A Few Things To Remember About Food And Camping
There are a handful of rules to keep in mind about food and camping. Without going into too much detail, hereâs a few pointers to always keep in mind.
- Keep Your Food Away From Your Tent: In most circumstances, you donât want your food inside your tent. It isnât easy to odor proof it, and thereâs a chance some animal will come sniffing for your food. While people usually think of bears in this scenario, rodents and raccoons are as much of a problem. These smaller animals are more likely to try to gnaw through your tent to reach for food.
- Storing Food Near The Campsite: Most people will suggest that you keep your food at a safe distance from your tent/campsite. Hanging food is the most popular thing to do. Also consider other options like Bear Canisters to better store your food.
- Plastic Boxes vs Ziploc Bags For Camping: Most people will intuitively reach for plastic or Tupperware boxes to carry their food items. When youâre hiking or backpacking, think of Ziploc bags first. If an item or product can be as conveniently stored in the Ziploc bag, skip the Tupperware.
Enjoying Your Food Without Worrying About Refrigeration
Having a cooler at hand makes things easier, but refrigeration isnât necessary for good meals while camping. As Pink Floyd once said, we donât need no refrigeration . It isnât that difficult to enjoy good camping food ideas and using non perishable foods to get great meals out of the camping experience. All without using a cooler. Iâll miss my beer, but if push comes to shove, at least thereâs a decent chance of enjoying camping and meals without depending on refrigeration. Also, thereâs bourbon.
Camping Food That Doesnt Need Refrigeration Or An Ice Box
South Australias Riverland is one of the coolest stretches of the Murray River, with a wealth of wetlands to explore and a wonderful variety of scenery cliffs, lagoons, narrow winding creeks, majestic river, possums, kangaroos and more. There are places where you can go for days, seldom seeing another person. And the best way to do it? By kayak of course, taking your gear with you and setting up camp in a different spot each night: kayak camping.
Our touring kayaks will carry a huge amount of gear but bulky eskies can be an issue! An esky wont fit in a single kayak and only a small-to-medium esky can fit in a double kayak.
Were so used to having cold storage on hand, in the form of fridges and ice-filled eskies , that we can feel a bit lost when those things are not available to us.
Dont let that cause stress when you are planning meals for your multi-day kayak camping expedition. The following list provides alternatives to the usual fridge-reliant camp foods.
You can download our list here Non-refrigerated camping food
- fresh carrots, potatoes, onions and beetroot are some vegetables that will keep for several days
- dehydrated or tinned vegetables
Carbohydrates Less of an issue as they often dont require refrigeration.
- rice, quinoa, spaghetti, noodles, macaroni
- bread or flat-bread may last for a few days
- dried crispbreads like Ryvita, Salada etc.
- pre-cooked rice sachets/tubs, and deb potato cook more quickly than regular.
Easy full meals
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Jerky & Summer Sausage
For the carnivores out there, jerky and summer sausage are solid trail food options. Since neither jerky nor summer sausage needs to be refrigerated or cooked, theyre a great choice for your hiking adventures.
As far as jerky goes, you can get nearly any type of flavor and meat combination you can think of. In fact, Country Archer Chile Beef jerky is one of the most popular options out there, especially if youre looking to purchase from an environmentally-conscious brand.
That being said, jerky can get quite pricey, especially if youre looking to pack for a longer trip. So, many folks opt to make their own jerky at home . To make your own beef jerky, youll need meats, seasonings, a dehydrator, and a whole lot of time. But, if you plan your prep wisely, you can end up with a whole lot of jerky for your adventures.
When it comes to summer sausage, you also have quite a few options. Most grocery stores sell summer sausage or prosciutto, so you can often find a flavor thats to your liking.
Since summer sausage comes pre-cooked, you dont have to worry about whipping out your stove whenever you want to indulge. Instead, we recommend adding your summer sausage to your sandwiches and wraps or pairing it with cheese and crackers for a quick snack on the trail.
Instant Potatoes With Canned Chicken Or Tuna
Instant potatoes take a minute to cook and they come in all different flavors. They also only cost about $1.
But potatoes on their own dont make a complete meal, so I like to pack some canned chicken or flavored tuna packets to mix in with the potatoes for some protein.
You can bring spices and herbs along as well.
There you have it – easy camping meal ideas that dont require a cooler!
I hope you have some new ideas to try on your next camping trip and really enjoy spending time outdoors eating a good meal with friends and family.
If you have any questions, simply comment below. Id love to hear from you.
See you out there,
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You Won’t Regret Making These Camp Food Recipes
Best Frito Chili Pie
If you’ve never had a Frito walking taco, it’s time to fix that, like, right now. This recipe includes making your own chili, then filling the Frito bags, but you can also just stuff with store-bought ground beef, cheese, and salsa to make things even easier.
