Camping Food Checklist – Essential Foods to Take Camping

When you’re going camping there are usually physical activities involved such as fishing, hiking or playing games with fellow campers. In addition to this, being out in the fresh air has a way of making your appetite grow. Food seems to taste better camping as well. You’ll need to pack all the essentials for proper nutrition and enjoyment of your trip. To help you pack everything you’ll need, we’ve developed a camping food checklist as a guide to some of the more important items you won’t want to be without.

Camping Food Checklist – Essential Foods to Take Camping


You will need to get an extra helping of proteins if you plan on being more active than usual. Some traditional camping foods that contain proteins are all beef hot dogs, brats or sausage, bacon, eggs, hamburger, steaks or chicken. Peanut butter, almonds, peanuts and other tasty nuts are also good to have along.

Ways to use proteins

Of course you can’t leave chili off the list. This gives you a big dose of protein and you can use it to make chili dogs for a change for lunch or dinner. Bacon and eggs or sausage are great for breakfast if you want to go all out. Bring some jelly and sandwich bread along to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a tasty snack in between meals. You can also snack on a handful of nuts to keep your hunger at bay til meal time or to get a quick burst of energy. Grilled hamburgers, steak or smoked sausage are great breakfast meats. You can cook hot dogs over an open campfire for lunch or for an easy dinner.


Bananas are one of the top essentials on the list of camping foods. They give you fast energy and a healthy dose of protein. They’re great eaten alone or sliced on a peanut butter sandwich for a quick camp snack. Apples, pears and oranges are also tasty and healthy energy snacks. While fresh fruit is always better than processed, you may consider bringing along some pre-packaged fruit mixtures which are sold in 6 packs. Some of them even have jello.

fruits in a bowl


Bread is a camp staple because there are so many different things you can do with it. It’s great for making sandwiches or for grilled cheese camp sandwiches to go with your chili. You can also make toast over the fire to go with your bacon and eggs in the morning or make French Toast for a sweet and tasty breakfast, just don’t forget the maple syrup. If your bread gets stale on the trip you can use it to feed the birds and local wildlife for entertainment. In the same family as bread, if you’re a cereal fan, bring some along for when you want a fast and easy breakfast. You could even bring frozen waffles or a pancake mix if you have a camp griddle.

bread baked


There is a big variety of healthy nutrition bars on the market. They are packed with nutrients, they taste good and they are small enough to carry with you when you want a quick snack. Buy a box of your favorites to keep on hand just in case you need a quick boost on a hiking excursion. You can find them in a variety of grains, fruits, berries and some even come with chocolate.



If you’re a fan of scrambled eggs, you’ll need to have a splash of milk to make them light and fluffy. You may also enjoy having cheese available to snack on. It goes really well with chili, crackers, fruits or for making grilled cheese sandwiches.

milk and yogurt dairy


Graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate are requirements for making smores. The larger marshmallows are easier to cook over the campfire and they cover a bigger area of the graham cracker when they’re hot.

marshmallows on campfire


If you’re not near a potable water source, bring plenty for drinking, washing and food preparation. There is no substitute for water in preventing dehydration. Drink plenty while you’re camping, especially if the weather is warm enough to make you perspire.

portable water bottles


Juices are the healthier alternative to soda, but don’t forget to bring your cooler stuffed with your favorite beverages. This includes juice, soda, instant coffee, tea and don’t forget the sports drinks to keep you hydrated.

beverage on camping


Finally, after packing the salt, pepper and grilling spices, include your favorite condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup and barbecue sauce.

condiments and seasoning for food

Final thoughts

These are the essential foods that you’ll need for camping. Of course, you may have a few substitutions that you’d like to make, but this is something to get you going and thinking about the most important foods to take along on your camping trip.

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