Best Camping Foods

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Jack Links Original Beef Jerky
Test Winner: Jack Links Original Beef Jerky
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The season of camping is upon us and that means a new year of making memories with your family and friends by hiking in the wilderness, visiting the nearby beach, or sharing a great meal together. When camping nothing really brings the family together like a home-cooked meal, where you can discuss the great day that you all just shared together. The problem lies in trying to decide what food you are going to bring, to create that great dinner atmosphere we all love while camping. The answer is below! We have done the research and brought you the top ten camping foods to make your life easier and give you more time eating and making memories with your family. So if you are in a bind when it comes to dinner time, the food below will give you some great ideas!

Standout Picks

Jack Link's Meat Snacks Beef Jerky, Peppered,
When you're out on the trail and get a meat craving, sometimes all you have on you is a sandwich you made before leaving the campsite that you're trying to keep cold with ice packs so that it doesn't spoil. That's why you need a big bag of Jack Link's Original Beef Jerky in your backpack.
Amazon Link
$27.00
Kraft Original Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
Everyone knows Kraft dinner and this food is a staple amongst generations of campers. it is quick and easy to make and is affordable when you are cooking for a large family. If you are looking for a great dinner that will be easy to prepare while on your next camping trip, check out Kraft Original.
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Mountain House Breakfast Skillet
With this Mountain House Breakfast Skillet, you get the whole meal deal for brekky. With hash browns, scrambled eggs, crumbled pork patties, peppers, and onions, you will not go hungry.
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Peak Refuel | Freeze Dried Backpacking and Camping Food
These freezes dried packaged meals are quite convenient if you are looking for an easy to make and quick dinner that is packed with nutrients and calories to give you the extra energy that you need for the day of activities.
Amazon Link
$7.99
Mountain House Noodles & Chicken
When you're winter camping, sometimes you may get the sniffles out on the trail. At times like those, there's nothing better than some hot Mountain House Noodles and Chicken.
Amazon Link
Folgers Instant Coffee Crystals, Classic Roast
About a year before James A. Folger (the originator of Folgers Coffee) died, he wrote a letter to his son James A. Folger, Jr., that gave him some wise advice about running a business. It read that making money comes second to having a good reputation. Folgers is one of the most well-loved brand coffees ever, and their Individual Classic Instant Coffee packs make it easy to take the wonderful flavor camping with you.
Amazon Link
$4.94
Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef
There are certain foods that are popular for camping. One of them is macaroni and cheese, and another one is chili. When they are combined, you have one of the best dinner combinations ever invented, and the Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef is one of their most popular entrees yet among campers.
Harmony House Foods Deluxe Sampler
Many times when you're out on the trail or back at the campsite, there may be meals where you feel like you're missing something. It's very inconvenient to have to bring a lot of cans with you just to get the vegetables you need for preparing things like large stews. That's why Harmony House has developed this Backpacking Kit with a wonderful mix of all the dehydrated items you need.
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Wise Company Emergency Food Supply
The Wise Company 60 Serving Entrée Only Grab and Go Food Kit is wonderful to have on any outdoor camping trip, whether you eat them at the campsite or out backpacking. They guarantee you a hot hearty meal and anytime you need it.
Amazon Link
$115.00
Patriot Pantry Emergency Meals Kit
Your family, friends, and most importantly, you, will not go hungry with this hearty Patriot Pantry Emergency Meals Kit on hand. With 48 meal servings and seven different options to choose from, you will be prepared with this food kit.
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Criteria Used for Evaluation

Use

The foods chosen above were chosen for two types of camping trips, single and multi-day. They are packed with high energy, (even the s’ mores!), and prepare you for whatever activity that you have planned for that day. You want a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. That’s why the trail mix with the M&Ms and nuts in it is so popular because it fuels you up whether you’re out and about moving around or sitting back relaxing on the campsite.
Dried bananas and other dried fruits are also nutritious and good to grab at whatever you get the munchies on a camping trip. If you’re trying to make sure your kids continue to eat healthy on the camping trip, then get plenty of dried fruits. Always have granola bars on you – make it a habit to grab a few of them every time you leave the campsite. Just stuff them down in your pockets or your backpack, they’re delicious and really good for you.

Ease of Use

Whether or not you make it to your destination by the end of that day is going to depend on how convenient your camping food is to eat. All those granola bars trail mix and freeze-dried foods will keep you on schedule because they take next to no time to prepare. A good rule of thumb is to try to find the same types of food that you eat at home in freeze-dried form. This way, you’re not sacrificing taste for convenience. Same thing with drinks, such as coffee. Whatever brand you normally have at homebrewing in your coffee pot, get the same instant brand when you come camping.

