June 22, 2015

Tips for Planning a Camping Menu

One of the hardest parts of planning a camping trip is trying to figure out the menu. What can we prep in advance? What will keep? How much do we need? So many questions. A lot of people get turned off from camping because it is not something usually associated with good food. Hot dogs, marshmallows and more hot dogs usually fill the menu because they're easy.

We like to turn it up a notch when we're camping. Yes, we may do the standard sausages over the fire, buuutttt our camping menu also comes with plenty of other tasty options. How can you do the same? Follow these 10 tips for planning a delicious camping menu.

tips for camping menu planning

1. Plan ahead.
Write a detailed list of what you will be eating for each meal. This will also help when grocery shopping for the trip.

2. Choose meals that travel well.
How will you transport the food? How much space do you have? Choose menu items that don't take up a lot of space, or can be packed tight, get banged up and stored in light weight containers. You want food that won't spoil easily or leak in the cooler.

3. Be wary of the equipment.
Choose meals that do not require a lot of equipment to make, such as cooking stoves, pots and pans. If you can't avoid bringing a certain piece of equipment, make sure that it is utilized for every meal.

4. Wash, chop and store ahead of time.
You don't want to spend your mornings chopping while you're camping, so do it ahead of time to save the hassle. Put the prepped items in labeled ziplock bags or containers.

5. Marinade and freeze meals ahead of time.
If you're doing any type of meat, pour into a large freezer bag with the marinade and freeze. Not only will this marinade the meat, but freezing it will also help it stay colder for longer.

6. Put condiments in smaller containers.
Need ketchup, mustard or mayo? Instead of bringing the whole honkin' bottle, why not squeeze the amount you need into a smaller container to save space? Or, stock up on condiment packets the next time you hit up a fast food restaurant. The same goes with salt and pepper.

7. Aluminum foil is your friend. 
Make sure to have a  roll or two handy on your trip. Foil can be used to wrap up leftovers, to keep food warm, or to even cook food in the hot coals.

8. Take advantage of leftovers.
Incorporate leftovers into the next day's meal. For example, add leftover sausages or hot dogs to a breakfast burrito, or turn leftover bbq chicken into a chicken salad sandwich for lunch.

9. Be creative.
Just because you plan on cooking all of your food over the fire, doesn't mean you're limited to what you can cook. Ah, the power of aluminum foil. Get creative!

10. Be flexible.
Sometimes camping can be unpredictable - animals, weather, etc. may throw a wrench in your plans. Make sure you secure your food properly so it  is safe from animals, and cover any firewood if rain is predicted so that it stays dry. In the event that something does happen, prepare to abandon your camping menu and be able to think on your toes. 

Hopefully these tips and recipes have inspired you to want to go camping, or in the least, shown you that camping food isn't all that bad. You just have to get creative.

Do you have any other camping menu planning tips? 

Happy Summer Solstice! Use code 'solstice50' for 50% OFF all Small Town ad space.

Enjoy this post? Check out more from my Camping Month series:
Favourite Camping Memories
10 Reasons to Go Camping
Favourite Camping Gadgets
Celebrate Dad with Energizer Headlight
Talking Camping // Sponsor Spotlight
Camping With Your Dog



  1. I'm not a camper but your series is making it sound like so much fun!

  2. Comprehensive my dear. I think you got it all!


I would love to hear from you!

Blog Design Created by pipdig