The best thing about camping is connecting with nature and unplugging from the real world, sometimes this can mean going off the beaten track, away from supermarkets and readily available food. Packing for a camping trip can feel daunting, and sometimes packing food can be the hardest part. So, what food should you take camping if you won’t be near a refrigerator or don’t want to carry around a cool box?
Give yourself the best start to the day with some slow releasing energy. Porridge can be easily made over the stove by adding water, and as they are available in small pouches, they won’t take up much room in your bag.
Many vegetables keep well without a fridge and a lot can be eaten raw, so you can save yourself from cleaning up another cooking pot! Carrots, cucumber and tomatoes all make a great on-the-go snack and will last a few days out of the coolness of a refrigerator.
Don’t forget your protein. Nuts of any type are perfect for keeping your energy levels steady and should keep you full between meals. If you prefer, you can bring peanut butter. Spread it on bread for a breakfast boost or even eat it straight from the jar – we won’t tell if you won’t!
Any meal can be made more filling by adding a carbohydrate like pasta, noodles, or rice. Our space saving trick while packing is to decant the amount you think you’ll need into a smaller container or bag.
Fresh fruit like bananas, oranges and apples will last a few days in your rucksack and make a healthy snack or start your day by adding to your porridge in the morning. If you’re going away for more than a couple of days and are worried about your fruit going off, tinned options like peaches and pears will last much longer.
Whole loaves of bread may be bulky and go stale relatively quickly, so we would recommend bread rolls or even bagels for your next camping trip. Spread over some peanut butter or dip into soup for a quick and easy meal.
Baked potatoes are a popular camping dish and it’s easy to see why. Potatoes will last a long time in your rucksack and make a great alternative to pasta or rice. The most common way to cook a baked potato while camping is to wrap it in foil and bury it in hot coal from your fire. However, coal can be heavy to carry and take up a lot of room in your rucksack. Another way to cook potatoes is to simply fry them over your camping stove flame.
There are plenty of tinned food options to choose when going camping, but you can’t beat the comfort of baked beans on toast. Perfect for any meal of the day, the protein and fibre packed favourites are a camping staple.
Another easy choice are soups, simply heat up over your stove and enjoy. To fill you up until lunchtime, pair with a bread roll on the side. If you’re worried about the weight of cans slowing you down, pack some soup packets instead. They’re a great space saver too!
Fresh eggs may seem like a dangerous choice, there is the risk of the eggs cracking in your bag before you’ve had a chance to taste that succulent sunny side up yolk. But, if you pack them securely, eggs can be a delicious treat. Our tips for packing would be to always put your eggs at the top of your bag and use an elastic band to keep the carton closed. If you have any bubble wrap available, you may want to use it to pad out the carton.
You may decide to bring some small sachets of salt, pepper and any other of your favourite seasonings – just because you’re camping, doesn’t mean your meals need to be boring! A camping stove and a small cooking kit that includes a pot or pan is essential to make tasty meals that keep you energised throughout your trek.