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The Ultimate Guide For Preparing Easy Camping Meals

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Camping meals that are delicious, and affordable however tricky especially if you are new to camping.

If you don’t know the latest hacks that can help simplify your meal planning and packing regime for the week this recipe guide will help you.

Find loads of camping recipes below so you can prepare before you leave on camping trip.

For preparing easy Camping meals camping food
Some of the best camping meals to prepare in advance of your holiday


The meaning of ‘going to camp‘ differs for everyone, but as soon as camping season is open for business, it’s full speed ahead, and we know FOOD is on the MENU.

Enjoying the great outdoors is a passion for many people with or without a tent, camper van or cabin and little to no cooking appliances.

The Ultimate Camping Food

What constitutes the ultimate camping food?

Well, I had a chance to speak to seasoned campers, which included my sister, in-laws and many CBB readers who jumped at the opportunity to share their camping food stories with me.

I was amazed at what recipes people were willing to make on a campfire and just how vital the BBQ is when one is cooking away from home.

dutch oven temperature camping
Dutch Oven Temperature Chart For Camping

Although some campers might have a microwave stashed away for many, there is no room in the camping space for such kitchen tools.

Roughing it in the woods and enjoying nature is what Camping is all about.

The most crucial camping tools for the rugged campers are cast iron everything, tin foil and knowing how to start a campfire to cook your food.

If you have a Dutch oven to use when camping, it’s essential to make sure that you are using the correct temperature before starting your meal.

Check out this informative Dutch Oven Temperature Chart for more info because it doesn’t hurt to know how to use cooking tools efficiently.

Good camping food means you will have to plan before heading off for the weekend or even the entire season.

This might mean you prep meals in advance, such as mini quiches or casseroles that only need heating up over the fire or grill.

I’ve been told that some of the best camping food comes from trial and error, just like any kitchen meal, but sharing ideas has been a tradition in my wife’s family over the past 20 years.

You’d be amazed at what you can cook over a campfire. Have you considered campfire nachos?

I’d eat them!

How about traditional S’mores but in the form of a dip made in a cast-iron pan?

So many camping food ideas come to mind, and today I hope to inspire and bring to life some of your traditions for campers who want to add to their camping meal plan.

What I do for a week of back country camping is, I put the cooler in the freezer & then add one meal at a time in reverse order.

The first day we usually have chili (frozen in jars) – at the top. And then we work our way down. We stop at a store to buy fresh fruit & veg & ice eventually but most of it is frozen or in the second Non cooler food storage box.

I have found triple layer tinfoil let’s you bake almost anything between the coals – hobo packs (with mushrooms & corn on the cob in addition to regular potatoes, onions, carrots), home made calzones, burritos, even small frozen casseroles. – Faith L.

I’ll be upfront and say that I’ve never gone camping as I was a wandering traveller in my 20s which took me worldwide.

The closest I’ve been to camping was when we hosted a German student, and the organization held a campfire dinner that consisted of hot dogs on giant stainless skewers and S’mores for dessert.

That was the first time I had ever heard of them or eaten them. I’m not going to lie; S’mores are delicious.

Who doesn’t like chocolate, graham and marshmallow?

Moving forward, both my parents and sister have campers and set out once a year to a local camp-site where they’ve built friendships and laid down some roots.

They know the area, and the kids are comfortable there, and it’s still a frugal way for the family to get away without breaking the budget.

The most significant investment was the upfront costs of buying the camper, which transitioned into purchasing an SUV to tow it around.

They have no complaints and look forward to packing up as often as they can during the UK summer months.

Since we’ve been married, we haven’t been camping; however, Mrs. CBB’s siblings continue to camp to escape the hectic city life.

“It was nice to leave everything behind for a couple of days just to be with friends and family and enjoy bonfires and laughter,” Mrs. CBB started doing in her teens.

Camping was not typical of my wife’s background as camping meant in the backyard with a BBQ and sleeping in your bed.

