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ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE BEST CAMPING FOOD LIST FOR FAMILIES

INSIDE: Roam the Gnome Family Travel’s Guide to the best camping food list. 

Planning a camping trip? 

Don’t go without our popular camping food list of meals and snack ideas! 

You’ve got to feed those hungry hoards, no matter where you go. 

Take a look below.

(PS: PDF printable of a camping grocery list coming soon! )

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, we may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. Image credit: Pxhere CC0

best camping food by einir pritchard

Image credit: Einir Pritchard via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

BEST CAMPING FOOD LIST IDEAS

Looking for a what to bring camping food list? 

Our guide to the best camping food list includes ideas for: 

  • vegetarian camping food & vegetarian camping recipes 
  • make ahead camping food
  • freeze dried camping food
  • no cook camping food
  • camping food for kids
  • keto camping food and paleo camping food
  • gluten free camping food
  • healthy campfire desserts
  • tips on camping food storage, and
  • a few gourmet camping food ideas too!

You can use this for car camping too. 

PIN best camping food list 800

Tips on Camping Food Storage

The most important things are:

  • to keep food cool and refrigerated if required
  • to keep food safe from bugs, bears, and big hungry kids! 

Check out our guide to the best coolers for camping.

Your choice of cooler is the most important decision in dealing with the food storage issue. 
tupperware impressions bowls
Otherwise, remember these tips:

  • remove all your trash from the campsite surrounds before bed, or before leaving the campsite at any point
  • lock your camping coolers at night, and also whenever you leave the campsite 
  • use good quality, leak free food storage containers like Tupperware (buy a Tupperware picnic set for start your collection)
  • pack make ahead meals in leak free bowls or Tupperware impressions bowls (these nest for storage) 
  • keep your fruit separate from other cold food
  • prepare your cooler by packing it with ice bricks or frozen bottles of water for the day or two before you leave. Empty it, then add all your frozen food and meat, with bags of ice to keep it cold for the next 3-5 days. 
  • keep perishable food to a minimum.
  • Tins, and canned food will go the distance (tins of tuna, spaghetti sauces, tinned vegetables, marinades etc) 

pulled pork jaffle in melbourne by katherine lim

Image credit: Katherine Lim via Flickr CC BY-2.0

WHAT ARE THE BEST CAMPING FOODS? 

No.1: Jaffles, Toasted Sandwiches, Toasties 

Get this Australian Square Waffle Iron to make toasties (aka jaffles) over the campfire!  

The best jaffle recipes for camping include:

  • ham, spinach, grated cheese, tomato
  • baked beans and cheese (Ham baked beans are the best)
  • pesto, cheese, salami, pepperoni (or swap pesto out for pizza sauce) 
  • bacon, egg, tomato sauce 
  • tuna, mayonnaise and cheese (Just like a tuna melt) 
  • canned spaghetti and cheese (a big hit with the kids!) 

best camping food list - potato-dish-baked-potatoes

Image credit: Peakpx CC0 BY-1.0

No.2: Baked Sweet Potato or Baked Potato with foil

Wrap each baked potato in foil, and throw the lot of them in the fire for a warm camping snack.

Add butter, or sour cream and you’ll be going back for seconds. 

If you get sick of baked potatoes, or have leftover potato, make it into a baked potato mash, or a baked potato salad (see below) for the next day.

pesto by the bittenword

Image credit: The bitten word via Flickr CC BY-2.0

Best Potato Bar Toppings

Best toppings for baked potato

Here’s some classic Baked Potato toppings you can throw on to make it into a decadent outdoor meal. 

  • sour cream and cheese
  • nacho cheese sauce 
  • chopped chicken
  • slow cooked, pulled beef or pork
  • green basil pesto and shredded parmesan cheese 
  • coleslaw
  • tinned spaghetti or spaghetti-o’s
  • baked beans (bbq baked beans, or baked beans in tomato sauce)
  • bacon, or bacon bits 
  • guacamole, diced red onion, diced red bell pepper (red capsicum), cilantro (coriander) and lime juice
  • baked potato “raclette” with fried onion, bacon, oil, sour cream (creme fraiche) and any good melting Swiss cheese, such as Gruyere or Appenzeller

Mexican style: shredded carrot, black beans, salsa, grated cheese, sour cream, chopped tomato

Pizza style: pizza sauce, small pieces of pepperoni and salami, chopped olives, shredded ham, grated cheese 

Aussie breakfast: bacon and fried egg on top

Hot tip: Use these toppings for campfire nachos too!  Hot potatoes make a fabulous sustaining camping breakfast too. 

baked sweet potato by kim

Image credit: Kim via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Baked Sweet Potato toppings

Try:

  • chicken and mayonnaise
  • pulled pork and sweet barbeque sauce
  • sausage, salad leaves, caramelised onion, brie or camembert cheese

Baked Sweet Potato desserts

Twice baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows is the big winner here. 

  • brown sugar and marshmallows
  • brown sugar, cinnamon and butter
  • maple syrup, butter and toasted nuts (pecans, cashews, macadamias, almonds) 
  • blue cheese, walnut and honey

Bonus: Baked sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows recipe

Here it is.

