No-one wants a hangry camper. If you’re stuck for camping meal ideas, this list includes delicious camping recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Come For The Nature, Stay For The Food

Not gonna lie, but I reckon food might be the main reason I camp. Sure, the views are great, but really I’m there for roasting marshmallows. When I’m planning an adventure, the food is a big part of the prep. But, before I put my menu together, there are a few things I consider.

What type of camping are we doing? Car camping? Overnight hiking? What camp kitchen gear will we have? Will we have a small gas stove or something different? Should we take a camp cooler? Are we allowed an open fire? (Remember, never have a fire during a fire ban). Maybe there’s a BBQ at the campsite?

If you’re car camping, you’re in for a real treat. You can pack fresh ingredients (and a beer or two) into an esky or use the fridge in the camp kitchen if there is one.

If you’re backpacking, your camping meals can still be delicious but will likely have more dehydrated and lightweight ingredients (don’t worry though, even without an esky you can still keep your beer cold with these camping hacks).

Another consideration is nutrition. If you’re off on a quick overnighter you can probably survive on 2-minute noodles and a pack of Tim Tams. But, if you’ve got a longer adventure planned you’ll need to give some extra thought to how to fuel your body. Luckily, Ruby’s got some advice on that.

But, without further ado, let’s dive into our list of 19 easy camping meals and camping food ideas.

Read more: 11 Best Camping Stoves in Australia in 2023

Camping Breakfasts

1. Hiking Pancakes

  • Perfect for backpacking or car camping

You’ll need nothing but pantry staples for these delicious pancakes that are just as easy on the trail as they are car-camping. Grab some flour, oats, chia seeds, corn starch, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, water and canola oil (plus the toppings of your choice!).

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a resealable bag before you leave. Then when you’re ready to shake ‘n’ bake, add the water to the bag of dry ingredients and mix it around. Leave it to sit for a few minutes then pour the mixture into a pan.

Top your pancakes with honey and fresh berries or even grill up some bacon and add a dash of maple syrup.


How To Make Vegan Hiking Pancakes, Josh Welsh - Camp Kitchen, Cooking, recipe, Plant-based, Vegan, Vegetarian, Breakfast, Pancakes

Photo by Josh Welsh

2. Superfood Overnight Oats

  • Up your brekkie game on your next overnighter

Say goodbye to individual packets of shop-bought porridge (urgh) and hello to this I’m-gonna-keep-you-going-all-day-and-I’m-filled-with-the-good-stuff overnight oats.

You’ll need oats, milk powder, water, dried blueberries, chopped almonds, chia seeds, flax meal and a dash of salt and brown sugar if you fancy it. This is the perfect easy camping breakfast and you can even prepare it ahead of time.


These Superfood Overnight Oats Couldn’t be Simpler - David Liu, Overnight Oats, recipe, camp cooking, hiking meals.

Photo by David Liu

3. Campfire Big Brekkie

  • Feed the masses with this champion of camping recipes

Your mates are gonna love you for this one. And, after cooking up this feast, we reckon they should be waiting on you for the rest of the day. You’ll need a couple of cast iron skillets and some nicely burned coals on your campfire.

Load up one skillet with olive oil, prosciutto, kale, shallots, garlic, mushrooms, and torn up bread. The other skillet is for your eggs; crack them into the hot oil and add some turmeric, chilli flakes and parmesan. This Campfire Big Brekkie is truly one of the best camping food ideas there is.


4. Tip ‘n’ Mix Porridge Recipe

  • Overnight and multi-day hiking

I reckon I could write a whole article about how much I hate porridge, even though I know it’s the best brekkie to keep you fuelled on an overnight hike. But if I truly, really, HAD to eat porridge, then this Tip ‘N’ Mix Porridge would be the one.

You’ll need a couple of handfuls of rolled oats, a teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of vanilla bean powder, some crushed pecans, chia seeds, and coconut sugar. Mix this together at home and keep it stored in a reusable zip lock bag.

At camp, whip out your Jetboil, boil some water, tip in your pre-mixed porridge and you’re good to go. If you’re up for carrying a little bit of extra weight (it’s so worth it), top with maple syrup, peaches, and some more chopped nuts.


Camping Lunches

5. Jaffles From a Jaffle Skillet

  • Ideal for car camping
  • You’ll need a jaffle iron

I’m not sure anything beats the comforting, crispy goodness of a jaffle. Actually, hold that thought. A jaffle cooked in the great outdoors in a cast iron jaffle maker. Now we’re talking.

