35 Easy Camping Menu Ideas for Your Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Cooking outdoors is a real thrill, and it is also an opportunity for you to try doing something a bit different. 

There are a wide range of camping menu ideas for you to explore, from simple one-pot stews to inventive baking on the fire.

Having limited ingredients available encourages you to get creative and enjoy the challenge of campfire cooking with less!

What Are The Best Types of Food For Camping Recipes? 

So what is an ideal selection of staple foods to take with you on a camping trip? 

Firstly, you want the majority of your food to be non-perishable. Unless you are camping with a fully equipped RV, you won’t have access to a fridge. Focus on bringing a basic selection of foods that don’t need to be kept cold for any length of time. If you want to enjoy cooking meat, fish and other fresh foods, plan to do this during your first night or two of camping.

Top 10 basic foods should be in your camping foods list

Here are our suggestions for the top 10 basic foods to pack for your camping trip: 

  • Pasta & noodles
  • Couscous & quinoa
  • Sachets or tins of fish
  • Wraps & tortillas
  • Oats & cereals
  • Sachets of or jars of pasta sauce
  • Chorizo or preserved sausage
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Dried fruits
  • Eggs

If you want to know everything you need to pack for your camping, check this ultimate camping checklist.

Additional Tips For Food Ideas When Camping With A Car

Heading to a campsite with your car means you can take a wide range of food without worrying about weight restrictions.

  • Pack a cooler or two

A cooler will allow you to take meat and fish to enjoy on the first night or two of your trip. Store fresh fruit and vegetables in a second cooler to avoid cross contamination. 

  • Get organized and well storage

Having all your food carefully packed and organized will make a big difference to the ease and enjoyment of your mealtime. Store all your dried goods in a large plastic box, and keep your oils and other liquids separately in another box. Prepare bags of chopped fruit and vegetables in advance. Have a rough outline of your meal plan for every day that you are away – if you are not camping close to shops, take time to ensure that you have sufficient food. 

  • Bring your favorite spices

No matter how simple you might choose to keep your campsite cooking, don’t forget the salt and pepper! It is also a good idea to bring a selection of your favorite herbs and spices. These will allow you to enjoy the taste of even the most basic campsite dishes.

Extra Hints For Food Cooking Whilst Wild Camping

Your main priority when wild camping is going to be keeping your backpack light, but this needs to be balanced with getting sufficient nutritional value and energy from your meals. 

  • Plan for plenty of one-pot meals!

You will probably be doing all of your cooking with a single pan on a single stove. You’ll certainly enjoy having only the most minimal dish washing to do! Prepare yourself with food suitable for making lots of satisfying one-pot recipes like the ones we are going to share with you below.

  • Choose high-calorie foods

The food that you choose needs to provide you with plenty of fuel for the exercise that you are doing – hiking and wild camping can burn a lot of calories. Nuts and seeds are a great, nutrient-dense choice for snacking and adding to porridge or cereals in the morning. Pack extra cereal bars and nut butter for quick a quick energy boost whilst on the go.

  • Select the low volume, lightweight foods

Pick foods that are not bulky, and avoid heavy containers such as glass jars. Dehydrated and freeze-dried foods designed especially for campers and hikers are a good option for keeping your pack weight down.

  • Repackage your ingredients

Repackage all of your food into lightweight resealable plastic bags. Cutting down on wrappers and excess packaging can make a big difference to the total weight of the food you need to carry. 

Quick And Easy Camping Meals!

And now we move onto our best selection of quick and easy camping recipes! We’ve provided you with plenty of ideas and tips for simple but tasty one-pot cooking, as well as some more in-depth and detailed recipes for you to explore. We’ve included a simple health rating, with 5 stars being super healthy and 1 star being a naughty treat….

We’ve chosen recipes that are easy to prepare, fast to cook and involve a small number of ingredients. Many can be added to and made more elaborate as you become more comfortable with camp cooking!

Tasty and Easy Camping Recipes for Breakfast

#1 Breakfast Burritos

Health rating: 5 stars! 

source from Food republic

Suitable for: wild camping, campfire, RV camping, families with kids, large groups.

Equipment needed: grill, open fire or camping stove, saucepan or skillet, chopping board, knife, spatula or wooden spoon. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 2 wraps 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • A generous pinch of paprika or dried chilli flakes
  • Grated cheese 
  • Butter or cooking oil

Cooking Instructions

  1. Fry the vegetables in butter or oil over medium-high heat until they are softening.
  2. Add the spices. 
  3. Crack the eggs directly into the vegetable mix and stir fry all the ingredients together until the eggs are cooked. 
  4. Divide the mixture in half and place inside your wraps. 
  5. Add a generous handful of grated cheese (or use cream cheese if you  prefer).
  6. If you want your burritos extra hot, wrap them in foil and place them in the embers of your fire to enjoy really melted cheese!

#2 Quinoa, Cinnamon And Apple Porridge

Health rating: 5 stars! 

Suitable for: wild camping, campfire, RV camping, family with kids, large groups.

