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Camping meals 101: What to eat when you’re sleeping outside

By Rose Mattson, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Jun 21st, 2019 @ 11:00am



SALT LAKE CITY — It’s officially the start of the camping season! Whether you’re a camping pro or new to the outdoors, having a large repertoire of camping recipes can be helpful.

When considering what to eat, it’s important to think ahead. Are you staying in an RV with a full kitchen? Sleeping in a tent with access to a campfire, propane stove and a cooler? Backpacking with only a small single-burner propane stove? Answering these questions will allow you to tailor your food appropriately. Additionally, make sure you plan for how many days you will be outside. There's nothing worse than having to eat protein bars for every meal on your last camping day.

Now that you know what supplies you will have available to you, and how many days of food you will need, it’s time to find some recipes. In most of these meals, look for a good combination of protein, carbohydrates, fruit and/or veggies, plus spices and fat for flavor. The main goal with these meals is to make something that is filling and allows you to go about playing in the outdoors.

Campfire meals

Using a campfire to cook your meals is the quintessential camping experience. Doing so takes a bit of skill, but the payoff is really delicious food. Here are some ideas:

Propane camp stove

If you don’t want to cook over a fire, or are unable to, a propane stove might be a better option. The stove allows for a bit more flexibility in what you cook. These meals could be used for backpacking as well, with a few modifications.

No cooking needed meals

If you’re not into cooking or want something quick before you head out on a hike, this section is for you. Here are some ideas:

  • peanut butter and jelly sandwich + fruit
  • deli meat sandwich + veggies
  • cereal + milk + fruit
  • granola + yogurt + fruit
  • protein bar + fruit
  • premade pasta salad
  • muffin + boiled eggs + fruit
  • beef jerky + orange + crackers
  • tuna or salmon in pouches with crackers + fruit
  • overnight oatmeal

What are some of your favorite camping meals? Share them in the comments below.


Rose Mattson

About the Author: Rose Mattson

Rose Mattson is a Registered Dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition, digestive disorders, and helping others develop a positive relationship with food and their bodies. She runs a Salt Lake City-based nutrition practice, through which she sees clients both locally and virtually. You can also find her on Instagram, Facebook, , and Pinterest. When she's not working, you can find her outside in the mountains, at the local farmer's market or scoping out the most delicious meals in the area!


Editor’s Note: Anything in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended, nor should it be interpreted, to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition; Any opinions, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available are those of the respective author(s) or distributor(s) and not of KSL. KSL does not endorse nor is it responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, information, or statement made in this article. KSL expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on the content of this article.

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