Packing For Camping – Food, Drinks & Snacks

When it comes to camping, a great deal of thought always needs to go into what to bring along for food, drinks and snacks.

If you are going on a camping trip that is fairly close to where you live, then you may want to consider packing a good sized cooler* or two with whatever foods you want to bring, making sure you leave plenty of room for ice in the cooler for the foods which need to stay sealed and refrigerated, such as meats, eggs, milk, butter, etc.

However, if your camping destination is a few hours or a day or two (or longer) away from where you will be starting, you may want to wait until you get considerably closer to your destination before you buy the foods which need to be refrigerated, as meats (especially hamburgers or steaks, etc) have a tendency to ‘bleed’ and many meats will become ‘water logged’ if left in ice or cold water (melted ice) for any amount of time while in their original wrappers, and NOBODY likes soggy water logged meats, nor do they like bloody meat juice mixing into the ice cubes that are also keeping the milk, juices, or sodas cold as well!

Tip: A great way to keep meats, butter, cheeses, etc, cold yet away from having contact with the ice or drinks while in a cooler is to put the meats (in their wrappers or without – for certain types of meats such as steaks you may want to marinate for awhile) inside a sturdy and tightly sealed leak proof storage container* which will hold your food without leaking any of its juices into your ice and will help keep it cold as well.

Placing meats in a food container, you can then easily place the containers anywhere you would like in the cooler and put ice around it without having to worry about the foods getting soggy or water logged, nor will you have to worry about meat blood or juices getting into your other foods or contaminating your cans of drinks, milk, or anything else.

Tip: Containers which are made of clear plastic will make it extremely easy for you to see what is in them so you know which foods you would like to pull out of the cooler for cooking meals.

Food storage containers also come in handy for fruits, vegetables or dips you may want to keep cold, and can also come in handy when using them inside of your plastic travel tote (the one for your vehicle, not the cooler), where you can pack them with other camping necessities you may want to bring along such as toothpicks, q-tips, corn cob holders, etc, and neatly place them with your camping gear as well.

When packed right, you can neatly place the storage containers in your cooler with plenty of room for cans and everything else, including the ice.


When it comes to choosing food to bring on your camping trip, you may want to keep in mind simple things like making sure the dates on the food are good, ensuring the foods will remain fresh for the duration of your trip.

Tip: Another great idea for using food storage containers while camping is to place your cereals, oats, or other breakfast foods in them to help keep them fresh and dry.

For meats, you could consider bringing hot dogs for a quick and easy meal. Oh, and what is a campfire without cooking hotdogs over the fire?

Hamburgers also make a great quick and easy meal. Then, of course, there is steak, ribs, or pork-chops you can easily grill to taste!

If you plan on bringing meats, fruits or vegetables to have with your meals, again – don’t hesitate to use food storage containers for anything you need to keep cold in your cooler.

Corn on the cob is an all time favorite camping food as well! There is nothing like enjoying fresh corn on the cob that is grilled to absolute perfection, nor is there anything quite like the smoky grilled taste that comes with cooking corn over an open fire! You can get my super easy directions for grilling corn on the cob by clicking HERE.

Grilled potatoes also make a great side dish for any kind of meat and is tasty as well as filling. For my super easy directions for making grilled potatoes, you can click HERE.

If you plan on fishing while you are camping and also plan on cooking your fish over a fire or on the grill, be sure to cook the fish fairly soon after catching it and while it is still fresh. Even in a tightly sealed container, fish is just one of those things that leak their smell no matter how hard you try to keep it from leaking out and smelling up your cooler with a foul fish odor.

Years ago I had learned the hard way that fish tends to stick to the grates on your grill even after trying various things to prevent it from sticking, or it simply falls off your fire stick while over an open fire.

Tip: When grilling fish or cooking it over a fire, I have found it so much easier to use a grilling basket* for grilling fish.

They also come in handy for cooking hamburgers and hot dogs, though you may want to buy two separate grilling baskets and designate one strictly for fish and the other for burgers, hot dogs, ribs, etc.

