Summer is such a fun time of the year, and what better way to enjoy the warm sunshine, longer days, and great scenery than camping with your family and friends? And when you’ve enjoyed exploring the outdoors all day, there’s nothing better than spending a nice relaxing evening by the campfire, roasting marshmallows and eating a well-earned meal. And you can whip up lots of tasty, easy camping meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that everyone will enjoy.


If you’re a little stuck for meal inspiration, this article will give you plenty of ideas for good quality food you can prepare and cook. And you don’t need to compromise on taste, just because you don’t have the luxury of a kitchen! All our dishes are easy to make, because we know the last thing you’ll want to do after a long day is to spend hours cooking for everyone. Many of these recipes are also great for ‘on-the-go’, so you can take a tasty packed lunch with you on your hike.

What cooking gear do you need for camping?

Unless you plan on eating out every day, you will need to bring equipment for preparing, cooking, and eating food. You don’t need to lug lots of fancy kitchen equipment with you, but you will need a few essential items:

  • Camping stove: For heating food or boiling water. Single or dual burner camp stoves are most commonly used on camping trips. They’re portable, compact, and lightweight - perfect if you’re short on space!
  • Fuel: And don’t forget the fuel for your stove! A butane or propane fuelled stove is probably the safest and cleanest option.
  • Camping lighters: There are plenty of options on the market that are wind and waterproof. They are a better alternative to matches that don’t do so well in wet and windy conditions (just remember to keep them out of reach of children).
  • Coolbox: A decent-sized cool box, around 50 to 70 litres, is worth having for storing food (including leftovers) and drink items that need to be chilled.
  • Cookware: Cast-iron cookware is durable and retains heat well. A cast-iron saucepan and a frying pan are worth investing in. Alternatively, take a good-sized, stainless steel pot from home.
  • Reusable dinnerware/cutlery: Instead of wasting paper plates, cups and plastic utensils, it’s better to invest in reusable dinnerware. It’s better for the environment, and it’ll save you money in the long run.
  • Collapsible water container: You’ll need to boil water to cook rice, pasta, or potatoes. Take a collapsible water container to fill using a tap at your campsite, and keep your supply at your pitch ready for your evening camping meals. You’ll also need it for that morning cuppa!
  • Camping kettle: Whether it’s making a brew, a pot noodle, or washing up, a stainless steel camping kettle is a must-have cooking equipment item.
  • Cooking utensils: Some of the most useful cooking utensils for camping include scissors, a tin opener, a couple of sharp knives (with protective sleeves), a cutting board, a slotted spoon, a ladle, a spatula, a cheese grater, a bottle opener, and a colander. Tin foil and parchment paper will come in handy too!
  • Reusable food containers: Better for the environment, reusable containers are handy for storing both fresh ingredients and also leftovers. And they’re ideal for taking a packed lunch on your hike.

What you need depends on what sort of camping meals you want to cook, and for how many people. But the thing to remember is to keep it simple! And don’t forget bin-bags so you can clear up after yourselves, and a washing-up kit (washing-up bowl, liquid, sponges, and tea towels) so your cookware is clean and ready to use.

Find everything you need for your own camping cooking equipment to prepare tasty meals on your next trip.

Breakfast ideas
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Start every day of your camping trip right, with a tasty, wholesome breakfast that will set you up nicely for the day. Here are some easy camping breakfast ideas to get you started:

1. Blueberry banana pancakes

Who doesn't love a good pancake? This tasty breakfast is sure to get your day off to a good start. And it’ll be a winner with kids and adults alike. You can also double up on the quantities if you have a large family, or little ones with an appetite. They’ll also make a great dessert, or a cold ‘on-the-go’ snack.

