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  • Writer's pictureKate

The Best Wild Camping Foods For Your Outdoor Adventures

Updated: Apr 8

Introduction to Wild Camping

As an avid outdoor enthusiast, there's nothing quite like the thrill of embarking on a wild camping adventure. The freedom to explore untouched landscapes, sleep under the stars, and connect with nature is truly unparalleled. However, to fully enjoy your time in the great outdoors, it's essential to choose the right food to fuel your body. In this article, we will guide you through the best wild camping foods that will not only provide sustenance but also elevate your outdoor experience to new heights.

Why Choosing the Right Wild Camping Food is Important for a Successful Trip

When you're out in the wilderness, your body needs proper nutrition to keep up with the physical demands of hiking, setting up camp, and exploring. Choosing the right food is crucial for maintaining energy levels, promoting muscle recovery, and ensuring overall well-being during your camping trip. It's essential to opt for lightweight, non-perishable, and nutrient-dense foods that are easy to pack, prepare, and store. By doing so, you'll be able to fully enjoy your outdoor adventures without feeling weighed down or compromising on taste.

Essential Gear for the Wild Camping Kitchen

Having the right camping kitchen gear is essential to create delicious meals outdoors. While it is possible to camp without a stove and rely solely on no-cook food, investing in a lightweight and compact cooking system can significantly enhance your culinary options and overall camping experience. Here are some essential items to consider:

  • Stove: There are various ultralight compact backpacking stoves available on the market. The Jetboil Stash Cooking System, with its FluxRing cookpot, offers convenience and efficiency, weighing in at only 0.26kg. Another option is the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 Mini Stove Kit, which comes with an insulated pot that weighs 0.28kg. There are also alcohol-fuel stoves, such as the Trangia Burner and solid-fuel stoves, such as the Fire Maple

  • Fuel: Depending on the type of stove you choose, you will need fuel to power it. Canister stoves, such as the Jetboil and MSR Pocket Rocket, utilise screw-on threaded canisters containing isobutane. The advantage of alcohol and solid fuel stoves is that they will burn at any temperature, whereas the gas won't. However, they can be dangerous if not used correctly.

  • Pot / Bowl: If your cooking system does not include an integrated pot, consider investing in a lightweight and versatile option like the MSR Titan Kettle or a cheaper Toaks titanium camping pot.

  • Mug: A reliable mug is a must-have for enjoying hot beverages while camping. Whether you opt for a cheap Enamel Mug or a lightweight titanium mug like the Fire Maple Titanium Mug, choose one that suits your needs and preferences.

  • Spork: A versatile utensil, such as a Titanium Spork, is essential for enjoying meals while camping. Its compact size and functionality make it a practical choice. Always choose a long-handled one if you want to eat straight out of any camping meal packets.

  • Knife or Multi-Tool: Having a Knife or multi-tool is invaluable for various tasks, including food preparation.

  • Hydration:  Staying hydrated is crucial during outdoor activities. Alongside a Hydration Bladder, carrying a reliable water bottle like the Nalgene Bottle ensures you have access to clean drinking water. Additionally, you will need a water filter as carrying all the water you may need can significantly add to your kilos. I've always used the Katadyn Water Filter and have had no problems with it; it is also attached to the Cnoc water bladder.

Essential Food Items to Pack for Wild Camping

Now that you're equipped with the necessary cooking methods and equipment let's explore the essential food items to pack for your wild camping adventure. When it comes to wild camping, it's all about finding the perfect balance between convenience and nutrition. Here are some must-have food items to consider:

  • Dried Foods: Dried foods such as Flapjacks, fruits, nuts, and Jerky are excellent choices for wild camping. They are lightweight, non-perishable, and packed with essential nutrients. Dried fruits provide a natural source of sweetness and energy, while nuts offer a satisfying crunch and healthy fats. Jerky, made from lean meats, is a protein-rich option that will keep you feeling full and energised throughout your outdoor activities.

  • Canned Goods: Canned goods, such as beans, soups, and vegetables, are another cheap option for wild camping. They have a long shelf life, are easy to pack, and can be heated directly in their cans. Opt for low-sodium varieties and choose cans with pull-tab lids for convenience. However, this option can be very heavy so it may be okay for one night but no longer.

  • Nut Butter: Nut Butter, such as peanut or almond butter, is a versatile and nutrient-dense food item that can be enjoyed in various ways. Spread it on crackers, bread, or fruit for a quick and satisfying snack. Nut butter is an excellent source of healthy fats, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. You can now get it in handy little sachets, perfect for on-the-go.

  • Whole Grains: Whole grains, such as quinoa, rice, and oats, are excellent staples for wild camping. They provide a good source of carbohydrates for sustained energy and can be cooked quickly over a campfire or camping stove. Pack them in resealable bags or containers to keep them dry and protected from moisture. Rice now comes in handy little pouches that you can reheat with a drop of water in your camping pot.

  • Instant Meals: Instant meals, such as dehydrated backpacking meals, are a convenient solution for wild camping, if not slightly expensive. These pre-packaged meals require minimal preparation and can be rehydrated with hot water. Look for options that are high in protein, fibre, and vitamins to ensure a well-rounded meal. This is my go-to option for wild camping as they are light, easy to make and well-balanced. I will show below a few of my favourites:

Additional Tips and Considerations

In addition to the specific meal ideas, here are some additional tips and considerations to enhance your wild camping food experience:

  • Meal Planning: Plan your meals in advance and create a shopping list to ensure you have all the necessary ingredients. Consider factors such as dietary restrictions, cooking equipment available, and the duration of your trip.

  • Food Safety: Practice proper food safety measures to prevent foodborne illnesses. Ensure that perishable foods are eaten as quickly as possible. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw and cooked foods separate.

  • Leave No Trace: When camping in the wilderness, it is essential to follow the principles of Leave No Trace. This includes properly disposing of food waste, packing out all trash, and respecting the natural environment.

  • Water Purification: Ensure you have a reliable method of purifying water while camping. This can include using Water Filters or purifying tablets to ensure the water you consume is safe.

  • Experiment and Have Fun: Don't be afraid to get creative with your camping meals. Experiment with different flavours, ingredients, and cooking techniques to make your camping food experience enjoyable and memorable.

  • Remember, wild camping food can be both delicious and nutritious: By planning ahead, packing the right gear, and exploring various recipes and ideas, you can elevate your camping meals and create unforgettable culinary experiences in the great outdoors.

Conclusion: Enjoying Delicious Meals While Connecting with Nature

In conclusion, choosing the right food for your wild camping adventure is essential for a successful and enjoyable experience. By packing lightweight, non-perishable, and nutrient-dense foods, you'll have the sustenance you need to fuel your adventures. Whether you opt for dried foods, instant meals, or canned goods, be sure to prioritise nutrition and convenience. With the right food choices and proper storage techniques, you can indulge in delicious meals while connecting with nature. So, gear up, pack your camping essentials, and embark on a wild camping experience that will leave you nourished and satisfied.

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If you have any questions or comments on anything you have read, please get in touch with me here.

If you don't already use the Ordnance Survey App, you can download it here, enabling you to download GPX routes. I use this App to plan all my hikes, and as its OS, it mirrors the paper map you should always use in conjunction.

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