Equipment needed: open fire or camping stove, saucepan, chopping board, knife, spatula or wooden spoon. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2  cups of water
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp walnuts
  • 1 finely chopped or grated apple 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 

Cooking Instructions

  1. Place quinoa and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins or until the quinoa is tender
  2. Add the apple, raisins and cinnamon towards the end of the cooking time. 
  3. Serve sprinkled with walnuts.

#3 Easy-peasy Campfire French Toast

Health rating: 2 stars

Source from Mnn

Suitable for: wild camping, campfire, RV camping, families with kids, large groups.

Equipment needed: grill, open fire or camping stove, skillet or frying pan, chopping board, knife, spatula or wooden spoon. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 4 thick slices of toast
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/tsp of vanilla extract (if you have it) 
  • A little butter or cooking oil

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a large shallow dish, beat the eggs until uniform. 
  2. Add the milk, sugar and vanilla essence if you have it, then mix well. 
  3. Dip a slice of bread in the egg mixture and let it soak for around 10 seconds (or longer if the bread is not fresh).
  4. Let the excess liquid run off, and sprinkle with a little more sugar if you like. 
  5. Add cooking oil or a little butter to your skillet or frying pan.
  6. Add a slice of bread and cook for around 3 minutes on each side, until crispy and golden. 
  7. Repeat until you are out of bread!

#4 Halloumi Sandwich

Health rating: 4 stars

Source from iHeat vegetables

Suitable for: wild camping, campfire, RV camping, families with kids, large groups.

Equipment needed: grill, open fire or camping stove, saucepan, chopping board, knife, spatula or wooden spoon. Plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 1 sliced tomato
  • 1/2 small sliced onion
  • 4 thick slices of halloumi
  • 4 slices of crusty bread

Cooking Instructions

  1. Fry or grill the slices of halloumi until crispy, around 3 minutes for each side. 
  2. Butter your slices of bread or drizzle olive oil onto them as you prefer. 
  3. Arrange the halloumi, sliced onion and sliced tomato into the slices of crusty bread.
  4. Eat!

#5 Chorizo Omelette

Health rating: 4 stars

Source from Healthy recipes blogs

Suitable for: wild camping, campfire, RV camping, families with kids, large groups.

Equipment needed: grill, open fire or camping stove, saucepan, chopping board, knife, spatula or wooden spoon. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 4 eggs
  • A handful of chopped chorizo
  • A handful of grated cheese
  • A little butter
  • Dried paprika

Cooking Instructions

  1. Beat together the eggs with the paprika in a bowl.
  2. Heat some butter in a skillet or frying pan.
  3. Add the egg mix and scatter the chorizo over the top, and salt to taste. 
  4. Cook until the egg is set and the top of the omelette is starting to dry. 
  5. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the omelette and fold it in half. 
  6. Remove from the heat and place the omelette onto a plate to allow the cheese to finish melting before you serve it. 

Bonus: Quick & Easy One Pot Breakfast Ideas

Baked beans with chorizo – chop some chorizo into your baked beans for a richer flavored breakfast.

Porridge/oatmeal with dried fruit & nuts – sprinkle dried fruits & nuts over quick cook oats, adding powdered milk if you have it. 

Granola with warm milk – heat your milk in a pan and pour it over your granola. 

Scrambled eggs – lightly cooked in butter or oil and sprinkled with dried herbs. 

Sausage, bacon and eggs – enjoy a classic breakfast fry up cooked together in a skillet over the campfire.

Healthy and Quick Campsite Recipes for Lunch & Dinner

Swift & Spicy Sardine Spaghetti

Health rating: 4 stars

Source from My kitchen

Suitable for: wild camping, campfire cooking, RV camping, families with kids, large groups.

Equipment needed: open fire or camping stove, saucepan, chopping board, knife. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 4 oz of spaghetti 
  • 1 or 2 small tins of sardines in tomato sauce (2 if you are extra hungry!)
  • A pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • A pinch of dried basil

Cooking Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and add your spaghetti. Cook for 8-12 minutes.
  2. Drain your pasta (drizzle with olive oil if you have it).
  3. Add your tinned fish directly to the spaghetti in the hot pan.
  4. Add a pinch of dried basil & chilli flakes, and salt & pepper according to your tastes.

Hearty Noodle Soup

Health rating: 4 stars

Suitable for: wild camping, campfire cooking, RV camping, families with kids, large groups. 

Equipment needed: open fire or camping stove, saucepan (and frying pan if available), chopping board, knife, spatula or wooden spoon. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 small finely chopped carrots
  • 1 finely chopped stick of celery
  • 1 pack instant cook flavoured noodles
  • Butter or cooking oil

Cooking Instructions

  1. Lightly sauté the finely chopped onion, garlic, carrot and celery in a frying pan. If you only have one saucepan with you, use this instead.
  2. In a saucepan, bring to the boil 2 cups of water (put the onion mix in a bowl if you only have one pan).
  3. Add the noodles and the onion mix to the cooked liquid, and simmer for as long as the instructions on the noodle packet state. 
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

#1 Baked Sweet Potatoes With Tuna Mayo

Health rating: 4 stars

Source from Sweet peas and saffron

Suitable for: wild camping, campfire cooking, RV camping, families with kids, large groups.

