Keeping a cooler cold while camping can be a hassle. Sometimes just bringing one is impossible. There are plenty of delicious foods that you can bring camping that require no refrigeration at all.
1. Velveeta or Cheese Whiz
If the term “cheese product” doesn’t bother you, these tasty cheese substitutes are great when a refrigerator isn’t available. Drizzle them on tortilla chips to make some nachos, or melt it over pasta to make an easy campfire mac and cheese.
Both natural and sweet, squirt-bottle honey is an easy option for adding something sweet to tea, coffee, biscuits, and toast.
This floury mixture is how so many delicious breakfast foods start. Pancakes, waffles, biscuits and more. Bring along some baking powder and you’ll have no problem using it without eggs and milk.
4. Dried Herbs and Spices
Your food doesn’t have to lack flavor just because you are camping. And the best part is none of the dried herbs and spices need to be refrigerated. Cumin for your salsa, oregano for your spaghetti, and of course salt for, well… everything.
5. Canned Evaporated Milk
If, like me, you shudder at the idea of being without milk for a few days but keeping your dairy cold is going to be challenging, you really have two options. Evaporated milk in a can has become one of the staples I always have around the house and on a camping trip. While I might not use this to lighten my coffee, it is a really great substitute for any recipe that requires milk. It might not taste exactly the same, but hey, you’re camping, and you might find you like it better.
6. Powdered Milk or Soy
Your second option in the milk department is to buy it powdered. In a pinch it, it serves as a great substitute, especially for coffee. Believe it or not, you can use it for your cereal too. Add some to cold water till you get the taste you like and dump in your Wheaties. Vegan or have a milk allergy? No problem. They also sell powdered soy!
7. Dry Lentils and Beans
Rice and beans – the camper’s go to food. But really, dry beans are a great addition to your camp kitchen that won’t take up a lot of space and don’t need any refrigeration. Remember for both beans and lentils, they can take a while to cook. Soak them in a pot of water overnight and you will have a much easier time getting them soft when you boil them the next day.
Taking its place next to milk as man’s ultimate staple, bread is a good filler when you are packing light and don’t want to take up room in the cooler. Toast, sandwiches, French toast, or a side for dinner.
9. Soy Sauce
Thinking of frying up some veggies and rice on your cook stove? Bring along some soy sauce. This Asian sauce is so salty, a little goes a long way, and it can go right back on the shelf after opening.
Some people don’t know that you actually don’t need to refrigerate butter. We keep ours out on the counter in a covered dish all the time so it is soft and spreadable. But be careful, it will be very soft and easily mushed. And if it gets warm enough you could have a greasy mess. Keep it in a container with a lid that seals.
Such a great seasoning, bouillon comes in beef, vegetable, and chicken flavor. It is a good way to make broths for soup on the go.
12. Individual Mayonnaise, Mustard, Ketchup and Relish Packets
You know when you get take-out and they send you home with those little condiment packets? They work perfectly for camping! While their larger cousins, like a tub of mayo, need to be refrigerated immediately after opening (and is a major food poisoning culprit), these little packets are single serve and require no refrigeration. Just toss the package when you are done.
They make French fries. Enough said. But seriously, potatoes are incredibly versatile, easy to cook in a variety of ways and stay good for a really long time.
How does anyone cook without it? You can use it to fry up basically anything, dip bread in it, or grease a pan. Oil is something you should definitely put in your cooking essentials with the added bonus that it doesn’t need any chilling.
Delicious for breakfast and snacks, muffins come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Add chocolate chips, blueberries or make corn muffins to go with chili. Let them cool completely and put them in a plastic bag. They will stay good for up to 4 or 5 days.
16. Fruit Leather
Try this fruit leather recipe in our post 25 Make Ahead Camping Meals to Feed a Whole Family to make your own fruit leather. You’ll have a yummy snack that is good for you and your kids.
17. Energy Bites
Energy bites are little round, bite-sized snacks that you can easily make at home and pack a great protein and fiber punch. You can keep them in a bag or box. Since most are made from oats and nut butter, there is no need to refrigerate them.
18. Coffee Cake
Make a sheet coffee cake and you have an easy breakfast option that everyone at the campsite will love. Try this recipe from Damn Delicious.
19. Banana Bread
Use up those leftover bananas on the counter before you pack up your camping gear. Banana bread is easy to make camping food that stores well without refrigeration. Cut off a slice and toss it on the fire grate to get it toasty before enjoying. We like this recipe from Chef John at All Recipes.
20. Jarred Salsa and Queso
Jarred salsa and queso have come a long way, and while they are no match for the homemade version, they are a great option at the picnic table. Put them out as a dip with tortilla chips or use them to season tacos and quesadillas.
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