Butter up some bread, throw in your filling and pop it onto the fire for a brunch or dinner of champions. Keep it simple with a Vegemite and cheese jaffle, get creative with a Mi Goreng jaffle, or turn it into a dessert with sliced apple, cinnamon, and sultanas.


6. The Perfect Hiking Mi Goreng

  • Ideal for backpacking/overnight camping or as an easy car camping meal

Hands up if instant noodles are your jam when it comes to camping food? No judgement here, I’ve been known to survive off noodles for weeks on end. Mi Goreng noodles are a camping staple whether you’re parked up on a five-star campsite, or wild camping miles from anywhere.

Turn your Mi Goreng a little bit fancy by adding freeze-dried vegetables, fresh red capsicum, a drizzle of sesame oil and a squeeze of lime.


7. Gourmet Campfire Toastie

  • Feel like you’re at a fancy deli
  • Can be modified to fit whatever ingredients you have on hand

A little different to a jaffle, this gourmet toastie is cooked on a skillet rather than a jaffle-maker. But it’s just as tasty!

Grab any combo of bread, mustard, radicchio, sliced meat (we suggest mortadella) and cheese (we like provolone piccante), and don’t forget the pickles!

Heat the skillet on the campfire, butter both sides of the bread and assemble your sandwich. Carefully place it in the skillet and grill until golden brown, then flip, gently press down. Grill until the cheese is melting and the bread is well toasted.


8. Fire Pit Five Spice Wraps

  • Easy camping food ideas for the humble wrap
  • Easily make it vegetarian

Let’s face it, wraps are the king of camping food. Shove an egg and avo in a wrap. Brekkie done. Tuna for lunch? Staple. But, when it comes to dinner, this Fire Pit Five Spice Wrap recipe is the way forward for your next trip. Forget boring chilli; this uses hoisin sauce and grilled chicken (or you can use eggplant to make it vegetarian). If you don’t have a fire pit, try cooking it up at home and reheating it on your hiking stove.


Camping Dinners

9. Campfire Baked Potatoes

  • Perfect for those who love a fire. And a potato

The humble spud. The classic tater. Pretty sure the baked potato was invented to be cooked on an open campfire.

Wrap your spud in foil (give it a few stabs with a fork first), chuck it on the coals, remove it carefully, and smother with fillings of your choice. You’re going to want your fire to burn a little first so that you can create a nice pile of coals to pop the spud onto. Chucking it onto open flames means you’ll likely be saying goodbye to your dinner. Get more detail on the perfect Campfire Baked Potato here.


10. Bibimbap Rice Bowl

  • Pack this one for your next overnight hike

Want to know how to make a Bibimbap Rice Bowl for your next camping trip? Course you do. Because even the pickiest eaters will say yes to this recipe.

You’ll need freeze-dried beef, instant rice, dried veggies (shiitake mushrooms are perfect), some shredded carrot, sliced cucumber and a dressing of soy sauce, rice vinegar, gochujang, and a little bit of sugar.


11. Camp Stove One-Pot Thai Green Fish Curry

  • Do a dehydrated version for a backpacking trip, or keep it fresh for a car camp classic

Camping food doesn’t need to be boring and this dish proves it.

Combine fresh fish (we love a bit of snapper), Thai green curry paste, a tonne of veggies like snow peas, cauliflower, broccoli and mushrooms, and add a bit of coconut milk, Thai basil and some fresh chilli. Pair with rice and dinner is served. If you want a lightweight version simply switch fresh ingredients for dehydrated ones. This Thai Green Fish Curry is the perfect family camp meal, especially if you leave out the extra chilli.


12. Ultimate Campfire Roast

  • You’ll need a fire (BioLite firepit) for this one
  • Not the simplest, but most delicious

If you really feel like going all out on your next car camping trip, this campfire roast will have you drooling from the second the idea pops into your head.

With lamb racks, roast veggies, and herb butter, this recipe will feed a cast of thousands (or just a few very hungry, greedy campers).

Tuck in!


13. Dehydrated Tex Mex Rice

  • Perfect for backpacking/overnight hiking
  • Vegetarian/vegan

Looking for an easy camping meal that you carry over kilometres without breaking a sweat? Say hello to the I-weigh-nothing joy of homemade dehydrated meals. This Tex Mex Rice is a real winner. Tasty, hearty, and packed with veggies and beans. New to dehydrating? This one is the perfect dish to give it a go. Go on, you’ve got this.