Equipment needed: open fire or grill, aluminum foil, chopping board, knife. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 small tin of tuna 
  • 2 small sachets of mayonnaise

Cooking Instructions

  1. Cut your sweet potatoes in half and wrap them in foil.
  2. Place the potatoes into an open fire. They cook best by being placed into an area of hot embers rather than right into the flames.
  3. Remove and unwrap after 20-25 minutes. 
  4. Mix the tuna with the sachets of mayonnaise, season with salt and pepper and divide this between the two potatoes. 
  5. Serve with a slice of butter and garnish with chives or spring onion if you have it!

#2 Roasted Salmon With Lemon & Herbs

Health rating: 5 stars!

Source from Betty crocker

Suitable for: grilling, campfire cooking, RV camping, families with kids, large groups.

Equipment needed: open fire or grill, aluminum foil, chopping board, knife. 

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 2 salmon filets
  • 4 slices of lemon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • Mixed mediterranean herbs (or fresh if you have them!)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Place your salmon filets onto individual pieces of foil, sufficient to cover them completely. 
  2. Place slices of lemon, minced garlic, herbs and butter on the salmon.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Close the foil parcels and place them in the hot embers of your fire (or on a low grill).
  5. Cook for around 6-8 minutes, checking that the fish is properly done before eating.

#3 Skillet Campfire Pizza

Health rating: 3 stars

Source from Kitchen konfidence

Suitable for: grilling, campfire cooking, RV camping, families with kids, large groups.

Equipment needed: open fire or grill, skillet, chopping board, knife, rolling pin. Plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • Pizza dough for one pizza
  • 2 tbsp of tomato sauce
  • Slices of mozarella or other cheese
  • Dried mediterranean herbs 

Cooking instructions

  1. Roll out your pizza dough to a size that will fit in your skillet. 
  2. Heat 2 tsp of oil in your skillet and add the pizza dough. 
  3. Flip the pizza dough as soon as the bottom is starting to brown. 
  4. Spread the tomato sauce onto the already browned top of the pizza. 
  5. Add a generous amount of cheese or slices of mozzarella. 
  6. Sprinkle on some dried herbs, salt & pepper. 
  7. Remove from the heat when the underside is browned. 

Quick & Easy One Pot Lunch & Dinner Ideas

Vegetable kebabs – diced mixed vegetables cooked on skewers over the fire (you don’t even need a pot for this one!) 

Campfire nachos – layer nachos in a cast-iron skillet and cover with cheese and your favourite toppings for a smoky campfire treat!

Linguine pesto – cook up some linguine and mix in a few spoonfuls of store-bought pesto.

Tinned soup – when you’re hungry and in a hurry, heat up a tin of soup and top with grated cheese. 

Quick mediterranean couscous – cook up some couscous and mix in some feta, olives, fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil before eating. 

Lip-Smacking Campsite Desserts in 10 Minutes

Roasted Apples With Raisins & Walnuts

Health rating: 4 stars

Source from BBC good food

Suitable for: grilling, campfire cooking, wild camping, RV camping, families with kids, large groups.

Equipment needed: open fire or grill, aluminum foil, chopping board, bowl, knife and apple corer. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 2 cooking apples (though any type of apple is fine!) 
  • A small amount of raisins and walnuts
  • A pinch of brown sugar
  • Cinnamon powder
  • A knob of butter

Cooking Instructions

  1. Wash and remove the core of the apples. 
  2. Place each apple on a square of aluminum foil large enough to completely cover the apple. 
  3. In a bowl, mix together raisin, raisins, crushed walnuts, a little brown sugar and cinnamon powder. Add a little butter into this mix if you have it. 
  4. Fill each of the apple cores with this mix.
  5. Place in the hot embers of your fire (or on the low heat of a grill). They should be ready to eat in 10-15 minutes depending on the type of apple. 

Banana And Chocolate Melt

Health rating: 2 stars

Suitable for: grilling, campfire cooking, wild camping, RV camping, families with kids, large groups. 

Equipment needed: open fire or grill, aluminum foil, chopping board, knife. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 tsp of chocolate chips (or substitute with Nutella) 
  • 2 tsp of mini marshmallows (or chopped large marshmallows) 

Cooking Instructions

  1. Open out the banana but leave the skin on. Slice each banana lengthways but not all the way through.
  2. Put a teaspoon each of chocolate and marshmallows into the slits of each banana.
  3. Wrap in foil and place in the hot embers of your fire (or on the low heat of a grill).
  4. They will be ready to eat in around 10 mins. 

Roasted Peaches With Pecans

Health rating: 4 stars

Source from Reynolds kitchens

Suitable for: grilling, campfire cooking, wild camping, RV camping, families with kids, large groups. 

