Food always tastes better after a day of outdoor adventure. That’s just a fact, and something I can consider part of the magic of getting outside. That said, some camping food not only tastes better than others, but also provides a better source of key nutrients for recovery and refueling. We’ve put together a list of the best camping food packed with nutritional and antioxidant-full ingredients to take on your next outing.
If you like what you get, almost all of these brands offer a subscription model as well where you can order the camping food at a discount and restock every month or few weeks.
Greenbelly Meals offers two types of delicious and convenient stoveless meal options: Meal2Go and Mud Meals. Their Meal2Go options, with a minimum of 600 calories and 3x the nutrition of an average energy bar, don’t require any water at all - all you need to do is open the package and eat. Flavor options include Peanut Apricot, Cranberry Almond, and Dark Chocolate Banana, and they all contain natural whole ingredients that you won’t need to look up to understand. These quick and easy camping meals are ideal for backpacking or other environment where time and efficiency is important.
Greenbelly’s Mud Meals are also quick and convenient, with the added step of adding water to the packet (but the water doesn’t even have to be hot!) Their Mud Meals, with ingredients like sweet potato and pea protein, are super filling and provide 27 grams of protein and healthy fats (rather than relying on carbs for calories).
Depending on the quantity of meals purchased, they come out to $5.90-7.25 per meal. If you’re looking for quick, healthy, and filling meals for your next adventure, Greenbelly is one of the best camping food options out there.
Natti Bars are all made with a base ingredient of naturally dehydrated bananas. They contain essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, great for energy bursts on the trail and immune system bolstering. These energy bars are made with 100% natural, non-GMO, vegan, and gluten free ingredients with no preservatives or additives. They come in a few different flavors with 110-150 calories each depending on variety: their original bars, Cacao Nibs, and Dark Chocolate. This is a great snack to bring along on any camping trip for a between-meal pick-me-up, and since banana is a relatively mild flavor kids tend to love them too. (20% off with Reddy Yeti membership)
Nakee Butter has a pretty niche focus: healthy, convenient, and minimalist spreads. Their spreads are designed to be eaten right from the pouch, and you can of course opt to spread it out onto bread or fruit or any other clever combination you can come up with. Nakee Butter’s spreads are made with key ingredients like peanut butter, MCT oil, fair trade cacao, pea and brown rice protein, and agave nectar - all responsibly sourced. One of their popular spreads is their Nakee Butter iQ, a cacao-peanut butter with coconut MCT oil and 10g of plant protein. Bring this best camping food along on your next excursion to spice up your usual apple snack break or breakfast toast. (15% off with Reddy Yeti membership)
For our 21+ readers, there’s a good chance that you’ll be bringing some adult beverages on your camping trip. A cool compliment to your favorite pale ale or Belgian style wheat is ReGrained’s “upcycled” bars. They make their bars with grain leftover from the beer brewing process. This grain is high in fiber, protein, and micronutrients and it does actually taste a little like beer! They combine this grain with other spices, fruits, and chocolate to make delicious and crunchy bars. ReGrained has also sustainably distributes their products by packaging their bars using compostable wrappers, a step that many other outdoor and camping food brands have not yet taken.
My personal favorite flavor is their Honey Cinnamon IPA bar - perfect level of sweet, great flavor and energy boost.
Founded in Hawai’i, Windward Jerky’s philosophy is grounded in knowing where your food comes from. Their jerky is made with the highest quality ingredients, 25 grams of lean protein, low sodium, low sugar, and 100% grass-fed beef. Windward Jerky options have really interesting flavor profiles; for example, their Alaka’i Island Teriyaki jerky has ginger, garlic, soy and pineapple flavors with a hint of sweetness and mild saltiness. Their jerky is a “best camping food” because it can stand on its own as a snack or can be combined with a larger meal for added flavor and protein. ($3.99-6.99 per bag)
Founded by a couple of brothers who are henceforth unable to shave their faces, Bearded Brothers produces energy bars designed to fuel outdoor adventure. Their bars average seven ingredients per bar and organic, non-GMO, gluten and soy free. In other words, you know exactly what you’re eating and that it’s good for you. Bearded Bros offers flavors like Blueberry Vanilla, Raspberry Lemon, and Ginger Peach. All of their bars are excellent sources of fiber and protein, two key components of a healthy diet anywhere but especially on a high energy camping trip. You can get a variety pack to try out all their bars before deciding on your favorite, plus a Reddy Yeti membership will give you a 15% discount on the purchase.
Mountain House began their operations by making freeze-dried meals for US Special Forces, and have since produced highly rated meals for other uses like outdoor adventure and emergency relief. They offer a more conventional freeze-dried meals for campers and backpackers (aka just add water). Unlike most of the other brands on this list, Mountain House meals include meat options like Beef Stroganoff and Homestyle Turkey Dinner Casserole and have a more home-cooked vibe. Similar to Greenbelly Meals, these freeze-dried dinners are convenient and easy to make and make little to no mess for post-meal cleanup. (Ranges $8-11 per meal)
Maybe you can make it through a whole camping trip without coffee, but I sure can’t. Triple Crown Coffee is a leading camping/backpacking coffee brand. Founded by a consummate thru-hiker who completed both the Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail (two of the three thru hiking trails that make up the “triple crown”), Triple Crown roasts small batch coffee with unique flavors AND is committed to preserving national hiking trails. The coffee beans are sourced from farms with sustainable harvest methods and use environmentally friendly practices. Triple Crown offers light, dark, and medium roasts, each named after one of the three long trails; likewise, when you purchase one of those coffee roasts, a portion is donated to the conservancy protecting said trail. Complete the best camping food trifecta (meals, snacks, coffee) with Triple Crown. (10% off with Reddy Yeti membership)
I know what you’re thinking...ANOTHER energy bar? How many can I bring on one camping trip? Well, they all offer something a little different and what would life be without a little variety. FourPoints has been dubbed by Backpacker’s Magazine as the “slow burn” energy bar. Designed specifically to avoid the energy crash and keep you cranking outside longer, this bar features optimal glycemic load, macronutrients, and natural foods. In addition, FourPoints offers some fun flavors like Mountain Mocha Espresso and Trailhead Gingerbread, and you can try them all with their variety pack. If you plan on getting after it on your next camping trip, you’ll want to bring a few FourPoints bars along. (30% off with Reddy Yeti membership)
Learn more about FourtPoints from their founder on our podcast!
These are some of the best camping foods, perfect for car camping, backpacking, and everything in between. Get after it and enjoy!
If you’re looking for some sweet camping gear, check out some of the brands we recommend.
Elissa loves striking that perfect balance between outdoor adventure and organized sports. Her ideal week is full of basketball, soccer, and rock climbing followed by a weekend of hiking and camping. She works on the website migrations team at HubSpot and is based out of Cambridge, MA. Elissa is passionate about startups, particularly in the outdoor industry, and her life goal is to one day win a Reddy Yeti gear giveaway.