For most of our touring camping trips we try to keep the menu simple so that we can relax and have fun, because who wants to be spending hours over a stove or campfire when there are new places to discover and things to do?
So, to keep the menu planning process simple, I use a printable to organize chow time. As I jot down the food we want to eat over the course of the trip, I also do two things that streamline this planning process:
- I make a grocery list of the ingredients needed to make the meals.
- I add all the ingredients–both those I already have on hand in my home pantry as well as the ones I need to purchase at the grocery store before we leave–to my packing checklist. This step helps ensure I don’t leave any ingredients behind.
(When you subscribe to TheTouringCamper.com you will receive access to this printable planning pack! The sign-up button is on the right sidebar.)
I also bring my menu plans with me on the trip to keep track of what days I am doing what meals and whether I need to do any advance prep, like thaw ingredients, marinate meat, or assemble ingredients in a crock pot.
When deciding what days to eat what meals, keep in mind that if the weather prohibits you from cooking over a campfire, you will need a meal that can be prepared inside your camper or under an awning. We prefer to have a mix of meals, some that we prepare over a campfire and others that we can cook in a crock pot, on the grill, or on the stove, so that we can juggle meals based on the weather. We generally aim to eat our outside campfire meals early in the trip if the weather is good so that if we have any bad weather days later on, we still have meals that we can prepare inside or under the awning. Of course, we’ve had some trips where the weather has been miserable the whole time, but having some flexibility in your menu will make things go smoother.
So here are some ideas that we have eaten while camping to get you started planning your own menu:
- Yogurt, granola, and fruit
- Cereal, milk, and fruit
- Bagels, muffins, or breakfast bread with fruit
- Oatmeal and fruit
- Pancakes, eggs, and bacon or sausage
- Egg scramble with hash browns
- Homemade pita “chips,” crackers, or tortilla crisps with hummus
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
- Lunch meat sandwiches
- Pickle sandwiches–sound strange? Our family may have strange tastes, but our kids especially love these: a slice of bread (with cream cheese spread on it and sprinkled with a little garlic powder) wrapped around a crunchy bread and butter pickle.
- Cheese and crackers
- Veggies and ranch dip
- Pulled pork sandwiches (made ahead at home and frozen) with coleslaw and fruit
- Chilli (made ahead at home and frozen) with corn and cornbread
- Grilled chicken (using our favorite Wegman’s marinade) with potato salad and bean salad
- Pie iron meals like pie iron tortillas or pie iron pizzas
- Hamburgers and hotdogs with sides
- Campfire foil packets like this flavorful all-in-one chicken meal (For more ideas, visit our Campfire Cuisine board on Pinterest.)
So what kinds of meals do you eat when you are camping? Head over to our Facebook page to tell us about them.