cloth which is super absorbent and lightweight.

Quick Dry Camping Towel
$18.95

Camping towel & gym towel - ultra soft compact quick dry microfiber.

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11/27/2022 05:10 am GMT

Water Container & Purification Tablets

Camping meals with rice or pasta require a lot of water, the washing up requires even more so having a way to store water is essential. We have used this foldable bottle for years and it still looks good as new – just make sure to wash and dry it correctly after each trip to avoid mould. The foldable design makes pouring from a huge bottle much safer and acts like a little tap.

Our container can hold up to 10 litres but before we go filling up from the first tap we find we always check the water is safe to drink. Many rural campsites only offer potable water (this means it’s not safe to drink, but you can wash your dishes/cook with it.) Just in case your water supply is limited, add purification tablets to your camping cooking gear. If you’ve never used the tablets before, read this guide on how to use water purification tablets effectively.

Head Torch

You need both hands for chopping, stirring and eating which means you don’t have a spare hand to hold a torch. Head torches are an essential tool for any camping trip!
Head Torch
$11.99

LED USB rechargeable head torch.

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11/27/2022 10:40 am GMT

Nanopresso Portable Coffee Maker

Although coffee is not strictly a camping food, it is without a doubt a camping essential. Forget freeze-dried coffee out of Tupperware, this handy little gadget means barista-style coffee every single day! It has the same pressure as a barista machine so produces beautiful coffee with crema. We also recommend our coffee grinder, if you fancy fresh ground coffee for added pizazz to your camping trip.

Need a morning pick me up? Or a wee reason to smile this morning? We do offer a demonstration video of how to make camp coffee and porridge.

Portable Coffee Maker
$84.90

Wacaco nanopresso portable espresso maker bundled with protective case.

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11/27/2022 01:03 pm GMT

Camping Kettle

Talking of coffee here’s something about camping and a whistling kettle – it makes our heart all warm and fuzzy. We recommend this one which we’ve used for years and years and it still looks new.

We use a larger kettle so we can use half the water for cooking/coffee then half for the washing up to avoid boiling it several times.

Whistling Kettle
$19.29

Stainless steel whistling tea kettle.

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11/27/2022 11:05 am GMT

Flask

Flasks are so handy for hiking trips, or to simply avoid cracking open your camping stove twice in the same day. Use for soup, hot chocolate, baked beans, tea – it can keep anything hot for hours! Investing in a good flask will save you so much time as well as keep you cosy on cold days! Good old Thermos is always your best bet, the style below can keep food hot (or cold) for over 24 hours, so it’s the perfect addition to your camping cooking equipment.

Flask
$34.99 ($4.37 / Ounce)

Thermos stainless steel flask.

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11/27/2022 12:45 pm GMT

First Aid Kit

Camping cooking doesn’t always go to plan – we’ve seen flames, cuts and burns during our travels (often all on the same day) so our wee first aid kit is well stocked!

First Aid Kit
$13.88

92 piece mini first aid kit.

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11/27/2022 12:52 pm GMT

Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel

Before you start rustling up any kind of camping food, you must check both you and your equipment are clean and germ-free. Pack some antibacterial hand gel for cleaning on the go.

Anti-bacterial Hand Gel

Alcohol based hand sanitizer gel - 2 pack.

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Trash Bags

Hopefully, none of your camping meals will end up in the bin, but you may have some packaging and scraps that do. Bins often attract wildlife and spoil the natural beauty of the area, so many campsites avoid having them and instead encourage you to take your rubbish with you. Don’t forget trash bags in order to leave your campsite better than you found it – bonus points, if you can find biodegradable ones (the ones below are plant-based) as a little less plastic in the world, is always a good thing.

Trash Bags
$16.60 ($0.37 / Count)

Plant based tall kitchen bags with handles.

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11/27/2022 09:46 am GMT

Camping Table & Chairs

Add a foldable table to your camping cooking gear as it is safer to have your stove raised slightly instead of on top of grass or picnic blanket etc as they will be flammable. It will also be easier to chop vegetables and prepare your ingredients on a table than on your lap.

Once your camping meal is ready, it’s not always comfortable sitting in a hot tent to eat it – so don’t forget camping chairs!

Picnic Blanket

Not really essential to help you cook, but a picnic blanket does help you eat. Taking food into your tent is not always the best idea (especially if you are clumsy like us) so a picnic blanket gives you somewhere to relax and enjoy your camping meals without having to carry a clunky table and chairs.

Ensure the underneath is waterproof so you will be protected from wet ground. The picnic blankets with Velcro and carry handles also make transportation easier.

Canopy / Pop-up Gazebo

A canopy or gazebo will provide shelter from the elements regardless of rain or shine. If there is heavy rain or high winds having a pop-up shelter will help keep your stove lit as well as provide shelter to eat under. Using a camping stove inside your tent is very dangerous, so this is the perfect solution when the weather is not on your side (or its too hot and you’re a red head like me!)

Fire Starts / Lighter / Matches

If you’re cooking on a gas stove like our one that we linked to above, you won’t need matches to start it. However, nothing beats making smores so pack matches for a proper campfire!

Always check campfires are allowed in your campsite. Due to the risk of bush fires, when we were camping in Australia and New Zealand fires were usually banned unless there were designated fire pits so check before hand.

READY TO TAKE YOUR CAMPING FOOD LIST ON THE ROAD?

Now you are armed with the best food to take camping, our favourite camping meals and have hopefully downloaded our camping checklist, all that’s left is some road trip inspiration!

Here are our favourite camping spots around the world, from the Scottish Highlands to the South Island of New Zealand. Let us know where you end up and if our camping food guide has been helpful in the comments – happy camping!

tent and campfire on pinterest pin for camping food
camping stove and chopping board outdoors

faramagan

When Darren the WordPress wizard & excel enthusiast met Lauren the storyteller and wannabe wanderluster, a grand adventure was bound to happen. Through Faramagan they document their tales (and fails) with a refreshing and unfiltered approach. By avoiding adulthood one adventure at a time, they hope to inspire others to do the same.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Deborah Patterson

    I love a potato wrapped in foil and cooked on the coals…especially if it’s been washed in sea water first! Great ideas here for our future camping trips

    1. faramagan

      Ooh I didn’t think of seawater first? Interesting tip. Happy camping!

  2. Shannon

    These are great ideas, sounds delicious. I’m coming camping with you! 🙂

  3. Ryan

    This is really informative, thank you!

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