Non Perishable Food for Camping With Menu

For the past several summers at least one of our camping trips we have been without the convenience of a cooler due to the remote location of our camping adventures. Menu planning for several days with no refrigeration can be a little challenging, especially if you want to look forward to what you’ll be eating. I’m sharing my three day menu of non perishable food for camping that takes into consideration both nutrition and taste. 

Non perishable food items by definition can be stored for a long period of time before consumption. For this post I’ll be using the term non perishable to describe foods that do not require refrigeration. Many of the foods discussed are considered non perishable by definition while others simply will get you through a camping trip when you don’t have access to a cooler.

Some best practices for storing your camping food include:

  • Keep food out of direct sunlight (in a cool, dark spot if possible)
  • Use air tight containers or food clips to seal opened packages
  • Check packaged foods for proper storage and safety once opened

Nutrition Considerations and Menu Planning

When building my menu of non perishable food for camping I like to incorporate a source of carbohydrate, protein, and fat with each meal. This gives me confidence that I will feel more satisfied with my meals, honoring different types of hunger namely biological and taste. Additionally, I try to balance variety while also being mindful of how much total weight and volume of food I’m packing.

Before sharing my three day menu I’d like explore non perishable foods for camping by macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate and fat) just to get you thinking of options that might work best for you. Feel free to use my menu as a starting point and make adjustments based on dietary needs and preferences. You will also notice that some foods listed can be considered a source of more than one macronutrient such as nuts or peanut butter provide both protein and fat.

Non Perishable Protein Ideas

Breakfast

  • Shelf stable chocolate milk singles
  • Peanut butter
  • Shelf stable soy milk singles
  • Farm fresh eggs (unwashed with “bloom” intact)

Lunch

  • Canned beans
  • Packaged/canned tuna, salmon, or chicken
  • Shelf stable hummus
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Dinner

  • Freeze dried edamame
  • Jerky
  • Protein pasta (such as Banza chickpea pasta)
  • Baked cheese crisps (such as Whisps)

Non Perishable Carbohydrate Ideas

Breakfast

  • Muffins
  • Bagels
  • Granola or Oatmeal
  • Cereal

Lunch

  • Bread
  • Pita
  • Tortilla
  • Rice

Dinner

  • Soup, chili, stews
  • Crackers or rolls
  • Ramen
  • Pasta

Non Perishable Fat Ideas

Breakfast

  • Shelf stable chocolate milk singles
  • Peanut butter
  • Shelf stable soy milk singles
  • Ghee

Lunch

  • Avocado 
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Dinner

  • Baked cheese crisps (such as Whisps)
  • Pesto jar or paste
  • Oil
  • Ghee

Non Perishable Fiber Ideas

Adding fiber to your meals will increase satiety helping you to feel full for a longer period of time. Fiber can also aid in digestion and improve blood sugar control. When creating my list of non perishable food for camping I aim to have a variety of the following sources of fiber:

  • Fresh, canned or dehydrated fruit
  • Fresh, canned or dehydrated vegetables
  • Whole grain breads, cereals, pastas, etc
  • Seeds & nuts

Non Perishable Food for Camping 3 Day Sample Menu

Time to share the three day menu I’ve created for non perishable food for camping! Keep in mind that you can use the non perishable food ideas we explored earlier to make any substitutions to meet your dietary needs and preferences. Again, my overall goal in creating this menu was to find a source of carbohydrate, protein, fat and fiber for each of my meals.

Day 1

Breakfast

Muffin, applesauce, Darigold Fit chocolate milk single

Lunch

Poshi Mediterranean 3 bean salad topped avocado and packaged salmon, whole grain crackers (example Triscuits)

Dinner

Chickpea pasta (example Banza) mixed with pesto (small jar or pesto paste), topped with walnuts, tomato and artichoke hearts

Day 2

Breakfast

Whole grain bagel with peanut butter, kiwi, shelf stable milk single (chocolate or soy)

Lunch

Pita bread wrap with hummus (try Veggicopia shelf stable hummus), Oloves kalamata mini pack olives, fresh tomato, and canned artichoke hearts

Dinner

Tomato soup topped with baked cheese whisps, whole grain roll and ghee

Day 3

Breakfast

High protein granola (such as Kind protein clusters) with soymilk single, topped with walnuts and banana

Lunch

Rice and black beans, topped with avocado, baked cheese whisps, and tomato. Serve with tortilla chips and single serve salsa cups

Dinner

Ramen soup (example Mike’s Mighty Good) with added freeze dried edamame (they’ll rehydrate in the juice), peanuts and beef jerky

Summary

I hope this three day sample menu helps you plan your own menu of non perishable food for camping. If you think of any additional non perishable foods or meal ideas that I have not shared, please leave them in the comments for other readers! You may notice I didn’t offer any snack ideas. I encourage you to have fun with your snacks, ones that bring you that camping nostalgia. Could be any combination of chips, trail mix, candy etc. Just don’t forget to pack grahams, chocolate and mallows for s’mores obviously.

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