Road Trips and Food

Going on road trips and renting an inexpensive hotel or motel for the family became a family vacation tradition.

Related: Food to bring on a road trip to a theme park and hotel stay

“Most often, we would go to Niagara Falls and stay at a Motel just off the strip, which is still operational today.”

There were no fancy hotels with swimming pools in their budget because the money they saved for holidays went sightseeing and eating out.

They weren’t the family who would pack food to go because on holiday; they wanted to enjoy the not-so-common lifestyle they didn’t have back home.

how to build a campfire.
How To Start A Campfire

It wasn’t until Mrs. CBB’s sister’s boyfriend introduced the family to a local campground where his family had camped for years.

Although very hesitant, her father purchased a camper that he would tow with his truck.

There was an adjustment period but camping became a yearly ritual for the family until he started to get very ill.

He then sold the camper and resolved to camping in the back garden or go to local beaches in the surrounding area.

I did manage to chat with my family members for this blog post about camping food recipes because I wanted to know what people needed to stock up on before setting off.

Not all camping areas have full grocery stores available, and when they do, you will pay higher prices, especially in a remote location.

“It’s advisable to stock up on your kitchen essentials before you go camping,” my sister-in-law stresses because you want to stretch your money for the entire camping season.

The last thing you want to become is a lazy camper, which can be far more expensive unless you start hunting your food.

We all know that won’t happen for the average campers who would rather be part of the woods and not own them.

You should know how to build a fire just in case you find yourself in an emergency. Think Tom Hanks, Wilson and the movie Cast Away.

You never know, so having basic skill knowledge in the woods could benefit you.

How to build a campfire the right way

I remember crossing over to Manitoulin Island with my family back a few years ago, and it looked like an abandoned village, at least the part we drove through.

The area is where everyone went camping, but we didn’t see much of that.

I admit I was lost, but we did manage to stumble upon a petrol station out of the cowboy era and a local grocery store.

I realized that these small grocery stores earn profit from boosting the prices of everyday items.

Often, you’ll find the higher-end grocery stores in smaller towns for that reason.

If I remember correctly, Foodland came with a high price tag for groceries.

Related: Canada’s Most Expensive Grocery Stores

Sure, like every other grocery store, there will be sales, but with fewer options to shop elsewhere.

It’s the take it or leaves it type of grocery shopping trip.

Camping Food Ideas

Freeze Dried Camping food; dehydrated camping food is also a popular idea for campers who want to bring along foods they can keep in advance.

If you are in a tent, you likely won’t have a freezer to keep stuff cold, but coolers filled with ice packs and cubes work perfectly fine but don’t last long.

You’d have to keep filling them up as the ice melted.

Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are outstanding as they last longer and are portable.

I would freeze hubby’s stuff too and all the frozen stuff went into one cooler that he was to open once a day to take out that day’s food to thaw. Things stayed frozen fairly well.

Christine W.

Canadian Beef Jerky is the perfect snack to bring along camping for times when you’re sitting around enjoying a beer or beverage of choice and want something to nibble on.

There are so many camping snacks, but today I’m picking my favourites and those reasonably priced for Canadians looking to save money while enjoying their camping trip.

Campfire Food recipes also include cultural dishes.

S’mores, hotdogs, butter tarts, marshmallows, pancakes and beavertails are all Canadian food.

Now for the Filipino side, pork and chicken barbecue skewers, grilled corn and a host of other goodies.

When we go camping, it’s like a Fiesta every meal. Strange, but loads of fun!

Mona M. Facebook

Sample Camping Meals Menu

Camping Meals Menu- sample-1
Sample Camping Menu



I love camping and I guess I would bring a casserole of homemade lasagna!! With a side of beer sounds fantastic. – Laura N

Grilled Stuffed Peppers – Keto or Low Carb

Grilled Stuffed Peppers

Camping Dinner

  • Beans and Weenies
  • Campfire Donuts
  • Beverages of choice

Campfire Beans and Weenies

Campfire Beans and Weenies

Campfire Beans and Weenies Camping Food
Campfire Beans and Weiners

Campfire Donuts

Campfire Donuts

campfire donuts perfect for camping desserts
Campfire Donuts

Add any snacks that appeal to you!

