How to pack food for camping

Knowing how to pack food for camping is going to make your trip more enjoyable, and is one of a few things you need to know about about camping.

Heading out for a weekend getaway in the great wide open of the UK, there’s so many
considerations to be had.

how to pack food for camping

For example: how long you’re camping for, who’s going to be there, where you want to go, the sights you want to see and so on. But there’s one key planning consideration that takes the cake when it comes the time to pack for a UK road trip: food.

How does the song go? “Food glorious food, we’re anxious to try it…” That’s about right and here at Camping Cubs, it couldn’t be any more of a question we see flooding through the comments.

So, we thought we’d jump right on the topic and talk about how to pack food for camping.


There are a few initial things to consider about camping food such as the company and the duration, but a few biscuits for the little ones, a tipple for the adults and some multiplication will get you on the way.

After all, a camping trip shouldn’t be a getaway to stress about.

Here are the key points for packing camping food for your UK stay-cation:

Always Pack Extra Water

Water is the most important part to survival.

While we don’t want to go entirely ‘Bear Grylls” on the family trip to the campsite, survival is everything.

Standard health guidelines state you should take about one gallon of water per day
camping per person.

So, if you were camping as a family of four for a weekend, you’d need eight gallons of water in the pack for a UK road trip.

However, there are some more impacts that will affect how much extra water you
may need to pack, take a look:
• Altitude
• Guest Packers
• Heat
• Humidity
• Activity Expenditure
• Pregnancy
• Pets
• Cleaning Water
• Cooking Water

Think About Waste-Free Food

When we say waste-free food, we mean taking small-packed foods that avoid the use
of plastics, single-use bags and unnecessary packaging that only bulks your camping
bags anyway.

Strive to keep the environment a healthy and happy place by using waste-free food and one of our main outdoor tactics is to use foods that come with their own biodegradable wrapping such as cooked eggs, apples, bananas, potatoes, carrots, etc.

Another favourite trend is beeswax paper for other items such as homemade sandwiches, bread, rice, pasta and other non-perishables, too.

Meal-Preps are a Camper’s Best Friend

The last couple of years has seen a recent trend in ‘meal prepping’, placing a twist on
the ever-famous lunchbox.

However, taking a leaf out of the everyday cookbook and we find ourselves with the perfect solution for how to pack food for camping.

Instead of buying expensive pre-packed meals (that involve lots of plastic wrappers),
it can be time saving, money saving, health saving and environment saving to opt for
pre-planned meals divided into stackable containers that can be placed at the bottom
of your bags.

Remember, placing food at the bottom of your backpack can be vital as heat rises.
Heat is generated through everything: from the sun to your back and from the clothes
in your bag (if they’re rubbing against each other) and the residual running of power-banks.

Not only this, but it can broaden the menu choices for friends and family.

While there’s no denying campsite classics such as freshly cooked beans on toast or toasted marshmallows on the campfire (don’t forget to always ask the landowner’s permission before striking a campsite fire).

Some of our favourite food-prep and container hacks we’ve seen happy campers
cleverly create over the years include:
• Bringing overnight oats, fruit and yoghurt in a jar
• Placing spices in pill boxes
• Finding re-usable silicone zip-lock bags for pre-made BLTs
• Putting nuts, seeds, raisins, rice and other small snackables into tic-tac boxes
• Making a traditional family camping fruit loaf
• Using dental floss to create make-shift coffee containers with filter paper
• Taking a cooler of family-sized pasta salad


Consider a Cooler for Fresh Food and the Order of Placement

So, you know you’ll be out in the wilderness for a couple of days escaping the grind
and you know you’ll have someone to share the smiles along the way.

So, opt for a backpack cooler (rather than a backpack and a colossal plastic cooler).
Once you’ve got your backpack, you can think about how to pack food for camping in
the Tetris-style of fitting everything in in the most camping food-friendly way possible.

This is without having drinks seeping onto clothes, hot food spoiling cold food, cans
piercing valuables and all sorts of other faffs.

Consider this level-style of packing that will optimise food preservation while
preventing any unwanted cross-contamination.
– First layer: place the things that needs to stay very cold and stay cool well such as chocolate, water, ice and butter.
– Second layer: place all items that need to stay cool such as cooked meats (don’t
take raw meats unless carried in a separate container for safety), cheese,
sauces, sandwiches and salads.
– Third layer: place all food stuffs that don’t necessarily need to be cooled but
will last longer and taste better such as hard-boiled eggs, bread, tortillas, rice
and other fresh produce like fruit and vegetables.
– Fourth layer: place everything else in here, from the non-perishables to the
cutlery and crockery.

The Top Food Choices for a Weekend Camping Trip

Now onto the best part of all: meal ideas.

When it comes to camping, we’ve already mentioned the classics. Of course, there are others that make the list like the infamous cup-a-soup.

But we like to remain fresh, healthy and energised in order to make the most out of the camping trip, especially if it’s to chase that one and only weekend in the UK where the sun peeps out from behind the clouds.

Here are some of the most popular foods, snacks and meals to pack for a UK road trip:

• Pesto Pasta
• Caesar Salad
• Vegan Frittatas
• Homemade Leak and Potato Soup
• Crackers and Peanut Butter
• Homemade Protein Flapjack
• Smoky Chorizo and Bean Bake
• Scrambled Egg Bombs
• Natural Fruit
• Jacket Potatoes
• Sweet and Salted Crepes
• Chicken Salad Baguette
• Popcorn
• Beans on Toast
• Vegetable Skewers
• Ham, Cheese and Mayo Tiger Bread Sandwiches
• Salted Pretzels
• Crispy Veg Quinoa Salad
• Banana Pancakes
• Overnight Oat Jars
• Campfire Nachos
• Siracha Corn-on-the-Cob
• Swiss Tuna Salad Croissant
• Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Well, that draws an end to the most important question of all: how to pack food for camping in the exotic staycation grounds of the UK campsite.

So, I guess that makes room for the not so important stuff such as safety, light, time, people, tent options, luxury chair options, scheduling and so on.
We’d love to hear more about what questions you have and how the team here at camping Cubs can de-mystify some of the camping queries out there.

So, don’t forget to leave a comment, get in touch or share on social media!

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