Food For Camping Trip (Eating Real Food)

"I sleep in my tent."  Okay, not this kind of tent camping....

“I sleep in my tent.” Okay, not this kind of tent camping….

Eating Real Food When Camping

You’re going camping, and you want to eat real food, not food from a box with funky ingredients, and you don’t want to spend a small fortune on already prepared commercial camping food for the family.  What to do?

  • First, realize that with a cooler and some dry ice, just about any food you would like to take along becomes a real possibility.
  • Second, prep your foods as much as possible.
  • Third, enjoy real food, instead of coming home feeling bloated and icky from eating a weekend of junk food (s’mores are an obvious exception, yum!).

You may ask, “Why is this even a concern?”

There was mutiny on the previous attempted camping trip.  My husband packed chips, 4 cans of Beanie Weenie, and some fruit for an overnight trip with the children.  The 5 year old was less than pleased, and reminded my husband, “Can’t you plan, just a little?”  The Beanie Weenie was soundly rejected by all children.  The children recommended that they be allowed to pack the food for future trips.

What and how to pack?

Our family of five is going away over a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  We will need 3 lunches, 2 breakfasts, and 2 dinners, as well as many snacks and s’mores fixings.

  1. Meats: Combine meats with marinades and freeze in quart size bags.  Freeze bacon.
  2. Prepare baked goods, and keep away from spouse at all costs until actually on the trip.  This may include delicious treats such as muffins, cookies, cake, and graham crackers.
  3. Make dry pancake mix or freeze pancake batter.  Try this recipe (sub freshly milled soft white winter wheat and coconut oil).
  4. Do not forget marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolates for s’mores.  Doing so may result in eligibility and potential win of Worst Mother/Wife of the Year award.

Make a Meal Plan

  • Friday –    lunch – soft tacos with chicken, lettuce, tomato, guacamole, and cheese; dinner – hamburgers, corn in husks, baked beans
  • Saturday – breakfast – pancakes, sausage, fruit; lunch – brats, salad; dinner – chicken, potatoes, veggies in parchment/foil
  • Sunday –  breakfast – eggs, bacon, toast; lunch – sandwiches, fruit

Disclaimer:  My opinions are my own and may differ from  yours.  Research the use and handling of dry ice prior to using it – dry ice can cause injury if not properly handled.  As always, do your due diligence and use common sense.  If you have additional questions about dry ice or cold food storage, the butcher at Publix is a wealth of information.


  1. Kris says

    A couple of questions: The Bisquick mix – did you then just add in whatever they add in on the side of a Bisquick box for the liquid ingredients? I don’t have Bisquick, so what else goes in the pancake mix? Also, where do you get dry ice? We go on a BIG camping trip every summer with multiple families for 5 days. And I’m constantly draining the coolers and refilling with regular ice. How long will dry ice last? Thanks!

    • Elizabeth says

      Yes, you can just add the liquid ingredients. I haven’t used that particular Bisquick mix, but have made my own gluten free version with good results. Pancake mix is just self rising mix with the fats already added in solid shortening form. I used a gluten free flour blend, rising agents, salt, and coconut oil. The eggs and milk are added later. I have seen many recommend carrying along frozen pancake batter, and that is something you could do a test run of at home. I’ve even used my gluten free “Bisquick” mix it in cakes! Publix sells dry ice. I recommend at least a pair of coolers, keeping the items you will need first in one, and those for later on in the journey in the other. It is best to start with frozen items (meats) and know that dry ice will freeze your produce/liquids. I have an acquaintance who traveled cross country (I believe that they are a family of 8) and she follows the WP model of eating so she needed to bring all of her kitchen supplies with her. They had no problems.

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