Food to take camping when you have no fridge. 67 Meal and food ideas to take camping when you have no fridge.
Camping can look a bit different for everyone. Growing up we did a lot of tent camping. The station wagon was packed to the max and somehow four kids still fit inside its faux wood exterior.
Since camping looked like a tent and air mattress, meals were not exactly the most fancy. But that wasn’t the point. The point was to get out, enjoy nature, play games, and sometimes use your air mattress as a raft down the river.
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For us, we were able to bring a nice cooler with a bit of milk, cheese, eggs and sandwich meat but now that I think back on it, even a cooler might be a luxury. Depending on where you’re camping you might not have easy access to a town to make a daily trek to buy ice.
And for that reason I’ve come up with this easy meal plan and list of ideas to keep the fun going even when the refrigeration stops.
FOOD TO TAKE CAMPING NO FRIDGE
No Fridge Camping Breakfast Ideas
-Corn beef hash with pancakes- Corn beef hash is a great breakfast idea that comes in a can. Simply heat up your pan and cook until crispy. You might think pancakes are a little harder, but you should be able to find several pancake mixes at your local grocery store where you only need to add water to make a stack of fluffy pancakes. Top with maple syrup and fresh fruit such as bananas.
-English muffins with peanut butter- English muffins with peanut butter is the perfect breakfast idea with a cup of coffee. And since peanut butter doesn’t need to be refrigerated, we can use that over the weekend in several different ways.
-Bagels with jam- Toasting a bagel over the grill is a great way to wake up, but jelly can be a bit harder since it needs to be refrigerated once open. Instead pick up some individual jelly packets at the store or online like these individual Smucker’s jam assortment.
-Toast- You can enjoy toast in the morning several different ways. Toast with peanut butter and honey, peanut butter and banana, jam, or avocado toast.
-Granola bars & energy bars- It might not be very fancy but granola bars are perfect for busy kids that just want to start riding their bikes around the campground.
-Oatmeal with fresh fruit- Keep is simple by picking up individual oatmeal packets. Maybe even the ones that have dinosaurs in them because this is camping-let’s have fun. With a bit of maple syrup and fresh fruit such as bananas, strawberries or blueberries, the kids won’t even notice that the butter is missing.
-Pancakes with packaged fully cooked bacon- Pick up your favorite pancake mix that only needs water along with a package of fully cooked bacon. When you buy fully cooked bacon it does not need to be refrigerated until after you open the package. So for a larger family of six, everyone gets approximately two slices of bacon. That leaves you with no leftovers to have to worry about refrigerating.
- Bakery muffins
- Apple sauce
- Fruit cups
No Fridge Camping Lunch Ideas
-Peanut butter and jelly with carrots and chips- Peanut butter and jelly on your favorite loaf of bread is a classic. Enjoy with carrots and chips, along with a juice box. Remember, we can use those individual jelly packets. So no need to worry about refrigeration.
- Mix up the peanut butter and jelly with peanut butter and banana or peanut butter and honey.
-Avocado and tomato sandwich- Try a simple avocado and tomato sandwich with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. With some classic potato chips and a side veggie like carrots, celery, or cucumbers.
-Roasted veggie panini- Grill up some sliced onions along with red and orange peppers for a roasted veggie panini. Drizzle a bit of olive oil along with a pinch of salt and pepper.
– Bacon, tomato and avocado sandwich- Using a package of fully cooked bacon, you can make a delicious bacon, tomato and avocado sandwich. Slice your tomatoes thin and mash your avocado into a spread. *keep in mind that once the package of fully cooked bacon is open, it needs to be refrigerated.
-Mini charcuterie board- We love snack lunches and while camping it is no different. Simple spread out some pepperoni or summer sausage with crackers, sliced apples, oranges, carrots, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.
-Black bean and rice burritos- Rice is perfect to take camping, as is a can of black beans. Cook rice according to directions and assemble yourself a black bean and rice burrito. Bring along some individual salsa packs and individual ranch packets for dipping.
Camping With No Fridge- Dinner Ideas
-Spaghetti with jarred meat sauce- Pasta is a really easy camping meal, and when we use jarred meat sauce it’s even easier. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to refrigerate the sauce once opened. Or look for a canned spaghetti sauce instead since that will come a bit smaller. *bonus- Save your individual parmesan packets from pizza takeout nights and top your spaghetti with parmesan cheese.
-Tortellini with jarred Alfredo sauce, cherry tomatoes and spinach- We’re back to pasta but tonight- let’s do tortellini. Cook pasta according to directions. In another pan roast cherry tomatoes and cook spinach. Bring together in one large dish along with warmed Alfredo sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
–Three bean chili- Easy three bean chili using canned beans and tomatoes. Pick up a can each of pinto, kidney and black beans to make your own simple chili over the campfire. You’ll also need a large can of fire roasted tomatoes and a packed of chili seasoning and a can of beef or chicken broth. Let simmer over the fire and serve with Fritos chips.
