› Camping food ideas

Camping food ideas to go around Australia

My cleverest camping food ideas have stemmed from being prepared and getting a little bit creative. The longer we were on the road, the more prepared and creative I seemed to get.

Before we left on our trip around Oz, I had resigned myself to packet mixes and jars of simmer sauce. I’m a die-hard foodie, so this made me a little sad.

But once we were on the road, I realised I could still cook from scratch.

Simple is best when it comes to camping food ideas!Food glorious food, a fresh feast after our pit stop in Kununurra, WA.

Try my creative recipes for remote camping.

All you need is a well-stocked ‘pantry’ and a little thought. I also learned that a little bit of creative thinking goes a really long way when you’re hundreds of kilometres from a supermarket!

In fact, I found I often had more time to prepare meals…since Kumar was there to entertain the kids during witching hour. I was soon cooking all my old favourites, and quite a few new ones!

After 462 days of living in our camper trailer, these are my top tips to help you come up with your own camping food ideas - plus a few of my own camping ideas to get you started!

1. Stock up on practical food to take camping.

Always keep your camp pantry and fridge well stocked with some basic staples. The basics give you a foundation to cook a large variety of meals, and can help you create something from ‘nothing’ when you haven’t seen a grocery store in a few weeks.

2. Pack the cooking gear you can't do without.

So that your camp kitchen can function as well as your home kitchen, it needs to be well equipped. You can't have appliances galore, but you can take the essential cookware, utensils, food preparation and storage items. If you get this right, you'll be able to create a variety of meals without too much difficulty or power.

3. Build up your list of easy camping recipes.

When your fridge is bare, and you’ve got a couple of browning carrots and dehydrated peas left…what do you eat? I've built up a stash of easy recipes when our supplies are low.

The nearest store may still be two days (or more) away...and you can't be sure what they’ll have. You need some 'fall-back' recipes for times like these. The recipes you can whip up with your eyes closed. One pot wonders, risottos, stir-fries…whatever takes your fancy.

Go through your favourite recipe books at home and they’ll jump out at you (the pages with the drip marks on them!). These are the recipes that you’ll rely on when you don't have the time or energy to be bothered with much else.

4. Plan your meals around the most perishable foods. 

After all, you just can’t have a salad on day 10… the lettuce will be long gone. Fresh bread is the same. We’d often binge on bread for the first 3-4 days, then switch to wraps and other creative options.

Create a camping menu before you hit the shops.

Before a big grocery trip, I would write down all the food I would need for the next week or two. I’d include breakfast, lunch and dinner, and snacks. Then I’d go through my menu and make sure I bought all the ingredients I needed. This was especially important when we were heading outback, or across the Gibb, or away from major towns.

Making damper is easily done with a few basic supplies.Making damper is easily done with a few basic supplies. Flour, butter and long-life milk make a delicious mess!

Let your own creative camping food ideas flow...

Who knew I could 'bake' a cake on the stove-top…or cook shepherd’s pie under the grill? It was great fun trying out these crazy ideas.

I was thrilled to be able to cook from scratch on our trip. Now that we’re home, I marvel at the camping food ideas I came up with. I loved that I was able to provide tasty food for my family all trip long, sometimes with very little.

You can too. Give it a go and tell me how you go!

› Camping food ideas