In our years of camping experience we have found that lunch is the most important meal of the day. It’s surprising how hungry we get after a morning of hiking or other outdoor activities. Having enough energy to continue enjoying the outdoors requires a healthy lunch. Still, it sucks spending a long time at camp cooking and eating. What we have found works best is packing easy-to-make lunches. This way we have as much time to go adventuring as possible.
The problem we ran into is that easy-to-make quickly turns into sandwiches and that gets boring real fast. So to help we have curated a list of easy camping lunch ideas that are perfect for your next outdoor escapade. From quick and simple no-cook options to convenient make-ahead meals and easy lunches over the campfire, we have something for everyone. Plus, we’ll share tips on food packing and storage at camp to ensure your lunches stay fresh and tasty. Get ready to enjoy flavorful and satisfying meals during your outdoor adventures!
- Easy camping lunch recipes are crucial for outdoor adventures.
- Explore no-cook options for quick and hassle-free lunches.
- Make-ahead meals save time and effort during camping trips.
- Campfire lunches bring a smoky and delicious touch to your outdoor dining.
- Proper food packing and storage at camp ensures freshness and avoids spoilage.
Quick and Simple No-Cook Lunch Options
When camping, especially with kids, having a fast and easy lunch option is really nice. You can unpack it and eat right away, then get back to what you were doing. Even better, with an insulated lunchbox and some ice these lunches are easily portable. This means you don’t have to come back to the campsite just to eat.
Note: You will see that we suggest wraps over sandwiches. That’s just our preference, feel free to use whatever bread you like most, or no bread at all. It’s your camping adventure, do what you want.
- Peanut Butter and Banana Wraps: Maybe this isn’t everyone’s favorite, but we enjoy them. It’s a classic combination for a reason, right? Spread a generous amount of peanut butter on a tortilla, add slices of ripe banana, add honey if you like, and roll it up. It’s a delicious and nutritious option that is really filling.
- Adult “Lunchables”: Revamping a Childhood Classic: A revamp of everyone’s childhood favorite with adult-friendly ingredients. Each family member can create their own version by pairing their favorite ingredients. Sliced deli meats like turkey or ham with a variety of cheese, crackers, condiments, and fresh fruit are classic choices. It’s a fun and customizable option for a quick and satisfying lunch or snack.
- Healthy Veggie Wraps for a Midday Energy Boost: Indulge in healthy veggie wraps packed with nutrients. Fill a tortilla with a variety of fresh vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and avocado. Drizzle with your favorite salad dressing or hummus for an extra burst of flavor. It’s simple, fast, and will hold up well for several days in a cooler. We recommend cutting the veggies in the morning, then assemble them at lunch. That way the tortilla or bread won’t get soggy.
- The Perfect Turkey and Swiss Power Wrap: Who doesn’t love a good cold-cut wrap? It may not be exciting, but everyone loves them so it’s worth a spot on the list. Layer slices of lean turkey, Swiss cheese, spinach, and your favorite condiments on a tortilla. Roll it up tightly and enjoy a satisfying and protein-packed meal that you can eat on the go. It’s a perfect lunch to take hiking.
- Charcuterie Board: A simple yet sophisticated lunch. Elevate your lunch with a simple yet sophisticated charcuterie board. Arrange an assortment of cured meats, cheeses, fresh fruit, condiments, bread, and crackers on a cutting board. It’s a delightful option for those looking to indulge in a variety of flavors and textures. You don’t have to be Dr. Oz to love a good charcuterie board.
- Pinwheel Sandwiches: Every time we have a potluck and someone makes these we wonder why we don’t have them more often. Well, we think they are perfect for camping. Spread a layer of cream cheese onto a tortilla, then add your choice of sliced meats, cheese, and veggies. Roll it up tightly and slice it into bite-sized pinwheels for a portable and delicious lunch.
- Caprese Salad Wraps: Enjoy the classic flavors of a caprese salad in a wrap. Layer sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil leaves onto a tortilla. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and roll it up for a refreshing and satisfying lunch option. If you love caprese salads, these are even better.
Convenient Make-Ahead Meals
Make-ahead meals are a lifesaver when it comes to camping lunches. These convenient options can be prepared at home. This will not only save you time, it’ll also be easier than doing it over a campfire.
- BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches: A vegan favorite that packs a flavorful punch. Made with tender jackfruit simmered in a smoky barbecue sauce and served on a soft bun, these sandwiches are sure to satisfy your taste buds. They are good cold, or warmed up.
- Grilled Bánh Mì sandwiches: It takes a little bit of work marinating and cooking the chicken but it’s worth it. Packed with marinated grilled chicken, pickled vegetables, and a tangy mayonnaise sauce, these sandwiches provide a delightful combination of flavors.
- Quinoa Salad: This refreshing and protein-packed salad is so good. Made with cooked quinoa, fresh vegetables, and a zesty lemon dressing, this salad is both nutritious and bursting with flavor. This makes a good side dish as well.