- Keep it simple with buying a family size can of chili and skip the fuss of all the other ingredients.
-Baked potatoes with chives and bacon bits- Bring some foil with you and wrap up a few golden potatoes to cook on the fire. Be sure to poke a few holes in the potatoes with a fork and wrap up in aluminum foil, cook fully until soft. Drizzle a bit of olive oil and top with bacon bits and chives.
-Boxed mac and cheese with Vienna sausages and baked beans- Normally you would make boxed mac and cheese with milk and butter but for a simple camping trip you can use a bit of olive oil and a couple of tablespoons of canned evaporated milk. Mix together with the powdered cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Vienna sausages come in a can and for this dinner we can cut them up in place of traditional hot dogs. Add your favorite can of baked beans and I don’t know any kid who wouldn’t love this easy camping dinner.
- Ramen noodles
- Canned spaghettiOs or beef ravioli
- Canned chilli
- Canned soups with french bread
No Fridge Camping Snacks Ideas
How my husband goes without snacking in-between meals, I’ll never know. The kids and I always need a few snack options to tide us over before dinner. Hopefully these no fridge snack ideas help you and your family with your easy camping menu.
- Trail mix
- Chips and salsa
- Nuts- Peanuts, pistachios, almonds ect.
- Rice cakes
- Fruit cups
- Cookies & candy
- Chips & pretzels
- Crackers and cheese wiz
- Celery with peanut butter and raisins (aka ants on a log)
- Carrots with individual ranch packets for dipping
- Canned hummus with veggies- carrots, cucumbers, celery
- S’mores with graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate (be aware of how hot it might get while camping, as the chocolate will melt.
No Fridge Camping Drinks
We’re going to need some coffee in the morning and as sad as no creamer is, it’s not the end of the world. Pick up a small container of powered creamer and just keep it for camping.
- Coffee with powdered creamer
- Juice boxes or small individual bottles
- V8-splash small individual cans
- Hot chocolate packets made with water and creamer
- Sparkling water bottles
- Breakfast protein drinks
- Small cans of pineapple juice
Don’t forget that you can buy evaporated milk or even powered milk to bring with you. You’ll even find that rice or almond milk in the boxed cartons are a great option for an easy camping weekends.
Easy Fruit Ideas
There are a bunch of fresh fruits that you can pack that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Some of our favorites include;
- Strawberries (cooler camping trips)
- Blueberries (cooler camping trips)
Cooking with fresh vegetables is a must while we’re camping and even without a cooler you can find several that will work great for your camping trip.
- Corn on the cob
Easy Meats To Add To Any Camping Dish
Although canned meat may not be my first choice (unless it’s tuna) there still are a few good options.
- Canned tuna/ tuna packets
- Packed pepperoni/ summer sausages
- Canned chicken
- Canned ham
- Fully cooked bacon
You’ll want to bring some basic seasonings and sweeteners along so let’s make a simple list so we don’t forget.
- Olive oil
- Maple syrup
- Salt and pepper
- Bouillon cubes or canned chicken stock
You might also want ketchup, Mayonnaise, mustard, relish and salad dressings. You can either save those little packets you get from the fast food restaurant or buy individual packets of condiments on Amazon.
THIS WAS TOO MUCH INFORMATION- Just tell me what I’m eating
Ok, ok. Sometimes having too many options can feel overwhelming when you’re packing for yourself, the kids, and pets. And those lists are not easy! Did you grab the bandaids? How about the kids Tylenol just in case? Life vest, swim suits, water shoes, sun block, bug spray!
Having to remember everything for everyone and then having to come up with a meal plan takes so much mental energy. So here is a meal plan with grocery list of food we would take camping on a no fridge camping weekend.
*Just double click the image below and save to your phone or print from your computer.
Or maybe you like some of these other ideas but still need to write them down before you head to the grocery store and forget half of the list. (oh, that’s just me?)
- The heat will play a huge roll in what will keep while camping. Be aware of the temperatures when packing chocolate for S’mores.
- Keep your food put away and shaded as much as possible.
- Cook in smaller portions to ensure there are no leftovers and food waste. You can always grab a granola bar or fruit as a snack later.
- Packages such as fully cooked bacon and similar need to be refrigerated once opened. Buy smaller portions if possible.
- When packing fresh spinach or herbs for a quick weekend, you might get away with wrapping them in a damp paper towel to keep them fresh for use the next day.
It can take a minute to get your meal plan moving in the right direction when you’re trying to think of food to take camping when you have no fridge, but with a little creativity you can still enjoy some nice meals around the fire with the family.
I hope find these ideas helpful and we’ll see you on our next camping trip.
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