And….No camping experience would be complete without making S’mores!

On our many camping trips, my children always looked forward to the evening hours when we would start a campfire and make S’mores over an open fire!

This sweet treat is a favorite among kids as well as adults, and is easy to make.

To make S’mores, you will need a box of graham crackers, a bag of marshmallows, and some bars of chocolate (we love Hershey’s milk chocolate).

I recommend getting the S’mores cracker and chocolate prepared before roasting your marshmallows, as once marshmallows start to roast, they fall off of your fork or stick rather quickly!

Take a whole graham cracker and break it in half and place a chunk of chocolate on one side of the cracker, as if to make a cracker ‘sandwich’. Then put it off to the side until your marshmallow is done roasting.

Put a marshmallow (or two) on the end of a long metal pronged grilling fork or stick, a wood kebob stick, or you can even use a small tree twig, as long as its a clean twig or you clean the wood and then shave one end of it with a knife (do not allow kids to do this unless old enough and supervised) until it has a point you can put the marshmallow(s) on.

Roast the marshmallow over the fire until slightly browned (keep a close eye on your marshmallows while roasting. They start on fire and burn rather quickly!)

When the marshmallow is roasted to your taste, place it on the other half of graham cracker and then fold the two pieces of graham cracker together, completing your S’more, and then ENJOY!

Foods you will want to consider bringing on your camping trip (especially if you have kids) may include:

Other Meats or Favorite Sandwich Meats
Bread, Hamburger Buns, Hot Dog Buns
Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil
Ketchup and Mustard
Mayo or Miracle Whip
Salt and Pepper
Other Spices or Seasonings
Peanut Butter
Macaroni and Cheese (don’t forget to bring a small strainer to strain the water from the noodles!)
Bacon or Sausage
Cereals, Oats, or Breakfast Bars
Your Favorite Fruits and Vegetables


While camping in the mountains or anywhere else, a top priority should be to bring PLENTY of drinking water, whether in jugs or in bottles. You’ll be plenty busy while camping, so you’ll also be plenty thirsty and it’s good to stay hydrated at all times!

While bottled water is great to drink and will easily fit in your cooler, you will also want to consider bringing something which will hold a larger amount of water as well as keep it cold for a lot longer than a traditional bottle of water.

That’s where the Yeti 20 Ounce Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler* comes in handy!

I was first introduced to a Yeti when my daughter had purchased one and had filled it with a drink and ice to test how long it would keep the ice cubes and keep the drink cold. Much to our surprise, the ice had lasted for well over 24 hours and had kept her drink nice and cold!

A Yeti will definitely come in handy for any amount of traveling, and is great to take with you while walking or hiking during your camping adventure!

When it comes to bringing milk with you for breakfast, you may want to again consider checking the expiration dates on the milk container and plan on bringing a size container that will easily fit in your cooler without taking up too much of your cooler space.

If bringing juices or sodas with you, we usually place a smaller amount in the cooler to drink along the way as well as a few extra to drink when we arrive, replacing them with new cans along the way in order to keep a good supply of the cold cans handy. We place any extra juices or cans in our travel tote or simply leave them in their original soda or juice box containers and then pack them off to the side in the back of our vehicle so they are out of the way but still close enough to reach when needed. We also do the same with extra water we may have.

Some drinks you may want to bring on your camping trip are:

Plenty of Water


You can’t forget the snacks when you go camping! Of course the best snacks to bring with you while traveling would be healthy snacks such as some of your favorite fruits or vegetables, or nuts.

And again….what is camping without the snacks or making everyone’s all time favorite campfire treat – S’mores?

Below are some suggestions on what you might consider taking with you as a snack when you go camping:

S’Mores Ingredients:
Graham Crackers
Chocolate Bars

Snack Suggestions:
Trail Mix
Pop Tarts
Breakfast Bars
Jiffy Pop Popcorn
Corn Nuts

We hope this article has been helpful in giving you great ideas on what to bring on your next Camping Adventure! Happy Camping!

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