Equipment needed: open fire or grill, aluminum foil, chopping board, bowl, knife. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 2 ripe peaches
  • 1/4 cup of pecans
  • 1 tsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar or caramel sauce

Cooking Instructions

  1. Wash peaches and slice in half, removing the pits. 
  2. Butter a large square of aluminum foil and drizzle with a tablespoon of caramel sauce or brown sugar.
  3. Add the pecans on top of this. 
  4. Place you peach halves cut side down, then wrap them up well and place them in the hot embers of your fire (or the low heat of a grill)
  5. Cook slowly for around 20 mins. 

S’ mores

Health rating: 1 star

Suitable for: wild camping, grilling, campfire cooking, wild camping, RV camping, families with kids, large groups. 

Equipment needed: open fire or grill, skewers or sticks. 

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 2 large marshmallows
  • 2 squares of chocolate
  • 2 crackers

Cooking Instructions

  1. Place the marshmallows onto skewers or sticks and heat over an open flame until beginning to brown and melt.
  2. Place the melted marshmallow inside two crackers with a large square of chocolate.
  3. Eat! 

Campfire Apple Crisp

Health rating: 3 stars

Source from Recipes from a pantry

Suitable for: wild camping, grilling, campfire cooking, wild camping, RV camping, families with kids, large groups. 

Equipment needed: open fire or grill, aluminum foil, chopping board, knife, bowl, spatula or wooden spoon. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • Pinch of nutmeg & cinnamon
  • 3 apples

Cooking Instructions

  1. Mix together the oats, flour, sugar and spices. 
  2. Cut the butter into the flour until you have a crumbly mixture.
  3. Core and cut the apples into thick slices. 
  4. Take a large sheet of foil and spray it with cooking oil. 
  5. Place the apples on the sheet of foil and add the oat mix on top. 
  6. Take another piece of sprayed foil and place this on top of the oats and apples. Fold around the edges to seal the foil package.
  7. Cook in the embers for around 20 minutes. 

Camping Recipes Ideas for Vegan

Chickpea Hash

Health rating: 5 stars!

Source from Fresh off the grid

Suitable for: grilling, campfire, RV camping, families with kids, large groups.

Equipment needed: open fire or camping stove, saucepan (and frying pan if available), chopping board, knife, spatula or wooden spoon. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 1 tin cooked chickpeas
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp dried coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dried cumin

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in your frying pan or skillet and bring to a medium high heat. 
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper and zucchini and sauté until they start to soften. 
  3. Add the spices
  4. Drain the chickpeas and add these to the pan. Continue to cook for around 10 minutes, or until everything is cooked through and slightly browned. 
  5. Make a space in the centre of the pan and crack the eggs into this space. Cook according to your taste
  6. Season generously with salt and pepper. 

Tofu And Vegetable Scramble

Health rating: 5 stars!

Source from happy herbivore

Suitable for: grilling, campfire cooking, wild camping, RV camping, families with kids, large groups. 

Equipment needed: open fire or camping stove, skillet or frying pan, chopping board, knife. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 1 packet firm tofu
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • Soya sauce

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet or frying pan and add the onion and red pepper. Cook for 3 minutes or until softened.
  2. Add the spices and mix well. 
  3. Crumble the tofu into the pan by hand. Stir regularly, until all the vegetables are lightly browned. 
  4. Drizzle with soya sauce if you have it, and then serve.

Sun-dried Tomato Spaghetti

Health rating: 4 stars

Source from Taste

Suitable for: grilling, campfire cooking, wild camping, RV camping, families with kids, large groups. 

Equipment needed: open fire or camping stove, skillet or frying pan, saucepan chopping board, knife. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped black olives
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh basil
  • Olive oil 

Cooking Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and add your spaghetti. Cook for 8-12 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a skillet or frying pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes or until softened.
  3. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, olives and pine nuts and mix well. 
  4. Remove from the heat and add the fresh basil. 
  5. Drain the spaghetti and add to the tomato mix.
  6. Drizzle with generous amounts of olive oil, and salt and pepper according to taste. 

Sweet & Easy Vegan Stir-Fry

Health rating: 5 stars!

Source from modern honey

Suitable for: grilling, campfire cooking, wild camping, RV camping, families with kids, large groups.

Equipment needed: open fire or camping stove, skillet or frying pan, chopping board, knife. Cutlery and bowls or plates for serving.

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice 
  • A handful of chopped, fresh coriander 
  • Sesame oil
  • Soya sauce
  • 1 packet quick-cook noodles

Cooking Instructions

  1. Boil some water in a pan and add the noodles, cooking according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Stir fry onions, garlic and vegetables at a medium high heat until beginning to brown. 
  3. Add the Chinese 5 spice. 
  4. Drain the quick-cook noodles and drizzle them in plenty of sesame oil and soy sauce.
  5. Mix the noodles and vegetables together and serve. 

Baked Potatoes With A Simple Salad

Health rating: 5 stars!

Source from Bon Appetit

Suitable for: grilling, campfire cooking, wild camping, RV camping, families with kids, large groups. 

Equipment needed: open fire, bowl, chopping board, knife. Cutlery and bowl or plate for serving. 

