Must-Have Foods for Your Camping Trip

Cooking at the campground doesn't have to be difficult. All it takes is a little bit of planning, the right supplies and a few key ingredients.

To simplify preparation for your upcoming trips, keep a list of food to take camping. After all, with the right spices and supplies, even simple meals taste better when they're cooked and served outdoors.

Even though packing your kitchen for a camping trip can seem like a lot of work, it gets easier each time you do it and is well worth the effort. Consider keeping a camping pantry packed with key ingredients and non-perishable foods, so each time you go camping, your staples are ready to go.

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Depending on your portable kitchen, campground cooking can be quick and easy with one-pot recipes or extravagant with multiple burner stoves, camping grills and Dutch ovens. Some campers love to eat gourmet meals at the campground, while others prefer to keep it simple. Either way, a little preparation makes all the difference. Marinating meats, pre-cooking potatoes, and chopping veggies at home can help with cooking once you're at the campground.

With a few key ingredients in your camping pantry you can make just about anything at the campground that you can make at home. There are also lots of great items to include for easy camping meals, and a few good snacks can add some flavor to your camping trip.

Even if you don't plan your camping meals ahead, if you pack the staples then you can pick up fresh veggies or ingredients from a local market and still have a complete meal. So, whether you're a campground chef or prefer easy camping meals, here are the key ingredients and food you should take camping every time you go:

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Camping Pantry

  • Olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Your favorite herbs, spices or seasoning packets
  • Hot drinks such as coffee, tea, apple cider or hot chocolate
  • Condiment to-go packets such as mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, hot sauce, soy sauce, parmesan cheese and chili flakes
  • Drink mixes like Gatorade, Kool-Aid or Emergen-C
  • Sugar or honey
  • Non-dairy creamer or dehydrated milk
  • Flour and baking powder
  • Easy Camping Meal Staples
  • Quick oats: oatmeal or cream of wheat
  • Pasta: tortellini, ravioli, penne or fusilli
  • Grains: 5-minute rice, couscous or quinoa
  • Chicken, tuna or salmon (packets or canned)
  • Canned beans: whole beans, refried or baked beans
  • Soups: canned or dehydrated
  • Peanut butter
  • Pita bread
  • Bagels and cream cheese
  • Tortillas
  • Granola
  • Fresh vegetables

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Camping Snacks

  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Salami or pepperoni
  • Chips and salsa
  • Fresh fruit: watermelon, grapes, apples and oranges
  • Beef jerky
  • Hummus and fresh veggies
  • Pretzels
  • Cookies
  • Energy bars or granola bars
  • Chocolate, candy or your favorite treat

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