110 of the best foods to bring winter camping

by | Nov 24, 2023 | Winter camping

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There are a lot of advantages to taking food winter camping.

For instance, the outdoors is a natural refrigerator or freezer!

Winter is also a time to chow down on hearty, warming foods that give you energy.

Some tips for selecting and packing food for winter camping:

  • Choose high-calorie, nutrient-dense foods that will give you sustained energy throughout the day.
  • Include plenty of protein in your meals to help keep your body warm and provide essential nutrients for muscle repair.
  • Don’t forget about hydration!

Winter air can be dry and dehydrating, so be sure to plan a few liquid-based meals (like soups and stews) and pack plenty of water and hydrating beverages.

Here are 100 food ideas that are perfect for winter camping—starting with breakfast, then moving into lunch and snack ideas, followed by dinner foods, baked goods, hot beverages, and all those little extra things (like oils, spices, and condiments) that you might forget.

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Our top 110 food list winter camping

Vegetables roasting in a skillet at a campsite in winter

Oatmeal with Dried Fruits: A warm bowl of oatmeal can kick-start your day. For additional nutrition, add dried fruits like raisins, apricots, or cranberries.

Eggs and Bacon: Pre-cooked bacon and dehydrated eggs are an easy and hearty camping breakfast.

Pancakes: Pancake mix is easy to carry, and you can top your pancakes with powdered sugar or portable syrup packets for a sweet start to your day.

Breakfast Burrito: Pre-make burritos with scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheese, then wrap them in foil and freeze. They’re easy to heat up over your campfire.

Granola and Powdered Milk: This no-cook option is easy and satisfying. Just add water to the powdered milk and pair it with your favourite granola.

Bagels with Peanut Butter: Bagels are durable and filling. Peanut butter adds protein to keep you fueled for your activities.

Hash Browns: Dehydrated hash browns are light to carry and easy to prepare with some hot water.

Instant Quinoa: Quinoa is high in protein and fibre, making it a great camping breakfast. Look for instant packets for an easy-to-prep meal.

Freeze-Dried Fruit and Nuts: This is a quick and lightweight option, providing both energy and essential nutrients.

Hot Cocoa and Energy Bars: For a lighter start, energy bars coupled with a hot cocoa can give a quick energy boost and warm you up in cold weather.

Dehydrated Soups: These are easy to pack and just need hot water to prepare. They also provide a warm and comforting meal in cold weather.

Beef Jerky and Crackers: Beef jerky is lightweight, high in protein, and does not require refrigeration. Crackers provide a crunchy texture and additional carbs.

Tuna and Mayo Packets: Tuna in packets is lightweight, non-perishable, and high in protein. Mayo packets, which don’t require refrigeration, add creaminess.

Cheese and Salami: Hard cheeses and cured meats like salami can withstand cooler temperatures and make up a protein-rich and satisfying lunch.

Instant Noodles: A classic camping staple that’s lightweight and easy to prepare with hot water.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches: These are easy to make and pack, and provide a good balance of protein, fats, and carbs.

Instant Rice and Beans: Look for pre-packaged instant rice and bean mixes that only require hot water. This combo provides a hearty and high-protein meal.

Trail Mix: A mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruits and chocolate provides a quick energy boost and doesn’t require preparation.

Pre-made Pasta Salad: Pasta salads made with hardy ingredients like olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and canned tuna can last a few days in cooler temperatures.

Instant Hummus and Crackers: Dehydrated hummus can be rehydrated with water, and paired with crackers for a lightweight, easy-to-carry meal.

Roasted Almonds: High in protein and easy to carry, they can also be enjoyed warm.

Dried Fruit: They’re lightweight, high in energy, and can be easily rehydrated in hot water.

Protein Bars: They can provide a quick energy boost without requiring preparation.

Hardy Fresh Fruits: Apples and oranges travel well and can withstand cool temperatures.

Popcorn: You can pre-pop it at home and carry it in a bag. It’s a light, tasty snack.

Baby Carrots: A nutritious, hardy fresh snack that keeps well in cool temperatures.