Swap out the oven for the campfire. 

make ahead camping meals by annie-spratt

Image credit: Annie Spratt via Unsplash CC0

CAMPING ESSENTIALS FOOD

Make Ahead Camping Meals and Snacks

These are our favorites of make ahead camping food. 

Soup picnics

Check out Soup Addict for the best chunky soups you can pop in a thermos and bring with you on camping trips.

Try their chicken and dumplings soup!

It’s crazy good.

Or how about one of these soup recipes

  • chicken meatball noodle soup
  • Thai pumpkin soup
  • BBQ black bean soup
  • Mexican street corn soup
  • vegetable dumpling soup
  • hearty vegetable wild rice soup

These can be a main meal, or a quick lunch. 

Overnight Oats

Add a cup of real whole oats, a cup of milk (any kind), a dash of cinnamon, and a teaspoon of rice malt syrup into a jar. 

If you want to, you can add a teaspoon of chopped dried fruit (apricots and mango is good) and/or chia seeds to the mix too. 

Screw on the lid and chill overnight.

Fancy it up a little more in the morning with LSA, chopped cashews, blueberries, sliced banana, nutmeg, strawberries, or yoghurt. 

Heat it up, or eat it cold straight from the jar/container. 

This is one for the delicious camping recipe book. 

german potato salad by wikipedia 800

Image credit: Sajjad via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0

Best German Potato Salad by Gunther! (Roam the Gnome’s Grandpa)

The best German potato salad is made by mixing 1 kg of cooled, boiled potatoes with:

  • 3/4 jar Hellmans mayonnaise, Kraft real mayo or Kewpie mayonnaise (or Praise traditional mayonnaise in Australia)
  • 2/3 jar sweet and sour gherkins
  • 1 onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 6 hardboiled eggs, chopped into small pieces

Put the mayo in the bowl first before adding potatoes.

Put the onion and gherkins in next.

Add the cooled, chopped eggs.

Mix the lot together and you have the best German potato salad you’ve ever tasted! 

You can also use leftover baked potatoes in this recipe, and make it on site. 

Homemade Fruit Muffins

Make your own banana or blueberry muffins and bring them along.

Check out the video above, for one of our favorite blueberry muffin recipes. 

camping food list - vegetarian camping foods by dan-edwards

Image credit: Dan Edwards via Unsplash CC0

Best Vegetarian camping food

There’s plenty more vegetarian camping food other than baked potatoes, toasties and soup.

Try:

  • falafel burgers 
  • scrambled eggs with pesto, diced cherry tomato, cheese, olives and red pepper
  • Singapore noodles with tofu
  • tomato and basil pasta
  • one pot potato and pea curry
  • campfire quesadillas with cheese, black beans and corn
  • haloumi, carrot, red bell pepper and greens salad with mint yoghurt dressing
  • tofu scramble

Easy Vegetarian camping recipes 

These easy vegetarian one pot meals are perfect for camping too:

lox bagel by torbakhopper

Image credit: Torbak Hopper via Flicker CC BY-ND 2.0

No cook camping food

Don’t fancy cooking?

Why not make:

  • Avocado salad wraps with ham, turkey or roast beef, and caramelised onion spread
  • brie cheese wedges and salami slices from a roll, on sesame seed crackers
  • lox bagels with cream cheese (smoked salmon)
  • tuna salad sandwich 
  • sliced carrot and cucumber with hummus dip 
  • salad sandwiches in naan bread with salsa or pesto
  • rice cakes with jam, or peanut butter and banana, or tuna flakes and mayo
  • fresh spring green salads with edible flowers

RELATED: 

camping foods for kids - by lizRVS pixabay

Image credit: LizRVS via Pixabay CC0

Best camping food for kids

These are simple but delicious meals you can make for kids who like to camp. 

  • Wrap damper dough on a stick to cook over a fire. Eat it with golden syrup.
  • Barbequed corn
  • Campfire pizzas made on english muffins, with pizza sauce, and topped with your fave combo of salami, ham, pepperoni, corn kernels, red and green bell peppers, cheese, cherry tomato slices, olives and pesto (wrap in foil and warm on the campfire grill)
  • Hamburgers with meat patties grilled over the fire, salad and cheese 
  • Sausages in bread with tomato ketchup (and fried onion) 
  • Kids wraps, filled with easy chicken curry and crunchy salad 
  • Kabobs/Kebabs cooked on a skewer stick over the fire – add zucchini, red bell pepper, onion, cherry tomato, pineapple and lamb or chicken cubes 

keto camping meals by nick-artman

Image credit: Nick Artman via Unsplash CC0

KETO camping food & Paleo camping food

Here’s a few camping ideas for KETO diets. 

  • grilled chicken or lamb kebobs with zucchini wedges, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and red bell peppers (red capsicum)
  • deconstructed tacos (taco mince, salad leaves, diced tomatoes, basil, cheddar cheese, olives, cucumber, and sour cream)
  • grilled haloumi wedges on the campfire grill with green salad 
  • warm feta, onion, baby rocket salad 
  • chicken and vegetable skillet on the campfire grill
  • scrambled eggs in the dutch oven with ham, cheese, onion and chives
  • beef jerky
  • KETO trail mix 
  • ham, egg and cheese roll ups (rolled up in ham sliced).  Swap ham for turkey too. 
  • grilled vegetables in foil, served with boiled eggs 

There’s some great foil-grilled meals in this post.

