The best food to take wild camping
If you’re new to the world of wild camping, you may feel caught up in what you need in your kit, what walking boots to buy, and what is the best form of shelter or sleeping equipment? Finding the best wild camping food can often be an afterthought.
Many campers have a misconception that wild camping food must be dry and poorly flavoured, but that doesn’t have to be the case! In this blog post, we’ll cover the best food for your wild camping adventures, and what you need in your kit to prepare it.
What food will you need when wild camping?
When packing your wild camping kit, never underestimate the importance of bringing the right food! Wild camping food is all about nailing the balance between packing light and convenient meals that are easy to prepare and consume on the go, along with ensuring you have the right fuel to power through your adventures.
There are a few different types of wild camping foods to consider:
- Pre-prepared meal pouches
- Dehydrated or freeze-dried meals
- Traditional camping food.
Pre-prepared meal pouches
If you’re shopping for ease of convenience and not too fussed about cooking, pre-prepared meal pouches are an ideal choice. Sold ready to eat, often in camping or outdoors shops, meal pouches can be eaten cold, or easily heated using boiling water.
Whilst wild campers enjoy many luxuries, such as sleeping under the stars and enjoying the beauty of the world around us, space and cooking equipment aren’t one of them. For this reason, many campers prefer prepared or dehydrated meals, which still preserve all of the nutritious goodness, but are vacuumed packed to save on space.
To enjoy a nutritious meal, simply use cold or boiling water to rehydrate the meal (hot water usually tastes best) and tuck in!
Traditional camping food
Depending on whether you’re wild camping solo or enjoying a trip with friends, you may wish to make your meals more of an occasion. There are always traditional camping food options, such as porridge, beans, rice, and instant noodles. You can even knock up a tasty pasta dish using some sauce and cured meat.
Of course, this option is best suited to shorter group trips, as it will take up more room in your kit and require some additional cooking equipment.
Essentials for wild camping cooking
If your wild camping trip involves hiking or long walks through the countryside, you may wish to keep your wild camping cooking kit to a minimum. Plenty of wild campers choose to stick only to pre-prepared foods to avoid overwhelming their backpack with cooking equipment. However, there are a lot of wild camping cooking gadgets available should you wish to enjoy hot meals.
If you choose only one piece of cooking equipment, invest in a compact cooking stove. These fit perfectly into your kit, and many come complete with integrated cooking pots and bowls.
Of course, if you’re bringing a cooking stove you’re going to need fuel. There are plenty of convenient canister stoves available, or you can invest in an alternative fuel option that relies on fuel pellets or wood.
Wild camping food ideas
Now we’ve covered the type of foods available and what you will need to prepare them, here’s some inspiration for tasty meals to keep you happy, healthy, and on the move!
The most important meal of the day – breakfast
They say an army marches on its stomach, well, if you’ve planned a whole day of outdoor excursions, you’ll need a hearty breakfast! Breakfast bars packed with protein will help you to save both space and time, however, you could also enjoy some instant porridge, and throw in a dollop of peanut butter for a boost of flavour and protein!
Lunch on the move
If you’re planning a short trip of 1 or 2 days, it’s perfectly practical to bring along some packaged sandwiches, but more practical options for a wild camping lunch include soup (heat in the morning and bring along in a flask), a pre-prepared meal pouch you can heat on the go, or even some cheese and crackers. Cheddar cheese is a hard cheese with a lower moisture content that will keep well.
Dinner under the stars
For your evening meal, there are many options to choose from! Whether you choose pre-prepared pouches, dehydrated meals or to cook from scratch in the great outdoors is up to you. Although it will take up more space in your kit, you can easily prepare pasta, rice, or couscous on a camping stove, throw in an egg for protein, or some tinned fish, cured meat, or veggies to make a substantial and flavoursome meal!
The best food to bring on your wild camping trip will vary based on the duration of your trip, how many people you are travelling with, how much you can carry, and how much you want to carry. Are you packing light and keeping on the move, or setting up your base and staying put for a few days?
It’s also important to consider how hungry you feel throughout the day, and how much fuel your body needs. Listen to your body and eat when you are hungry – you will need energy to safely enjoy your adventures!