A healthy and simple weekend camping meal plan designed for a 3-day trip. Print out the free menu plan and food packing list, and you'll be set!
I love camping!! But it's not all sunshine and daisies.
About one week ago we started our most recent camping trip. We got to the site around 4 pm, set up our tent and our cooking area with tarps over both since there was a little bit of rain in the forecast.
The meal plan in this post was the one I created and used for this trip. I planned for soup on our arrival day and it was the perfect, quick supper for after setting up.
Our setup was amazing. I was confident we would be totally protected if it rained.
As soon as we were wrapping up eating, it started to rain, just very gently for a little while.
As we were cleaning up from the meal, it started to POUR, so we hung out under our tarp and waited.
Soon the water was pooling in our kitchen area, then near one corner of our tent, so we started digging a trench to pull the water away.
My husband went around to the front of the tent and quickly yelled for me.
Guys. There was a river of water coming down the road, down the driveway of our site and going RIGHT UNDERNEATH OUR TENT. Like, raging rapids. I'm not joking!
We have a vestibule on the front of the tent, where I had (obviously without thinking) placed my bag of clothes temporarily when unpacking. I jumped in there to grab my bag, handed it to my husband and then lifted the tarp that was under our tent, almost seconds before the water would have started flowing over it.
Then I stood there, holding the tarp up, as the water flowed, hoping and praying that by some miracle the tent would remain dry.
It subsided pretty quickly and when we had gotten most of the water to drain from the site (an hour or so later), my husband went inside to check it.
DRY. AS. A. BONE.
We were astounded and so grateful. (especially since the tarp we put under the tent was basically a sieve!)
So the moral of the story is, have an easy meal prepared for your arrival because you never know what's going to happen!
And having a meal plan for the whole trip always makes for a smoother camping experience, no matter what adventures come your way!
This meal plan is designed for a regular weekend camping trip, where you arrive on a Friday night and go home Sunday afternoon. We use a Coleman cookstove for some of our cooking, but all of these meals can be campfire meals if you don't have one. MOST campsites have a fire pit with a partial grill on top.
Weekend Camping Meal Plan Overview
1st Day (Arrival Day)
- Dinner - Chinese Veggie Soup (pre-made) + Sourdough Bread + Butter
- Breakfast - Soaked Oats w/ Berries + Eggs + Bacon
- Lunch - Smokies w/ Sauerkraut + Fresh Veggies
- Dinner - Sausage & Veggie Foil Packet Dinner
3rd Day (Departure Day)
- Breakfast - Soaked Oats w/ Berries + Eggs + Bacon
- Lunch - Pita Sandwiches
Snacks + Treats
- Fresh Fruit
- Fresh Veggies
- Granola Bars
- Sprouted Oat Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- Trail Mix
- Dark Chocolate Bar
- Chips (healthier brands, if possible)
Equipment Needed For This Weekend Camping Meal Plan
- Camp cookstove (not really a necessity, but very handy!)
- Cookstove fuel
- Cast-iron skillet
- Cutting board
- Roasting sticks
- Heavy duty foil
- Metal flipper
- Long metal tongs
Camping Menu Arrival Day
Dinner: Chinese Veggie Soup (pre-made) + Sourdough Bread + Butter
Having a ready made meal for the day you arrive at camp is just the best. Usually, it's been quite the journey to get there, with all the planning, preparing and packing. Then you have to set everything up (quickly, if there's a threat of rain!) and then cook a meal?! You are definitely capable, but it's probably not what you'd rather be doing after a long day.
Sometime a week or two before your trip, make this soup for dinner and double it. Store half of it in the freezer in a freezer-safe container. Pack it at the top of your cooler, then take it out right when you get to your site so it can begin to thaw.
By the time you are set up, it will have thawed enough to pop out of the container into a pot. Cover with a lid and cook on your camp stove or over the fire until completely thawed and warmed through.
Serve with a slice of sourdough bread slathered in butter. (I don't have a sourdough starter yet, but if you do, here's a nice recipe you could use to make your own bread. I buy ours from a local baker occasionally for a treat like this.)
BONUS: Barely any cleanup! So you can just relax by the fire for the rest of the evening. Oh, and soak your oats. Keep reading and I'll explain.
