NOV 22 2021    
My go-to camping foods that don't require refrigeration
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My go-to camping foods that don't require refrigeration

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Unless you’re glamping, you know the food struggle. If you’re camping for more than a day you either have to run into town to grab more ice (and who wants to do that) or survive on non-refrigerated items. 

But over time I’ve learned to be prepared and have a go-to list of camping foods that don’t require refrigeration. I thought this list might be beneficial to others so I thought I’d share. Feel free to share your go to’s too!


Breakfast Foods

Dry cereal 

An excellent breakfast (or really anytime) food to get your camping day started. As kids we would always snack on dry cereal throughout the day. It provides a great source of energy for outdoor activities plus it’s easy to pack and store. We usually grab a bix box of whatever everyone likes however you can also opt for the mini boxes so there’s a variety.

Peanut butter

A staple for both the home and the campground, peanut butter is a great non-refrigerated food. Having peanut butter is great for sandwiches but if you’re like me just a big old spoonful suffices too! Of course it doesn’t have to be peanut butter. Our family prefers peanut butter but there are plenty of nut butters you can take.

Granola bars

I almost feel like granola bars are synonymous with camping and hiking. We also always pack granola bars as they are great for the car ride, breakfast, snacks or a late night snack.


So this one is entirely for my kids. They absolutely LOVE taking mini-muffins camping. My kids like the sugar-filled store-bought ones, but you can always make your own. Either way you won’t have to worry about muffins going back on your trip without refrigeration.

Pancake mix

Sometimes a hot breakfast on a cool morning is just what you need while camping. The “just add water” pancake mix is great to pack along for a cooler free camping trip. 

Snacks foods

Fresh Fruit and dried fruit

Fruit, whether fresh or dried, is a great healthy source of energy for your camping adventure. We generally like to pack fruits like apples and oranges that aren’t easily squashed or that will start to go moldy in a couple of days. But you can pack whatever you like. Pro tip: wash your fruit ahead of time then once dry, put them in a clean bag or container for your trip. That way you don’t have to hassle with it later.

Chips / crackers

Who doesn’t want to snack on something salty while camping? We always pack crackers and chips for our kids to snack on but end up munching on them ourselves. 


Popcorn is another go-to snack when you craving something crunchy and salty. You can pack store bought bags of popcorn or have some fun and pop your own kernels! This is especially useful if you have a boyscott in the family and have plenty of popcorn kernels to use!


My oldest child is a jerky fanatic. The hardest part about packing beef jerky for a camping trip is making it to the camp site without having it all eaten. 

Trail mix

I feel like trail mix is another one of those foods synonymous with camping and hiking and for good reason. It’s a great mix of salty and sweet (or spicy if you’re into that), plus it is a good source of energy. 

Lunch foods and Dinner foods

Canned soup

Soup is such a simple and easy dinner option. There’s plenty of choices to choose from plus it’s quick and easy to heat up.

Tuna or canned meat

Whoever claims tuna isn’t a dinner food is a liar. Whether tuna, or other canned meats, they are a great protein source in a pinch. I like to make tuna salad sandwiches with bread or dip it in crackers.

Ramen / Easy Mac

If you have picky eaters then ramen noodles or easy mac is a must! All you need is boiling water and your delicious noodles await you. 

Potatoes and veggies

Just thinking about a hot campfire baked potato warms my soul! Just wrap a potato in foil then throw in hot coals near the fire and about an hour later you’ll have some hot baked potatoes. If you want to make it a great dinner then bring along some canned chilli to throw on top. 


MRE stands for “meals ready to eat.” They are essentially meal kits with their own min heaters. Options for MREs have exploded over the past several years making them widely available for consumers. I’ll admit they feel like cheating, and they aren’t always the best tasting, but how often do you get to eat pizza or chinese food while camping?


S'mores supplies (of course!)

I’m not sure if we’ve had a camping trip to date that didn’t involve smores. Other than the delicious gooey mess, the best part is that none of the smore supplies require refrigeration! Sure you may want to keep the chocolate cool, but other than that you should be O.K. 

Pie filling

Mmm… who doesn’t love a hobo / campfire pie with all of its sweet gooey deliciousness? Someone always brings a can or two of pie filling on our family vacations.

Prepackaged goodies

Want easy? No problem. We often bring along pre packaged goodies like cookies, or Lil Debbie snacks. They make everyone happy and are no fuss.

Miscellaneous food items

Condiment packets

Condiment packets are our icing on the cake (or ketchup on the hotdog). Having condiments available but without needing to store them in a cooler has been life changing for us! See, those thousands of ketchup packets you’ve kept in the corner drawer aren’t for no reason. 


Bread is a must on all of our camping trips. Whether we are making snacktime peanut butter sandwiches or apple pie filled desserts, it is a staple we always take camping with us.

Oil / cooking spray

Don’t forget your cooking oil! A lot of campfire meals need some type of oil or cooking spray.

Coffee / Drink Mixes

O.K. so coffee isn’t a food, but it’s just as essential. We often usually only have water with us but will occasionally bring drink mixes to mix things up a bit.

Firesafe cooking supplies

Again, not food (I know) but still essential to making sure you’re able to eat some of the non-refrigerated items you brought with you.

What about you? I’d love to see what other non-refrigerated foods others of you bring with you while hiking or camping.

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