You feel like you’ve finally gotten a hang of your healthy eating habits at home and you want to ditch the kitchen and head into the wilderness for camping? You’re wondering what to eat when camping, camping recipes, best backpacking foods when when you go for a hike; you may be a vegetarian which now means you are looking into vegetarian camping foods and so many concerns to make sure you don’t fall off the track. Here are some super simple answers to these conundrums, while some of your easy camping meals can be prepped at home and simply heated up while at camp.
What should I make for breakfast?
If you have read some of my other blogs or follow me on social media you know I am a big fan of overnight oats. This meal falls into most meal plans and is easy to make at home and take along with you for any journey (overnight oats are better used for car camping vs backpacking due to weight). When doing oats for either home or camping I recommend using mason jars to the size of the serving, they are easy to store and re-use and you can easily throw them in your cooler or even in a separate lunch box cooler without taking up too much space.
- 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (almond, oat, coconut, organic cow)
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- Optional – Cinnamon, 1 tbsp nut butter, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1 scoop superfoods.
Let sit overnight and enjoy!
This is the simple recipe I always use, but a fellow blogger, Chocolate Covered Katie, has a great list of other fun ways to spice up your oats here.
While bars are not necessarily a sufficient meal, mixed with a proper serving of fruit, they can be. They are great for backpacking when it comes to carrying weight, they can also be used as a light snack or perhaps lunch but again paired with perhaps an avocado or fruit. When I did a 1900 mile bike-packing trip I took my BeachBars with me and they were a lifesaver.
Dutch Oven + Breakfast Skillets
These recipes I am about to share don’t necessarily have to be cooked in a dutch oven, but I do believe that is the perfect cooking device for camping. We also have a Coleman camp stove so this could be made in an “outdoor kitchen” with regular pots and pans.
Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs and Kale
This is a recipe from the Fixate program I follow. I get many recipes from this program and then modify them to what is easy when camping.
- 2 8oz sweet potatoes peeled and diced
- 1/2 of a red onion sliced thin
- 3 cloves garlic sliced thin
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 3 tsp olive oil or coconut oil
- Sea salt + black pepper to taste
In a large frying pan heat olive or coconut oil at a medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add in the sweet potatoes, let cook until golden brown on the side that is in contact with the pan. Flip and continue cooking until all sides are golden brown. This should take about 5-7 min. Then add in the onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin. Cook for another 3-5 minutes until onions and garlic are browned.
In a medium saucepan make 2 eggs.
In the frying pan sauté 1 cup of kale and chives.
Mix the kale & chives with 1/2 cup of the sweet potato hash. Then top with the eggs.
If making in a dutch oven, use medium heat. Add the oil and all ingredients minus kale and eggs in first. Allow to cook, while stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. When the onions are more clear and potatoes are golden, add the eggs and kale then cook eggs to the texture of your liking. Serving size: 2 eggs per person, 1/2 cup potatoes per person.
Asparagus Pancetta Skillet Hash
Fresh Off The Grid is one of my favorite blogs and they have a ton of camping and backpacking recipes. Here is one of my favorite breakfast recipes.
- 2 Servings
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium potato, peeled if desired, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 oz pancetta, diced (we use the pre-diced pancetta from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 2 eggs
COOK THE POTATOES: Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat on your stovetop or on a grate over your campfire. Once the oil is hot, add the potatoes in an even layer. Cook for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally so that all sides have a chance to brown until the potatoes are beginning to turn golden.
COOK THE ASPARAGUS & PANCETTA: Add the asparagus, pancetta, garlic, and the sea salt to the skillet. Continue cooking an additional 8-10 minutes, until the pancetta is crispy and the asparagus is cooked through and tender.
FRY THE EGGS: Push the hash to the side to create a well in the middle of the skillet. Crack the eggs into the well and cook them to your desired doneness (I cover the skillet and cook for 3 minutes to achieve a firm white and runny yolk).
SERVE: Serve immediately, either in the skillet to share, or divided between two plates.
What about lunch and dinner recipes for camping?
This is where you can get creative and make simple traditional camping meals or get a little fancy. I feel many of these recipes could be used interchangeably for both lunch and dinner. Some easy pre-made options you can easily make at home and bring with you are deli sandwiches, PB&J, veggie wraps, or pre-made salads. Trader Joe’s and many grocery stores often have some pretty delicious and healthy pre-packaged foods.
This may be as simple as it gets when it comes to camping.
- Hot Dogs – I highly recommend getting an organic hot dog if you plan to do a traditional dog. If not you can also get a chicken sausage or any type of link that is organic and humanely sourced. Vegan or veggie dogs are a great option here too.
- Chili – I like to get any Amy’s brand chili. They have meat, vegan, and vegetarian options.
- Cheese – optional (again it is important to get an organic cheese or a vegan option – Daiya tends to melt well)).
- Buns – (gluten-free or organic) also optional, you can serve naked dogs to keep it low carb!
For this, we like to simply put the dogs on skewers and roast them over the fire.
To cook the chili you can use your camp stove and heat or put in a pan and heat over a grate on the fire.
Assemble by adding the dog to a bun or not, add chili, and potentially cheese.
Lentil Pasta with Mock Meat or Ground Grass-fed Beef or Turkey
This lovely meal was discovered while bike-packing the Continental Divide Trail last summer, so it could easily be done car camping or bike/back-packing.
- Lentil pasta
- 1 package mock meat
- Sea salt + pepper
Optional Ingredients if car camping- onions, mushrooms, peppers, sauce
If doing lightweight camping just keep it simple.
On your camp stove, simply cook the lentils in your travel camp pot, drain water, add mock meat and stir until mock meat is heated, then add salt and pepper.
If you are car camping, you can saute any wanted vegetables and sauce and use that to mix with your meat of choice to add to the lentils.
4 Bean Camp Chili
This is a recipe I came up with years ago that I made at home in a large pot and packed with us for car camping and then just heated up at camp. This is one of those meals that could be made at home or fresh at camp depending on your set up.
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can pinto beans
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 yellow/sweet onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tbsp Olive/Coconut oil
- Chili Powder
- Smoked Paprika
- Salt + Pepper
- 1 jalapeno pepper (optional)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (optional)
- Ground Turkey (optional)
In a large pot heat oil on medium heat, add garlic, chopped onion, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini. Once the vegetables start to soften add all of the cans of beans. Add all spices to taste. To make the meal even hardier you can add 1 cup of pre-cooked quinoa. If you are adding the meat option of turkey you can saute` that in a pan with smoked paprika and salt then add to the mixture.
Is Dessert Ok?
And for dessert, I will leave you with my favorite which I cannot take credit for at all…Banana Boats! Fresh Off The Grid once again provides many fun options for this one.
Thanks for reading I hope this information was useful and finds you in a space of heart. I’m just me Sarah Roberts (Savino), MSW, RYT200, TBB Coach founder of team Indie Sols, figuring out what works for me and sharing it with you in hopes that it will make some positive changes for you as well! As always if you have any direct questions or want personal consultation for anything you can reach me at my email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me through any of my social media: Facebook.com/sarah.savino IG- the_fit_philanthropist
Love and Light Always
“Sarah Savino is my recommended Wellness and Nutrition Coach who resides in Colorado but has a community of clients she guides and manages nationally. She has her frequent retreats that her clients are encouraged but not required to attend and someone who knows first hand how it is to be overworked and overweight. She is a living truth that once within the right community and with the right guide, everything is possible- Dr. Shakib your Irvine Chiropractor