7 Essential Foods That You Can't Camp Without

7 Essential Foods That You Can’t Camp Without
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7 Essential Foods That You Can't Camp Without

Click through to see the best food products to keep you full and energized in the great outdoors.

Originally designed for the U.S Army, Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) now come in a huge variety of delicious and convenient snacks and meals for campers looking to lighten their load.

Credit: Tasty Bite/Hi Mountain

Instant Coffee
There’s nothing like the aroma of hot coffee mingled with the fresh smell of the great outdoors, but brew- or drip-coffee is a messy affair that many wouldn’t dare attempt at a camp site.

Credit: Java Juice/Starbucks VIA

Beef Jerky
Jack Link’s is the jerky choice for man’s men, but Bombshell Jerky could easily convert any gal with its low-calorie, low-carb, high-protein jerkies that come in classic, spicy, exotic, and sweet flavors and are made specifically with active women in mind.

Credit: Jack Link's/Bombshell Jerky

Dried Fruits
Fruit is an essential part of the balanced diet any camper needs, but it can be a hassle to store enough fresh fruit for a camping trip. Lightweight, healthy (if you make smart choices), and non-perishable, dried fruit is a must-have for those long trips. It tastes great on its own, but can also be easily added to spice up other dishes, like instant oatmeal.

Credit: Crunchies/Trader Joe's

Dairy/Egg Substitutes
You don’t have to forgo milk and butter when camping just because they spoil quickly and are a pain to pack and store. Plenty of ultra-versatile, non-perishable powdered or liquid substitutes exist, making for easy and tasty campsite breakfasts from omelets to pancakes.

Credit: AlpineAire/Honeyville

Trail Mix
Aside from being a delicious and satisfying snack, trail mix is a fortifying and energy-boosting must-have for any outdoors adventurer. Chock-full of salty nuts and sweet dried fruits, trail mix comes in endless varieties, is easy to pack, and won’t go bad.

Credit: Grandy Oats/Eden Foods

Dried Vegetables
Like fruits, fresh vegetables are a must have for a well-rounded diet in the wilderness, but can also be a total hassle to pack, store, and prepare.

Credit: Just Tomatoes Etc!


It's prime camping time. Nothing beats retreating into the wild for a good dose of fresh air and nature.

Essential Foods That You Can't Camp Without

Camping comes with a ton of taste associations, too: even rookie campers are likely to start smelling the roasting marshmallows and hot dogs as soon as they pitch the tent.

But before you set up camp, there's a lot of preparation that has to be done on the food front. Being active in the outdoors will definitely stoke your appetite, and you don't want to be caught in the woods with a dwindling or spoiled food supply — hungry hiking does not make for happy campers.

Camping trips can quickly turn uncomfortable and even disastrous if you don't have the sustenance you need, so it's advisable to do some thorough research into which food products will last and give you the best combination of flavor and convenience. With a little bit of planning, having great meals far from the kitchen doesn't have to be a battle and packing food for a camping trip doesn't have to be a hassle, either. In fact, none of the products in this collection require cooking at all.

Check out the slideshow above for a list of the seven camping food essentials you won't want to leave home without, along with suggestions of the best brands and products to keep an eye out for in the store.

Happy camping!

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