Camping Snacks

  • Campfire Nachos
  • Chips, including Nacho chips
  • Trail Mix and Mixed Nuts or Nuts and Bolts
  • Breakfast bars
  • Protein bars
  • Beef Jerky
  • Dried fruits
  • Marshmallows

We would always roast marshmallows on sticks and try not to catch them on fire. I would usually burn my marshmallows black, lol

  • Cookies
  • Fresh fruits (watermelon, apples, oranges and pears are great options)
  • Rice Cakes
  • Crackers
  • Hard cheeses

Junk! Lots and lots of JUNK!Jo Anne B

You can’t go camping without hot dogs and all the S’mores ingredients.

Pioneer woman puts her snores ingredients into a split banana then wraps with foil.

It looked delicious and I want to try it this summer. We used to take those Jiffy Pop popcorn pans camping.

Donna P.

Toddler Trail Mix Camping Treat

Camping Toddler Mix

Camping Breakfast Ideas

  • Quesadillas are the ultimate breakfast, lunch or dinner for me and are super easy to fill, wrap and cook over a cacampfireInstant oatmeal or anything that you can add hot water.

BBQ Breakfast Scrambler Perfect For Camping

BBQ Breakfast Scrambler

BBQ Breakfast Scrambler

Camping French Toast

Camping French Toast is the perfect start to the morning, especially when it looks like this beauty from This Little Piglet.

Camping Campfire French Toast
Camping Campfire French Toast

Campfire Breakfast Burger

Campfire Breakfast Burger, which is perfect for making in your muffin tin

Campfire Breakfast Burger
Campfire Breakfast Burger

Campfire Bacon

You have to check out this Campfire Bacon and how easy it is to make!

campfire bacon camping meals
Campfire Bacon

Easy Camping Lunch Ideas

If you have a Dutch oven to use when camping, it’s essential to make sure that you are using the correct temperature before starting your meal.

Check out this informative Dutch Oven Temperature Chart for more info because it doesn’t hurt to know how to use cooking tools efficiently.

Hotdogs wrapped in crescent roll dough on a stick is an excellent idea for lunch because the dough is portable in the tube it comes in and inexpensive.

Simply wrap your hotdog with crescent dough, put it on your skewer and hang out by the fire pit. Just try not to burn it like you would a marshmallow.


Subscribe To the Canadian Budget Binder And Get My Exclusive CBB Emergency Binder FREE!

Mac and Cheese Or Instant Soups

I like to bring things pre-made or pre-assembled. Some of our favourites are bacon/egg/cheese wraps, farmer sausage perogie casserole, bacon wrapped cheese stuffed hot dogs, meatballs, marinated steak and then of course all the salads.

For special campfire stuff we have a pie maker that offerss endless possibilities such as grilled pizza sandwiches, grilled peanut butter and jam, pie filling pockets etc.

Banana boats and campfire popcorn are good too! Nachos with beef and cheese and all the toppings. Mmm, I’m hungry now! Samantha J.

This Mini Corn Dog muffin is ideal for adding to your camping food ideas, especially since it is simple enough to make and the cornbread mix is simple to prep ahead.

Hot Ham and Cheese Campfire Sandwiches

Hot Ham and Cheese campfire sandwiches will always be a hit, even for the kids.


Camping Dinner Ideas For The Whole Family

Camping meals can be as busy as you want them to be or as simple as these recipes I’ve chosen below.

