#1 Guide to Camping Food: From Essentials to Freeze-Dried
Camping & Outdoors

#1 Guide to Camping Food: From Essentials to Freeze-Dried

Use this guide to plan your food list and create a meal plan before your next camping trip

Choosing the right camping food allows you to spend less time cooking and more time enjoying the outdoors. Unfortunately, deciding what to bring is not always easy.

Use this guide to plan your food list and create a meal plan before your next camping trip. Save time while ensuring that you stock up on everything from essentials to freeze-dried foods.

Essential Dry Foods for Camping

You should start your food list with essential dry foods. This includes foods that do not require refrigeration, such as cereal and crackers. Some of the top choices include:

  •       Cereal
  •       Powdered Milk
  •       Bread
  •       Crackers
  •       Seeds and peanuts

Packing a lot of non-perishable foods ensures that you always have something available to snack on. Along with these items, you can add some of your favorite non-perishable snacks, such as chips and pretzels.


Dry cereal is a common choice for camping food. You can eat it for breakfast or a snack. While breakfast cereal is a suitable option, hot cereal is more nutritious. Rolled oats and other dry cereals just need a little bit of water and fire to heat them.

Powdered Milk

Powdered milk is easier to store compared to liquid milk, as you do not need to refrigerate it. If you have access to water, you can quickly whip up a cup of milk for use in your cereal or fireside cooking.

You may also want a small amount of powdered milk to flavor your coffee, hot chocolate, or tea(oh yeah, bring those too, very important for non-morning campers).

#1 Guide to Camping Food: From Essentials to Freeze-Dried


Bread is a versatile item, as you can use it for a wide range of meals or simply snack on it. You can make sandwiches, burgers, or toast. You can add meat and cheese or your favorite spread.

Bread also stays good for up to four days at room temperature. Pack a large loaf and cut slices as needed.


Crackers are great for camping. You can snack on them as-is or combine them with other ingredients to make small meals. Adding a cheese spread, hazelnut spread, or tuna mix provides a filling meal.

Seeds and Peanuts

Seeds, peanuts, and other dry nuts give you something to snack on throughout the day. Seeds and nuts stay fresh for days after opening the package. You can pack a few sandwich bags and fill them with a selection of your favorite seeds and nuts.

Easy to Store Perishable Camping Food

After packing the essential dry foods, start adding perishable foods to your list. Perishable foods include items with a limited shelf life, such as dairy, meat, fruits, and vegetables.

Some perishable foods are not convenient to take camping or hiking, as they spoil quickly or require refrigeration. However, the following items are easy to store and offer lots of nutrition to fuel your daytime activities:

  •       Eggs
  •       Beans
  •       Tuna

These items can help keep you and your family full during a long camping trip, but they require proper storage. Eggs, tuna, and other camping foods are more likely to attract pests and animals. Always clean up after each meal or snack to avoid attracting unwanted attention.


Eggs are not the easiest food to bring camping. Yet, they are a major source of protein and energy. You can also store eggs without refrigeration for several days if you can keep them in a cool spot.


Beans are a camping food staple when it comes to camping. Baked beans come in cans, offer protein, and taste great any time of the day. You can eat baked beans as a side dish, add them to potatoes, or pour them over a slice of toast.


Tuna is a great food to take camping. As with beans, you can buy tuna in a can and store it for months. You can bring some mayo and whip the two ingredients together and add the mixture to crackers or bread.

Trailtopia Foods - #1 Guide to Camping Food: From Essentials to Freeze-Dried

The Best Freeze-Dried Foods for Camping

Freeze-dried foods are another category of camping food to add to your list. You do not need to keep freeze-dried foods cool. Freeze-dried foods also take up minimal space compared to fresh foods.

You can also use freeze-dried camping foods as snacks or entire meals for your family. Here are a few top choices:

  •       Freeze-Dried Fruit
  •       Freeze-Dried Vegetables
  •       Freeze-Dried Jerky
  •       Freeze-Dried Family Meals
  •       Freeze-Dried Survival Kits

Freeze-drying is a dehydration process that involves freezing food to increase its shelf life. Unlike standard dehydrated food, you can rehydrate freeze-dried food with water to restore it to its original form.

Freeze-Dried Fruit and Vegetables

Packing freeze-dried fruit and vegetables can help round out your meals. You can add fruits and vegetables as side dishes or ingredients to your breakfasts, lunches, and dinner. Common options include freeze-dried strawberries, mangoes, raspberries, and mixed vegetables.

Freeze-Dried Jerky

Jerky is typically made using a food dehydrator. However, you can also find freeze-dried jerky. Freeze-dried jerky has a long shelf life and can be rehydrated, which is useful if you dislike dried meat.

Freeze-Dried Family Meals

Along with individual freeze-dried camping foods, you can buy entire meals and survival kits. You can also find freeze-dried snacks, such as ice cream sandwiches and ice cream.

A variety of companies sell emergency food kits with breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for families and individuals. As with the previous freeze-dried foods, freeze-dried meals only require water.

Meat and other items that require cooking are pre-cooked. However, some of the meals taste best when heated over the campfire.

#1 Guide to Camping Food: From Essentials to Freeze-Dried

How to Pick the right Camping Food for a Trip

Making sure that you have enough camping food is essential when planning a camping trip. Start by thinking about the number of people you need to cook for and the length of your trip.

You should plan three meals and plenty of snacks per day. You also need at least one serving of each meal per person.

Choosing camping food that you can use in multiple meals or snacks is another recommendation. For example, you can use bread for toast in the morning, sandwiches for lunch, and burgers in the evening.

Bringing a variety of camping foods is also recommended. Stocking your camping pantry with a combination of non-perishable and perishable goods may keep you from having to eat the same thing each day of the trip.

No matter what you decide to bring, make sure that you store everything properly. Use sealed containers and coolers to protect your food from the heat and critters.

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