We reached out to top outdoors camping, hunting, kayaking and canoeing experts to share their top 3 easy camping meal recommendations when heading for a short camping trip. The responses I received (both in breadth and length) have surpassed my expectation.
Most, if not all, experts carry freeze dried ready-to-eat meals, as they are easy to make and nutritious, with the following being the most popular picks:
In additional to some freeze-dried meal packs (which you should always carry just in case), it's always fun to be creative and cook actual meals on your rest stops.
For more specific recipes and food suggestions to add to your trips, check out the below camping meal ideas. I know I will be using quite a few of these recipes on my next camping trip.
Crista Lash | peacelovequinoa.com
I received a very kind email from Crista on how much she enjoyed reading this post and the ideas it gave her for her next camping trip. As soon as I realized she is a foodie and outdoorsy, I knew I had to ask her to send over her own favorite recipes.
Besides these three delicious treats she has a ton more recipes (including desserts) on her own site, so definitely check them out!
My favorite camping recipes:
Paul Osborn | theoutdooradventure.net
Here are three of the easiest meals I personally recommend:
Bramley Johnson | modernhikercom
Bram is an ultralight backpacker. When it comes to his outdoor meals he likes to pack it light in weight but not in flavor. Read his full reply here for additional details on each of his options below:
Arthur Holtman | crossbowcritic.com
We like to keep it simple when we go crossbow hunting. But if all else fails, we always catch a fish incase we come back empty handed.
Mark Herzfeldt | anglersandarrows.com
Heather Balogh | justacoloradogal.com
I'm not the fanciest, but here are some backpacking meals that I love:
Clint Carlson (Camping Strategist) | 50campfires.com
Here are three delicious recipes that are pretty easy to prepare:
Alannah Gamblin | thecampsiteblog.com
I tend to pre bake, pre-package food in multiple ziplock and lay flat! I usually do all my food from scratch - for me, I love this part of prepping for trips!
I boil water on campfire to make mashed potatoes and the gravy. I cook the tinfoil package with the meat and veggies in it over the fire. Then I toss the cooked packet over the mashed potatoes and top with gravy!
Dessert - Chocolate fondue!!
Taran Tyla | goseakayakblog.com
Well, it would depend on the length of the trip:
As for accompaniments, always cous cous, easy to cook, uses little water & easy to carry! Breakfast is always Porridge oats, not just on trips 😉
Ginni Callahan | kayaktravel.blogspot.com
Outdoor meals are often inspired by what's available for ingredients, and most of my camping has been in Mexico. Here are 3 favorites that would be good north or south of the border.
Flex Maslan | kayakfari.com
I've actually written a story on kayak camp cooking: Tasty & Quick Cooking
When thinking of weekend kayak camping trip meals, I'm thinking of the of nutrition for the whole trip, and I'll summarize below.
I like to keep things very simple so I bring plenty of fresh fruit to snack on. At a minimum some bananas, apples or pears, oranges, and sometimes mangoes.With the fruit I usually eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or energy bar.
For dinner in camp I'll bring out some fresh vegetables like zucchini, squash, eggplant, maybe potatoes, brussels sprout, cauliflower or broccoli florets, peppers, plus onions and garlic. Almost any combination of at least three of these plus the onions or garlic is usually enough. Nuts like cashews can be added as well! I mix in some canned seafood like octopus, mussels, or squid. The veggies are cooked in the oil from the seafood can(s) for extra flavor. It's a satisfying meal!
Note: If you are into kayaking more than just its recreational purposes, and are actually interested in fitness and adventures, definitly check out Flex's KayakFari!
Walter Mayo | paddlenc.com
The reply I received from Walter was beyond my expectations. Because of that, I have decided to submit his response in full as its own separate article, complete with precise ingredients to use, where to get them, and why it is so important to eat well in the great outdoors.
The following is the tail end of his reply, so please check out the complete response here.
So a typical menu for me might look like this the first full day out:
Ingeborg Swart | purecottongrass.com
All of these meal ideas are based on a situation where you have no fridge at hand and may have to take the food with you for the entire weekend. So no perishable or vulnerable goods are involved in these outdoor meals.
My own favourite when it comes to wrap fillings is to spread peanut butter on a wrap, cover half of it with slices banana, swirl some cinnamon and honey on top and then fold it closed. But that is more of a lunch recipe I guess.
Lawrence | simplyhill.com
Andrew Elizaga | Dash Point Pirate
I like to pack light because I usually paddle in a low volume kayak and don't go out for longer than a week, so I try to keep meals simple.
Barry Kalpinski & Timothy Bauer | milespaddled.com
In general, we like to split meals on longer trips for ease, practicality and the fun of cooking together. It makes the meal experience easier since each person only has to bring one course and cook one thing. And since we all carry single burner stoves, this is a more practical way of cooking everything at one time. This is especially ideal for breakfast situations. One person brings shelf-stable bacon, another brings farm fresh eggs (which keep longer) and another brings pancake batter in a mini-jug.
Fiona Russell | fionaoutdoors.co.uk
Mike Jackson | mhjpaddling.blogspot.com
Kim Dinan | so-many-places.com
I can answer your questions but I'm afraid I'm the worst backcountry cook of all time. So my answers are:
I just camped for 7 months and I ate those simple camping meals twice a week each.
Jonny Duncan | backpackingman.com
I always eat any meat element at the end of the day as the protein is better used to help the body after exercise.
Candice Walsh | candicedoestheworld.com
Tom Holtley | topkayaker.net
Tom was kind enough to include detailed explanation and instructions for each meal he recommended. Read the full article here.
Simon Willis | seakayakpodcasts.com
Forget easy camp meals, Simon goes all out with his food strategies for camping. You can read the whole story here (Its well worth the read as Simon is a superb writer as well as an expert sea kayaker!). But in a nut shell, these are his recommendations:
John Williams | packpaddle.com
Here's some suggestions:
Valerie Leroyer | kayakcanoeblogger.com
For canoe-camping (or kayak-camping) with my son, I try to be as light as possible:
Greg Stamer | kayakvagabond.com
Except for trips where I fish or collect shellfish, and apart from various special situations, my answer is:
I'm a minimalist, so don't generally prepare fancy meals in the backcountry. The experience for me is in getting there, and being there.
That said, if I'm paddling with Michael Gray and he offers me a four-course meal, complete with wine, I won't refuse it!
Zach Davis | appalachiantrials.com
Here are a few of my favorite trail meals:
Frank Galusha | myoutdoorbuddy.com
Being a bass fishing expert, Frank not only shared his favorite meals for camping but gave detailed instructions on how to cook up these recipes next time you come back from a successful kayak fishing or hunting trip. My mouth was watering after reading the details of each meal. So be sure to read the full article here.