What you’ll need

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp butter (to cook)
  • Banana slices
  • Blueberries
  • Maple syrup/jam/honey to serve

Cookware/utensils:

  • Camp stove
  • Mixing bowl
  • Cup (for measuring)
  • Whisk
  • Small frying pan
  • Plates
  • Cutlery

Recipe

To make these delicious pancakes, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bag at home and add it to a bowl at camp. Add milk and the egg to the dry ingredients and whisk it all to combine (some small lumps are okay). Heat a small frying pan over your camp stove to a medium low heat, and add butter to coat the pan. Pour ⅓ cup of batter into the pan, add in some banana slices and blueberries. Cook until the top begins to bubble and sides are set (about three minutes). Flip the pancake and cook the other side to golden. To serve, top with maple syrup, jam, or honey, or just enjoy them as they are!

2. No-fuss broccoli & cheddar omelet

This easy breakfast is sure to set you up for the day! Broccoli is a good source of fibre and protein, and contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, C, E, K and a good array of B vitamins, including folic acid. Prep the night before for a super-quick meal.

What you’ll need

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup broccoli
  • 2 tbsp cheddar
  • 3 eggs

Cookware/utensils:

  • Camp stove
  • Cup (for measuring)
  • Knife
  • Frying pan
  • Plates
  • Cutlery

Recipe

Pre-chop the broccoli and cheddar the night before, or even at home. If eating the first morning, pre-scramble the eggs and seal them in an air-tight container. Pop all the ingredients into a frying pan and cook until the eggs are done. Fold in half and enjoy.

3. Granola over a campfire

Sure, you could make granola at home before you head out to the campsite. But it’s tastier if you make it fresh and over an open fire. Full of flavour, aroma, and texture - this really is the perfect camping breakfast.

What you’ll need

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups pecans or almonds
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Cookware/utensils:

  • Camp stove
  • Cup (for measuring)
  • Frying pan
  • Bowls
  • Cutlery

Recipe

Put the nuts in a hot pan and toss them around. It's a good idea to take the pan off the fire as you toss them around so they don’t burn. Once they start to have a nice nutty smell you can add the rolled oats. Cook this slowly over the fire until it becomes brown and nutty. Take the pan off the heat and add the oil and the syrup. You may want more or less syrup, depending on the consistency you like. Toss this together and when it's completely mixed, put it in a bowl. Add the dried cranberries and eat warm. You can also keep it covered and it will last for more breakfasts to come.

Lunch ideas
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If you're looking for some quick and tasty recipe ideas for lunchtime, check out these easy camping meals which can be rustled up in no time:

1. Upgraded hot dogs

Hotdogs make a quick and easy tasty lunchtime meal - great for re-fuelling and giving you energy for an afternoon of activities. Eat on their own, or pair with chips or salad to keep you going until dinner time.

What you’ll need

Ingredients:

  • 8 chopped hotdogs
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 8 ounces of chilli
  • 3 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 12 hotdog buns

Cookware/utensils:

  • Camp stove
  • Knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Frying pan
  • Plates
  • Cutlery

Recipe

Take the hot dogs, onion, and chili, and mix in a bowl with the BBQ sauce. Add the entire mixture to a pan and cook over a camp stove until the onion is translucent and the hot dogs are heated through. Put them into the hot dog buns and serve!

2. Pizza quesadillas

If you’re looking for a super-quick meal, our pizza quesadillas are just the ticket! Unlike traditional Mexican quesadillas, it calls for Italian meats, cheeses, and seasoning. Eat on their own, or serve with a simple green salad.

What you’ll need

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack tortillas
  • 1 jar passata
  • 2-3 handfuls of grated cheddar
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 chopped peppers
  • 1 pack pepperoni
  • Olive oil (for cooking)

Cookware/utensils:

  • Camp stove
  • Knife/spatula (for spreading)
  • Frying pan
  • Plates
  • Cutlery

Recipe

Spread a tortilla with passata, top with grated cheddar cheese, chopped onions, peppers and slices of pepperoni. Fold in half and cook in a pan in a little olive oil. Slice before serving. Easy peasy!

3. Double baked stuffed potato skins

This recipe uses a lot of leftovers and turns them into a delicious meal! Just make sure you count the number of potatoes going in and coming out of your fire to ensure you don’t leave any behind.