- Black Bean and Corn Salad: Loaded with protein-rich black beans, sweet corn, and colorful vegetables, this salad is a refreshing and filling option for your camping lunch. It also makes a surprisingly good wrap, especially if you add grilled chicken.
- Taco Salad in a Bag: A twist on a classic, this combines seasoned ground beef, crisp lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and crunchy tortilla chips, all conveniently packed in a sealable bag for easy eating on the go. It’s great for hiking and our kids loved it when they were little.
Easy Lunches Over The Campfire
Cooking over the campfire is not only fun but also adds an extra element of outdoor adventure to your meals. If you prefer to stick around camp, or just love cooking over a fire, here are some great lunch ideas.
- Classic Chicken or Steak Tacos: Indulge in the flavors of classic chicken or steak tacos cooked over the campfire. Savor the tender, juicy meat combined with fresh vegetables, and top it off with your favorite salsa or guacamole. These tacos are sure to satisfy your cravings and provide a satisfying and flavorful campfire lunch.
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Vegetarian Tacos: For a vegetarian option, try the sweet potato and black bean tacos cooked over the campfire. The combination of sweet potatoes, black beans, and spices creates a satisfying and nutritious meal. Top it off with some fresh avocado or cilantro for an extra burst of flavor. If you aren’t used to eating vegetarian this is a great meal to start with. In our experience we didn’t miss the meat at all.
- Quesadillas and Panzanella: Quick Fixes with a Kick: Enjoy the simplicity and deliciousness of campfire quesadillas. Fill them with your favorite ingredients like melted cheese, diced vegetables, and maybe even some leftover taco meat. The melting cheese and crispy tortilla create a delightful combination of textures. For something a little different, try making panzanella over the campfire. This Italian bread salad combines toasted bread, juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, and a tangy dressing. It’s a refreshing and flavorful choice that’s easy to prepare and perfect for a light lunch outdoors.
- Campfire Caesar Wrap: A Twist on the Traditional: Add a twist to the classic Caesar salad with a campfire Caesar wrap. Lightly charred romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, tangy Caesar dressing, and Parmesan cheese wrapped in a tortilla create a handheld delight. The smoky flavors from the campfire elevate this wrap to a whole new level. This also works as a cold wrap.
- Grilled Caprese Sandwiches: Yeah we’re including two caprese salads but they are just that good. It’s the same as above, but much better because it’s grilled and on toasted bread. Layer juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant basil between buttered slices of crusty bread. Grill it over the campfire until the bread is toasted. The melted mozzarella and the toasted bread take this sandwich to a whole other level. I’m getting hungry writing this.
Tips on Food Packing and Storage at Camp
Proper food packing and storage is essential while camping to ensure freshness and prevent spoilage. Here are some helpful tips to make your camping food packing and storage a breeze.
First, invest in high quality coolers and ice packs to keep perishable foods chilled. This will keep everything cold much longer. Consider freezing food items in advance, as they can act as additional ice and help keep everything cool. Plus, you can enjoy thawed items when you’re ready to cook. Honestly, we finally upgraded our cooler and it was shocking how much longer ice stayed frozen. Also, keep your coolers out of the sun as much as possible.
Use eco-friendly resealable bags and containers to store snacks and small items efficiently. These items are not only convenient for organization but also protect your food from getting crushed or damaged during transport. Opt for non-perishable and shelf-stable foods that won’t spoil quickly, such as canned goods, granola bars, and dried fruits. These items are easy to pack and will last longer without refrigeration.
Pack your foods in separate containers to avoid cross-contamination and keep different ingredients organized. This will help you maintain food safety and ensure the flavors of each dish remain distinct. Planning your meals ahead of time and prepping ingredients can also make cooking a breeze, saving you time and effort at the campsite.
Lastly, it’s crucial to practice proper hygiene and food safety measures while handling and storing food at camp. Wash your hands before handling food, and keep your food preparation area clean. Cook meats thoroughly and refrigerate leftovers promptly to prevent foodborne illnesses. Just because you’re camping and everything is a bit dirtier doesn’t mean you want to take chances with food poisoning.
Before You Go …
There you go, you now have at least a couple new camping lunch ideas for your next adventure. Before you go we would like to recommend checking out this post on cooking a cake over a campfire. It’s easy to overlook how a few simple changes is all it takes to make many home recipies work perfectly at camp. Thanks for reading and if you like this post we would love it if you could share it with your friends. It really helps us grow. Have a great day and we will see you outdoors!
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By Summer and Bill
Summer and Bill are the dynamic duo behind Adventureite.com, a blog dedicated to inspiring others to explore the great outdoors. With a combined lifetime of experience traveling and adventuring across America, they have a wealth of knowledge to share. From hiking to camping, kayaking to travel, Summer and Bill are passionate about helping others discover the beauty of the natural world.