Healthy camping food ideas
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We are big camping fans in our family. While camping there are some impressive health benefits, it’s also very fun and a great bonding experience. Planning healthy camping food for our camping and backpacking trips is one of the essentials of any camping trip. Here are some easy camping meals for your next trip.
Healthy camping meals for the whole family
Summer adventures are a favorite of our family. All year long, we plan road trips, visits with family and friends, cultural trips, and one of our favorites is camping. Camping takes a lot of planning, especially when you’re traveling with kids. Even more so when camping with a baby or really small people (not so easy!).
While planning healthy food purchases while traveling is second nature to me, planning healthy foods while camping is more of a learning method. Luckily, many of our family favorites can be prepared in advance to make preparing food in the wild that much simpler.
Supplies for Camping Recipes
Our family does not do “glamping”, aka comfortable RV with all amenities. Chances are you’ll see us walking for miles in the woods, each carrying our backpacks with all supplies. Even if you’re not that kind of camper, you’ll need a few essential cooking supplies for your next camping trip.
For shorter camping trips or backpacking adventures, you may not want to carry coolers and ice around. Even so, since there is no refrigerator in the wild, it can sometimes be useful for storing cold drinks, meats, and other refrigerated items.
Cast iron pan and oven
One cast iron oven for camping similar to that in my kitchen but without the glaze. Almost anything you can bake in the oven or cook on the stovetop at home can be done with one of these Dutch ovens.
Of course, you will find a cast iron pan in my kitchen, but it does double duty on the campsite. These are great for camping breakfasts like scrambled eggs with bell peppers and cilantro. Then pull it out for dinner and make some black bean and beef burritos with tortillas.
Cast iron pot
These handy double-sided cookers are commonly used for sandwiches and French toast, but you can also cook healthy dishes with them or vegetables like zucchini and sweet potatoes. They’re not absolutely necessary, but can be great if you have them on hand.
This goes over the top of the campfire so you can place the pot or pan on it. You can also cook healthy recipes, such as meats and vegetables, directly on the griddle the way you would with any other grill. This granite grill lifetime warranty.
Stainless steel pot
This is a lighter weight option for camp foods and is great when you’re building something that doesn’t work as well out of cast iron. You can use them to make soup or to boil eggs. This stainless steel pots no nickel.
Package of foil
This is a really popular choice because you can wrap something in foil and place it in charcoal or ash to cook. While I don’t recommend aluminum foil (because it washes metal into food), there are a few options here. Sometimes I’ll wrap the food in parchment first, then wrap it in aluminum. While it makes it easy to clean, almost anything you can put in foil will also work in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven (my preference).
Another item that’s not really necessary, but some people like them. Although I love to cook over an open campfire, a camping stove can be helpful sometimes. If you don’t have access to firewood or are camping in an area where burning is prohibited (due to unsafe conditions), a camp stove is the best option for you. Keep in mind that you’ll need to bring enough propane tanks for cooking if you’re using a camp stove.
Just as some of us like to eat with our fingers, utensils are a good commodity to have on hand. We use these to serve, stir and eat food. Here are some options:
- Large wooden or metal spoon
- Metal Ladle
- Spoon, fork and Knives (I love these 3 in 1 utensil)
- Metal skewers for barbecue
Healthy camping food
Our family is known for cooking up a rabbit we caught on the trail or steaming some fish from a nearby lake. Although we do a lot of survival camping meals, it helps to prepare food in advance as well. So we can have an accompaniment of quinoa with chickpeas and a drizzle of olive oil with our fresh-caught fish.
Here are some ideas for packing lists for family camping trips!
Healthy Camping Food Meal Ideas
Some of these recipes work best if you have a little bit of prep work in place. I don’t really want to carry a pantry full of baking ingredients to a campsite. However, it was easy to cook up a batch of cookies, muffins or granola bars before we set off on our trip. And recipes that call for a baking sheet work well in a cast-iron or oven-baked oven, too.
Most of these recipes are written for the stove or oven, but they can be easily converted into campfire food. Simply use your pot, cast iron pan or grill as needed.
While I’m not a big sweets fanatic, sometimes it’s nice to end the day with a (healthy!) snack.
There are so many delicious, healthy camping food ideas out there that it’s hard to narrow it down to a camping trip! Hopefully, this list gives you some new meals to try on your next adventure.
What’s your camping food? Anything else you want to add to this list?