What you’ll need

Ingredients:

  • 3 baked potatoes
  • 9 rashers of bacon, cooked
  • Cooked ham
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Butter

Cookware/utensils:

  • Campfire/grill
  • Knife
  • Tin foil
  • Plates
  • Cutlery

Recipe

Take the baked potatoes and cut them each five times. Do not cut them all the way through, you want six equally sized segments across the potato. In each segment add a small amount of the bacon, ham, and cheese. Lay each potato out on its own piece of tin foil. Put a little bit of butter on the top of each potato and spread it around. Seal up the potato in the foil, find a hot spot in your grill or fire, and cook for about 20 minutes. Delicious!


Dinner ideas
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After a long day exploring the local area, you might be looking for a quick and easy meal that everyone will enjoy. And camping meals do not have to be boring, or complicated. Check out these tasty recipes to take the stress out of dinner times:

1. Peanut noodles with veggies

This tasty meal is sure to be a favourite with all the family. Plan ahead and prep the sauce at home, and you’ll have a delicious dinner in a matter of minutes once you’re at the campsite. Though we can’t guarantee your camp neighbours won’t be hovering around your tent once they smell what you’ve got on the stove.

What you’ll need

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp dried garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed red peppers
  • Dried noodles
  • Broccoli
  • Oil (for cooking)

Cookware/utensils:

  • Camp stove
  • Frying pan
  • Mixing/serving spoon
  • Bowls
  • Cutlery

Recipe

At home, mix the peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, juice of one lime, sesame oil, dried garlic, and crushed red pepper in a bowl. Bring along to camp - it’s the perfect amount for 500g of noodles. At your camp, boil water and cook the noodles according to directions on the pack. Stir-fry broccoli in a frying pan. When the noodles and veggies are cooked, mix everything together with the sauce and serve.

2. Prawn & smoky sausage foil packets

Prawns, smoky sausage, buttery corn, and zesty lemon - this recipe is one of our all-time summertime favourites. And, since the whole meal cooks in foil, there are no dishes to wash up at the end of the night! Just assemble your ingredients, seal them in foil and parchment paper, and place them over your campfire or grill.

What you’ll need

Ingredients:

  • Prawns/shrimps
  • Pre-cooked smoky sausage (chorizo is perfect)
  • Chopped zucchini
  • Chopped corn on the cob
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Mixed herbs & spices
  • Chopped parsley
  • Lemon wedges

Cookware/utensils:

  • Aluminium foil
  • Parchment paper
  • Knife
  • Heat-resistant gloves
  • Cutlery

Recipe

Firstly, make sure you have a fire and/or coals going (or set up your propane grill). Roll out 18” inches of aluminum foil, then roll out 16” inches of parchment (you want the parchment paper to be a little smaller than the foil). Assemble your ingredients in the centre of the parchment paper, starting by layering the ingredients that will take the longest to cook on the bottom like the corn and zucchini - the bottom will receive the most heat, which will speed up the corn and zucchini cook time. Then add the sausage and prawns. Finally, add the garlic, butter, and spices. To seal the packets, bring the two short edges of the aluminum foil together and fold together to form a seam. Then roll the ends in towards the middle, so you have two seams on the edges with a long one running down the side. Place the packets over your fire pit grate or grill. After about eight minutes, take off the heat and let the packets cool down for a minute. Add a handful of chopped parsley, a squeeze of lemon - and voilà!

3. Easy chickpea curry

Filling, packed with plant-based protein, and loaded with flavour, this easy chickpea curry with coconut milk is sure to hit the spot! It’s easy to make, and you can make your rice ahead of time at home. And why not make a large batch of rice and use it in easy camping meals throughout the week?

