The Best Pre-Packaged Camping Food For Every Palate

We take camping seriously. And, well, when you want to do a camping/hiking trip, you cannot carry around all those canned precooked foods.  You will need something lighter and more portable. Which is why there are dehydrated or freeze-dried options. But, are they any good?  Sure, if you are not hiking and are just going for a camping trip you can bring along some canned foods. And, the kids typically love them from ravioli to a bowl of soup.

Some of these foods are considered comfort foods and are great for cold or wet weather camping. They are quick to make over an open fire with a simple pot as well as in the microwave, should you be the camper that likes to have finer creature comforts while camping.

Canned Pre-packaged foods

There are all kinds of canned prepackaged foods from mac and cheese to ravioli.  These foods are not always full of flavor but will do and the kids typically love them. They are inexpensive and easy to just heat up. You can even heat it right in the can and don’t need a pan.  This used to be very common when camping.

Baked beans were one of the favorites for camping canned food. This is a great way to add side dishes as well.  However, if you are going to be traveling on the trials, this might not be a great option. Canned foods are heavy and will weigh down your pack quite a bit.

Just add water style meals are perfect for those that are going on hike and backwoods camping. They are easy to prepare and have a long lifespan. These are typically freeze-dried or dehydrated food that comes seasoned and ready to go with just a little water.  These meals are meant to be simple but they do take time to rehydrate.

However, while they are soaking up the water, you can be doing your basic camp set up and such. These sort of meals are a bit more costly than the canned options.  But, they will be less to carry and well, they do taste better than some of the canned versions as well. And, we look at it as an indulgence, you’re on vacation, enjoy yourself!

Great Camping food flavor and texture

While the flavor of the food is important, the texture is just as important. Nothing great about a mushy mess. You will want to find water add meals that have a good portion size.

After all, you will be exerting a lot of energy while hiking and you will certainly be hungry. The packaging here matters as well.  It is nice to have the food in bags that you can easily cook in for faster cooking times and easy cleanup. When we are hungry our patience is low, so it is also important to take into consideration the prep time.

Keep in mind that these meals will not taste the same at home as they will out in the field, most likely. When you have had a long day of hiking and are hungry you aren’t going to be as picky as if you were home. Also, you will have most likely sweat a bit and this causes a loss in sodium.

Because of this, most of these meals are higher in sodium and can help replenish that. And, your taste buds are known to be 30% more sensitive to salt and sweet in higher altitudes. And, your body is looking for fuel, so it is going to like sweeter sauces than you might like at home.


I have been camping and going outdoors for over 15 years! My first experience was when I joined the scouts. There I learned a lot. From building a campfire to set up a really big tent. Then I know this is awesome. Around 2005 I also started Geocaching. This is a lot of fun. And every time we go camping we look at the map to see if there are some nice caches around.

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