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When preparing for a camping trip, the best foods to pack are ones that are non-perishable, filling, convenient and nutritious. If you’re not backpacking, you don’t have to worry too much about weight and space. However, you’ll still want to choose food items that are easy to transport and won’t break or get squished in the car. Convenience is also a big consideration since you don’t want to spend a ton of time prepping and cooking when you should be enjoying the outdoors.
We’ve compiled some tried-and-true favorites for this list of best camping foods. Although everyone’s tastes vary, you’re bound to find some foods that will satisfy your appetite and make cooking at camp a whole lot easier and much more delicious.
Best Dry Soup Mix: Bear Creek Country Kitchens Chicken Noodle Soup Mix
Convenient, inexpensive and versatile, dry soup mix is essential for your camping food packing list. This chicken noodle soup makes a delicious, quick hot meal that the whole family will enjoy. Just add the mix to boiling water, and within minutes you’ll have the perfect comfort food after a long day of fun in the outdoors. Made with high-quality ingredients and a blend of spices, this soup is also free of trans-fat and saturated fat and enriched with vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and calcium. If you’re a soup fanatic, Bear Creek Country Kitchens has other tasty flavors, including creamy potato, minestrone and cheddar broccoli, that are just as quick and easy.
Best Dehydrated Food: Ova Easy Egg Crystals
It’s hard to imagine a camping trip without some scrambled eggs or a delicious omelet for breakfast, but transporting eggs and keeping them cold can be a hassle when camping. These dehydrated eggs from OvaEasy let you enjoy the great taste and nutrition of eggs, without having to crack one egg. Just simply mix them with water and cook them as you would regular eggs. One pouch contains the equivalent of a dozen eggs, doesn’t need to be refrigerated, has a shelf life of 2.5 years and isn’t much more expensive than regular eggs.
Best Canned Chili: Wolf No Beans Chili
Satisfying, delicious and convenient, chili is a crowd-pleasing, go-to camping food. If you don’t feel like preparing your own when camping, Wolf Brand Chili tastes just as good as homemade and it’s super easy and inexpensive. Fans of this chunky chili love its tasty, authentic blend of hearty beef, tomatoes, green chilies and flavorful spices. Just open up the can and heat it up in a pot – it’s that simple. If you like your chili with beans, you can also mix in a can of kidney beans for some added nutrition. Wolf No Beans Chili is perfect for a classic chili dish or to add on top of nachos, hot dogs, or mac and cheese.
Best Snacks: Nature's Bakery Stone Ground Whole Wheat Fig Bars
Camping snacks need to be portable, non-perishable and, of course, it’s a huge plus if they’re also nutritious and delicious. These individually-wrapped fig bars from Nature’s Bakery meet all of those criteria and are also a very tasty alternative to high-sugar and high-fat processed snacks. They’re easy to stash in your pocket or pack and are perfect when you need a little pick-me-up during a hike or to give you an energy boost and some nourishment into between meals at camp. Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars contain no high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or colors, and are also soy-free, dairy-free, cholesterol-free and nut-free. This variety pack comes with apple cinnamon, blueberry and raspberry flavors, which are all so tasty that you may have a hard time picking your favorite.
Best Breakfast: Betty Crocker Bisquick Shake 'n Pour Buttermilk Pancake Mix
It doesn’t get much easier or convenient than this Bisquick Shake ‘n Pour Buttermilk Pancake Mix. Just add water to the bottle, cover, shake it up and pour onto your heated frying pan or griddle for a delicious, nutritious breakfast. Even the kids will want to help with meal prep so they can give the bottle a shake. If you’re a little more creative in your camping kitchen, you can also use the mix to make waffles and other recipes. One bottle makes six to eight fluffy pancakes so, if you have a large camping crew, you may need more than one of this must-have staple.
Best Lunch: Bumble Bee Snack on the Run! Tuna Salad with Crackers
For lunch options while camping, most people prefer foods that they can quickly grab and eat on the go, so they don’t have to interrupt their hiking, fishing, boating or other outdoor activities. These convenient tuna salad and cracker packs are perfect to satisfy your hunger and fill you up, with no need to prep anything or light up the grill. Made with Bumble Bee tuna, it’s mixed, ready to eat and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. The package comes with 12 kits, which include the tuna salad, six buttery crackers and a convenient plastic spoon. One kit is a perfect kid-sized lunch, while adults may want two if they’re looking for more than just a snack. A great source of protein, this tuna salad will help fuel your camping adventures.
Best Dessert: S’mores Essentials Kit
S’mores are hands-down one of the best camping desserts and always a favorite among campers of all ages. Build your own S’mores Essentials Kit with chocolate bars, marshmallows and graham crackers. You may even want to shake things up a bit and substitute a Health Bar, Cookies ‘n’ Cream Bar or Mr. Goodbar in place of a regular Hershey milk chocolate bar, or strawberry marshmallows instead of regular ones. If you prefer not to use a stick found in the woods to toast your marshmallows, choose from wooden or reusable metal skewers.
Best Freeze-Dried: Mountain House Lasagna With Meat Sauce
When packing for a camping trip, you may want to bring along some freeze-dried foods to save space and reduce your prep and cooking time. Freeze-dried dinners can be a quick and convenient meal after a long day of outdoor fun. Made with pasta, cheese and Italian style meat sauce, this lasagna from Mountain House gets high marks for its delicious taste. All you have to do is add hot water to the pouch and in about 8 to 10 minutes, you’ll have a hot, tasty meal – no clean-up required. Freeze-dried meals tend to be on the expensive side, but campers find they’re worth it, so they can spend more time having fun in the great outdoors.