When many people think of camping over 3 days, what food to bring is what preys on their mind the most. Camping should be a fun activity, and you shouldn’t let your worries about what you’ll eat bog you down. All you need are foods that are filling, easy to pack, and easy to prepare.
For a 3-day camping trip, you should bring food items that are suitable for campfire meals, on-the-go meals, and snacks. These include eggs for omelets, bread for sandwiches, and rice or pasta for easy dinners. You can also carry potatoes, various meats, tomatoes, cucumber, and lettuce for salads.
Planning for a 3-day camping trip can take a lot of time; however, you can make everything simpler by bringing necessities only and planning for simple meals that you can cook over the campfire. Better yet, make use of leftovers to make other meals or add to your snacks. Keep reading to find out more.
Camping food list for 3 days:
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs are delicious and easy to make. Plus, you can cook them in a pan over the campfire. The great thing about eggs is that there is more than one way to cook them. So, if you don’t fancy scrambled eggs, you can either make omelets, fried, or boil them.
Alternatively, you can make your preferred eggs, then boil some to make sandwiches for your lunch. Make coffee to have alongside your eggs, some toast, and fresh fruits.
When it comes to sandwiches, there are endless options. Use the leftover boiled eggs from breakfast or make them using tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumber. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are also an excellent idea.
If you have beef patties, jerky, sandwich meat, or ham, add cheese and vegetables, and you have a flavorful and filling meal. Add mustard, ketchup, or mayonnaise on top for an incredible taste.
Sandwiches are handy, quick to make, and you can eat them on the go. This makes them a convenient outdoor meal.
Dinner: Easy Pasta Packets
A pasta dinner is quick, easy to prepare, and filling. It also makes a superb camping meal for a large group.
To make pasta packets, follow these steps:
- Boil pasta in a pan over the open fire.
- Make foil packets filled with pasta, cheese, basil, and diced tomatoes.
- Stir in your preferred pasta sauce, salt, black pepper, and olive oil.
- Heat the pasta packets directly over the campfire until the cheese melts.
Start your morning by making fluffy pancakes. You can cook this classic camping breakfast quickly over the open fire. For a tasty treat, try adding peanut butter, a ripe banana, or blueberries.
Take these with a cup of hot camp coffee, and you are now ready for whatever the day brings.
Lunch: Grilled Fish
If your camping ground is near a river or lake, take advantage of the availability of fresh fish to make yourself a fantastic meal. Cook the fish in foil packets in which you add some vegetables, seasoning, and butter. Then, place the packs on the hot coals until the fish is ready.
This is a fun and easy way to cook fish while retaining its natural flavors. You could also grill the fish and drizzle some lemon over it.
Dinner: BBQ Steak, Burgers, and Hotdogs
How about some juicy steaks, hotdogs, and burgers for your second night camping? Cook these over the hot coals from your campfire.
For an interesting twist with the hotdogs, make foil packets and fill each with a hotdog, onions, potato wedges, and cheese. Add a dash of barbeque sauce, seal the packages, and grill.
Add baked potatoes topped with butter to the above mix for a mouth-watering dinner. To round up the meal, make a simple salad with tomatoes and cucumbers.
Breakfast: Egg and Potato Scramble
For a more filling breakfast, try the egg and potato scramble. This mouth-watering breakfast meal is not only easy to prepare, but an excellent way to kickstart an activity-filled day, and the best part, you cook everything in one saucepan.
To make this meal, fry up chunky potatoes, peppers, and onions in butter. Once tender, add a couple of eggs to the mixture and cook until ready. After this breakfast, you’ll be full of energy and ready for any hiking adventure.
Lunch: Tortilla Meals
It’s time to bring out your tortillas. Your options here are also limitless. Roll up your tortillas with peanut butter and honey for a quick lunch, or fill them with veggies and leftover barbecue meats from Day 2. You can also add melted cheese to the latter for a simple but tasty quesadilla.
Chili makes a comforting camping meal. Besides, it adds the familiar aroma of a home-cooked meal to the thrill of a campfire meal—what better way to celebrate your final camping night!
Add ground beef and bacon to the beans to make the meal even tastier and more satisfying. Better yet, use the leftovers to make sandwiches or tortilla wraps for your trip back home.
How to Choose the Best Foods to Take Camping
When deciding on the best food to take camping, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, you want to make sure that the food is easy to prepare and doesn’t require a lot of cooking or refrigeration.
