Ideas For Camping Meals. 16 Easy Camping Meal Ideas.

Ideas for camping meals

You can get distracted very easy when in the outdoors. Like going hiking, fishing setting up the tent, collecting firewood, or just exploring the woods. We tend to forget about meal time, then realize we are hungry and it is getting late.   So here are 16 ideas for camping meals to stop the hunger.

Most of these camping meals ideas, have only a few simple common ingredients and are easy meals for the family to prepare.

 

Camping meal ideas.

  1. Ramen Noodles and Canned Tuna.

Noodles canned tuna camping meals.
This idea is so quick to put together and very filling. A great meal for filling up the kids when camping.

  1. Place the Ramen noodles, (Instant two minutes noodles.) in a Billy can or pot.
  2. Fill up with water. Making sure you cover over the top of the noodles with water.
  3. Boil up the water.
  4. When the noodles are cooked, drain the water. (You can save this for soup later on. Just add a few extra ingredients to it.)
  5. Add the canned tuna, stir and enjoy!

Cooking Tips.

You can cook this meal in the open campfire, portable gas burner, backpacking stove, hexamine stove and twig stove.

Use the flavored tuna cans, like chilly, curry, tomatoes, for more taste. etc.

If you want it a bit healthier add some diced up ball peppers, (Capsicum.) or a handful of spinach.

 

  1. Spicy Pita Bread Wrap.

Spicy pita bread wrap camping meal.
Pita breads and flat breads are very versatile when camping. They keep longer and don’t go as stale as normal bread.

Pita breads, Lebanese breads, flat breads, there are heaps of choices to choose from. You can also have them cold. Or heat them up in foil, fry them or put them on the grill.

Here is an idea for a cold camping meal.

  1. Pour some sweet chili sauce on the wrap and spread.
  2. Place some cold roast chicken pieces on top.
  3. Add some chopped lettuce, olives, sliced ball peppers, (Capsicum.) red onion and jalapenos.
  4. Add shredded cheese and pepper to taste.

Substitute ham, salami or shredded turkey pieces for the turkey slices.

This recipe is hot and spicy, so if you want it milder, remove the jalapenos and sweet chili sauce.

Remove the cold cut meats and this pita bread recipe can also be used for a vegetarian camping meal as well.

To make it tastier, a Greek yogurt or dipping sauce can be spread on the base. Chutneys, ketchup, mustard, whole grain mustard and BBQ sauce can also be added.

Tomato, feta cheese and cucumber give it a nice flavor.

Another recipe idea for the cold pita wrap is to put some peanut butter in it, ideal for hikers.

To save time, slice and chop the ball peppers, lettuce, olives, red onion and jalapenos at home and put in snap lock bags.

 

  1. Bacon & Eggs.

Bacon and eggs for camping.
Bacon and eggs are a classic meal for camping. Simple easy and very tasty.

It doesn’t just have to be for breakfast, but can also be for lunch or dinner.

  1. Simple fry the bacon in a cast iron skillet. (Or a hotplate on the campfire, or use a gas burner.) You may not need any oil as sometimes the fat from the bacon will grease the pan.
  2. When the bacon is nearly cooked, add the eggs.

Extras to add are; fried halved tomatoes, avocado and a slice of toast.

Tip. You might scramble the eggs instead and add a bit of cheese. If you don’t have any bacon, use some Bacon Spam.

Soy sauce, or BBQ sauce and a dash of pepper can work a treat.

To save on dishes, wrap it in a pita or flat bread. Or make an egg and bacon toasted sandwich between two bits of toast.

 

  1. Steak, onion and vegetables.

Camping ideas for steak.
A big juicy steak will fill you up after a hard day of camping or fishing.

To make the meal healthier and more filling, add some vegetables to it.

  1. Cut some carrot, pumpkin and potatoes up into small cubes, so they cook quicker.
  2. Pre heat a skillet, hot plate or pan up. (Or use the wire grill.)
  3. Place the vegetables in some foil and place in the coals. (Or cook in a separate skillet or fry pan.)
  4. Place the steak on. Seasoning is optional.
  5. Chop some onion rings up and put in with the steak. Add sliced tomatoes.
  6. When the steak is cooked to your preference, serve the vegetables up with it.