What you’ll need

Ingredients:

  • Pre-cooked rice or cauliflower rice
  • 1 diced onion
  • Oil (for cooking)
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground ginger, ground turmeric, salt
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 (14 oz) tin coconut milk
  • 1 (14 oz) tin chickpeas, drained
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Cookware/utensils:

  • Camp stove
  • Cooking pot
  • Mixing/serving spoon
  • Bowls
  • Cutlery

Recipe

The base of the curry begins with diced onions, which get sauteed in oil until just beginning to brown. Then add all the spices to toast them a bit, opening up their flavours. Once the spices are fragrant, you can add in the coconut milk and tomato paste. Stir everything together until the tomato paste is completely blended into the coconut milk. Add a tin of drained chickpeas, then simmer for a few minutes for the flavours to come together. Serve with rice, and why not add a toasted naan?

Dessert ideas

One of the best bits about camping is hanging out around the campfire after dinner. It’s the perfect time to relax, and talk about the fun day you’ve had. And plan what you’re doing tomorrow. So why not enjoy something sweet at the same time? Here are a few of our favourite, simple desserts to inspire you this summer.

1. No cook berry shortcake

Dessert is all the sweeter when it doesn’t need cooking, don’t you think? This delicious summer treat couldn’t be much simpler, and you’ll have everyone coming back for more! And you might even be lucky enough to find blackberries growing close by.

What you’ll need

Ingredients:

  • Pre-made/shop bought Madeira Cake
  • 3 cups of blackberries
  • 3 cups of raspberries
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • Clotted cream (or pre-made whipped cream)

Cookware/utensils:

  • Knife for cutting
  • Plates
  • Cutlery

Recipe

Pre-make or buy a Madeira Cake, which will form a key part of your dessert. Wash the blackberries and raspberries and drain (but don’t dry). Sprinkle with sugar and set aside for fifteen minutes. Slice the cake and arrange on a plate. Top with berries and a little clotted cream.

2. Chocolate banana melts

These are a perfect campfire dessert! Simple yet satisfying! Great for kids and adults alike, nothing beats the sweetness of bananas, chocolate, and marshmallows grilled to perfection. And they’re the perfect accompaniment to hot chocolate on a cool evening!

What you’ll need

Ingredients:

  • 4 bananas
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup mini marshmallows

Cookware/utensils:

  • Knife for cutting
  • Aluminium foil
  • Plates
  • Cutlery

Recipe

Slit each banana lengthwise through the peel, making sure not to cut all the way through to the other side. Stuff the bananas with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap each banana in aluminum foil and cook over a fire, or on the barbecue for five minutes - yes it’s that simple, and delicious!

3. Campfire cinnamon roll-ups

This delicious treat is a must-have for your camping trip! Perfect for dessert, or even breakfast, it’s fun, and super easy to make! You can make them with shop-bought croissants, but don't try to use raw croissants as the dough is too heavy and will fall off of the stick into your campfire.

What you’ll need

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack shop-bought croissants
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ¼ icing sugar (optional)

Cookware/utensils:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon (for mixing)
  • Skewers
  • Plates
  • Cutlery

Recipe

Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Separate the croissants and wrap them around the skewers. Roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture, and cook over a campfire for five minutes, rotating frequently. If you want to make your roll-ups even tastier, mix icing sugar and ⅔ tbsp water together to make a glaze and drizzle.

What healthy foods can I pack for my camping trip?

If you’re more into healthy eating, there are also lots of wholesome, nutrient-rich food which requires minimal cooking equipment. Or meals that you can prepare at home before you set off to make things a little easier.

Here are a few healthy camping food ideas to keep you well-nourished and full of energy to explore the great outdoors.

It’s a good idea to plan your meals in advance of your camping trip so you know how much food and drink you need to take with you. Take mostly dry, non-perishable food that will last your whole trip, and prepare and pre-cook as much of the fresh food as you can at home beforehand. Store in air-tight containers in your cooler and eat in the first day or two. And don’t forget the all important marshmallows for toasting on the campfire. Bon Appétit!


Discover the full range of camping cooking equipment available at Decathlon.