Tom Holtey From Top Kayaker Recommended Camping Meals

Heck I could almost mix the coffee and the oatmeal together to save cleaning an extra dish. -Tom Holtey

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My 3 easiest meals I personally recommend for camping trips:


Don’t bring coffee grounds, filters, percolators or brew “cowboy coffee”. Get the best quality instant coffee you can find. I like instant Kona Coffee, Lion brand if you can get it. Instant is quick, no mess to pack out and lighter than grounds. Repack your instant coffee into a or zip lock bag. Powder milk can be used as a creamer, but I like to bring a small “lunch size” box of real milk. It requires no refrigeration and is better than powder milk or non-dairy creamers. It is great for oatmeal too.

Instant oatmeal has always been my staple breakfast. Just boil water in your cook pot, enough for coffee too, and pour it into your bowl of instant oatmeal and some into your insulated cup of instant coffee. Heck I could almost mix the coffee and the oatmeal together to save cleaning an extra dish.


Bread is the staple of life, but many types of bread do not pack or travel well. Get bagels, pitas or tortillas for bread. Bring a can of sandwich spread, like deviled ham or canned tuna salad or chicken salad. Peanut butter is a great energy food. Select a small size plastic jar or use one or two squeeze tubes (for camping) to repackage the peanut butter and jelly into. Squeeze tubes work great, no knife needed.


My all-time favorite kayak camping dinner is canned chicken and stovetop stuffing. Can chicken comes in small and larger size cans. The small size is good for one person and the larger size is good for two. Measure out your stovetop stuffing and put it in a zip lock bag before the trip, I like two servings per person. Pack the instructions.

While in camp, boil water in a pot with a cover (less water is better for cleanup). Follow the directions, you can skip the margarine, it is not necessary. If you must have margarine, or butter, bring a small plastic bottle of vegetable oil as a substitute, it will keep even on a long trip.

While the stuffing is cooling in a covered pot, place an open can of chicken right on the stove burner or fire. Leave the lid of the can attached and partly sticking up as a handle. Don’t drain the juice in the can, let the chicken boil in it. When the juice in the can has almost evaporated it is done. Serve the chicken on top of the stuffing and season to taste with salt and pepper. I could have this for every night camping.

Tom Holtey
www.TopKayaker.Com (Hard to find kayak parts and supplies)
www.TopKayaker.Net (The on-line magazine for kayakers)