To save time, before you go camping dice the vegetable up and put in snap lock bags. You might even take frozen vegetables. Peas, cauliflower and broccoli all go good with the meal.

Chili peppers, ball peppers (Capsicum.) snow peas, snap peas, beans also work well, either cooked or in a salad with the steak.

Depending on what type of vegetables you use, you might have to monitor them and place them on a higher heat, to make sure they are cooked in time with the steak.

If you have hot weather conditions when camping, you might have the steak frozen. This will eventually thaw out in the ice chest or cooler box.

Just like bacon and eggs, a steak goes well with the outdoors and camping theme.

 

  1. Freeze Dried Backpacking Meals.


There is no doubt about it freeze dried backpacking meals are convenient. Just add boiling water, seal up, and wait a few minutes and presto! The meal is done.

There are hundreds of flavors to choose from. They and range from Thai food, Indian, Italian, Mexican cuisine to meals for vegetarians.

Even puddings, sweets and desserts, breakfast meals are available in freeze dried meals.

The negative of some of these meals is they can be expensive to eat for the whole family. However for time saving and simplicity they are hard to beat when camping or hiking.

Brands like; Mountain House, Backpackers Pantry, Cliff and Patagonia are just a few of the hundreds of brands of freeze dried and dehydrated meals available.

Tip. Eat from the packet to save dishes. Use a long spoon, or splade to eat it easier.

Place in some spinach or greens to make them healthier.

 

  1. Ramen Noodles and Spam.

This idea is similar to the tuna and noodle idea. Another filling meal that is very easy to prepare for camping.

  1. Boil up the Ramen noodles, (Two minutes noodles.) in a Billy can or pot. Making sure the noodles are covered with water.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, dice up the Spam
  3. When the noodles are done, drain the water off.
  4. Add the Spam and stir. You can heat the Spam up in the noodles on the heat. Or just add it cold to the cooked noodles and eat it.

Camp Cooking Tips.

To save dishes, just eat it from the Billy pot. Careful the pot will be hot.

You can cook this meal in the open campfire, portable gas burner, backpacking stove, hexamine stove and twig stove.

Spinach, kale, diced carrot, fresh or canned peas might be added to it for a healthier meal.

Too give it more flavor, fry up the Spam. Add herbs and spices for extra spice.

 

  1. Instant Rice.

Another time saving meal is instant rice or quick rice.

Boiling up normal rice when camping can take a long time and water. (Not to mention the fuel for the stove.) So the quick rice saves a lot of time.

You can get packets of instant rice like, Uncle Ben’s that are flavored, such as Mexican style rice or chicken rice.

  1. Boil up some water.
  2. Add the instant rice.
  3. Most of these pack rice’s only need from 3 to 5 minutes cooking.

Add a can of tuna and you have a filling meal.  For extra flavor, add red onion, cucumber and snow peas.

You can cook this meal on a hexamine stove, twig stove, portable gas burner, backpacking stove and open campfire.

 

Camping meals fried rice.

  1. Fried Rice.

Along the line of the instant rice as the above recipe, another way to use the quick rice packs are to make an easy fried rice.

I love fried rice, so when I have a chance to do some easy camp cooking, this recipes is a winner.

  1. Boil up some water and add the instant rice. (Some packs of instant rice you can put the rice straight into a skillet or pan.)
  2. Throw in some peas, corn and bacon pieces in a pan and fry. If you haven’t got bacon, the trusty Spam can be used again.
  3. When it is nearly cooked, scramble an egg in.

There you have a simple, filling and tasty fried rice when camping.

For extra flavor, diced carrots and bell peppers, shallots and a touch of chicken stock, give it a nice flavor.

(If you use Spam, you may not need the chicken stock as it might taste salty.)

 

  1. Baked Potato.

ideas for camping meals. Baked potatoesBaked potato is a favorite among campers, because it is an easy meal to prepare in the camp fire. Although it can take a while to cook it.

