If you have wild camped before, you’ll know that you must leave some everyday luxuries at home. One thing no one wants to cut down on is nice warm meals. A good meal after a long day of hiking can lift your mood and help you build a good foundation for the coming days. However, it’s hard knowing exactly what to pack to keep you satisfied and fuelled up for your time outdoors.
Most of the time, people place their focus on choosing the best gear, forgetting that they need to consume the right number of calories to be able to carry said gear. Therefore, planning and packing the right food before setting off is key. The goal is to strike the right balance between calorie-dense, yet lightweight foods that are tasty and easy to prepare. To help you get this balance right, we’ve made a list of some great camping foods and snacks to consider taking with you.
Before you go:
Make sure you have enough gas/fuel for your cook system and ensure you have something to light it. We suggest taking at least 2 lighters, so you are covered.
Pack meals that make you happy! Looking forward to a meal at the end of the day is a great morale booster.
Set a good foundation – eat well before your camping trip. Camping food doesn’t contain the same number of carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins as what you are used to.
Work out how many calories you will burn and pack enough food to cover it. The best way of doing this is using a hiking calorie estimator.
Dehydrated or freeze-dried camping food – They are available in a variety of different flavours and suit dietary requirements – ideal for any type of diet.
Wok Noodles – Add these straight into your pan with some sauce for a quick meal. You can put them in your pack without having to worry about them.
Pre-cooked Sausage – Great for adding a bit of protein to your meals. Peperami is a good choice for this.
Pasta in Sauce – A simple but tasty meal. Boil the pasta and the freeze-dried sauce for a quick and easy meal.
Ready Rice – You won’t have a microwave, but you can simply use your stove to heat the rice up.
Couscous – Like rice, couscous is fast and easy to prepare.
Tinned tuna or corned beef – Good source of protein and great for adding flavour to your meals. Just make sure the tins are enough for one meal as you don’t want to put an open tin back in your bag.
Dried mashed potato mix – Just add water and you’re good to go.
Pita bread or naan bread – Super versatile as they can be used for nearly any meal. You also don’t have to worry about them being squished in your bag.
Hard cheese – You can’t go wrong with a bit of cheese!
Powdered milk – All you need to do is add water and you have milk. Great for breakfast or a brew when you are having a break from hiking.
Porridge – Sachets of porridge are great – add some dried fruit, nuts and some honey to make it taste even better.
Cereal bars – A great energy booster during the day, ideal for when you don’t have time to stop.
Kendal Mint Cake – A durable energy bar, great for the times you need a rapid boost of energy.
Things to leave at home:
Fresh fruit – Fresh fruit can be a treat when you are out camping, but often the fruit will get squashed in your bag and no one likes squashed fruit.
Anything that will go off or go bad – It just adds useless weight to your bag and might make you sick when you’re out in the wilderness.
Vegetables – They will get squashed and are a poor source of calories taking up valuable space in your bag.
Heavy packaging – Leave anything that comes in heavy packaging at home. If it’s a must-have, then put it in a different container or a zip-lock bag to save weight.
Now that you have a better idea of what camping food and snacks to take with you, all that is left to do is to go shopping. The list is a good starting point but don’t feel like you can only take the items on the list. You can add your own snack or foods to the list, just make sure to take lots of high-calorie snacks to keep you fuelled up. Before setting off, make sure all your cooking equipment is complete and in working order.
Need a refresher on wild camping tips and rules? Then check out our wild camping guide, perfect for beginners or anyone wanting to put their wild camping knowledge to the test!
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