The smell of the forest. The stunning, natural beauty around you on all sides. Camping is the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of big city living and get back to nature.
What could possibly be better? How about some delicious camping meals to enjoy that you don’t have to feel bad about eating?
We want you to be able to make the most of your camping trips, without sacrificing the healthy routines that you’ve built in your life. If you have a morning fitness routine or you follow some guided meditation, you don’t want to disregard these habits while you’re away.
These healthy routines also include creating a healthy camping meal plan that you can easily follow, while you’re also hiking, swimming, fishing, or trailblazing your way through the wilderness.
Should you make camping meals ahead? Are there no-cook camping meals you can try for those rainy nights when cooking just doesn’t seem like a great option? What about vegetarian camping meals or keto camping meals for those of us who have specific dietary restrictions that are crucial to maintaining? These are the questions that need to be taken into consideration when you’re meal planning.
On this page, we’ll discuss all these topics and more. We’ll share some great recipes that you can add to your camping meal plan, as well as some suggestions that can help you continue eating well on your next camping trip.
A little bit of planning goes a long way when it comes to making camping meals ahead. Just because you’re roughing it, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy world-class healthy meals while you’re doing it.
If you happen to have a campfire skillet that you can use to heat your food, then there are tons of options for your make-ahead camping meals.
Pre-making omelet mix is a fantastic way to get right to cooking, without the need for mixing bowls. Just scramble your eggs ahead of time (or Orgran Vegan Egg if you’re looking for vegan alternatives).
Then, pre-cut any veggies, cheeses, or meats that you want to add to your omelets and boom! Quick, easy-to-assemble omelets. Just put in your egg base, add your toppings, flip once, and you’re done.
If you don’t feel like breakfast (we think omelets make a great meal anytime, but not everyone enjoys breakfast for dinner), baked goods are a fantastic choice for making camping meals ahead.
Fresh, easy-to-make cheese tea biscuits make a wonderful side dish to any meal, and they’re hearty enough to sate even the hungriest campers.
If you want to skip the cooking entirely, you could also go the route of entirely pre-prepared meals, you buy online.
These meals come ready to serve, but their portion sizes are limited. Their flavors are incredible, but the cost of purchasing enough for multiple people across an entire camping trip can get quite expensive.
For those on a budget, it’s smart to plan on bringing enough for 1-2 meals across an entire trip. This way, you can still enjoy filling, healthy meals, even if you happen to have a day of rough weather and don’t want to deal with the challenges of cooking without your normal creature comforts.
What happens if you’re going to a camping event where you’ll need to feed 6, 8, 10, or even more people in a single sitting?
Don’t panic – there are lots of easy camping meals for large groups that you can try out.
This often ties in with making camping meals ahead, because it can be chaotic trying to manage the sheer volume of food, which you’ll need to feed bigger groups of people.
Potato salad is a popular addition to any camping meal plan. Plus, our favorite herbed-potato salad has another major benefit – no mayo. This means it’s much easier to take this recipe camping, without compromising on taste. Nobody wants a mayo-based salad that’s been sitting in the heat for hours.
Pasta salad is another popular camping food that’s heavy enough to fill you up, and designed to be made in larger batches, which makes it an easy camping meal for large groups. Or, at least, an addition to it.
When it comes to pasta salad, we’ve got a real soft spot for pesto pasta salad. This fresh, earthly, savory salad is delicious and healthy, with lots of wonderful, fresh ingredients.
Best of all, you can easily use the recipe for pesto that’s included with this pasta recipe to make your cost-effective pesto at home, before you leave for your trip.
If you simply aren’t going to have the equipment, space, or facilities that you’ll need to heat or cook your food while you’re camping, you must plan some smart, healthy, no-cook camping meals. You don’t want to spend half of your trip hungry.
In these cases, where you don’t want to fall back on snacking the entire trip, rather than eating proper meals, we’d suggest trying to build your camping meal plan around the standard breakfast/lunch/dinner model.
Yogurt parfaits are a healthy, filling breakfast that you could include with your no-cook camping meals. Also, because you’ll be making these yourself, you can be sure to only include your favorite types of yogurts, granolas, fruits, or berries. Just layer the ingredients in meal portion-sized containers, and keep them in the cooler for quick, easy breakfast solutions.
