The Best Food to Bring for Awesome Campsite Cuisine
Food is definitely a necessity when hiking – it is necessary to keep up much needed energy and strength – if you have ever hiked on an empty stomach, I feel for you! However, we often fall back on just the basics when we think of what food to bring on our trip. So, the next time you are preparing for a your big camping adventure, keep in mind these delicious choices which are the best food to take camping.
These are easy to pack, energy-rich, and delicious, too. Just because you are in the wild doesn’t mean your taste for good food has to be left at home. You can actually eat healthy, hearty, and yummy food anywhere you are, whether you’re climbing the mountains or exploring lush forests – and you don’t even have to break out the campstove!
Dehydrated fruits and meats are great camping snacks. They are flavorful, easy to carry around, and give a quick boost of energy anytime you’re feeling hungry throughout your hike.
There is a wide selection of commercially made dehydrated foods to choose from, but choose carefully, as some variants might be chock-full of preservatives, salt, and sugar. If you really want to know what’s going into your food, here are some easy recipes for fruit leather and beef jerky that you can try at home.
2. Yes to Yogurt
Yogurt is rich with probiotics and aids in digestion. Plus, many brands available at the grocery will keep well, as long as they remain sealed and are consumed as soon as they are opened – so pack single servings. Boost the health value with fruits, berries, and granola.
If you want to try a little cooking experiment, check out this fun recipe for trail yogurt that you can make at camp.
3. Energy Bites
These nifty bite-sized balls are great for chucking in your bag or pocket. Pop a couple in your mouth whenever you need a quick burst of energy along the trail. This recipe is made with oatmeal, coconut, and peanut butter, making it nice and healthy – and packed with energy.
Speaking of coconut, whiz prunes or dates together with walnuts and coconut in a food processor, press the mixture into a pan, chill and slice for some delicious bars that are sweet as dessert, but guilt-free.
If you are craving something a little lighter and crunchier, try these granola clusters Light & Nutty Maple Mix.
1. Fruity Faves
Fruits are packed with vitamins and make for sweet snacks bursting with flavor. Even better, they come in their own little biodegradable packages! Opt for compact fruits that won’t get smushed in your bag and can be packed without having to put them in another container.
- Some great choices are clementines which are bursting with vitamin C, and are much cuter and easier to peel than oranges.
- Bananas are full of potassium and are so easy to enjoy.
- Avocadoes are nice and sturdy – if they are not over ripe. They are soft enough to mash into a spread, seasoned with salt and pepper, for some avocado toast, because who said you can’t go gourmet on the campsite?
Another advantage of avacadoes is they can be savory or sweet, depending on what other ingredients you pair with them. Put together a light dessert with some avocado cubes drizzled with honey.
- Quick rule of thumb when bringing fruits on a camping trip that will last more than a day, be sure to consume the fruits in the first few days.
- If you’re really going to be out in the wild for longer than a couple of days, consider taking some semi-ripe fruits so that on the tail end of your trip, you will have perfectly ripe and juicy fruits to enjoy.
2. Veggies are Very Good
Vegetables are brimming with vitamins and minerals that will make you stronger and more energized every step of the way.
Again, choose the sturdy, throw-in-your-bag kind of vegetables that will not require much TLC. Also note that – unless you are going to be cooking at the campsite – you must bring vegetables that taste good raw.
- Carrots are a favorite. Pre-wash and cut them so you’re all set anytime hunger strikes. Baby carrots are a good choice, too. The sweet, juicy crunch will surely satisfy your campsite cravings.
- Some other good choices are celery, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes. These are all healthy morsels that you can pop in your mouth anytime, plus they don’t spoil easily.
Pre-wash and cut your veggies in bite sizes before your trip and help them last longer by packing them in resealable plastic bags or airtight reusable containers.
- Edamame is one of the smartest picks for a healthy snack. These tiny green beans are big on fiber, complex carbs, and healthy fat. It’s also rich in magnesium and vitamin B complex. Portion cupfuls of frozen edamame in bags. They’ll defrost while you walk and be super crisp and defrosted when you’re ready for them in the afternoon.
- Sweet potatoes are a super delicious alternative to potatoes – and much easier to cook. Simply wrap in foil and roast over the campfire for a nice treat for dinner or as a filling snack on cold nights.
Just like with vegetables, consider bringing slightly unripe vegetables for longer trips, so that you’re left with perfect veggies for the whole time you are at camp.
3. Nuts and Nibbles
Salty, crunchy nuts are so good, it’s hard to believe that they are also good for you. Just a few pack a nice punch of energy, so bring a handful or two.
- Walnuts are a great choice for nighttime snacking. They are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleep soundly, so you get lots of rest and are ready to go during the day (source).
- Trail mix is a hiking staple. Mix all your faves in a big batch, then portion it into smaller resealable bags so everyone in your group has one. Or, if you want to appease your OCD tendencies, buy one of those plastic boxes with lots of compartments, the ones used for organizing craft materials or tackles – be sure it’s a clean one! The little dividers are perfect for all the bits and bites, each in their own neat space (source).
Solid Soldier Grub
It’s either a hit or a miss on taste, but it would definitely be fun to experience the MREs – Meals, Ready-to-Eat. These all-in-one meal packs have a shelf life of 5 years, and are really used by soldiers on the field, and it’s the ultimate adventure survival food.
Contents vary, but each package usually consists of a main dish, bread and spreads, snacks, dessert, instant coffee, and a powdered drink – all in one compact, lightweight bundle.
Will some MREs, you heat up the main dish in boiling water, but it would also be fun to get MREs with special heaters that let you warm up your food all in the same container, like magic (or science).
Learn more and order your very own MRE at MREInfo or at your local military surplus shop. It’s also fun to watch YouTubers vlogging about tasting MREs there’s a bunch of them – you can start here.
Pack Like a Pro
Doesn’t this whole post get you excited for your next camping trip, just so you can indulge in all these awesome snacks? Come up with your own, too! Just remember these simple guidelines for the best food to take camping (source):
- They should be lightweight and convenient to pack
- Put a lot of importance in nutrition – your body actually needs at least 1,000 extra calories because you’ll be burning them all on your hike. Fuel up on extra energy.
- Be sure you pack your food properly so they keep long without requiring refrigeration.
- Finally, make sure your food is easy to prepare and delicious. After a tiring day, it is so comforting to come home to a quick and fuss-free, tasty meal.