Camping Grocery List with Printable Shopping List

August 31, 2023

Grocery List for Camping With Meal Planning Ideas

Looking for the best camping food list? Any good food list for camping will include essentials like bread and eggs, as well as crowd-pleasers such as marshmallows, hot cocoa and pancake mix.

Few things are better than loading up the car or RV, hitting the road and going camping at your favorite campground. The getting ready for your trip? Sometimes less fun. But don’t worry — your trip to the supermarket is covered with this printable camping grocery list. It has all the essentials plus a little extra room to add your own must-have items.

Still forget something? Each Kampgrounds of America location has a convenient campground store that’s perfect for picking up the essentials. Ice, firewood and even those s’mores fixings can be found just a few steps from your site. It is just one of the many great amenities at KOA!

Click here to download and print your camping grocery list!

What Groceries Should You Buy for Camping?

Among your camping essentials, food ranks high on the list. You will need energy for all your fun activities, but camping brings some unique challenges for packing food. You will need to pack a cooler and cooking supplies. You also may have limited space for storing your groceries. As you plan your camping trip, having a list can make prepping your food easier.

This list gives you essential ingredients you can combine in different ways to create meals while camping. You can also plan your camping recipes and make a grocery list based on your meal ideas. A pre-planned menu ensures you pack everything you need and nothing you do not.

Use this camping food checklist as a starting point to make your camping planning easier. Remember, the best grocery list for camping will account for your food preferences and the easy recipes you commonly make.

Canned beans in a tin on wooden background, top view.


Canned beans work well for a variety of camping applications, making them an excellent addition to your camping food packing list. They store easily without refrigeration and offer a versatile source of protein for multiple meals. Make baked beans as a side for a dinner meal with grilled meat or add them to a main dish for additional flavor. Beans also work well in pasta dishes or as additions to salads.


Grab a loaf of bread to make sandwiches for lunch. This ingredient pairs well with other foods on this list, like cheese and lunch meats. Sandwiches also make excellent camping food because they are easy to pack and enjoy on the go. Bring some plastic bags and pack sandwiches to eat during a hike, fishing excursion or beach day.

Bread also works well for breakfast applications like French toast or egg sandwiches. Use bread in your dinnertime cooking as a side to dishes like soup or salad.


Like bread, buns are a versatile camping food. Buy hamburger and hot dog buns for the nights when you grill. If you plan to grill bratwurst, make sure you bring some larger buns with plenty of room for the meat and your favorite toppings. Add lunch meat and cheese to a bun for a delicious lunchtime snack. You can even make wrap sandwiches — wrap your sandwich in aluminum foil and place it in the fire for a warm and smoky breakfast or lunch.

Hands of the buyer with a pieces of cheese in the store.


For breakfast, lunch and dinner, cheese is a staple. Pack some shredded cheese for delicious and easy meals like mac and cheese. Add it to your camping chili or use it as a taco topping. Bring along sliced cheese to add to meals like breakfast or lunch sandwiches.


Camping sometimes brings chilly nights or cool, drizzly days. Chili is an excellent meal to keep you warm and cozy. Canned chili is also easy to pack, making it a simple addition to your groceries for camping. It also makes an excellent addition to other meals like mac and cheese. It adds flavor and creates a delicious meal to satisfy your hunger.


Add flavor to your camping meals by bringing your favorite condiments along. Here are a few everyday staples to add to your shopping list:

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Relish
  • Hot sauce
  • Pickles
  • Salad dressings

Condiments can be added to burgers, hot dogs and bratwurst, and they’re also an excellent way to add flavor to a dish. Salad dressings like ranch work well for salads or dipping cut vegetables as a camping snack.

Close-up of men enjoying in hot drink while fishing at sunset.


Stay hydrated during your next excursion by packing some drinks. First on the list is water. Some campgrounds may have drinkable water. If not, make sure you bring a supply. If you plan to do lots of hiking, mountain biking or other strenuous activities, bring plenty. Here are a few other drinks to consider:

  • Coffee: Start your day with a caffeine kick by bringing coffee grounds along. You may not have room for the espresso machine, but you can still drink your morning cup of joe by bringing coffee bags or a French press.
  • Tea: Bring some tea bags for a cozy drink on a chilly day. You can also make sun tea, a delicious iced tea requiring only water, sun, tea bags and a jar.
  • Juice: Pack a jug of orange juice to drink with your breakfast or choose other favorite juice flavors to mix it up and enhance your camping experience.
  • Soft drinks: Another option for camping beverages is to bring some soft drinks. These are easy to throw in a cooler for a refreshing drink.
  • Beer or wine: Relax around the campfire with a bottle or can of your favorite alcoholic beverage. These drinks are easy to pack and adapt to your flavor preferences.