You can have it simply by itself, or garnish it with cheese and other extras.

  1. For the campfire. – Get it started early and let the wood burn down until you have some nice coals and white coals. This might take an hour or so depending on the size of the fire and type of wood burning.
  2. Slice a deep x cut into the potato. This will help cook it quicker.
  3. Season the potato with salt and pepper. (Garnish it with onion if you like and a garlic clove.)
  4. Wrap the potato up in foil and place it in the coals. Don’t put it too close to the main fire as it will burn easy.
  5. After around thirty minutes or so, check to see how it is going and sprinkle with cheese and butter. (If you don’t wont cheese in it, just let it cook.)
  6. Depending on the size of the potato and heat, it might take between 40 mins and an hour or so to cook.

Top with extra cheese, butter, bacon, sour cream, cold ham pieces or Spam cubes.

Other condiments to add to the bake potato could be; Garlic salt, chicken salt, mustard, whole grain mustard, herb and spices like rosemary.

Camping Tip – To make it healthier use Greek yoghurt instead or sour cream.

Prepare a few baked potatoes at a time. In case you burn one and they are that tasty the other one will probably be eaten as well.

I have heard of campers, pre-cooking the potato at home in the microwave first. So it takes less time to cook when camping.

 

  1. Bircher Oats.

Bircher oats for camping.
Bircher oats are tasty, filling and you can eat them cold.

Bircher oats are ideal for breakfast. Also for hot nights camping where you don’t feel like anything hot. (Or perhaps there are no fires / cooking allowed.)

  1. Add some oats on a plastic Tupperware container.
  2. Cover the oats with water or milk. (If you use milk, you will have to refrigerate it or put it in an icebox or chiller.)
  3. Let the oats soak from around four hours to overnight.
  4. Add some berries or diced up apple and add some cinnamon powder.

Use almond milk or coconut milk to soak it for a rich taste. You can even use orange juice to soak it in. (Although I haven’t tried that yet.)

You can also heat it up and have it hot.

Banana, yogurt, raisins, walnuts can also be added for more texture and taste. Honey or syrup can also be used.

 

 

  1. Canned Stew.

Another idea for camping meals is the old simple canned stew.

While they are a bit heavy to take for the backpacker or ultralight hiker, they are ideal for the car camper.

Canned stews are an easy meal to take camping and have plenty of varieties, from beef and vegetables, ravioli to buttered chicken.

You can cook this meal in the open campfire, portable gas burner, backpacking stove, hexamine stove and twig stove.

Save on dishes and heat the can up, then eat straight from the can. Careful the can will be hot.

Even if you don’t plan to eat the canned stew for a main meal when camping, have a few spare tins. The canned meals are ideal if you stay extra nights when fishing or camping. Or you get extra hungry.

Add some diced carrot, peas and corn to bulk it up and make it healthier.

For a bigger family to feed when camping, put in 2 or 3 cans in a large pot, or Dutch oven. Add 2 packs of Ramen noodles (2 minutes noodles.) and some quick cooking diced vegetables and you have a hearty meal for a bigger group.

 

  1. Instant Soup.

Another easy camp meal is instant sachet soup.  The packets are easy to carry for the backpacker and easy to prepare for family camping.

There are plenty of flavors that should cater for most people. From tomato soup, vegetable, pea and ham, mushroom and Asian style soups.

For cold nights or winter camping, the Dutch Curry soup warms you up, if you like a hot spicy flavor.

With most of the sachet style soups, you just add water and heat up.

With the chicken noodle soup, add some Spam pieces, peas, bacon and any vegetables you like to bulk it up.

Camping Tips – Have a few extra packets in the camping meal box, for extra easy meals.

To make the soups more filling, use some bread or types of flatbread to eat with it.

Both at home and when camping, we use a pack of chicken noodle soup as the base for a lot of soups and stews.  Like pumpkin soup, cauliflower and cheese soup and pea and ham soup.