Ingredients – serves 2 people

  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber, finely chopped
  • One tomato, finely chopped
  • One sweet onion, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 2 large tbsp lemon juice

Cooking Instructions

  1. Cut your potatoes in half and wrap them in foil.
  2. Place the potatoes into the hot embers of your fire. 
  3. Mix the finely chopped vegetables in a bowl and drizzle generously with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Remove and unwrap the potatoes after 30-40 minutes, and serve with your side salad and extra olive oil if you like it. 

Quick & Easy One-Pot Vegan Ideas

Pasta salad – add tinned corn, chopped fresh vegetables and vegan mayonnaise and lemon juice to a pot of farfalle pasta. 

Grilled corn on the cob – sweet and satisfying, corn on the cob grilled outdoors is smoky and delicious. 

Stir-fried veggie wraps – stir fry some finely chopped vegetables with your favorite spices and stuff them generously into a wholewheat wrap.

Spaghetti with vegan pesto – cook up some spaghetti and mix in your favorite vegan pesto.

Vegan instant noodles – chop fresh spring onions and a handful of fresh herbs into instant cook vegan noodles.

Get Creative With Your Camp Cooking!

Finally, remember that camp cooking should be fun! Once you have built up a range of basic camp recipes like the ones we have shared, you will feel confident enough to experiment. All of these recipes can be adapted easily according to your own tastes, and you’ll find it incredibly satisfying to know that you can make a tasty meal from just a few simple ingredients. 

Please comment below to let us know if these camping recipes have left you feeling inspired to get cooking outdoors!

7 Essential Camping Tips and Tricks for Beginners Like a Pro [2021]

Unplugging from your phone and computer to take a few nights in the wilderness is one of the best ways to relax and reconnect with nature. There is nothing more refreshing than watching a beautiful sunset and then sleeping under the stars!

We’d like to share our very best camping tips and tricks with you, so that you can camp in comfort and safety, while enjoying everything our beautiful, natural world has to offer.

Are you an experienced camper who wants to take a fresh approach to their next adventure? Or perhaps you are totally new to camping and would like to feel prepared before you make your first trip. Either way, we have lots of inspiring ideas to explore!

Where Do I Start As a Camp Newbies?

Time spent in the peaceful atmosphere of the forest or the mountains can be the perfect break from a busy, modern life. There are many different ways to go camping, so let’s start by looking at two of the most popular options.

Campsite camping

This is a great choice for those who want to enjoy a few modern conveniences and prefer to camp with company. There is a huge range of campsites available around the world – from the small and simple where drinking water and toilets are provided, to larger, facility-rich sites with hot showers, swimming pools and games facilities for children.

You get to choose what suits you best, but bear in mind that popular campsites need to be booked in advance during busy periods like school holidays.

Wild camping/primitive camping

This approach is for the intrepid camper who wants to be far away from the trappings of the modern world and immerse themselves in nature. Wild camping simply means pitching your tent in a natural location with no facilities (check local regulations to see what is legal in your area).

Primitive campsites are officially designated sites that have little or no infrastructure, though you may meet a few other campers or have access to a simple log cabin for shelter. These kinds of campsites are often found dotted along hiking trails and in national parks.

There is a wide range of environments that are fun to wild camp in:

  • Jungle camping
  • Mountain camping
  • Latitude camping
  • Lowlands camping

Your Essential Beginner’s Camping Kit

What you need to take on your camping trip depends in part on where you are going camping. The general principle is that if you are backpacking, wild camping or without a vehicle, your main priority is going to be keeping things lightweight and portable.

If you are simply driving to a nearby campsite, then you don’t need to worry about weight restrictions, and you can bring heavier ‘luxury’ items like packable chairs or portable grills. Either way, the list of core items that you’ll need is as follows.

• Backpack:What kind of camping trip are you taking? If you’re simply driving to a campsite, then a daypack for shorter local hikes will be plenty. If you are doing a multi-day hike, you’re going to need a large backpack that is comfortable to wear even when full. Ladies – look out for backpacks designed specifically to fit women!

• Tent & footprint: How many people will sleep in the tent? What kind of climate are you camping in? Ask yourself these questions and choose a tent that suits your trip. It is worth investing in the best tent you can afford – if you treat it well it should last you a long time.

Buying a footprint for your tent is a great idea as it protects the base of the tent from rough ground. This is a small extra cost that can greatly increase the lifespan of your tent.

>>Read More: Reviews-Best Large Family Camping Tents to Back You Up (3-12 Persons)

• Sleeping bag & sleeping liner: These can make or break a camping trip! Once again, buy the best you can afford. Most sleeping bags come with a temperature rating, so be sure that your sleeping bag suits the climate that you are going to be camping in.

A sleeping bag liner helps to keep your sleeping bag clean and can provide an additional layer of warmth on cooler nights. On hot summer nights, you can unzip your sleeping bag and sleep in just the liner.

• Sleeping mat: Sleeping mats come in a variety of styles, from simple, thin foam-based mats to more advanced air or self-inflating pads. Self-inflating or air pads offer greater comfort and cushioning than foam pads, and if you’re willing to invest in one that is top-of-the-range, you will also find lightweight options that are suitable for backpacking trips and wild camping.