Cheese Sticks: Portable, protein-rich, and can be eaten alone or with other snacks.

Rice Cakes: Light and crisp, they are a good source of carbs and can be topped with peanut butter or cheese for extra protein.

Pepperets: A high-protein snack that is easy to pack and does not require refrigeration.

Dark Chocolate: A satisfying and indulgent snack that provides a quick boost of energy.

Frozen Chicken Breasts: When packed properly, they can stay frozen for a day or two, and are versatile for cooking.

Pre-Cooked Sausages: They require minimal cooking time and are excellent for grilling over a campfire.

Frozen Steak: It can stay fresh in a cooler, and nothing beats a steak cooked over an open fire.

Bacon: Easy to cook, extremely flavourful, and can be used in various campfire recipes.

Frozen Fish Fillets: If you’re camping near a water source, fresh-caught fish is an option. Otherwise, frozen fillets are convenient and cook quickly.

Lamb Chops: They’re high in protein, flavourful, and can be easily cooked on a grill or campfire.

Turkey Jerky: A lightweight, non-perishable option that’s packed with protein.

Smoked Ham: Pre-cooked and flavourful, it can be eaten as is or heated up.

Salami: As a cured meat, it can be stored at room temperature and is a tasty option for sandwiches or to be eaten alone.

Frozen Ground Beef: Versatile and high in protein, it can be used in a variety of recipes from burgers to chili.

Canned Tuna: Rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, it can be used in sandwiches or salads.

Canned Salmon: Great for a hearty campfire meal and high in essential nutrients.

Canned Chicken: A versatile ingredient that can be added to soups, stews, or salads.

Canned Corned Beef: Tasty and filling, it can be used in sandwiches or with crackers.

Canned Ham: Easy to prepare and can be used in a variety of dishes, from breakfast to dinner.

Canned Sardines: High in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, they are a tasty addition to pasta or salads.

Canned Vienna Sausages: Makes for a quick protein-rich snack or to be used in a variety of recipes.

Canned Turkey: Ideal for sandwiches or can be added to stews for a hearty winter meal.

Canned Beef Stew: A ready-to-eat, hearty meal perfect for a cold winter night.

Canned Chili: Another ready-to-eat option that’s satisfying and warming during the cold winter months.

Canned Green Beans: Easy to heat and serve, these make a great side dish to any meal.

Canned Carrots: Rich in vitamin A and perfect for soups.

Canned Peas: A versatile vegetable that can be mixed in with pasta or rice.

Canned Corn: It can be used in a wide variety of dishes from soups to fritters.

Canned Beets: High in fibre and can be eaten as a side or salad ingredient.

Canned Spinach: Packed with iron and perfect for sautéing with garlic.

Canned Tomatoes: Ideal for stews, chili or pasta dishes.

Canned Pumpkin: Great for desserts or to flavour your morning oatmeal.

Canned Asparagus: Can be grilled or eaten as is, providing a good source of fibre.

Canned Artichoke Hearts: Can be used in salads or pasta dishes or eaten alone as a delicious snack.

Potatoes: Versatile and filling, potatoes can be added to stews or simply roasted over the campfire.

Carrots: Durable and sweet, carrots are a great addition to soups or can be roasted as a side.

Onions: A staple in many dishes, onions can be added to stews or caramelized for a tasty side.

Garlic: A flavourful addition to any dish, garlic can be used in soups, stews or as a seasoning for sides.

Bell Peppers: Robust and tasty, bell peppers can be added to soups or grilled as a side.

Zucchini: Light and versatile, zucchini can be added to stews or roasted as a side.

Broccoli: Nutrient-dense and hearty, broccoli can be added to soups or steamed as a simple side dish.

Sweet Potatoes: Nutritious and filling, sweet potatoes can be roasted, mashed, or added to stews.

Mushrooms: Rich in umami flavour, mushrooms can be added to soups, stews, or sautéed as a side.

Spaghetti: A staple for any pasta dish, spaghetti can be used in a variety of sauces or stir-fried dishes.