Camping Menu 2nd Day
Breakfast: Soaked Steel Cut Oats w/ Berries + Eggs + Bacon
Did you know that oats contain phytic acid, which prevents your body from absorbing some of the nutrients in the oats? Soaking the oats help to break down or neutralize the phytic acid so those nutrients can become available. This is something I do regularly, but it's just as easy to do it while camping. You just have to remember the night before!
TIP: Set a reminder in your phone to soak the oats the night before.
In a large pot, combine 1 part steel cut oats and 2 parts water. Soak for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight.
Add 1½ cups of water (for every 1 cup of oats soaked) in the morning. Bring to a boil over high heat (you can do this on a camp stove or on a grill over the fire), then reduce heat to medium and simmer until oatmeal reaches your thickness preference, about 10-15 minutes.
Start to cook bacon when you start the oatmeal. Remove bacon from pan and cook your eggs in the bacon grease! You can do fried, scrambled, omelet or sunnyside up.
Top with honey or maple syrup (if desired) and berries!
NOTE: To get the full benefits from soaking oats, they should be soaked in an acidic medium. When at home, I add about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the oat/water mixture the night before. I choose not to do this when camping just to keep things simpler, but you can definitely bring and use lemon juice if you desire.
Also, if you forget to soak the oats (which I have done MANY times), don't sweat it and just follow the normal cooking directions!
This is a filling, balanced breakfast that is so satisfying on a cool summer morning and will give you the energy to adventure that day!
- Cook sausage or ham instead of bacon
- Top oatmeal with pretty much anything: apples, peaches, strawberries or whatever your favorite fruit is, nuts, seeds, nut butter, yogurt, dried fruit, coconut flakes... the possibilities really are endless. If you have a go-to oatmeal topping at home, bring it on your trip or try something completely new and exciting!
- Add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to oatmeal when soaking for added nutrients. That's what I did in the photo above!
Lunch: Smokies w/ Sauerkraut + Fresh Veggies
At some point on your trip, you've just got to roast some smokies (or hot dogs, but smokies are better...). Why not make a meal out of it? Look for smokies without nitrates or nitrites, which have been linked to cancer. They can be difficult to find but are much better for your health.
Pair smokies with sauerkraut, which is great for gut health and absolutely delicious. It's actually really easy to make your own, as well! Here is a very simple recipe.
You can pan fry the smokies or roast them over the fire, eat in a bun (ideally sourdough or sprouted wheat) with some sauerkraut, homemade BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard, onions, relish or whatever toppings you enjoy. Serve with fresh vegetables, such as cucumber sticks, carrots sticks, pepper slices, snap peas or celery sticks!
This is a meal you'll need to cook over the open fire and I've got the full instructions in this post. If desired you can cut the carrots, broccoli, garlic and sausage before your trip to get the meal going faster. I wouldn't recommend peeling or cutting the potatoes ahead of time. Simply combine the sausage and veggies on a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, add salt, pepper and butter or olive oil, wrap up tightly in 2 layers of foil, then cook on the hot coals for 20-30 minutes, turning and flipping occasionally. Such a hearty and comforting meal, full of good foods.
As with the smokies, look for sausages (preferably fresh ones for this meal) without nitrates or nitrites and with simple, real ingredients. Grass-fed butter is ideal as well.
See the recipe post for variations!
Don't forget to soak the oats!
Camping Menu 3rd Day
Breakfast: Soaked Oats w/ Berries + Eggs + Bacon
Why would I do the same breakfast again? Because it makes me feel good, guys. A lot of people like pancakes, but they're usually just fluff filled with sugar and leave me feeling drained and hungry after an hour or so. That's why I love my eggs, bacon and whole grain oats with fruit. It's filling and gives me energy, which I want when I'm camping. Even though on day 3 I'm going home, I need the energy to pack up and deal with travelling home (If you have kids, you know travelling can be the most stressful part!). Plus we're often squeezing in a couple more outdoor activities on our way home.
If you don't want the same breakfast two days in a row, that's okay! Make something else or even just switch up part of the meal.