This is especially important when you’re out in the wilderness without access to a full kitchen. You also want to make sure that the food is packed with nutrients to keep you energized throughout the day. This means choosing foods that are high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Another important factor to consider is the portability of the food. You want to choose foods that are easy to pack and won’t take up too much space in your backpack. This means choosing foods that are lightweight and don’t require a lot of bulky packaging.
Additionally, you want to make sure that the food is tasty and satisfying. After a long day of hiking and exploring, you want to enjoy a meal that is both delicious and filling.
Overall, the best food to take camping is something that is easy to prepare, packed with nutrients, portable, and delicious. By considering these key factors, you can ensure that you have a variety of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert that are perfect for your outdoor adventure.
Vegan and Vegetarian Camping Food Ideas
Here are some vegan and vegetarian-friendly food ideas for your next camping trip:
- Oatmeal with nuts and dried fruit
- Vegan pancakes with fresh fruit
- Vegan breakfast burritos with tofu scramble, veggies, and avocado
- Cereal with non-dairy milk
- Vegan yogurt with granola
- Hummus and veggie wrap
- Quinoa salad with veggies and a lemon vinaigrette
- Chickpea salad with veggies and a tahini dressing
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- Vegan macaroni salad
- Lentil and vegetable stew with crusty bread
- Sweet potato and black bean chili with cornbread
- Vegan mushroom stroganoff with garlic bread
- Grilled veggie skewers with rice or quinoa
- Vegan hot dogs or burgers with all the fixings
- Trail mix with nuts and dried fruit
- Fresh veggies with hummus or guacamole
- Vegan jerky
- Energy bars
- Fruit, such as apples, bananas, or oranges
- Vegan s’mores made with graham crackers, vegan marshmallows, and dark chocolate
- Vegan hot cocoa made with almond milk and cocoa powder
- Vegan banana bread made ahead of time
- Fresh fruit with non-dairy whipped cream
- Vegan cookies or brownies made ahead of time
These are just a few ideas for the best food to bring camping that are vegan and vegetarian-friendly. With a little planning and preparation, you can enjoy delicious and healthy food no matter where you camp.
What Are Good Snacks for Camping?
For snacks, you can carry bagels, popcorn, peanuts, home-made granola bars, and trail mix. Make a big batch of the granola bars and trail mix before you go for your trip, and you will have something to snack on the entire trip. Use your favorite ingredients to create unique snacks.
For instance, to make granola bars, toast together oats, your choice of dried fruits, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, and flaxseed. Add honey and bake the mixture in the oven. Once cooled, place them in an airtight container.
Fruits make wonderful snacks too. Try apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, watermelons, and mangoes. If you plan to carry cut fruit, freeze them a day before your departure and pack them in an ice cooler. You can also have your fruits as dessert after meals.
Don’t forget to carry instant coffee packets, tea bags, or herbal teas to enable you to make your drink after the evening meal. With these easy to carry packs, you will only add hot water.
How Do You Keep Food Cold While Camping?
Keep your food cold during your camping trip by using a well-insulated cooler. Pre-chill the cooler a day before your camping trip to help it keep food cold for long. Next, fill the cooler with ice, empty it when ready to leave, and pack your refrigerated food in a chilled environment.
You could also keep your cooler in your deep freeze if it’s big enough. For more on how to keep your food cold, see the below tips:
- Always keep your cooler in the shade.
- Freeze water in plastic water bottles and place them inside your cooler. These take longer to melt, keeping your food cool longer.
- Freeze your food before your trip and place it in the cooler to keep it cold until you need to use it.
- Make ice packs (freeze water in ziplock bags) and use them to keep your food cool for longer.
- Bring along two coolers, one for food and the other for drinks, to prevent your cooler from losing cool air due to frequent opening.
- Pack your cooler correctly with foods to be used first at the top to avoid searching through frozen food for specific items.
Note that keeping your food at the right temperature can help you avoid food poisoning.
As you can see from the above meal plan ideas, it’s possible to make delicious meals for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner while camping. All you need is a little creativity, and your camping trip will turn out better than you’d ever had imagined.
Use this 3-day camping guide as your inspiration to come up with more tasty meal ideas for your next outdoor trip.
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Erick is a freelance writer and outdoor enthusiast. Growing up in Nairobi Kenya and now calling Glasgow, United Kingdom home. Sipping on homemade spiced swahili tea and enjoying a good book is his idea of bliss.