Penne: Great for baking or tossing in a hearty sauce, penne is a versatile pasta choice.

Couscous: Quick to cook and easy to pack, couscous makes for a great side dish or salad base.

Quinoa: A protein-packed grain that can be used in salads, as a side, or even in breakfast dishes.

Rice: A versatile grain that’s perfect for stir-fries, side dishes, or as a base for a hot bowl of soup.

Linguine: Often paired with seafood or pesto, linguine is an excellent choice for a filling pasta dish.

Bulgur Wheat: With its nutty flavour and quick cook time, bulgur wheat is a nutritious addition to any meal.

Farro: A hearty grain that works well in stews or as a side dish, providing a satisfying chew and mild flavour.

Macaroni: This pasta shape is universally loved and is perfect for a hot and cheesy macaroni and cheese dish.

Barley: A filling and nutritious grain that’s ideal in soups, stews, or as a warm, comforting side dish.

Banana Bread: A moist, sweet bread that can be easily baked and is perfect for a breakfast treat or a daytime snack.

Scones: Versatile and easy to make, scones can be customized with add-ins like dried fruit or nuts.

Chocolate Chip Cookies: A classic favourite, these can be made ahead of time and are perfect for a sweet treat after a long day of outdoor activities.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies: These hearty cookies provide energy and are easily packed for the trail.

Cornbread: A comforting side dish, cornbread pairs well with hot chili or stew.

Apple Crisp: Utilizing winter’s abundant apples, this dessert can be made in a dutch oven over a campfire.

Pumpkin Pie: A classic winter dessert that can be made easily with canned pumpkin.

Cinnamon Rolls: A sweet, warm breakfast treat perfect for cold winter mornings.

Brownies: Easy to bake and satisfying, brownies are a rich, chocolaty dessert perfect for a night under the stars.

Blueberry Muffins: A simple, easily customizable baked good that serves as a quick breakfast or snack.

Bannock: A traditional North American bread that can be easily made over a campfire. This hearty and versatile bread is a staple for many outdoor enthusiasts.

Hot Chocolate: A classic camping comfort, hot chocolate warms the body and soul after a day’s activities.

Coffee: For many, a camping trip is incomplete without a steaming cup of coffee to kick-start the day.

Tea: With countless flavours available, a hot cup of tea can be a relaxing way to wind down a day.

Mulled Wine: Ideal for winter camping, this spiced, warm wine brings a festive touch to the outdoors.

Hot Cider: Apple or other fruit ciders can be heated with spices for a satisfying and warming drink.

Hot Lemon Water: An easy-to-make beverage that helps with hydration and is known for its health benefits.

Hot Toddy: A combination of liquor, water, honey, herbs, and spices, a hot toddy can be a warming nightcap under the stars.

Mocha: For those who love both coffee and chocolate, a hot mocha is the perfect camping treat.

Chai Latte: This flavourful, spiced tea latte offers warmth and comfort after a busy day.

Broth or Bouillon: Not just a base for soups or stews, a hot cup of broth can be soothing and nutritious at the end of a long day.

Olive Oil: A versatile cooking oil that is good for sautéing and roasting.

Butter: A classic ingredient that adds richness and flavour to many dishes, butter is a must-have for camping cooking.

Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and other spices can add depth and flavour to campfire meals.

Dried Herbs: An easy way to add fresh flavours to any dish while camping.

Cinnamon: A warming spice that can be added to drinks, oatmeal, or baked goods.

Garlic Powder: Adds an aromatic flavour to soups, stews, and other hot meals.

Honey: A natural sweetener that is also a great energy source.

Hot Sauce: For those who like a little heat, hot sauce can enhance meals and warm you up.

Dijon Mustard: Adds a tangy flavour to sandwiches or can be used in marinades.

Soy Sauce: Perfect for flavouring stir-fries or other Asian-inspired dishes cooked over the campfire.

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Elise & Ross

We’re Elise and Ross, avid backcountry campers and outdoor adventurers! We started Gone Camping Again as a way to share our knowledge and experience about wilderness living and travel. Our hope is that we inspire you to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer!

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