Sometimes how convenient your food is will depend on what you have to prepare it with. If you have a small camping stove that can fit in your backpack you’ll be able to cook those freeze-dried meals in a jiffy while out on the trail. If you have a nice camping stove with burners that have a good amount of BTUs back at the campsite, then you’ll be able to prepare more of the meals that you like. If it’s snowing, and you prepare hot food back at the campsite that you want to take with you, store it in the part of your backpack that’s closest to your body so that it stays warm and eat it as soon as you can. You should do this with your freeze-dried meals and most of your other food too when camping in winter conditions.

Brand

The reputation of the companies that make the freeze-dried meals was thoroughly considered in this evaluation. For example, Mountain House is one of the most popular companies today that make freeze-dried camping food. They started out making food for the US Special Forces during Vietnam when the military started asking for better tasting food for the troops. They needed foods they could carry out with them to the field that weighed less and lasted longer. The company was established in the late 1960s and has been providing nutritious freeze-dried food for well over half a century. Their items have been everywhere from the Earth’s highest mountain ranges to the Moon and back.

Another well-liked company by campers and backpackers is Harmony House Foods. They received the 2007 Backpacker Magazine Award, and they were named Business People of the Year by the North Carolina SBA. Their products have been enjoyed worldwide from Italy to the UK to Germany, and they just started doing door to door business in Canada in 2017.

Backpacker’s Pantry started back in 1951 and helped to initiate the trend of freeze-dried food that was easy to prepare with boiled water. The Wise Company the other brands on the is not only famous for their camping food, but for the products they produce. For example, they produce camping stoves and camping cooking utensils. The other brands on the list of reviews were also chosen because of their rich histories for making their customers happy – Folgers, Hershey’s, Jack Link’s and Planters.

Portability

Make sure you take the appropriate types of foods for the stoves or cooking ware you plan on bringing. To make sure you still eat healthy while camping or hiking there are also plenty of nourishing items on our list. Make sure that the food you bring can fit into your pack with ease and will not weigh too much and cause you stress and pain while journeying to your campsite. There are a variety of different foods and packaging on the market, so find one that will give you the nutrients you need and at the same time be easy to transport.

Top Ten Camping Foods

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$27.00
Jack Link's Meat Snacks Beef Jerky, Peppered,
Amazon Link

When you're out on the trail and get a meat craving, sometimes all you have on you is a sandwich you made before leaving the campsite that you're trying to keep cold with ice packs so that it doesn't spoil. That's why you need a big bag of Jack Link's Original Beef Jerky in your backpack.

Read more

Use
The people at Jack Link's have kept the constant snacker in mind with the packaging of their great-tasting beef jerky. This big one-pound bag of it is resealable, so you really don't have to stop moving while you eat it.

Ease of Use
Jack Link's jerky is one protein-packed snack. In just one serving, there are 12 grams of protein and 80 calories, providing you with major energy just from a few minutes of snacking. This makes it very easy to add to your calorie intake for the day, and you don't even have to stop and cook. And, there are different flavors to choose from, such as sweet and hot teriyaki, hickory-smoked, and pepper.

Brand
Jack Link's great grandfather, Chris Link, came from the old country to America in the 1800s with lots of meat recipes. He passed down the recipes to his son Earl, then he gave them to his son Wolf, who then gave them to his son Jack, who started the jerky that we love today. Jack was actually out hunting himself when he got the idea from his son (the current owner of the brand) to start making jerky.

Portability
You can pass out some to your friends, have some yourself, then quickly toss it back in your backpack.

Amazon Link
$27.00

2. Kraft Original

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Kraft Original Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
Amazon Link

Everyone knows Kraft dinner and this food is a staple amongst generations of campers. it is quick and easy to make and is affordable when you are cooking for a large family. If you are looking for a great dinner that will be easy to prepare while on your next camping trip, check out Kraft Original.

Read more

Use
This product comes to you highly rated from customers who have decided to go with it for their camping trips. It is an affordable product that is great if you are cooking for a large group. You can also add in chopped hot dogs or other food to mix with it.

Ease of Use
Nothing is easier to make than Kraft Original. It might be one of the first things we learned to make as a child. You simply need to boil the noodles and once boiled added some butter and milk and the packaged cheese powder and let it sit. It's as easy as that!

Brand
Everyone knows Kraft. They make quality foods that we can use in our kitchens and on the road, and their products are always affordable.

Portability
This small box of Kraft Original is quite portable and easy to pack as it is a block shape, so if you have a couple of packages, they will fit nicely together and not be a nuisance to bring with you to your campsite.