Instead of the packet soups, the canned soups are worth looking at as well. While they are heavier and bulkier to take, they have a lot of liquid in them, so arguably you wouldn’t have to take that extra water in place of it.

 

  1. Pan-Fried Trout.

Pan fried trout camping.
Pan fried trout seems to go hand in hand with camping, especially freshly caught when fishing. Rainbow trout is my favorite.

This recipe is another easy one to prepare and only uses a few ingredients.

1. Season the cleaned trout fillets with some salt and pepper.

  1. Heat up the skillet or pan on a medium heat.
  2. Add some olive oil. (You can also use butter for a rich taste.)
  3. Place the trout fillets skin side down and cook for around two minutes.
  4. Flip the fillets over and cook the other side for another minute or so.
  5. Squeeze some lemon juice over the trout.
  6. Serve with zucchini, diced tomatoes and celery. Optional – Add a pesto sauce and enjoy.

Baked potatoes or sweet potatoes also go well with the fish. Slice up some potatoes for fish and chips. Rice and green beans, or asparagus are idea.

Another option is to cook the trout in foil on the coals. Add some fresh chopped tomatoes, onion and lemon wedges inside the trout and foil. (Butter and garlic cloves are optional.)

Salmon also goes well with this recipe.

 

  1. Dutch Oven Camp Roast.

Dutch oven, camping meals.
The Dutch oven, also known as the cast iron pot, or camp oven, is a very versatile piece of camping equipment.

Even though it can be a bit heavy, it is ideal for cooking for lots of people, or roasting up some hearty meals.

For this recipe we are going to use beef. Although you could easy substitute the beef with pork, lamb, venison or game birds.

When you dish this up, the smell should be amazing!

  1. Stoke up the campfire and let it die down to some nice hot coals.
  2. Pour some oil in the bottom of the camp oven.
  3. Season the beef cut with salt and pepper. (Or mixed herbs. I love coating the beef with mustard. It makes the outside very delicious.) And place the beef in the Dutch oven.
  4. Throw in some halved potatoes, carrots and pieces of pumpkin.
  5. Place the lid on and put the camp oven in the coals. Use a shovel to place coals around it and also on the lid.
  6. Depending on the size of the meal and heat, it may take from 2 hours to three hours to cook.
  7. Be careful getting the oven out of the coals. Use a rod hook to help lift the lid off, being careful not to drop ash from the lid into the cooked food.

Peas, beans, sweet potato, onions and tomatoes also go well with this recipe.

Because of the weight, size and the heat of the pot, plan were you are going to put the oven to get the meat out. Have a bit of a plan and cooking utensils ready and the kitchen volunteer’s ready to help carve the meat and serve it.

Campers will be coming back for seconds with this easy recipe.

You can even cook apple pie in it.

Camping Dutch oven apple pie.

 

  1. Fresh Fruit Platter.

Some other ideas for camping meals are…well it probably isn’t a meal, more of a snack. It is some cut up fresh fruit.

A lot of these camping meals are very easy to prepare. Most of them are quick with minimal ingredients, sometimes though, they could be healthier. So here were are going to look at a simple idea, a fresh fruit platter.

This is a good one for when the children are camping and say, “I’m hungry, what’s there to eat?” Serve them up this.

  1. Slice up some watermelon, apples and bananas. Enjoy.

Fresh pineapple, cantaloupe, kiwi fruit, oranges, pears, berries, grapes or any fruit could be used if available or in season.

If fresh fruit is not an option, canned peaches and pears or canned mixed fruit salad is a good idea to have in the camp pantry.

A flavored yogurt for a make shift dip is also a good too add to the fruit platter.

 

  1. Oats.

Oat for camp cooking ideas.
Oats are a very healthy meal and a good start to the busy day for breakfast.

Another benefit for camping is, oats don’t require much preparation or ingredients to make them tasty.

The lightweight and filling ingredients make this a great breakfast for hikers and campers alike.

There are plenty of ways to cook the oats when camping. Such as in a pot with a backpacking stove, portable gas stove, in the campfire, using hexamine stove or twig stove.

