Camping Gear: Meals – Planning and Packing Tips

Here are some points to consider when planning and packing meals for your camping trips: 

Pack the Correct Quantity: Plan meals in advance to avoid over- or under-packing. Determine how many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners need to be provisioned for and pack accordingly. You can also consider packing a few extra meals, in case you decide to prolong your stay or have some friends drop by your campsite for a meal. 

Lighten the Load: Canned meals contain a lot of liquid and are heavy. Cereals, powdered soup mixes, rice, noodles and freeze-dried meals are much lighter because they do not contain liquid. After carrying your food back and forth between the dining area and vehicle or in your backpack if backcountry camping, you will quickly realize that less weight is best. 

Pack Frozen When Possible: Frozen meats and milk are great for camping trips. These items stay fresher when packed frozen and help to keep other items in the cooler cold longer. 

Wash Fruits and Vegetables at Home: Fruits and vegetables should be washed at home. This way, fruits and vegetables are ready to eat at the campsite and you don’t run the risk of rinsing them in contaminated water. When packing fruits and vegetables in the cooler, priority should be given to the vegetables, since they spoil sooner. 

Condiments, Oils, and Sauces: The correct quantities of the following items should be packed in smaller plastic bottles, in order to reduce space and save waste: jam, pancake syrup, cooking oil, ketchup, mustard, relish, salad dressing, and other sauces. When the camping trip is over, the bottles can be washed out and saved for future trips. 

Backcountry Camping: If you are planning a backcountry camping trip where you will be hiking or canoeing in to your campsite, you may want to consider freeze-dried meals instead. Freeze dried meals are lighter, more compact, do not spoil and are great when you have limited cooking facilities. The following link will display some samples:

Cooler: If you need to purchase a cooler to store all of your perishable food, this link will display various sizes and brands of coolers:

Stove: If you are in the market for a stove, this link will display a broad range of cooking options:

Dinnerware: If you are short on dinnerware for your camping trips, see this link:

Check out our Camping Recipes page for camping meals that can be prepared in under 30 minutes: 

For more details on camping see The Camp Tripper. The Camp Tripper includes: trip planning, reservations, gear, meals, setting up camp, activities, breaking camp, maintenance of gear and many tips for memorable camping trips in Ontario. The book is very reasonably priced and small enough to fit in the glove compartment of your vehicle. Here are four reasons why you might prefer to order it in e-book (electronic book) format:

  • The e-book price is 37% less
  • No shipping costs, which saves you even more
  • Instant delivery to your computer or hand-held device
  • Eliminates paper and saves trees

This book is currently only available in online bookstores.


About Patrick Dzieciol

I have authored and published "The Camp Tripper - The Secrets of Successful Family Camping in Ontario" If you want to get in touch with me, please drop me an email at:
This entry was posted in Book, Camping, Food, Gear, Meals, Ontario, Packing, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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