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Top 15 must-have ingredients for camping

Our camping manifesto is to keep outdoor meals simple as possible.

Our top 15 essential ingredients to take camping are just that. Simple. Quickly packed and versatile. They are camping superfoods, which punch above their weight in usefullness. They can be used in various dishes, from breakfast, beach sandwiches, to campfire meals. They won’t take up much space (they stowaway in one box) but will help meal planning for your next camping trip a breeze. And stop you going hungry, even if you’re not an experienced camp chef.

If camp cooking is your thing, you can completely jazz these meals up by adding an array of fresh foods; meats, diary, herbs / seasonings etc. Make them as complicated as you like! But the basic building blocks for all great camping meals are in our list below.

Essential Camping foods packed in a box
Essential Camping foods packed for a trip


Think of your camping kitchen as a scaled down version of your home kitchen. But being scaled down doesn’t equate to boring camping meals. Whether you’re an experienced camper or a novice camper, taking a few ingredients camping can be the basic building blocks for all great camping meals. With these key staples combined in different ways, you can easily whip up dozens of easy, quick and cheap meals. Seeing you through a trip, saving you some pennies for nice meals out in local eateries.


1. Eggs - boil them, bake them, poach them, fry them, scramble them. The are so many ways with eggs, whether it's boiled with soldiers breakfast or an evening omelette. They are versatile and protein rich keeping you full for longer.

2. Bread - ideal for anytime of the day. Perfect for slipping into a rucksack or picnic basket for the beach. Combine with eggs for breakfast or fill with cheese for a lunchtime toastie.

3. Milk - it has a variety of uses from sauces to teas, coffees and even hot chocolates. Or to pour over cereal. And you won't be thanked for packing UHT or powered milk. Take fresh milk and make sure you keep it cold. We hire a variety of cool boxes, if you're Glamping with us in the summer time.

4. Pancake mix - whether homemade or supermarket-bought, pancake mix is a great accompaniment to delicious campsite breakfasts. Easy to cook in a single frying pan, pancakes can be packed with flavour by adding spreads. If you take your own mix you can easily repurpose the flour to make a roux or béchamel for pasta sauces.

5. Jam/honey/maple syrup - add it to pancakes, have it on bread or stir it through porridge.

6. Tinned Tomatoes - a campsite superfood with loads of uses, from breakfasts to one-pot stews, casseroles and quick vegetarian pasta dishes. One of the best campsite staples we think!

7. Garlic - it can really elevate your camp cuisine and doesn't take up much space. We can't live without garlic.

8. Onions - they don't bruise have an extended shelf life and make everything taste good. Add them to pasta sauces, fry them for hot dogs, or add to a salad, or an omelette for extra flavour.

9. Butter - butter can be used as a spread on toast or sandwiches, but also as a multi-purpose, space-saving substitute for oil when frying to stop your ingredients from sticking to the pan. Add it to sauces and stews for extra gloss and flavour.

10. Condiments - Salt, pepper, spices. A simple collection of seasonings and spices can massively elevate your camp cuisine, whilst adding variety to your meals – especially when you’re cooking with the same 15 essential ingredients.

11. Pasta - quick and easy to cook. Always filling and great for kids. Add tuna, or a cheesy sauce. Simple Bites Campfire One-Pot Macaroni & Cheese is a good recipe to have in your back pocket for any time you need a fast camping pasta meal.

12. Tuna - a perfect sandwich filler, great for pasta and addition to any salad. Tinned tuna is a campsite super hero. Tiny tins - great space saver!

13. Cereal - Non-perishable, quick, kids love it. A simple serving needs nothing more than milk and doesn't create loads of washing up. A good staple for the last day when you need to pack and don't want loads of washing up before you depart. Add jam / honey as a topping for extra interest.

14. Cheese - melt into pasta sauces, grate in omelettes, use cheeses slices in sandwiches for the beach. Basically everything tastes better with cheese.

15. Lettuce - the humble lettuce leaf makes a nice salad, with the addition of eggs, tuna or cheese. Add it to sandwiches for a crunch. We always take Cos or Little Gem, which seems to be the most robust and long lasting when it's in the cool box.

We you're hiring a Glamping tent with us this year we can supply a variety of essential (and non-essential luxury) food hampers, from local Cornish suppliers.

Eggs cooking on the campfire - campsite superfoods
Campsite Superfoods - 15 Essential Camping Ingredients - Eggs


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