• Head torch or flashlight: It should go without saying that having a head torch or flashlight is invaluable at night, both for finding your way around a dark tent and for venturing out into unlit spaces. Don’t forget to carry spare batteries with you too.

• First aid kit: A first aid kit is absolutely essential for any camping trip, especially if you are going to be camping away from civilization. Purchase a ready-made medical kit designed for hikers and you know that you’ll be well prepared in the case of any minor injuries.

• Map & compass: Although many people are used to navigating via the GPS apps on their phone, a consistent signal cannot be depended upon when out in nature. Always carry a map and compass with you to be safe! Additionally, battery life can be problematic on longer trips. If you feel more comfortable knowing that you can recharge your phone, then it is best to purchase a portable solar charger or a spare battery for your device.

• Toiletries & toilet paper: The basics you’ll need are soap, hand sanitizer, deodorant, toilet paper, toothbrush and toothpaste. Pack any medications you need, as well as a quick-drying towel.

• Food & water: Your food and drink needs will vary depending on where you are camping. Will you be close to local shops where you can top up your supplies? Or will you be in a wilderness location that requires you to carry all your food with you? Plan accordingly.

• Cooking equipment: At the very least you will need are a stove and fuel, eating and cooking utensils and plates or bowls. You’ll also need a container in which to do your washing up, as well as some biodegradable soap and a sponge or pot scrubber. Don’t forget to pack matches or firelighters too!

>>Read More: Camping Essentials Checklist: The Master Packing Guide [Printable]

Tips & Tricks Before Your Camping Trip

It is natural to feel a little nervous if you’ve never been camping before. Remember that our ancestors lived for hundreds of years without the advanced shelter and modern technologies that we are used to! If they could do it, so can you. With this in mind, here are a few tips to have you setting off on your first trip feeling positive.

Keep it simple!

For your first camping experience, choose an easy option closer to civilization. A couple of nights at a fully equipped campsite with drinking water plus good bathrooms and showers will ease you into the routines of camping. From here you can build your confidence towards wild camping in remote locations.

Do a test run at home

Once you have your essential camping kit ready to go, one of the best things that you can do to ensure a successful trip is to have a ‘trial run’ at home. This gives you the chance to test out all of your kits and feel confident that everything is in good working order.

Pitch your tent and set up your sleeping gear, and consider spending a night camped out in your back yard! This way you can be sure you aren’t missing any poles or pegs and that your sleeping kit is comfortable and warm. Try cooking a meal too, so that you are confident using your stove before you go on your first trip.

Research your destination & be prepared

Look online for information and reviews about your camping destination. If you have friends or family who like to camp, ask for their advice too. Plan this first trip carefully and be sure you know what facilities are going to be available to you at the campsite.

Look at the weather forecast

Having an idea of the kind of weather conditions you will face makes all the difference to your comfort and enjoyment. If you’re going to be faced with high temperatures, bring your swimming costume, a hat and plenty of sunscreens. If it is likely to rain, make sure you have waterproofs with you. Bring some simple activities like a book and a pack of cards to enjoy when the weather prevents you from being outside.

Make a checklist and pack carefully

A packing checklist is essential to make sure you don’t forget anything. As you pack, tick off each individual item. Keep your checklist somewhere safe, and be sure to adjust the list as you gain more camping experience. Make a note of any lessons learnt from each new camping trip!

Here are the printable camping essentials checklist you will need.

Attitude is everything!

Camping is an adventure, and in the end, the best thing that you can take with you is an attitude of excitement and curiosity! If you are able to enjoy slowing down and embracing everything that happens,  you’ll come away from your trip with great memories and plenty of wild stories to share.

It is also a great confidence booster to know that you are able to take care of yourself in a natural setting, and without being dependent upon on all the tools and toys of modern life. Every time you go camping, you learn something new.

Where Should I Set Up My Tent?

There are some basic criteria to follow when setting up your tent. These will help you to avoid making some of the most common camping mistakes. These are mostly based on common sense and simple observation.

Find a good ground

Look for flat ground and avoid anything with a slope. Slopes can mean water running under your tent at night, or finding that you and your possessions are slowly sliding their way towards one end of the tent during the night. Avoid setting up your tent in a dip or a trench where water can gather, and you are likely to find yourself cold and damp.

Once you have chosen a piece of flat ground, take a moment to check for sharp rocks or protruding tree roots. Clear away any small stones and branches to ensure that the base of your tent doesn’t get damaged. Following these steps means that you will be sleeping comfortably on a smooth surface.  

Don’t forget to look up!

This is one that many people forget. If you are going to be camping under trees, look up to the tree canopy and make sure that there are no dead or broken branches above where you are planning to set up. The same goes for loose rock ledges. Take your time to observe the environment before you make your choice, and if in doubt, choose another spot.

Check the location of the sun

When camping in the summer, you don’t want to set up your tent in a location that receives full sun as this can turn your tent into an unintended sauna! Be aware of where the sun rises and sets, and consider how this will affect the temperatures in your tent. In contrast, during the cooler months, you may want to opt for the sunniest spot you can find to ensure that you stay comfortable during the night.

