A Successful Camping Meal Plan: Ideas and Tips

Women enjoying a well thought out camping meal plan.

If you are planning some fun in the great outdoors for a few nights, you will want to have a camping meal plan. Most campers want to eat delicious meals on their trip, without a lot of hassle. Planning your meals in advance is an important part of each camping trip.

Planning for Different Sized Camping Groups

If you are camping with just your immediate family, making a camping meal plan can be done without a lot of hassle. If your camping trip involves a large group who will be eating together, coordinating meals is a must.

Plan Your Meals in Advance

Plan your menu in advance of your camping trip. Write down the menu and a break down of the food needed for each meal. Make a shopping list and go shopping or make assignments to others in your camping group. Remember the small necessities on your food list such as salt, pepper, meat seasonings, marinades, butter, condiments, and oil.

Potluck Style Meal Planning

If you are camping with a large group, one of the easiest types of meal plans involves potlucks. For each meal, everyone brings out a salad or side dish to share. Have a bar-b-que grill available for everyone to cook the type of meat they want for themselves.

Assign Each Family Group a Meal

Another way to make a camping meal plan for a large group is to divide up the meals and let one family plan, purchase the food and cook one or two meals each for the entire group.

Camping Meal Plan

The types of meals you plan for your camping trip will depend on what type of cooking fire you have. Cooking on a grill requires a different meal plan than a fire ring or a Dutch oven.

Meals for a Fire Pit

  • Hot Dogs
  • Foil Dinner
  • Marshmallows
  • S'mores
  • Beans cooked in the can

Meals for a Dutch Oven

A Dutch oven is a cast iron pot and lid that you can put right into the fire or cook over coals. Dutch ovens are great for making:

  • Stews
  • Cobblers
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Potatoes
  • Soups
  • Spaghetti
  • Taco meat
  • Meals for a grill
  • Hamburgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Pancakes

Sample Menu for a Two Night Campout

Dinner Night One

  • Hot dogs and hamburgers
  • Buns
  • Condiments
  • Cooked beans
  • Potato chips
  • Salad or carrot sticks


  • S'mores- marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate bars


  • Pancakes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Orange juice


  • Sandwiches
  • Bread
  • Lunch meat
  • Condiments
  • Potato chips
  • Apple slices and carrot sticks


  • Foil dinners
  • Wrapped in foil-cook ground beef, cabbage, carrots slices, potatoes, onions, and seasonings


  • Banana Boats- Wrap a banana and a handful of chocolate chips in foil. Cook in the coals for ten minutes


  • Store bought muffins and rolls
  • Cereal
  • Milk
  • Juice
  • Bananas


  • Sandwiches and leftovers from the trip

Conclusion and Tips for Success

Plan all your meals in advance. Make a list and check off each item as you pack it. Purchase all your food before you leave if you have the room to bring the food in your vehicle.

Boil your chicken before you leave and put it in a Zip-Lock bag with your favorite marinade. Chicken is difficult to cook on a grill, it either burns or is not done in the center; boiling it before you put it on the grill makes the grilling faster and safer.

Freeze any meat that you will not use the first day. The frozen meat will keep the food cold in your ice chest and stay fresh for a longer period of time. Plan only one elaborate breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs. The rest of the breakfasts should be easy, such as muffins or cereal.

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A Successful Camping Meal Plan: Ideas and Tips