Read more: How to Dehydrate Food for Camping & Hiking


14. Hiking Pad Thai

  • Lightweight overnight hiking dinner

Just because you’re in the backcountry doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the Aussie favourite that is Pad Thai. This pack-friendly food will make you the envy of the trail, and it’s easy as. Combine shop-bought Pad Thai sauce in a sachet with two cups of rice noodles, some freeze-dried or dehydrated vegetables, some chopped peanuts, fried onions, and a squeeze of lemon.


15. Egg-In-The-Hole Campfire Burger

  • One for when your campsite has a BBQ or a fire

Seriously step up your grilling game with this Egg-In-The-Hole Burger recipe. Beef mince burgers, with eggs cracked into them, cooked till just ‘mwah’, and served in crisped-up hamburger buns with some fresh salad. Simple camping recipes can sometimes be the best ones.


Camping Desserts

16. Chocolate Campfire Banana Boats

  • You’ll need an open fire for this bad boy

Could there be anything more scrumptious than Grilled Chocolate Banana Boats?

Keeping the skin on, slice down the centre of a banana (lengthwise). Smoosh it full of chocolate chips, wrap it tightly in aluminium foil and pop it on the coals in your fire. To make this the dessert to rival all dessert ideas, add cookie crumbs, marshmallows, nuts, shredded coconut and any of your other favourite toppings.


Grilled Chocolate Bananas – The Ultimate Desert, Rafaela Khodai

Photo by Rafaela Khodai

17. Boozy Hot Chocolate

  • An easy dessert that’s perfect for car camping or wild camping

Hot chocolate gets a grown-up makeover with this camping food idea. Hot milk, cocoa powder, some of your favourite chocolate block dropped into melt, and the magic ingredient of a shot (or three) of Kahlua. Mix together, top with toasted marshmallows, and your camping experience just went up a notch.


Camping Snacks

18. Healthy Trail Mix Protein Bites

  • Snack time
  • Naturally gluten-free and can be made vegan

Trail mix (or scroggin as it’s known to Aussies) is a staple when you’re off on an adventure. But for some reason, I just can’t stand it. I know the nuts and fruit are the bits I’m supposed to be eating, but I just dig out the M&Ms and call it a day. Not anymore, with this healthy trail mix protein bite recipe. No baking, no blending, just mix your chopped up trail mix with some peanut butter and a touch of honey and you’re done.

19. Sweet ‘n’ Salty Popcorn Granola

  • Snack time or brekkie
  • Cook on a fire or prep ahead at home and take with you

Forget boring store-bought granola. This Sweet ‘N’ Salty Popcorn Granola, will make you wish you could have granola for dinner. Actually. You can. You do you, huh? Use a billy can or dutch oven on some hot coals to pop your corn and in a separate skillet roast some mixed nuts and seeds with coconut flakes, sea salt, and cinnamon. Let it all cool and add some chocolate. It’s not in the recipe, but I reckon a drizzle of maple syrup wouldn’t go amiss either.


Frequently Asked Questions About Camping Meals

What are traditional camping foods?

Hot dogs, burgers, pancakes, marshmallows…there are so many traditional camping food options that come to mind. The trick is to think about what equipment you have available, if you have access to a fridge or esky, and how you’re storing/carrying your food. From there, the camping food options are only limited by your imagination.

What do you eat on a three-day camping trip?

For a three-day camping trip it’s important you get your nutrition right so you have enough energy to power you through your adventure.

Consider one of the oat recipes from above for breakfast, keep lunch simple with tuna sachets and a wholemeal wrap for lunch, and for dinner try a lightweight noodle dish but add dehydrated veggies and protein. You’ll need snacks too such as homemade protein bites to help make sure you’re getting enough calories.

Camping Food Ideas, Done

So there you have it, 19 delicious camping meals to choose from for your next trip.

Whether you’re rugged up in front of a fire cooking in a cast iron dutch oven or attempting to create a feast using nothing but hot water and a Jetboil, there’s something special about cooking in the great outdoors. I hope these recipes help you love it as much as I do.

What recipes would you add? Let us know in the comments below and share these delicious meals with your adventure mates next time you go camping.


Feature photo thanks to Dan Edwards