This Middle Eastern dish is full of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices , and makes for a wonderfully warm and filling addition to your camping foods list. Leave as-is or top with a little bit of cheese.
Grilled Halloumi Breakfast Sandwich
The halloumi on this meat-free sandwich promises all the heartiness and none of the greasiness of bacon or sausage. When fried for just a few minutes, it gets perfectly golden on the outside and remains toothsome throughout.
Mexican Tortilla Roll Ups
Ham and cheese is a tried-and-true pinwheel combo, but this camping recipe take it to the next level with a mix of chiles, olives, onions, and garlic. They’ll make for an excellent camping food *and* lunchbox addition come the end of summer.
Youâve tried them in the oven, youâve tried them in the microwave at 2am, and now itâs time to try them camp-style in a foil packet over a crackling fire. These campfire food packs seal in a lot of heat, so everything melds to the chips, and the cheese melts perfectly.
Chicken Pepperoni Casserole
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
Campfire Veggie Packets
Foil-Pack Garlic Fries
Cheesy Ranch Chicken Potato Foil Packets
Falafel Sandwich & Falafel Sauce Two Purple Figs
We’re huge fans of falafel sandwiches with tasty, savory flavors and satisfying texture. So what’s not to love? This recipe is one of our all-time faves, and it’s all in the sauce and toppings that you choose for your ultimate falafel sandwich. By picking tasty and refreshing ingredients, you can create a tasty falafel sandwich that will have everyone coming back for more.
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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chips Apple Rings
Need a delicious snack after a long day on the hiking trail? Dont reach for junk food! Slice apples into rings spread peanut butter on top of the ring and dot with chocolate chips. Youre gonna want to try these on your next camping trip, they are so yummy and a healthy alternative to satisfy your craving for a sweet treat.
Lunch And Dinner Ideas
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Camping Meals That Dont Need Refrigeration
When looking for ideas of camping foods that dont need to be refrigerated, there are many articles with extensive, amazing lists of shelf-stable foods or, at least, will last for a few days out of the fridge.
I dont know about you, but I dont need just a list of foods. I need a way to make our camping trips easier whether were planning to take our cooler or not.
My favorite way to do that is with a pre-made list of meals that dont require the fridge. So, I went back to the drawing board and came up with this list of camping meal ideas, dessert ideas, and snack ideas that can stay at room temperature.
Dont worry. You can jump straight to the list of the camping food items that dont need a fridge if youd prefer.
Youll also find great options on the list for camping meals that dont require cooking. Or that you can simply heat and serve. Because sometimes, you just need to hit the easy button.
Camping Food Ideas That Require No Refrigeration
Most people automatically think about packing the cooler when they start planning their camping trip and camping meals. Just think if you didnt have to worry about lugging huge coolers or cramming one more item in your RV fridge? My solution choose more camping foods that require no refrigeration! Read on for tons of camping food ideas that wont need a refrigerator or cooler.
Okay, before you think Im crazy, I am not saying that you should NOT take a cooler or any perishable camping food. I just know what a pain it is to take more than one cooler and keep if full of ice , Even if you have the luxury of a refrigerator in your camper, it can be hard to find enough room in it if you are camping for a long time and/or have a big family.
Taking these camping food items that dont need to be refrigerated or kept cool will make your camping trip easier and easier means more fun! Some of these suggestions will be no brainers, but hopefully youll find some ideas for your camping meals.
I wasnt sure if it would be easier for you if I listed foods by meals or by categories/type. Since many foods can be ate at different meals, I decided to try to list the foods together by type as best as I could. Plus Ive added some camping meals ideas in my list!
This post contains affiliate links. You can read the full disclosure here.
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Food To Take Camping Without A Fridge Or Cooler
I love going camping the sounds of nature at night, the ability to have my dogs with me, and how budget-friendly it is. One thing that I had always struggled with is our food. Most nutritionally balanced camping meal suggestions require you to keep food refrigerated or on ice. This is great if you have the space for coolers, dont mind doing ice runs, or have a camper outfitted with a fridge. However, you may be looking for some no fridge camping food ideas to make life easier if you go tent camping and dont have space in your vehicles for coolers.
To make things easier, Ive put together a list of food you can take camping without a fridge or cooler so you can create healthier meals on the go.
If you are looking for more ways to save money during your vacations, check out our top Low Budget Travel Tips!
Breakfast Protein Without A Cooler:
- Jerky Who says jerky isnt just a snack? Grab a bit with your bagel for some added protein to get you through to lunch
- Precooked Bacon Save the mess of cooking bacon at the campsite and instead bring is along pre-cooked. You can head it up if you like or add it to your morning toast with tomato.