Lunch: Pita Sandwiches
We love this meal on our last day of camping because we find that most campsites require checkout around 11 am, which means we have to leave before lunch! So, it's either prepare ourselves a lunch to take on the road or buy fast food. You can definitely guess which one I'd rather do!
If you need to checkout at or before 11 am, just prepare these right after breakfast, and obviously if you checkout after lunch, you could just make them and eat at your campsite at lunchtime.
I like pitas for sandwiches because it's a sandwich but it's not super "bready". I like the bread to topping ratio. We like to make ours with salami or ham, cheese, lettuce, spinach, tomato, pickles, etc. Oh yeah, and if there's any leftover bacon from breakfast (HA!). Bring a couple of ziploc bags or sandwich containers to store your sandwiches in until lunch.
If a sandwich isn't enough, you can eat whatever snacks you have leftover, especially fresh fruit and veggies.
- Use tortilla wraps instead of pitas
- Include any leftover fresh veggies on your sandwich, such as cucumber, cherry tomatoes or peppers
Camping Snacks & Treats
Fresh fruits and vegetables - Sweet treats are great, but sometimes you just want a fresh, crisp fruit or vegetable to snack on. Some of my favorites to bring are peaches, grapes, cherries, cucumbers and carrots but you can really bring any.
Granola bars - This is the best naturally sweetened granola bar recipe I've ever found. It is AMAZING. The batter is only sweetened with bananas, but it doesn't taste a lot like bananas, which is often what turns me off of recipes like this. It does have chocolate chips and craisins in it for some added sweetness. Use soaked nuts and seeds as well as sprouted oats for max nutrition, if you can. I use ⅓ cup dried cranberries and ⅓ cup chocolate chips in her recipe.
Muffins - A great between meals snacks or addition to breakfast. This recipe is made with sprouted wheat, minimal sweetener and lots of juicy blueberries. It's really a muffin you can feel good about eating!
Trail mix - A great one to bring, especially if you do a fair bit of hiking. Making your own trail mix is the best option (here is a great guide) but there are some decent packaged ones out there as well. Just make sure you read the ingredients and nutrition facts before buying! They can somehow sneak a ton of sugar, salt and preservatives into these things!
Dark chocolate - Need I say more? I just love to have a piece or two after dinner.
Chips - This made it on the list to show you that we're not total health nuts. Definitely health nuts, but it's not like we NEVER eat fast food, or cake, or chips. My husband LOVES Old Dutch Ripple Potato Chips, so he requests them for camping trips and that is literally the only time he ever eats them. Anyways, you can buy healthier chips, regular chips, or no chips at all!
Sprouted Oat Chocolate Chunk Cookies - I'm so in love with this recipe. I just can't feel guilty about it and it's a great treat when camping! It's made of sprouted oats, sprouted wheat, applesauce, coconut oil, a little bit of coconut sugar and of course... dark chocolate chunks!
Weekend Camping Meal Plan Printable
Printing off the full menu and food packing list won't take much time and will take the thinking out of meal planning for you! When making your grocery list, go over this food packing list and write down what you don't already have. Then go through the food packing list when you are putting the food in your cooler. (Make sure you have a good cooler and ice packs that will actually keep your food cold. There's nothing worse than half your meal plan getting spoiled!!)
More Weekend Camping Meal Plan Ideas
In case you don't like a few of my ideas and want some more:
- Breakfast burritos are SO good in the morning, but do require some prep work before your trip. Cook some scrambled eggs , sliced breakfast sausage and green onions (optional). Wrap in a tortilla with some shredded cheese and salsa. Wrap your burrito in aluminum foil and freeze. Cook it on the hot coals until thawed and warmed through (about 20 minutes).
- French toast, made with that delicious sourdough bread.
- Hashbrowns in a cast-iron pan over the fire!
- Taco salad - the only thing to cook is the ground beef with taco seasoning! Use tortilla chips, lettuce, tomato, avocado, salsa, cheese, sour cream, etc.
- Bring peanut butter to dip your fresh fruit in for a more filling snack. It can also go on your oatmeal as a topping!
- Tortilla chips and salsa
- Healthy hot chocolate
- Herbal teas
- Obviously, if you're a s'mores fan, bring the graham crackers and marshmallows along with the chocolate!
Did you try this meal plan and love it? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!