Useful Meal Planning Tips for Camping Expedition


Food is an essential part of your camping expedition. Therefore, you need to plan the menu creatively. All the necessary ingredients can be bought beforehand from any grocery store. You wouldn’t want to survive on some packets of biscuits, bread, and cheese.

Quick bites are fine for a single night out. You can enjoy a day without cooking, but if you are camping for several days, this can get too monotonous. So, if you are going for a 3 to 4-days camping trip, it is necessary to plan a menu. It helps to avoid overbuying.

What to consider while creating a camping meal menu?

Make a list of each meal you will enjoy

Before planning a menu, it is essential to consider your trip duration. Will you have breakfast at home and then leave or will need to pack one for the road? Planning this helps to ensure that you will never miss your meals, carrying the right amount of food and right kind of ingredients.

For example, if the camping trip is in winter, you can add a Dutch oven chili recipe, because it will help you stay warm outdoors. For camping recipes, you can get more information on the Easy Camp Fire Recipe Blog.

Determine the food you will love eating

Make a list of the meals you would like to eat and include all the ingredients that go in that recipe. It will help to keep check of food that overlaps between meals. Ensure not to miss out on any main ingredients like spices. Meal planning also helps to consider the eating time of the recipe included in the menu.

For example, if you added a rice & beans recipe that needs fresh lime to improve its taste, then you can have this meal early during the trip. Planning food combinations ensures that your body does not lack daily nutrition.

Determine food quantity for each meal

The food quantity estimation depends on the number of members in your group, weather, appetite, and activities enjoyed.

The planning portions involve some guesswork, but below are some guidelines based on activities and climate. 

  • Mild weather, short trips, and leisurely pace – Each person needs 1 to 1.5 pounds/day [2,000 to 3,000 calories].
  • Cool-weather, long backpack trip, moderately strenuous – Each person needs 1.75 to 2.0 pounds/day [3,000 to 3,500 calories].

Carrying the right food quantity is crucial to avoid food stress and over-carrying. Other things to consider while planning a camping meal menu are –

  • Think minimal, so that you need fewer pots and pans from your kitchen.
  • Never add a new or complex recipe to the menu. Remember everything tastes delicious at the camp, even baked potato. No one desires to clean a lot after eating. Avoid messiness!
  • Think about simple food recipes like pre-chopping or pre-cooking at home or cooking in a foil rather than soiling a pan. For example, pre-made hummus is a delicious snack dipper and sandwich topper.
  • Never forget to bring the salt, pepper, garlic powder, small ketchup pouches, and hot chili sauce to add that zest to your meals.
  • Remember to use reusable plates, bowls, spoons, forks, and knives to avoid polluting the outdoors.
  • Carry separate bags for recycling and trash. Even ensure to dump waste properly in the campsite dumpsters.
  • Carry soap, lighter, bottle opener, lots of water, and more.

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