One of the best parts of camping is getting the food prepared for your big trip! What should you buy? What meals or nutrition will you prioritize on your next camping trip?

A common grocery shopping habit amongst many campers is that we often bring too much on our big trip. Who wants to run out of supplies in the midst of their camping trip? So it is ok to take slightly too much. After all, when we are in the outdoors and engaging in all kinds of energy sapping high-adrenaline activities, we also tend to eat more.

Before heading to your local market, get an idea of the “who, what and how many” of your camping trip.

What this essentially means is:

  • Who is coming on your trip? Will kids be around? How about vegetarians and people with dietary restrictions?
  • What do I need to purchase? Once you have figured out who is coming as far as their dietary requirements are concerned, it is pretty easy to figure what to buy.
  • How many? Count up how many of each type of grocery you will need, based on their dietary requirements of your camping party, for sufficient servings to go around to the group for the entire trip. Example: A couple both eat turkey and cheese sandwiches for lunch. The trip will take 2 days. You will probably need 4 pieces of bread, 2 pieces of cheese, 2-4 pieces of sliced turkey. If you plan out your meals ahead of time, you will be bringing much less inventory and keeping it simple. You can bring extra things for snacks and such and stick to the plan as far as main meals go.

As for a list of must-haves, here are the essentials to add to your list:

  • Condiments: ketchup, mustard, mayo, oil, vinegar, butter, salt and pepper. This takes care of salads, sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs, eggs and breakfast.
  • Graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate bars.
  • Bags of ice. Fill the coolers to the brim.
  • Canned fruit and vegetables that you can open and serve or cook easily.
  • Eggs, milk, pancake mix, cereal.
  • Turkey, cheese, ham or whatever meats you like.
  • Coffee, sugar, cream but you can save space using your milk instead.
  • Soda, trail mix and salty snacks to tide you over until dinner.
  • A few bags of sealed salad mix. Use the above-mentioned oil and vinegar to make a salad dressing.
  • Any meats you plan on BBQ’ing- Hotdogs, Hamburgers, Steaks, Chicken.
  • Charcoal, eating utensils, plates, cups, bowls, paper towels, cooking utensils, dish detergent, scrub brush or washcloth.
  • Plastic dinnerware. You can always wash dishes in the bathroom and save the environment from wasting paper plates and cups.

Once your shopping trip is done, you’ll be more than ready for your big trip to the river!  Ready to make your Saco River Camping Area reservations for the summer?  Click here!