Sometimes, no strike that, almost all of the time, you want to keep your meal prep at the campsite on the simple side. That is especially true when it comes to lunch. I find that even at home, lunch often gets the short end of the stick and is one of the meals we tend to put less effort into. Lunchtimes at the campsite too are often rushed. You may be hiking, fishing, or doing another activity and need to eat before you dive right back into the fun. That’s why when it comes to camping lunch ideas, I like to find recipes that are easy to make at camp, healthy, and delicious!
Oh, and no pre-packaged stuff for us! I like to make sure that we are avoiding the waste that comes along with it. Packaged lunch foods are full of unhealthy additives and let’s not even mention the wasteful plastic that comes with them. A trip to the great outdoors, for me, is all about reconnecting with nature and not polluting it with more garbage and waste.
If you are looking for some camping lunch ideas for your trip, we have gathered some great recipes that are healthy, delicious, and eco-friendly. Plus, when you are just too busy having fun at your campground, you can’t be bothered to take a lot of time cooking. That’s why we chose foods that are easy to make to include on this list!
Delicious Camping Lunch Ideas to Make Before Heading to Camp
There are some things that you can prepare in advance of your trip that will make lunches much easier. I like to make these recipes either right before I leave, or a week or two in advance. If I make them in advance, I can just pop them in the freezer and take them out when I’m packing up the food. Plus, when they come straight from the freezer, they can help to keep your cooler cold! The recipes I prepare in advance can include some of the following:
Peanut Butter Cookies
These cookies take just 3 ingredients and a few minutes of baking. Back at home, mix together a jar of peanut butter, 1 egg, and ½ cup of sugar and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. They are easy AND tasty!
Oatmeal cookies are easy to bake at home and can actually be eaten as breakfast, snack, or lunch treat. Check out my recipe here for delicious oatmeal raisin cookies. Yum!
Energy Balls are a wonderful snack to keep on hand all the time. They are a great source of protein. They are easy to make, easy to eat, and easy to take with you. These are an awesome option for snacking, for breakfast, or for lunch. Most energy balls feature ingredients such as peanut butter, protein powder, shredded coconut, honey, and chocolate chips. Of course, these ingredients can change depending on your preferences, but in combination, it is a great ingredient list for protein and energy.
Base Camping Lunch Foods to Make in Advance of your Camping Trip
In addition to those mentioned above, these base foods can also be made at home and will make cooking at camp a lot easier. Foods like this include hard-boiled eggs, pasta (whole grain or veggie noodles can be made for a healthier meal), quinoa, salads, etc.
One of the reasons I love these options so much is because they can easily be prepared at home and then packed up in a bento box or other reusable container and then stored in your cooler. Just pull them out when it is time for lunch at the campsite.
Camping Lunch Ideas to Make at the Campsite
If you are at camp and ready to make a tasty lunch, here are some of our favorite camping lunch ideas to make at the campsite.
Lox Bagel Sandwich
Lox bagels are one of those meals that are delicious, but sneakily easy to make. I like to top them with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Sometimes I even like to toss some veggies on. Use a whole grain bagel to make this healthier or do lettuce wraps instead.
Hard-boiled Eggs, Nuts, and Cheese
I’m all about snacking at camp. Sometimes I get so busy with all of the fun adventuring that I am not even that hungry. That’s why I like having snack type lunches available like hard boiled eggs, nuts, cheese, etc.
I like to boil the eggs at home and pack them up in the cooler. I also like to cut cheese into cubes while at home too to save time at camp.
Tuna Wrap or Tuna Sandwich
You can whip up some tuna salad at home or you can wait until you are at camp to mix it up while there. Toss it on some bread and you have a delicious sandwich. I love tossing some veggies into my tuna salad to add some extra taste and nutrition. If you want to make it a little healthier, or if you are trying to keep it low carb, use lettuce leaves instead of bread. Or, you can enjoy a salad topped with tuna salad.
Hummus & Veggies, or Hummus Veggie Wraps
If you love hummus, you have lots of delicious lunch options! You can pre-cut some veggies at home (carrots, celery, bell peppers, etc), and dip these veggies in some hummus for a delicious nutritious lunch! Or, alternatively, you can wrap up the sliced veggies in lettuce or a whole-grain tortilla for a hummus veggie wrap.
Hot Dogs & Veggies
If you already have the fire going, or if you have a small BBQ grill on hand at the campsite, hot dogs are a great lunch option. You can grill them up or roast them over the fire and pair them with some delicious veggies like carrots, celery, olives, salad, etc. Besides, is it even camping if you aren’t eating hot dogs?
To keep it healthier, eat the hot dog sans bun or you can get whole grain buns to go along.
Delicious, Healthy Sides to Serve with your Camping Lunch
It’s good to have lots of delicious, healthy sides to serve with your camping lunch. These are some of my favorites to pack up in our reusable containers and bring along on our camping trips:
- Trail mix
- Seed crackers
- Fruits such as grapes, sliced apples, berries, etc.
- Veggies such as carrots, sliced cucumbers, celery
What do you like to eat for lunch at camp? Do you like to cook around the fire, or go with an easy, no-cook option? Do you have any amazing, camping lunch ideas that you would like to share with us? We’d love to hear your great camping lunch recipes in the comments section down below!
For more great camping recipe ideas, check out my recipes page.