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28 Easy, Delicious Car Camping Meals

Discover scrumptious yet easy car camping meals that you can make with minimal ingredients.

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Discover some of the most mouth-watering and satisfying camping meals you can make with minimal equipment and ingredients for your next camping trip. From breakfast to dessert, these camping meal ideas will make your trip more enjoyable and memorable. 

I have decades of experience in car camping, and these are some of my favorite yet easy car camping meals. I’ve included some tips, including whether your will need a cooler, gas stove, or campfire.

Contents

Breakfast

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1) Eggs and bacon/sausage

Cooler needed for meat and eggs. Stove with a skillet also required. 

2) Pancakes

Stove with a skillet and flipper required. Don’t forget cooking spray and syrup or other toppings. 

3) Oatmeal

Instant or quick oats work well with hot water mixed in with dried fruit or nuts. 

4) Omelets

Cooler needed for cheese and eggs. Stove with a skillet also required. Mix ingredients in a plastic ziplock 

5) Breakfast burritos

Cooler needed for cheese and meat. Prepare ahead of time and home and store in a ziplock in the cooler. Heat on the stove or campfire. 

6) Avocado Toast

Stove/campfire with a skillet required to toast bread.  

Lunch

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1) Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

Cooler required for jelly. Substitute honey for jelly if not using a cooler. 

2) Deli meat sandwiches

Cooler required for meat and cheese and opened condiments. 

3) Cheese, summer sausage, and crackers

Don’t forget to bring a knife to cut cheese and meat. Often opened meat with need to go into the cooler for storage. 

4) Pita and packaged tuna/chicken salad

Flatbread or flour tortillas filled with pre-packaged tuna salad or chicken salad. 

5) Pasta salad

Cooler required for storage. 

6) Quinoa salad

Cooler required for storage. 

Dinner

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1) Hot dogs and beans

Stove with pot/skillet or campfire required. Don’t forget roasting skewers for hot dogs and all the toppings. 

2) Hamburgers

Cooler required for meat and cheese. Stove/campfire with skillet or grill required.

3) Canned soups

Stove/campfire with pot required. Don’t forget the can opener. 

4) Tacos

Cooler required for meat and cheese. Stove with skillet required. 

5) Chili

Cooler required for cheese and meat. Stove/campfire with pot required.

6) Nachos

Cooler required for cheese and meat. Stove/campfire with pot required.

7) Ramen noodles

Stove/campfire with pot required. 

8) Chicken kabobs

Stove/campfire with skillet or grill required. Don’t forget the skewers and a knife to cut pieces. 

9) Mac & cheese

Stove/campfire with pot required. 

10) Pasta with sauce

Stove/campfire with pot required. 

11) Loaded roasted potatoes

Cooler required for cheese and sour cream. Campfire with grill required. Don’t forget the aluminum foil for roasting the potatoes.  

12) Bratwurst with peppers and onions

Stove with pot/skillet or campfire with grill required. 

13) Chicken stir fry with rice

Stove/campfire with pot required. 

Dessert

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1) S’mores

Campfire required with skewers. 

2) Apple crisp

Stove/campfire with pot required. 

3) Banana boats

Campfire with grill required. 

Bon appétit! Don’t forget to use a camping checklist to help prepare you for your next car camping trip or how to pick the perfect campsite. If you’re hiking, check out the essential hiking gear guide.

What are your favorite car camping meals?

FAQs

What essential cooking gear should I bring for car camping?

The right cooking gear can enhance your car camping experience significantly, so I recommend using a camping checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything.

A portable stove, such as the Jetboil Genesis Basecamp Cooking System or the Coleman Classic Propane Stove, is crucial for boiling water and cooking meals.

A high-quality cooler like the Yeti Tundra 65 or Coleman Steel Belted Cooler will keep your perishables fresh.

Don’t forget a cast iron skillet for versatile cooking, cooking spatulas, a good chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a lightweight cutting board. 

If you enjoy grilling, a portable grill like the Weber Q1200 can be a great addition.

How do I manage food storage and keep meals fresh during car camping?

Proper food storage is key to keeping meals fresh. Non-perishable items such as canned goods, granola bars, dehydrated foods, and instant oatmeal are convenient as they don’t require refrigeration.

For perishable items like fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, and meat, a well-insulated cooler packed with ice will maintain freshness.

Organize your food items in a camp kitchen bin for easy access and to prevent any critters from getting into your supplies. Remember to pack your cooler with a combination of ice packs and loose ice to ensure a consistent cold temperature.

Check out the FDA food storage tips for more info.

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AUTHOR
Daniel Borkert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Outdoor Footprints, a website that tells you everything you need to know about camping and hiking. He is an avid outdoorsman with almost four decades of experience in hiking, camping, caving, and fishing. Daniel loves to involve his wife and kids in his outdoor pursuits and inspire other families to do the same. He lives in Seattle, Washington with his family and an energetic Boston Terrier named Zion.

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