Cooking and eating in the wild often brings back fond memories.
But memorable camping food ideas don’t just happen. You have to plan them well.
Planning the menu for when you enter the wilderness requires you to balance the taste, nutrition and variety of your meals. Our camping food ideas for students will hopefully stimulate your thinking.
The basic rule here - plan your meals and snacks so that they are:
You can pack your meals into breakfast, lunch and dinner bags.
Keep the meal bags light by repackaging everything into zip lock plastic bags.
The goal here is to eliminate as much packaging as possible to save on space and weight.
When you brainstorm your camping food ideas you should always consider the weight of the food you select.
One way to reduce weight is to combine some dried, dehydrated and freeze-dried food with fresh food.
Plastic containers and durable freezer bags are lighter than metal and can be reused again for the following trip.
Include meal instructions
Label the bags with the contents you include and brief cooking instructions for each meal.
Place the slip into the meal bag or tape it onto the front.
How much food will you need?
You should plan your food energy requirements around your planned activity levels.
If you plan to head out on a hike from your campsite, a general guideline to determine your daily energy requirement can be as follows:
Dealing with food spoilage
Spoilage will be a problem when camping without a cooler.
We suggest you stay away from real butter, cooked meats, and eggs.
Processed cheese will spoil rather quickly; the softer the cheese - the more likely it is to spoil. If you can’t go without cheese go for the hard cheeses like Jarslberg and Gouda.
A good place to shop for your trail mix is a health food store. They usually have a number of bins stocked with trail mixes and a variety of dried fruits, nuts and seeds for the health conscious.
Everyone has their own favorite recipe for “gorp” – Good Old Raisins and Peanuts.
This usually starts with equal parts raisins and peanuts. You then have to add different energy sources.
You can consider the following:
You can use the following suggestions in our camping food list as a reference point to create your own.
Tea, coffee, cocoa, low fat dried milk
Oatmeal, muesli, cheerios,
Pancake mix, fresh eggs for campground camping, freeze dried for backpacking
Freeze dried for hiking, canned for campground camping
Apricots, prunes, raisins, apples, cherries, peaches, pears.
Trail lunch suggestions
Beef or turkey jerky, salami
Cheese that do not require refrigeration like Gouda, or Jarlsberg
Peanuts, pecan nuts, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds
Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame
Carrots, radishes, celery, turnips
Apples, oranges, tangerines
Dried or freeze dried fruits
Dates, apples, pineapple, bananas, peaches, prunes, apricots, raisins
Breads and pastries
Licorice, chocolate, fruit bars, sesame seed bars,, cookies
Kool aid, juice crystals, cocoa.
Knorr instant, Lipton instant,
Mountain house, Richmoor, backpacker pantry,
Spices and additives
Cinnamon sugar, honey, peanut butter, brown sugar,
Cinnamon, nutmeg, curry, oregano, chili powder, garlic, black pepper, salt, dry mustard
Soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce
Joanne Cramer is a surfer, tattoo addict, ukulelist, Saul Bass fan and independent Art Director at Student Questions platform. Producing at the sweet spot between art and purpose to answer design problems with honest solutions.