Meal Planning for Campers

Camp Meal planning
Mountain biking in Eastern Oregon.

Planning out what you are going to eat while camping is very important.  You don’t want to get to your destination only to find out you’re missing a crucial food element.  For some reason, camping makes everyone extra hungry, too.  I think it’s all the fresh air, biking, hiking, and exploring that goes along with camping.  When we camp, I like to have meals that require as few dishes as possible and are easy and fun to prepare.  Our camp cooking supplies kept us going for a 3-week camping trip we did several years ago and most all of the items were purchased second-hand.

Meal Planning for Campers

Fishing for your dinner
My kids fishing for supper! They got nothing.

  • Easy!  An easy to prepare meal the first night you arrive is my biggest tip and this is the one time I purchase canned beans.  I like Bush’s vegetarian baked beans.  They’re warm in no time on a camp stove and not bad cold.  (I only mention this because while camping in California last year, we didn’t realize you needed a permit to have a fire so we couldn’t warm them and had to eat them cold!)
  • Fun!  Fun to cook foods are always a hit.  Grilled shish-kabobs, hot dogs cooked over a fire with a stick you’ve whittled yourself, popcorn and s’mores are always requested when we plan our meals for camping.
  • Fish!  Catch your supper – well, at least fish for it.  While my anglers always try to catch dinner, good intentions don’t fill empty stomachs and so I plan for back-up meals.  A can of tuna or a quick peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a good fill-in when “slaying the fish” doesn’t produce desired results.
  • Re-stock!  As soon as we return from a camping trip, I re-stock our supplies immediately.  I haven’t always done this upon returning from a trip.  I used to think I could remember to do these things but really, who am I kidding?  (Internet Girl has a lot on her mind!)  Just re-stock before you put everything away and you won’t be cursing when the matches are missing.

Meal planning camping

Here’s a fun video filmed last summer with Fusion NW showing our camp cooking supplies and my camp meal planner.  Yes, I keep it in a page protector.

My planner that I use for camping is available as a PDF here. Camping Meal Plan

Go Gingham related links:

Camp cooking supplies are here and why I like camping (but don’t love it)
Travel tips for a trip or stay-cation around the Northwest
Travel packing in a little suitcase and a chart
You can see all of my TV appearances here

Sara

Sara, creator of Go Gingham, is passionate about cooking and feeding her family healthy, real food. She's a green enthusiast, too, who loves to grow food organically. Sara loves to travel - especially by trading houses. An avid runner, she can also be found chasing after her chickens in the backyard.

6 Comments


  1. hi sara! very cute video and good ideas. i am so excited for another season of camping!


    1. Thanks Ana! I’m excited, too, although cross fingers no rain while camping this year!


  2. I am so impressed – I have tried camping and it is hard work!!! It looks like you have a good system to help though. Again – you make it look so easy!


    1. Thanks Annie! It is work and yet it’s so much easier now than when our kids were little! Now, they want to do the cooking – mostly because it involves flames and open fire pits. A good system does help…you should give it a try this summer.


  3. I just loved your camping planning, your system I’ll have to try it. I do enjoy camping but I don’t know if I could go at it for 3 weeks, I am not a die-hard camper lol. I still enjoy my TV so one other thing I bring along is my Tailgater; it’s a quick and easy set-up to watch my shows. The good thing about it, it has a weather resistant cover, score! My co-workers at DISH find it amusing I can’t live without TV.


    1. Thanks Shar! Yes, 3 weeks is a long time but it was great – except my back didn’t like it always!

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