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3. Mountain House Breakfast Skillet

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Mountain House Breakfast Skillet
Amazon Link

With this Mountain House Breakfast Skillet, you get the whole meal deal for brekky. With hash browns, scrambled eggs, crumbled pork patties, peppers, and onions, you will not go hungry.

Read more

Use
The reviewers and testers all seem to agree, this meal prep kit comes in handy in various camping situations. Not to mention, it's the perfect meal addition to any emergency kit situation that you may have at home or car. You definitely will start your day off with a quick, as this kit includes major essentials of taste, such as eggs, pork sausage, and peppers and onion for taste.

Ease of Use
Along with the great reviews and taste tests, if you are looking for a meal that is beyond easy, has a long-lasting shelf life, and is tasty as heck, you won't go wrong with this kit.

Brand
Mountain House is one of the top providers of freeze-dried meals for camping and backpacking. They are a great company with a number of years providing meals to outdoor enthusiasts. If you decide to go ahead with one of their products, you will not be disappointed.

Portability
Travel light and easy with this meal kit in your backpack, as all you need to do is add water. The serving size that comes with this kit is 2 one-cup servings, so it won't feed a huge amount of people.

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4. Peak Refuel

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$7.99
Peak Refuel | Freeze Dried Backpacking and Camping Food
Amazon Link

These freezes dried packaged meals are quite convenient if you are looking for an easy to make and quick dinner that is packed with nutrients and calories to give you the extra energy that you need for the day of activities.

Read more

Use
These freeze-dried packaged meals are highly rated amongst previous customers as they are convenient and great if you are going backpacking or traveling a far distance to your campsite and want to bring a meal that will give you energy but is lightweight.

Ease of Use
They are quite easy to use as you simply need to open the packaging and hot water and seal the package. The hot water will cook your meal and it will be done and ready to eat in no time.

Brand
Peak Refuel is a great brand but it may not be as known as Mountain House. Their meals still pack a good amount of protein and will satisfy your hunger.

Portability
These packages are lightweight and make them great for backpacking or traveling as they are easy to pack and you will not notice them due to their weight.

Amazon Link
$7.99

5. Mountain House Noodles and Chicken

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Mountain House Noodles & Chicken
Amazon Link

When you're winter camping, sometimes you may get the sniffles out on the trail. At times like those, there's nothing better than some hot Mountain House Noodles and Chicken.

Read more

Use
This is a meal you can eat directly out of the bag, with big hearty noodles and big chunks of chicken. Everyone likes big servings, especially after putting out so much energy hiking. When you do have time to stop, it's great when you have a meal that can refuel your physical batteries.

Ease of Use
This creamy soup with red peppers is delicious, the bag is very easy to carry, and the meal only takes a few minutes to prepare. There's nothing better than a nice hot cup of soup when you have to hunker down in snowy areas spontaneously.

Brand
Mountain House has a reputation for making good food, and their noodles and chicken is one of their most popular items, especially among cold-weather campers.

Portability
Each bag contains two and a half servings, 33 carbs and 220 calories a serving, and most campers are hungry enough to eat the whole bag after a very physically demanding day.

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6. Folgers Classic Instant Coffee

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$4.94
Folgers Instant Coffee Crystals, Classic Roast
Amazon Link

About a year before James A. Folger (the originator of Folgers Coffee) died, he wrote a letter to his son James A. Folger, Jr., that gave him some wise advice about running a business. It read that making money comes second to having a good reputation. Folgers is one of the most well-loved brand coffees ever, and their Individual Classic Instant Coffee packs make it easy to take the wonderful flavor camping with you.

Read more

Use
When you wake up in the morning at home, coffee is probably one of the first things you grab for. So you definitely don't want to deprive yourself of it while you're out camping with your friends and family.

Ease of Use
One of the primary things you need when camping is boiled water, and as long as you have it you can enjoy your nice hot cup of Folgers just about anytime, whether you're at the campsite or making a stop out on the hiking trail.

Brand
Folgers is always been dedicated to developing the best tasting coffee possible. It's the thing that stands out the most in the entire Folgers story. James A. Folger, Sr. is said to have started what's called cup testing. He personally taste-tested bean shipments that were coming into San Francisco in order to develop a taste of coffee that would stand out above the competition. It was 1854 when he found that mountain-grown beans are what made the coffee smell and taste the best.

Portability
These individual single packets are better than carrying around the jar of instant coffee, simply because the jar weighs more and you want as less weight on you as possible when out exploring. They also create less waste, and when you're done with one you can simply stick the small wrapper in your backpack until you get back to the site to throw it away.

Amazon Link
$4.94

7. Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef

Where to buy
Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef
Amazon Link

There are certain foods that are popular for camping. One of them is macaroni and cheese, and another one is chili. When they are combined, you have one of the best dinner combinations ever invented, and the Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef is one of their most popular entrees yet among campers.