Hawaiian Chicken Kebab

Hawaiian Chicken kebab

Hawaiian chicken kabobs Camping meals
Hawaiian chicken kabobs

My contribution would be beans from the can. When we camped with the children they loved to have hot dogs with a can of beans warmed over the fire.Bonnie B

Camping Mac n Cheese

Camping Mac n Cheese

Camping Mac n Cheese camping meals
Camping Mac n Cheese

My husband would take the ingredients for spaghetti, chili, hot dogs and hamburgers when he went camping.

Spaghetti was the first night and those leftovers rolled into chili and so on with him. – Christine W.

Adobo is a must have as there’s no need for refrigeration. Best eaten a day after cooking.

Pork and chicken barbecue on skewers are also great marinated at least overnight.

Rice is always on hand. Usually made into garlic fired rice for breakfast.

There’s an assortment of pork sausages, pork and chicken sweet meats (Tocino) and fried beef tapa (similar to jerky).

This is just a few of the kinds of food we bring for camping. Mona

Campfire Potatoes

Campfire Potatoes

campfire potatoes
Campfire Potatoes

Grilled Campfire Brussels with Whole Grain Mustard

Grilled Campfire Brussels with Whole Grain Mustard

Grilled Campfire Brussels with Whole Grain Mustard
Grilled Campfire Brussels with Whole Grain Mustard

One-Pot Beef Stroganoff

One-Pot Beef Stroganoff

One-Pot-Beef-Stroganoff- Camping Meals

Grilled Halloumi Tacos Low-Carb Keto

Grilled Halloumi Tacos Low-Carb

Grilled Halloumi Tacos Low-Carb Keto

Camping Dessert Ideas

bush pie recipe for camping
Bush Pie

Bush Pie

Bush pies have been a family favorite ever since I was a kid. Simple in design, “pie irons” allow you to make a toasted sandwich over a campfire by encapsulating the ingredients between two pieces of bread*.

The variety of bush pie ingredients is only limited by the imagination.

Bush Pie is a must with a campfire heck, and we even make it when we have a fire in our fire pit.- Colleen K.

Black Forest Bush Pie

S’mores Dip In Cones

campfire cones for camping desserts
Campfire S’mores Cones

Camping food- can’t forget the S’more cones– Patricia L.

Hip to Save has some delicious-looking Campfire S’mores too.

Camping Banana Boats

Campfire Banana Boats

campfire banana boats s'mores camping desserts
Campfire Banana Boats and S’mores Camping Desserts

Campfire Cinnamon Roll-Ups

Campfire Cinnamon Roll-ups

campfire cinnamon rollups
Campfire Cinnamon Rollups

Camping Beverage Ideas

camping sangria with fruit, wine and vodka
Camping Sangria
  • Alcohol, if permitted, Camping Sangria
  • Juice boxes, Pop, Water
  • Tea and Instant coffee (perhaps a kettle if you aren’t interested in waiting for a campfire or your brew)
  • Milk and other dairies if you have a refrigerator

Camping Food List

When creating your camping food list, only take the items you will use; otherwise, you will be taking up valuable space for other things you need.

Always consider that there may be an emergency where you will need extra food, or you decide to stay a bit longer.

In these instances, packing a bit more of what you will use doesn’t hurt if it costs more at a local grocery shop where you are camping.

Another thing to consider is where you will be storing your items. If a cooler is all you have, you may want to consider other methods for preparing food in advance.

Note: Read my Ultimate Costco Canada Keto Products Guide to see what products you can find at Costco for your camping trip.

Having an available refrigerator and freezer opens up more variety for your camping food list.

