Food Packing List for Camping

Food Packing List for Camping

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Keeping food safe while camping can be difficult without the modern conveniences of your home. Food must be kept sealed tightly and stored accordingly at all times in your camp kitchen and campsite. Failure to follow the proper food safety procedures can result in foodborne illness.

Proper packing and planning and a camping checklist will help ensure that the camping trip is fun and safe for everyone involved. Here are a few suggestions that should be on your camping food checklist when you choose to spend some time in the great outdoors.

Camping Food Packing Checklist

a person cooking oatmeal - Food Packing List for Camping

Planning Is Always A Good Idea For Great Camping Experiences

Plan your favourite meals before going camping. Choose as many simple meals as possible that share common ingredients to lighten the load. Meals that contain primarily non-perishable ingredients are recommended to reduce the chances of spoiling. Canned meats, bread, crackers, granola bars, nuts, and powdered beverages are all non-perishable and will last the entire camping trip without the need for refrigeration.

Research basic information about your campsite to help you with camping-meal planning. Inquire about the presence of electrical outlets and if campfires are allowed so you can plan your meals and supplies accordingly. Keep all of your goods as organized as possible. Re-sealable plastic bags and airtight containers are useful for storing loose food and keeping things separated.

Keeping Clean The Easy Way

Ensure you have clean water on site. If the campsite does not have accessible clean water, make sure to pack plenty of bottled water. Bring disposable hand wipes and camping soap for cleaning dishes and hands.

Never drink water from streams, rivers, or lakes near your campsite. Assume that all of these water sources are unsafe to drink. Bring water purification tablets and a pan to boil water in case of emergencies.

Always wrap raw meats and products with several layers of plastic wrap. The liquid from the meat can contaminate other items it comes in contact with and can cause illness. Wash your hands before and after handling any uncooked meat.


Keep cold foods chilled at all times. Fill an insulated cooler with ice before adding any food items. Use large blocks of ice rather than ice cubes to fill the cooler. Blocks of ice can be made by filling empty milk cartons with water and freezing them. Cut the carton from the ice block and place it in the cooler.

Keep the cooler as cold as possible for as long as possible. Store it in the passenger compartment of the car rather than the trunk while transporting. Ensure the cooler is always in the shade at the campsite to keep its temperature down. Cover the cooler with a towel or extra tarp for further insulation.

Discard all perishable food if the ice has melted in the cooler. Never risk eating perishable foods that have warmed above the recommended temperature. Bring a meat thermometer to test the doneness of the meat. All meat must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F to be considered safe.

What you take on your next camping trip depends a lot on where you’re going, how many people are at your party, and how long you’ll be camping. It also has to do with your taste in food and the facilities at your destination. With those details in mind, preparing a menu of delicious camp meals for your next camping trip should be simple.

a tea set and food on a table - Food Packing List for Camping

Think Easy

If you can, find out in advance what facilities will be available at the campground. If you have access to a general store within the campground, you can skip bringing along perishable food and buy things like hamburgers, cheese, and veggies once you get there.

If you’re roughing it and only have a pit stove or a grill, you will have to bring your food. If you’re driving and can carry a cooler, you should be fine bringing hamburgers, a bag of salad greens, and hot dogs. You may need to eat them within the first day or two, but it’s probably worth it.

Aside from perishables, all the food you plan on cooking should be simple and easy to carry. Think instant dinner when stocking up at the supermarket. Noodles, instant rice, and soups are perfect for camping, as you only need to add hot water and the meal will be ready.

For more variety, you can also include a few aluminium foil-wrapped recipes for mealtime. You can wrap in foil paper and cook directly over the fire any meat you want, but potatoes and fresh vegetables will also work. Remember to spray the foil with butter or olive oil before wrapping it up.

Be Prepared

Chances are that if you go camping, you’ll do some hiking as well. For that, you’ll need some quick and easy-to-carry trail food. Trail food also works well as snacks or even breakfasts. Dehydrated bulk food, such as berries, are nutritious and an ideal sweet touch to other meals. You can also bring nuts, protein or cereal bars, and even PB&J sandwiches (bring the bread and the fillers separately and make the sandwiches as you need them).

Instant oatmeal, bagels, and individual-serving cups of cream cheese or sauce can be a great way to get your favourite snacks without having to worry about making a mess or storing large containers away from ants and other visitors. If the food feels too plain, remember to bring spices or condiments you can add for instant flavour.