  1. Pour some oats in a pot. Cover with water.
  2. Sprinkle some cinnamon powder and berries in. (Frozen berries work well if fresh isn’t an option for camping.)
  3. Stir when heating.
  4. When the oats are soft, they are ready to be eaten.

Camping Tips.

Honey goes well with the oats. The small packets of honey are a good size for camping if you don’t want to take jars of honey.

Vanilla protein powder can be mixed in, to not only give is some flavor, but make it more filling as well. (Also the extra protein.)

For a creamier oats, use cream (Milk.) or milk powder to cook them in.

Extra ideas for flavor are; sugar, cinnamon sugar, diced up apple, sliced banana, desiccated coconut flakes and raisins.

Yogurt mixed in the oats also goes well with it.

I have heard of hikers mixing peanut butter in the oats. I will have to try that one.

 

Making the camping meals healthier. (But still quick and easy to prepare.)

Why some of these meals are quick and easy meals to prepare, some maybe aren’t as healthy as we like.

So to make these meals more nutritionally healthier, we can simple add some powerhouse ingredients, like some veggies to them.

The veggies can be pre-cut up before you go camping to save time.

Or if you have time prepare them on the spot. Depending on the meal, some healthy ingredients you can add to the quick meals are: Chopped up pumpkin cubes, diced carrots, handful of kale or spinach.

Diced onion, sliced ball peppers, (Capsicum.) beans, snap peas or canned peas, fresh or canned tomatoes, mushrooms, celery.

Fresh corn on the cob, or canned corn.

You could even use frozen vegetables. Which you might have in the chiller box that serves as an ice block for a while.

Add cans of chick peas, lentils and beans to bulk up the meal and make it healthier.

For the meats, you can use game meats like venison that have less fat.

If you fry items with oil, such as stir fry vegetables, add some water to cook them, instead of the oil.

Use an open grill wire plate, rather than a solid grill plate so the there is less fat when cooking.

 

Add more flavor to the camping meals.

For extra flavor add; curry powder, chili flakes, pepper, mixed herbs, Parmesan cheese, beef and chicken stock cubes, BBQ sauce, jalapenos, olives, sun dried tomatoes, peanut butter and honey.

The little packets of tomato ketchup and soy sauce might be suitable for some meals.

Fresh or powdered garlic or ginger are also some strong flavors to add.

 

Ideas for camping meals tips.

Use longer cooking spoons and tongs, so you don’t get to close to the heat. Especially if you use the open campfire for cooking.

Have extra water for cleaning, preparing and cooking food. Also cleaning up you will need extra water.

Pre-cut the vegetables at home to save time and preparation.

Have a separate tarp set up, especially for the cooking area. This is also helpful when camping in the rain. So you don’t get stuck in the tent all day.

Have extra fire lighting methods, in case one fails. You might have matches, Bic lighter and a ferrocerium rod to help light the campfire, or stoves cookers.

Extra tinder like fatwood and commercial fire starters are good when the forest is wet and damp and is harder to get a fire camp going.

Have a few garbage bags to take home any food packaging or rubbish with you.

Old rags, bandanas and multi tool pliers or a Leatherman tool are handy for getting hot items off the heat, or holding them.

Remember to keep your perishable ingredients cool. By using a chiller box or ice box.

 

Bushcraft and survival foraging for extra ingredients.

For the more adventurous, add some wild edibles to the main meal. Like wild berries, dandelions and wood sorrel.

Don’t pick wild plants and weeds unless you are one hundred percent sure they are safe to eat.

Foraging in the woods for is a great way to add extra ingredients to the meals.

Also most of the wild edibles are also very healthy. Some do take a bit more time to prepare though.

For the extra adventurous, you might added some grubs, crawfish, frogs, grasshoppers, Once again, make sure it is one hundred percent safe to eat.

If in doubt, leave it out!

 

Conclusion. – Ideas for camping meals.

Food and cooking plays a big part camping. After a long day traveling and setting up camp, it is very satisfying to sit down and enjoy a tasty meal.

We hope you enjoyed our ideas for camping meals and try some of our quick recipes.