- Eggs if youre lucky enough to have connections for farm-fresh eggs, chat with them and theyll tell you all about storing eggs without refrigeration. Or, grab some powdered eggs for a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs!
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Vegetable To Take Camping Without A Fridge
It is a healthier choice when taking kids camping, and adds crunch and color to any meal. The vegetable has low calories but contains high moisture to keep you hydrated during physical activities.
How can you leave tomatoes? These large chunks of red vegetables are suitable for roasting in kabobs or tossing with salads and boast a healthy dose of vitamin C. Chop them roughly and serve them with bread or mixed into salsa for your extra amount of vitamin C.
With little to cry about with this vegetable, onions work well in all the same situations as tomatoes. You can add chopped raw onion to salad or salsa or skewer in larger pieces for shish kebabs.
These root veggies are great snacks. Bite a few sliced sticks when you get back to the campsite after a busy day. You can eat these alone or dipped in dressing and serve with another veggie.
Are you thinking of baked potatoes? When you are hungry and nothing much left in your bag, baked potatoes are a better option. A pat of butter or Greek yogurt will add taste to your potato. Try this simple yet delicious recipe on your camping days.
Why Bring Camping Food That Doesnt Require A Cooler
There are several reasons why I prefer camping food that doesnt require being kept cold convenience, space, added stress, and money.
- Well-made and insulated camping coolers are expensive and can take up much-needed space in your vehicles. Between fitting friends, family, and pets in your vehicle along with their camping gear, theres not a ton of space for coolers. Money can also be an issue if you are having to choose between what type of quality gear you are to invest in and a high-end cooler oftentimes is not at the top of the list.
- Bringing food on camping trips that need to stay cool is an added stress. Having to make sure the cooler is properly stocked with enough ice to prevent food spoilage and possible food poisoning is not an enjoyable way to spend your vacation. The hotter the weather, the quicker you run out of ice which leads to frequent trips to stores or gas stations to restock your cooler in time.
- It limits the amount of food that goes to waste. A lot of these items can still be used after you get back home or even until your next camping trip. No wasted food = no wasted money which is an additional win for your bank account.
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Some Breakfast Meal Ideas When You Dont Have A Fridge Or Cooler:
Toasted bacon and tomato sandwiches: Precook the bacon at home, you can even slice up the tomato if you like make some toast over the fire. And, if you search around I bet you can even find some small (ketchup-packet-sized packages of mayo to bring along. If not, just use butter. Yum!
Scrambled eggs with add-ins: Find yourself some powdered eggs. I prefer to scramble these. Some great no cooler necessary add-ins are dried herbs like basil, parsley, dill crumbled jerky or pre-cooked bacon, chopped tomato and peppers, cubed cured salami, even some torn up corn tortillas would be great too!
Fresh Fruit and Granola: Open up a can of peaches and dump on some of your favourite granola. I prefer to make my own granola so I can pack it full of dried nuts, seeds, raisins, and leave out the sugar and excess oils.
Oatmeal: You have a variety of oatmeal options for camping. You could slow cook some regular oatmeal over the fire or boil yourself some water and make up some instant oatmeal. Again, I like to make my own camping instant oatmeal so I can add more nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
Apple Campfire Pies: We love these on a cold slow camping morning! Our favourite breakfast combo is apple pie filling with cinnamon raisin bread in the pie iron. Heres the recipe for ours here!
Pancakes: Bring along powdered pancake mix and add in the water and oil at the campground. If you plan ahead you could even bring along some berries or mash a few bananas into the mix before cooking.
Camping Meal And Snack Ideas
If youre short on inspiration, heres a few meal ideas made entirely from ingredients that dont require a fridge. There are options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as some healthy snacks to keep you going, and some not-so-healthy smores to look forward to at the end of the day. After all, even the most health-conscious of us can agree, its not camping without smores.
- Breakfast cereal: This ones a favorite with the kids, breakfast cereals will last through pretty much anything as long as you keep them sealed. Just use a little milk powder with water, the same as you do with your coffee. Theres also granola and muesli for the grown-ups, a great high energy breakfast if youre planning a hike later on.
- Oatmeal: Another fast and easy breakfast idea, and perfect for some slow-release carbohydrates, oatmeal starts the day of millions of people around the world, and its so easy to take on a camping trip, no fridge required at all. Just cook it up with water over your camping stove, and add in some dried fruits or nuts for flavor.
- Pancake mix: Pre-packaged pancake mixes are an excellent choice for a no-fridge breakfast. A hot and delicious breakfast like that will make you forget youre away from home at all. Fry them up with a little oil, and top with maple syrup or jam for a decedent early meal, without having to worry about camping coolers at all.
At the end of the day, a healthy meal makes all the difference.
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