Stake your tent properly

It is easy to get lazy about this one, but staking your tent properly means you won’t be vulnerable to wind and unexpected changes in weather. Take the time to do this and you won’t run the risk of finding that your temporary home has blown off into the bushes!

How to Get A Good Night’s Sleep Whilst Camping?

This is a common concern for those who are new to camping. If you are wondering how you are going to sleep well whilst outdoors, we have plenty of trips that will ensure you feel well-rested. If you plan ahead and are well prepared, you’ll sleep well whilst enjoying the benefits of sleeping in the clean, fresh air.

Invest in high-quality bedding

A high-quality sleeping bag is absolutely essential for your warmth and comfort. Choose the best quality you can afford – you get what you pay for! Choose a sleeping mat that fits your height and weight, and opt for a self-inflating or air mat that gives you greater cushioning and insulation from the ground.

If you are going camping with a car, you can also opt for a less portable and more luxurious option such as a standard air mattress designed for home use, and you can even bring your favourite bedding with you.

Maintain a comfortable temperature

If you know you are a warm sleeper, be sure to have a sleeping bag that suits your body’s needs. Sleeping bag zippers allow you to regulate your temperature and ensure that you don’t wake up due to over-heating. On the other hand, if you tend to be cold at night, make sure that you have a sleeping bag specifically designed for cooler temperatures. Consider packing an extra fleece blanket or a thicker sleeping bag liner too.

Have separate sleeping bags and sleeping mats

Having your own sleeping bag and a single sleeping mat is the best way to ensure that you are not woken up by the movements of other sleepers.

Carry earplugs and an eye mask

A tent does little to block out the morning sunlight, so if you want to sleep past dawn, an eye mask is your best friend. Choose a material that feels good on your skin, like silk. Earplugs are also a great help when you’re outdoors, whether it is for keeping out the sounds of snoring campers or enthusiastic morning birdsong.

Test out your kit before you hit the road

We’ve discussed this one already, but it is worth emphasizing how important it is to have tried out all of your camping gear before you set off on your adventure. In particular, make sure you are confident in setting up your tent, because this can be a source of stress.

Set up camp well before sunset

There is nothing worse than trying to set up a tent in a hurry because it is getting dark, or worse still when it is already dark! Do yourself a huge favor and plan your arrival with plenty of time to get yourself settled in before nighttime arrives.

Hacks to Stay Hygienic, Healthy And Safe When Camping

This is such an important factor when it comes to having a good time outdoors. No one wants to have their holiday spoilt by sickness. Maintaining good levels of hygiene helps you to stay safe in situations where medical assistance is not close to hand.

Wash or sanitize your hands often

To prevent the spread of germs, always clean your hands before preparing a meal and then again after eating. It is also good practice to wash your hands before gathering water or re-filling your water bottle. After every trip to the bathroom, be thorough and spend time washing your hands carefully.

Outdoor washing & showering tips

When camping in an area with no facilities, the best option is to find yourself a clean river or lake where you can take a refreshing, full-body plunge. When this is not available, fill your washing-up container with water and clean your hands, face and armpits. A refreshing foot bath can be done this way too.

If you don’t mind carrying the extra weight, you might choose to bring a simple solar shower with you. This is a bladder with a shower attachment that can be filled with water and hung up. You’ll need a sunny day to enjoy standing under warm water!

Cautions: Dump your soapy water in the soil into the soil at 200 feet or more from the water source. Even biodegradable soaps can be harmful to aquatic life and can contaminate streams and river, so please don’t use these when you are taking a swim.

Bury human waste away from water sources

When you need to go out in the wild, do this at least 200 feet from any water sources to prevent contamination of the water  (both for yourself and fellow hikers). If you are wild camping, carry a small hiking trowel for digging. Dig a small hole at least 6 inches deep and bury solid waste once you are done. Place a rock or stone over the hole to prevent animals from digging. Pack out any toilet paper in plastic bags, as this is safer than burning paper in the wilderness.

Bring insect repellent to keep bugs and mosquitoes away

This helps to keep away mosquitoes and other biting bugs – these are a nuisance at best and a health risk in areas where mosquitoes transmit diseases. Consider carrying scented candles designed for keeping mosquitoes away, and be careful to leave your tent zipped up so they don’t get into your sleeping space. If you are bitten by a mosquito, aloe vera gel is a great natural remedy to help lessen the itching.

Be prepared for all weather conditions

Don’t allow yourself to get really cold and wet, as this is a recipe for getting sick. Always carry a waterproof jacket and trousers, and avoid wearing cotton clothes as these are very slow to dry and will leave you soggy and uncomfortable!

When wild camping during really rainy weather, consider setting up a tarp that you can sit under. Keep yourself dry, get out your stove and enjoy a mug of hot chocolate as you listen to the sound of the rain falling.

Likewise, be prepared for facing hot weather – carry a hat, sunglasses, suncream and lightweight layers of clothing that allow you to moderate your temperature. Remember to hydrate regularly.