Freeze-dried foods and dehydrated or canned foods are good options if your camping trip is longer than just a few days. These products are meant to last for months without the need for refrigeration and can be a lifesaver if you’re out in the backcountry, without access to cooking facilities. It takes some getting used to the flavour, though, so keep that in mind if you’re camping with kids or finicky eaters.

crop man cooking on metal stove in nature - Food Packing List for Camping

Easy Food Ideas For Novice Campers And A Camping Meal Plan

Camp food is often anything but gourmet. Especially if you’re backpacking, you don’t want to carry around a lot of luxury food items. But trail mix and boxed macaroni and cheese get old pretty fast. Camp meals should be simple yet satisfying. All you need are a few basic ingredients and a little bit of planning.

Eggs In A Bag Is A Family Favorite And Almost No Cooking Time

There’s just something different about campfire omelettes. Fluffy eggs, cheese, and a few toppings folded into an egg-like taco.

Eggs can make a good breakfast for your first day in camp. At home, beat two eggs with a fork and put them in a sturdy, sealed freezer bag. Chop up your favourite omelette vegetables and put them in another bag. In camp, boil a pot of hot water. Add whatever vegetables you want to your bag of eggs, reseal the bag, and put it in the water. Poke and squeeze the bag periodically to make sure all the eggs get cooked. When they’re done, pull the bag out of the water, and breakfast is served.

Camp Burritos For Your Next Family Camping Trip

These easy campfire burritos are a go-to for a quick, melty and delicious meal.

At home, put some salsa and sour cream into zip sandwich bags. Chop up vegetables and put them in a sturdy, sealed freezer bag. Pack tortillas, rice, and dried beans. In camp, during the day put your beans in a container of water. By evening, they’ll be rehydrated. Cook the rice and the beans together. Throw the beans, rice, and vegetables on a tortilla. Cut a corner off the bags with the salsa and sour cream and squeeze them out onto your burrito. Shredded cheese is optional.

Bannock For Ready-Made Bread For A Large Group - Food packing list for camping

Bannock For Ready-Made Bread For A Large Group

Bannock bread was made by our ancestors when on the trail. Try throwing in blueberries or raisins for added flavour.

Bannock is camp bread. At home, mix 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 3 tbsp. butter, and 2 tbsp. powdered milk in a sealed freezer bag. In camp, slowly add water to the mixture in the bag, kneading it until it is the consistency of dough. Work the dough into a long strip, then wrap it around a green stick. Hold the stick over your campfire, rotating it until the dough turns golden brown. Remove from the fire and enjoy it with any kind of sandwich meat.

Trail Thanksgiving Should Be On Your Camping Menu

Trail Thanksgiving one-pot feast is an assembling classic of Thanksgiving flavours, this backpacking meal is a great way to get into the Thanksgiving spirit on your next backcountry camping trip.

You will need one package of instant stuffing, one packet of dried mashed potatoes, and some dried cranberries. In camp, begin cooking the stuffing as directed on the bag. About halfway through, or before removing it from the stove, stir in the potatoes. You may need to add more water to the potatoes to get the desired consistency. When all the water has been absorbed, take it off the stove and throw in the cranberries. Let it sit for a few minutes before eating. As an option, you can also include a pouch of diced chicken.

Gado-Gado Spaghetti Is A Great Idea For A Quick Lunch

Gado-gade spaghetti is a spicy peanut butter sauce makes this a light spaghetti dish that is excellent either hot or cold.

At home, heat oil in a pan. Add a handful of sunflower seeds and chopped onion. Stir for two minutes. Add 1/2 tbsp. broth, 3 tbsp. brown sugar, minced garlic, 3/4 cup water, 3 tbsp. vinegar, 3 tbsp. soy sauce and any spices you want. Add 3 tbsp. peanut butter and stir until blended. Put the sauce in a sealed container.

In camp, cook 2 cups of spaghetti. Heat the pasta sauces in a frying pan until warm, then pour it over the spaghetti and serve.

white happy camper printed cup on brown wooden log - Food Packing List for Camping

Hopefully, this food packing list for camping will help you ensure that you have everything you need to keep everyone fed and happy on your next camping adventure. Be sure to keep in mind any food allergies and intolerances too as these can make a big difference when you are out in nature and away from popping to the shop to find an alternative option.

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