Sample Meal Plan for Camping

Heading out to the mountains or lake for the weekend? Even though you might be out of your normal routine, meal planning when camping is still very important.  With limited refrigeration and cooking supplies, planning out meals prevents us from surviving on only hotdogs or throwing away spoiled food.

Keep in mind the style of cooking may also have to change. I personally love cooking over the fire, but I also have a portable camping stove to let me do the basics.  A good solid skillet like a cast iron pan works wonders.  It can also double as a weapon of defense against wild animals if needed since it weighs a ton!

I still try and focus on balancing my meals as much as possible with vegetables, a good grain, and a lean protein. We love to do a lot of hiking, and I find my energy level and endurance is significantly better when I don’t rely on chips and marshmallows to get me through the weekend.  I kept a stash of pre-washed cherry tomatoes and cucumbers ready to eat so if we came back from an activity hungry, that was our first go-to for a quick snack. Most of my lunches I plan to be portable so we can either take it with us on the trail or they can be quickly assembled with little prep time.

Since summer and s’mores are almost synonymous, plan for 1-2 special treats over the weekend.  One of my favorite is banana boats. Bananas sliced lengthwise are stuffed with chocolate chips and wrapped in foil and set over the fire or hot coals. In a few minutes, you have a melted chocolate-y banana in its own bowl.

Prepare ahead as much as you can! If it’s a short trip, diced vegetables will last very well and most proteins can be cooked and frozen. Prepare a few of your mixed meals ahead and freeze them.  They will act as ice blocks in your cooler and you can have your meals as your dishes thaw.  Keep your last meals of the weekend really simple, so you don’t have to worry about cooking and doing dishes while trying to pack up.

Here’s a sample meal plan from a typical 3-day excursion for us:



Supper: Spolumbo sausage, peppers, and potato hash



Breakfast: Pancakes and back bacon with strawberries

Lunch: Rotisserie chicken salad wraps and veggies

Supper: Turkey burgers and tossed salad



Breakfast: “Egg-in-a-hole” bread slices (cut a hole in a slice of bread, crack an egg into it, and cook over medium heat) with oranges

Lunch: Tuna salad wrap and veggies

Supper: Turkey chili and bagged kale salad

Dessert: Banana boats over the fire



Breakfast: Oatmeal and Greek yogurt with leftover fruit


By Kelsey Hagen – Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist


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