Any winter camping tips?

First and foremost, ensure that you have suitable clothing. Wear lots of layers and take care of your hands and feet with thick socks and gloves. Check that your sleeping bag is suitable for the coldest temperatures you are likely to experience, and have a 4 season tent that can handle cold and stormy conditions. Consume plenty of calories and eat hot food often. Fill your water bottle with warm water to sip during the day.

Camping Tips for Purifying Water When Outdoors

Most larger campsites offer clean drinking water, but if you are at a more basic campsite or you are wild camping you need to be prepared to provide your own water.

Camping with a car makes this easy, as you can simply fill the trunk with sufficient bottled water for your trip. When you are setting off for a longer period with a backpack, you have to be prepared to gather and purify water during your trip.

Natural water sources can contain harmful bacteria and viruses, so drinking directly from them is not advisable.

Here are four simple methods for ensuring that you have clean water no matter where you are camping. It is always best to have at least two methods available to you in case a piece of equipment breaks or is lost.

  1. Boiling – this traditional method requires nothing more than your camping stove and pan, and can be done at mealtimes to avoid having to unpack your kit at other times. Bring your water to the boil for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Survival straws – this a packable straw that is designed to remove bacteria and pathogens from water. They are lightweight and efficient. With a survival straw, you can even drink directly from a water source.
  3. Bottle filters and purifiers – these are built-in filters for water bottles that are convenient and easy to use. They have built-in filtration elements, and usually, involve a replaceable filter element. It is a good idea to carry a spare with you.
  4. Disinfecting tablets – these are often chlorine or iodine-based tablets that can be added directly to your water container. They are affordable and highly portable. The downside is that some impart a flavor to the water. You also have to wait a while before drinking as the tablets need some time to purify the water, so a little forward planning is required.

Outdoor Cooking Ideas and Tips

Cooking can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of camping, and you get to choose how much you want to experiment with this! From simple ready-made meals to extravagant family barbecues, there are options to suit all tastes. Always remember to carry matches and a lighter with you.

Decide what style of camp cooking you prefer

Small portable gas stoves – a popular choice that involves a foldable element that is attached to a miniature butane or propane canister. Great for simple, one-pot cooking and ideal for carrying in a backpack.

Portable liquid or solid fuel stoves – these are fuel-led by burning fuel tablets or methylated spirits, so they are both portable and very cheap to run. They involve a little less weight than gas stoves, so are an excellent choice for backpackers who want to keep their pack weight low.

Multi-burner stoves/hobs – these are larger and more suitable for camping when you have travelled by car. They are usually fueled by heavy gas canisters that are not suitable for carrying any distance. They allow you to have multiple pots cooking, so you have a great degree of flexibility in what you cook.

Open fire cooking– nothing is more satisfying than a meal cooked over an open fire. Many campsites have fire pits for you to use. Simple cooking forks can be used roast vegetables, or you can hang a fire-proof pot for making stews and soups. If weight is no concern, a sturdy cast-iron skillet can make you an amazing fried breakfast!

Camp grill – many campsites offer communal grills for enjoying an open-air barbecue. You might be waiting in turn if the campsite is busy, but this is a great option for grilling meat for larger numbers of campers.

Some simple campsite cooking tips for you

Before you leave home, chop up some vegetables and place them in zip-lock bags so you have less preparation to do at the campsite. It’s also a great idea to bring aluminium foil for baking food directly in the fire. When cooking in a pan, always put the lid on as the food will cook quicker and you will save on gas. Bring a small amount of salt, pepper and some of your favorite dried herbs so that your food is always to your taste and good to eat even when it is simply cooked.

Bring a cooler if you are camping with a car, but focus on bringing plenty of dried foods like pasta and packet soups as you won’t have a fridge.

Quick and easy camping food ideas you can try

Although there are many ready-made meals available on the market and it is great to pack some of these for those moments when you really want something warm to eat right away. However, it is also great fun to experiment with your own outdoor cooking. The flavor of food cooked over an open fire is really special, as is the experience of sitting around the fire with friends.

  • Treat yourself to skewers of mixed vegetables or roast some corn on the cob – they become sweet and caramelized when cooked on the grill or over the open fire.
  • Make some simple flatbreads with flour, water and a few dried herbs. Eat them hot with breakfast scrambled eggs, or dip them into your lunchtime stew.
  • Pack some sweet snacks like marshmallows to enjoy in the evening roasted over the fire.
  • Keep it simple with long-lasting wraps or tortillas with fillings like tuna and sliced onions or high protein nut butter.

Add salami or preserved sausage to packet soups for a fuller flavor and a more filling meal.

Need more camping menu ideas? Check out 35 easy recipes for your breakfast/lunch/dinner.

Are You Ready For Your Camping Trip? (In Conclusion)

We hope that these handy hints and backpacking tips leave you feeling confident and ready to enjoy camping to the full, regardless of whether you are an experienced backpacker or a total newbie. We wish you all the best on your next camping adventure!

Comment below to let us know if these camping hacks have left you feeling well prepared.