Read more

Use
Chili mac is such a loved dish that everyone always wants big portions of it. These pouches are two and a half one-cup servings and, although they are meant to serve two people, a camper or hiker at the end of a long day will enjoy an entire bag to themselves easily. When out doing physical camping activities you need your carbs and protein, otherwise, fatigue and/or headaches will set in. This delicious Mountain House dish is filled with real noodles, beans, cheese, and beef.

Ease of Use
As with most of their meals, all you need is boiling water and you're good to go. You can eat the chili mac right out of the bag, then just reseal it, fold it down, stick it into the bottom of your backpack, and throw it away into a recycling can when you get back to the campsite.

Brand
One of the best things about Mountain House meals is that they're easy to prepare, and all you really need is a spoon, fork or spork to eat them without on the trail.

Portability
With these pouches carrying freeze-dried food, they are quite lightweight and easy to transport. If you have a weekend worth, you will barely feel them and can travel easy.

8. Harmony House Backpacking Kit

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Harmony House Foods Deluxe Sampler
Amazon Link

Many times when you're out on the trail or back at the campsite, there may be meals where you feel like you're missing something. It's very inconvenient to have to bring a lot of cans with you just to get the vegetables you need for preparing things like large stews. That's why Harmony House has developed this Backpacking Kit with a wonderful mix of all the dehydrated items you need.

Read more

Use
The kit has a large variety of vegetables, beans, and other fresh food items. for example, if you want to add potatoes to a large stew, there's a big bag of diced one in here.

For the price, you really can't lose with this loaded backpacking kit. It comes with two bags of carrots, two bags of potatoes, two bags of green beans, and a bag each of diced tomatoes, celery, green beans, corn, cabbage, red and green peppers, onions, and four types of beans, black, northern, red and Pinto. This large kit is going to last you for a few camping expeditions depending on how many times you go camping a year, and how many people go with you.

Ease of Use
These pouches are actually ingredients, you will still need to combine them and cook them to create a meal. They are good for snacking on, but when it comes to an actual meal, there will still be some preparation involved.

Brand
Harmony House Foods is not as known of a brand as other food suppliers for camping that are on the market, but they do produce quality food. If you are looking for something quick and easy to eat on your next camping trip then maybe you might want to look at another brand.

Portability
This backpacking kit is not only good for camping foods but also to have around the house. Still, they're especially good for camping because they're very lightweight.

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9. Wise Company's 60 Serving Entrée

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$115.00
Wise Company Emergency Food Supply
Amazon Link

The Wise Company 60 Serving Entrée Only Grab and Go Food Kit is wonderful to have on any outdoor camping trip, whether you eat them at the campsite or out backpacking. They guarantee you a hot hearty meal and anytime you need it.

Read more

Use
This food kit has enough food for one adult to eat for an entire month, or if someone was to split it with three of their friends it would last each of them a week.

Ease of Use
These food pouches are quite easy to use and are great if you are in a hurry to eat or if you are in an emergency situation and need something quick without using too many cooking utensils.

Brand
This grab-and-go food kit is not only good for camping but also for emergency preparedness. Many people who live in areas of the country that have frequent natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes or floods may at those times need an emergency food supply. So, when they get the kit for camping they may pick up a few extra ones just to have there at the house.

Portability
People like the entrees because they're lightweight to carry on hikes, and because they allow them to prepare a lot of food all at once. For example, if you're in the mountains hiking with a group, one bag could provide a big meal for everyone. Still, some people who camp alone feel that the bags are too big because once you open them you have to cook everything at once, being that they're not resealable.

Amazon Link
$115.00

10. Patriot Pantry Emergency Meals Kit

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Patriot Pantry Emergency Meals Kit
Amazon Link

Your family, friends, and most importantly, you, will not go hungry with this hearty Patriot Pantry Emergency Meals Kit on hand. With 48 meal servings and seven different options to choose from, you will be prepared with this food kit.

Read more

Use
There are seven different meals included in this kit. The meals include chili, mac and cheese, black bean and rice soup, Alfredo, savory rice, stew, and creamy chicken rice. So while you will definitely get your fair share of carbohydrates with this kit, you definitely get a ton of great-tasting options to choose from.

Ease of Use
These meals are simple, quick, and easy to prepare; you just need to ensure that you have a stove top, pot, some oil, and water, and you should be good to go.

Brand
The benefit of this product is that it has a shelf life of 25 years, so even if you don't use it camping, it's a good food option to have on hand for a time when you need meal prep help.

Portability
The meals in this pack are all simple to prepare and should take no more than 15 minutes to make, and it all comes in a slim storage container for easy travel and packing.

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