(Scroll down the page to find them, and then download the PDF printable list to take the recipes with you.) 

Don’t forget the heavy whipping cream! 

Gluten Free camping food

Details coming soon! 

charcuterie board by mon petit chou photography flickr

Image credit: Mon Petit Chou Photography via Flickr CC BY-2.0

Bonus: Gourmet Camping food ideas 

Check out this link for lots of gourmet food ideas for picnics and camping. 

There’s also info on how to make a great charcuterie board, as well as a gourmet CHOCOLATE charcuterie board that would lend itself well to camping too!

RELATED: Where to buy edible rose petals for cakes and drinks

trail mix by f delventhal

Image credit: J Delventhal via Flickr CC BY-2.0

BEST HEALTHY CAMPING SNACKS

Trail Mix

Make up a tupperware container full of your fave combination of these things and you’ll have an instant go-to camping snack.

  • granola
  • dried sultanas, cranberries, raisins
  • dried apricot, apple, banana, pear
  • cacao nibs, or chocolate chips
  • peanuts, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds
  • pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • shake of cinnamon or nutmeg 

Vegetable Sticks & Dips 

Don’t forget the ranch dressing! 

Or hummus,

Or pesto for dipping. 

 fresh fruit by elle hughes

Image credit: Elle Hughes via Pexels CC0

Fresh Fruit

Fruits with a protective skins such bananas, oranges, and mandarins are portable camping snacks.

(So is a cucumber, and a red bell pepper).

Apples, pears, blueberries, strawberries, and nashi fruit are good too.

Take a whole watermelon, cantaloupe (rockmelon), honeydew melon and pineapple as well as a small knife and chopping board.

Save these fruits for later in the week when you start to run out. 

Energy Bars

DIY your own energy bars to bring along, or buy your fave brand from the supermarket. 

Beef Jerky

Beef jerky or biltong is a fabulous camping snack with a strong flavour. 

Dried Fruits

A quick handy snack if you are hungry. 

Corn Chips & Salsa

Grab a bag or three of corn chips, and jars of salsa for an instant snack. 
mountain house freeze dried food

Freeze dried camping food

Mountain House makes freeze dried backpacking and camping food.

You can buy ALL the different popular freeze dried meals meals in different flavors for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Take a look:

Freeze dried foods for breakfast

Freeze dried foods for lunch

Freeze dried foods for dinner

You can also buy a Freeze Dried Meal Kit with 13 pouches for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Freeze dried vegetarian food

There’s vegetarian options too:

mountain house freeze dried ice cream sandwich

Freeze dried desserts

OMG. 

How about freeze dried VANILLA ICE CREAM SANDWICH!

Take all my money!

camping food - fun smores by autumn-mott-rodeheaver

Image credit: Autumn Mott Rodeheaver via Unsplash CC0

More Fun Camping Food: Sweet & Easy Campfire Desserts

These are the best camping desserts for sweet tooths! 

S’mores 

Graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate, toasted over the campfire until it’s a gooey mess!.

Campfire Cones

Take ice cream cones, fill them with your fave fruits, a marshmallow or two, M&M’s candy, and small pieces of chocolate then wrap in foil and pop in the fire.

It’s my kids’ fave. 

Nutella Banana Splits 

Make a slice in the banana skin from top to bottom. Cut the banana into pieces while still inside the skin. Add a teaspoon of nutella (or a piece of chocolate or marshmallow) in between each slice.

Wrap in foil, and place carefully in the coals of the fire for about 5 minutes. 

Carefully unwrap the foil, then use a spoon to eat the deliciousness! 

Chocolate Fondue

Melt a few big chocolate blocks in a campfire pot, and serve it with fresh strawberries, banana chunks, marshmallows and pretzels to dip. Or check out our big list of fun foods to dip in chocolate fondue. 

You can also find recipes for Make Ahead camping desserts you can bring with you, such as:

apple crumble by px here

Image credit: Alan Levine Pxhere CC BY-2.0 

Healthy Campfire Desserts

Apple crumble in the dutch oven

Put a big can of stewed apples in the camp oven.

Mix up a crumble of 3 cups oats, 1.5 cups brown sugar and 250 grams of butter. Put the crumble on top of the apples. 

Cook for 40 minutes on the campfire.

Delicious!

Serve with cold custard. 

Banana Splits

Cut a banana lengthways.

Fill it with your favorite healthy treats such as:

  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • chopped nuts
  • shredded coconut, and
  • healthy cacao spread from the grocery store. 

Wrap in foil and cook in the oven.

You can do the same thing inside ice cream wafer cones too.  

camping food list REVIEW

Looking for more fun camping ideas and adventures for kids?

Correct at time of publication on Roam the Gnome. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in US dollars, unless otherwise stated.

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