One of the toughest parts about planning a camping trip is the food. Making sure everyone has plenty to eat (and that the food is actually good) can be difficult. But it shouldn't have to be! With our 10 pre-camping meal planning tips, you'll be on your way to delicious fireside meals in no time.
1. Our first tip is making sure you plan as many non-perishable meals as possible. Your cooler will only keep foods good for so long, so it's important to pack foods that won't spoil easily. Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods don't require any refrigeration, so stock up!
2. If you do have some more perishable items, plan to eat those meals first. If you've packed foods that you know won't last, eat them on your first couple of nights. That way, you won't have to worry about wasting any food.
3. Check the weather! If it's going to be hot, you probably won't want a lot of hot foods for lunches. Try going with colder lunches like chips and sandwiches or salads for warmer weather. If it gets colder later, you can always have the nice warm meals for dinner.
4. How do you plan to cook? A camping stove, a grill, over the fire? Make sure to plan meals that will be easy to cook using your method of choice. For instance, you might have a hard time cooking your mac and cheese over a fire without the proper equipment. However, foil packet dinners are perfect for campfire cooking.
5. Plan foods that cook quickly. Proteins like shrimp, thin sliced meats, or even pre-cooked meats are great options. Quick boiling pasta (we're looking at you ramen noodles) are also good. When everyone is hungry, the last thing you want is to be stuck waiting on foods to cook for 20 minutes.
6. Make sure to pack some on-the-go options that don't require a lot of prep. I know I've already mentioned sandwiches once, but they're a great fast lunch option. It's always nice when you've got a full day ahead to be able to skip all the meal prep.
7. Do as much food prep at home as you can. Wash and slice veggies, mix sauces and seasonings, and do whatever else you can to make less work for later. You can even pre-cook some foods that will take longer to spoil like rice and pasta. If you'd like anything marinaded, it's much easier to start this process at home!
8. Don't skimp on breakfast. There's nothing like a good camping breakfast. You'll get a full, hot meal to start your busy day. As long as you've got a cooler, you can bring bacon, eggs, and cheese for a delicious breakfast sandwich. If you're looking for a less perishable option, I love a goo oatmeal for breakfast. You can pick up all kinds of flavored or unflavored oatmeals packets at your favorite grocery store. They'll keep outside the cooler and take up almost no space once they're out of the box.
9. Bring snacks! As a habitual snacker, I can't stress this one enough. When you're out hiking, kayaking, sightseeing, or swimming all day long, three meals doesn't always seem like enough. Bring along some granola bars or protein bars for on the go snacks. For campsite snacks, having sliced veggies with dip always hits the spot.
10. Bring the right cooking equipment. Always double check that you have all the utensils and tools you'll need to make your cooking experience easy. Ever gone to grill up some burgers only to find you forgot your spatula? It's no fun. So be sure to make sure that all your cooking tools are in order.
And those are our ten tips for camping meal planning. Do you have any tips you adhere to when camping? Let us know in the comments below!