Pre-made wraps are a portable, healthy lunch no-cook camping meal, and you can easily customize them to your preferences. Pick your meats and cheeses, add a sandwich spread or some hummus onto your tortilla, and throw in some veggies, lettuce, or spinach. If you’ve got a big hike planned for the afternoon, these are great to take on the go.
Dinner is often the heaviest and most hearty meal of the day, which is why we love taco bowls for these no-cook camping meals.
You can pre-make your taco bowls at home, and then bring all the regular taco ingredients you would use pre-cut from home. You can even cook taco meat ahead of time, or choose to do them without meat and use baked beans or avocado slices instead.
If you’re traveling with lots of others, taco bowls are an easy camping meal for large groups too, since you can set up a table with all your pre-cut ingredients and edible taco bowls. Then, everyone can easily customize their meals to fit their tastes. They’re guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.
Not everyone eats meat, and it’s important to be respectful to your travel companions, even if you’re an avid meat-eater.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to plan some vegetarian camping meal options, if you or someone with you has this type of dietary restriction. Many of these meals also offer the benefit of requiring less refrigeration, so you can save that room in the cooler for other things, like keeping your drinks cool.
Banana bread pancakes are sure to get everyone huddled around the fire when they catch a whiff of its delectable scent.
This is safe for vegetarians that will eat eggs, but don’t worry – if you don’t eat eggs, you can always substitute real eggs for Just Eggs. It will work just as well.
Campfire Nachos are another great fan-favorite, where you can customize the nachos based entirely on what your food preferences may be. This makes it easy to stick to vegetarianism, by substituting any meat you might include for beans and using dairy-free cheese.
If others want to add meat to theirs, that’s okay too. Just make the main dish a vegetarian camping meal, and have them add meat onto their portions once it’s been dealt out. To each their own, right?
You don’t have to break the bank to create an effective, healthy camping meal plan. Cheap camping meals aren’t that hard to do, as long as you take the time to meal plan before your trip.
Even some of the meals that we’ve already suggested on this page would be cheap camping meals. Campfire omelets, nachos, potato, and pasta salads are all relatively inexpensive to put together. The most expensive ingredients you would need would be the meats (if any) and cheeses you choose to use.
It may seem cliché, but burgers and hot dogs are relatively quick to make cheap camping meals. But just because you’re having hot dogs or hamburgers, doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy.
Of course, hot dogs are never going to be a superfood. However, in recent years, companies have been making more of a concerted effort to offer much healthier hot dogs.
Men’s Health has several great options that are still far better for you than fast food or sugary snacks.
Keto camping meals can be a huge challenge for some people because we often associate camping meals with comfort food, and heavy, carb-laden foods. Thankfully, there are lots of great options for keto camping meals, which won’t leave you hungry or unsatisfied.
Pete and Gerry’s keto cauliflower salad is a great example of a meal that feels as heavy as it is satisfying. Bursting with flavor, this cauliflower salad is low-carb, high-fat – making it the perfect addition to your keto diet.
You can also try chicken cordon bleu as a keto camping meal since you don’t have to bread the chicken when you’re making the meal yourself. Just butterfly the chicken, stuff it with cheese and meat (ham and Swiss is traditional, but you do you), and then wrap it in tinfoil.
When you’re ready to eat, cook the foiled chicken using a portable grill, or even just around the base of your campfire. Then great ready for a cheesy, savory bit of heaven.
Just make sure you bring a meat thermometer with you, so you can ensure your chicken is always cooked to 165 degrees Celsius. The last thing you want is to get sick trying to enjoy a keto camping meal.
As you can see, there are tons of incredible meals you can add to your camping meal plan, which are not only healthy but don’t skimp on the flavor.
So, when you’re planning your next camping trip, grab your meditation cushion, and get ready for a fantastic trip. Use some of these recipes in your camping meal plan, and you’re guaranteed to make the best of your trip, without making healthy eating an afterthought.
Together with good physical fitness habits, these healthy meals will allow you to Getaway Well to any campsite and start living like your life depends on it.