  1. Eggs, powdered eggs or dehydrated eggs
  2. Bacon
  3. Sliced bread or bread-making ingredients
  4. Cereal, instant oatmeal, cream of wheat
  5. Pancake mix
  6. Muffins
  7. Cookies
  8. Chocolate spread
  9. Nut butter
  10. Honey
  11. Salsa
  12. Snack bars and cakes
  13. Pickles or other pickled items
  14. Olives
  15. Cheese, cream cheese, Cheese Whiz etc.
  16. Bagels, Wraps, Tortillas, Pita bread, croissants
  17. Hot Dogs
  18. Beans, Beans and more beans canned or dry
  19. Broths
  20. Flour, Almond flour, coconut flour, Almond meal etc.
  21. Dehydrated meats
  22. Sausages
  23. Steak
  24. Chicken
  25. Canned Chicken or Ham
  26. Fish, Canned tuna and salmon
  27. Marshmallows
  28. Chocolate
  29. Graham Crackers
  30. Ice-cream cones
  31. Apples, Watermelon, Oranges, pears etc.
  32. Canned fruits
  33. Yogurts and Cheese
  34. Variety of vegetables carrots, celery, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, potatoes
  35. Pie filling
  36. Peanut Butter
  37. Jams and Jelly
  38. Condiments- Mayo, Ketchup, Relish, Mustard, BBQ sauce, Hot sauce etc.
  39. Health Foods
  40. Coffee Whitener
  41. Pasta
  42. Pasta sauce
  43. Chilli
  44. Milk/Cream/powdered milk/evaporated milk
  45. Instant noodles, pasta, soup etc.
  46. Canned tomatoes and tomato paste
  47. Water
  48. Cocoa, Instant hot chocolate
  49. Fats- Butter, Oil, Lard, Coconut oil etc.
  50. Syrups
  51. Snack items

Camping Bits n Bobs

You will need to stock your camp kitchen essentials before heading off to camp, and REI Co-op has an exclusive list that I’ve chosen to share with you.

Campfire foods I love are smokies on a stick, pizza sandwiches made with the sandwich makers you can buy for campfires.

I put pizza sauce, pepperoni and cheese in mine, also good with cherry or apple pie filling.

Tammy B

Camping Pancake Mix Hack

pancake mix camping hack
Pancake Mix in a plastic bottle for Camping

Plenty of campers have hacked the system and know of ways you can create delicious food without all the fuss.

Using tinfoil is not only one popular method to cook potatoes but so is cracking eggs before you leave home and securing them in a container.

Pinterest Pin- Pancake Mix Hack in a ketchup bottle

My daughter’s favourites are pizza sandwiches, dough boys, and tacos in a bag. She also likes banana boats. Girl Guide camp food is quite good.Susan D.

I’m more than sure that all of you have other camping food ideas and hacks that you would love to share with the CBB community, so please take a moment to leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading,


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  1. APRIL 30 – MAY 6
    Yearly Budget for 1 Adult $2400 or $200/mo
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $200

    -4 Neoguri Instant Noodles (@0.67 each) $2.68
    -PC Chips $1.86
    -PC Penne Rigate $1.27
    -PC Spaghettini $1.27
    -Unico Crushed Tomatoes $0.97
    -Chapman’s Yukon Ice Cream Bars $4.17
    -Sourdough English Muffin $1.00
    Gift Card Used $
    Total Out of Pocket $13.22

    -Spicy Olive Oil/Balsamic Vinegar dipper $12
    -Honey $5
    -1lb Oyster Mushrooms $4
    -Lunch $11
    Total Out Of Pocket $32.00

    Total Gift Cards used to date: $41.21
    Total Rewards used to date: $42.61
    PC Optimum Points Balance: 2130
    PC Optimum Points Redeemed: 0
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

    Checkout51- $6.95

    Total to spend this month : $200
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $0
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0
    Total in-store discounts to date: $0
    Total spent this week: $45.22
    Total spent so far this month: $45.22
    Total over/Under spend this shop ($40/wk): Wk1 Over $5.22
    Total left to spend for the month: $$154.78
    Total Spent To Date 2018: Jan $217.46 + Feb $127.79 + Mar $124.18 + Apr $121.50

  2. MAY – Week #1 of 5- Apr 30-May 6, 2018


    •Total Grocery Budgeted For Year: $190.00 x 12 = $2,280.00 for 2 adults



    Before we start our MAY shopping off though, I am going to make my usual monthly “reserve” transfers:


    $ 190.00 for the month
    ($ 15.01) Overage from April
    ($ 69.99) trf to re-stocking – normally $15.00
    ($ 15.00) trf to holiday reserve–normally 15.00
    ($ 15.00) trf to summer reserve–normally 15.00
    ($ 5.00) trf to US Reserve –normally $45.00

    CANADIAN Grocery Balance $70.00

    Our local farmer’s markets are starting up again so I expect we’ll be shopping using the re-stocking and the summer reserves so $70.00 will be more than enough for standard purchases this month.


    This week’s shop is based on sales, earning Optimum Points and Air Miles.

    This will bring our Air Miles to over 1,000 points and guarantee our Gold status for another year. Yippee! As a result, we’ll switch over to using our STARWOOD AMEX card for the rest of 2018 and earn SPG points for our future vacations. 🙂




    12 Roma Tomatoes @ $0.98/lb = $2.33
    1 bag Nugget Potatoes @ $0.58/lb = $1.08



    No Frills – Maple Ridge

    No Frills – Larry’s card Get 2,000 when you spend $20 on Produce

    1 x 2lb Carrots $1.47
    1 Whole Seedless Watermelon $4.97
    6 English Cucumbers $0.97 ea = $5.82
    1 pkg of 4 Corn on the Cob $3.97
    1 Ginger $0.22
    1 Bok Choy @ $0.67/lb = $1.29
    2 Mushrooms $5.94
    8 Cheez Whiz 900g $5.97 ea = 47.76



    ** Earned 0 Optimum Points on this shop for Mary **
    ** Earned 2000 Optimum Points on this shop for Larry **


    Safeway – Maple Ridge

    2 Celery
    1 Compliments Sausage 1Kg
    1 Compliments Imitation Crab 227 g
    1 x 4L Lucerne Whole Milk
    1 x 907g Cracker Barrel Old Cheddar
    1 Compliments 320g Shredded Medium Cheddar
    1 x 125-150 Boursin Cheese
    2 Garlic Spread
    2 x Barilla GF Penne
    1 can Compliments Salted Cashews
    1 Diet Sprite 2L
    1 Clamato 1 Apple Cider Vinegar
    2 Harvest Thick Sliced Bacon $15.99 ea – RAIN CHECK


    ** Earned 262 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    No Frills – Maple Ridge – Larry’s Optimum Card

    4 No Name Whole Dill Pickles $2 ea
    12 Ocean’s Chunk Light Tuna in water $1 ea
    6 Flakes of Chicken @ $1 ea
    2 Pkg Dinner Rolls @ $1.99 ea
    5 Betty Crocker Cake Mixes @ $1 ea
    2 PC Chicken Pot Pies @ $9.99 ea
    2 pkg NN Corn Chips @ $1.49 ea


    ** Earned 0 Optimum Points on this shop for Mary **
    ** Earned 0 Optimum Points on this shop for Larry **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    4 x 100% WW Bread $1.00 ea

    GROCERY OOP: $4.00

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $5.56 Loyalty Savings on this shop **






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $154.70

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 88 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year: 397 Air Miles

    •Total PC Optimum Points Earned This Year: 11,900 Points



    $ 950.00 Grocery Budget JAN-MAY


    ($ 845.43) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 145.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund

    $ 237.59 Holiday Season Fund + $270 PC Optimum Points ($230 Mary + $40 Larry) + $10 Dream Air Miles + $50 Save On Foods More Rewards ($25 Mary + $25 Larry) = $552.59

    $ 687.50 Summer Season Fund

    $ 611.87 US Shopping Reserve

    $ 88.80 GGC Savings Reserve

    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,771.26. This means the 1,761.30 that we carried forward from 2017 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $612.27 that we have added in 2018, LESS $602.31 that we have drawn out for use in 2018.


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