You might think of eggs primarily as a breakfast food, but they can be ideal for meals any time of day. Try using eggs to complete your breakfast sandwich, or scramble them for a delicious breakfast burrito. Make a delicious and satisfying breakfast skillet using eggs and hash browns. Some pancake mixes also call for eggs, so bring them along for your flapjacks.

You could also bring pre-boiled eggs to make a delicious side of deviled eggs or egg salad sandwiches.


An assortment of fresh fruit ensures healthy and delicious options for snacking and meals. Fresh fruit makes an excellent addition to your morning oatmeal or yogurt. Bring uncut fruits to save on cooler space, as most do not require refrigeration. Cut fruits like melons or peaches before you leave and store them in a hard-sided container in your cooler before leaving on your camping trip.

Fruit also makes a delicious addition to many campfire desserts. Mix it up from the classic s’more with recipes like campfire apple crisp or blackberry dumplings. Grill bananas after dinner to create another delicious fruit dessert.

Here are a few fruits to pack:

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Pears

Woman enjoying morning coffee with nature

Hot Cocoa Mix

Get cozy around the campfire and keep your fingers nice and toasty with a hot chocolate mix. Heat water — or milk for a creamier beverage — over a stove or the campfire, and combine with a chocolatey mix for the ultimate comforting drink under the stars.


While everyone’s meal plans are different, most probably include some meat dishes. Here are a few meat staples to bring along:

  • Bacon: Fry some up with your morning eggs or wrap some peppers in bacon for a side dish to enjoy with your dinner.
  • Beef: Ground beef has many applications, from burger patties to sloppy joes. Alternatively, combine it with pasta or add it to a soup recipe.
  • Hot dogs: When camping with kiddos, hot dogs are a must. Cook them for meals and use the leftovers in the next day’s mac and cheese.
  • Bratwurst/sausage: Grill bratwurst and sausage to eat on a bun or to add to other dishes like grilled kebabs or foil packet meals with veggies.
  • Chicken: Pack chicken breasts or thighs to grill or cook over the fire. Create a delicious marinade for a flavorful dish.
  • Sandwich meat: Make campground lunches easier by packing lunch meat for sandwiches and buns.
  • Tofu: Not a meat eater? Tofu offers an excellent alternative in most meat dishes, from kebabs to foil packet meals.


Dry oats pack well, making them an easy addition to your camping grocery list. Use them to make breakfast meals, like simple overnight oats, for a filling and nutritious breakfast. Add some fruit for additional flavor. Oats also work for desserts like apple crisp or baked apples, adding a flavorful crunch.

Oil or Cooking Spray

Bring your favorite cooking oils to coat your pans when cooking. If you often alternate between a wide variety of oil or cooking sprays in your home cooking, save some packing space by choosing one or two neutral-flavored oils that work for sweet and savory dishes.

Pancake cooking in a cast iron pan over a campfire.

Pancake Mix

A box of pancake mix makes breakfast easy. Add water and fry up some flapjacks on the griddle or in a pan. Bring your favorite toppings, like maple syrup, to add flavor and sweetness. If you plan to have pancakes every morning, mix it up with a few fun flavor combinations. Make peanut butter banana pancakes or add berries and whipped cream for a fresh, fruity taste.


With various shapes and sizes, pasta makes an excellent addition to your camping foods. Bring macaroni noodles for a simple mac and cheese dish. Add pasta to other dishes like soups or a one-pot pasta recipe. Create other side dishes like pasta salad using the noodles you pack.

Peanut Butter

From your morning meal to your nightly s’mores, peanut butter is a versatile food with many uses. You could also bring other kinds of nut butter, like almond butter, to use in similar situations.

Add peanut butter and bananas to your morning flapjacks for a burst of flavor and some additional protein. For lunch, spread peanut butter on sandwiches. This delicious spread even works for dinnertime applications, like as a salad dressing ingredient. Finish the day off right with a delectable s’more. Spread peanut butter on the graham crackers for a fun twist on a classic camping dessert.


This versatile staple creates various easy meals. It is also easy to pack, making it an excellent option for camping. Cook rice as a side to eat with meals like grilled chicken or add it to the main dish with recipes like a chili rice skillet. Rice mixes also make an excellent camping food option. These mixes include spices, meaning you can leave some ingredients at home. Make the rice and add some meat for protein, and you have a simple camping meal.


A jar of tomato sauce or pesto makes it easy to create mouthwatering dishes without packing tons of extra ingredients. Buy pre-made jars for an easily transportable addition you can keep out of your cooler. Prefer homemade sauces? Pack your favorite recipes in secure containers to save you the trouble of making sauce from scratch at the campsite.


You may not have room for the whole spice cabinet in your camping gear, but having a few tried-and-true spice options will add excellent flavor. Pack a few staples you use most often in your home cooking. Ensure you bring the necessary spices for any pre-planned dishes too. Your spice selection might include:

  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Cayenne
  • Spice blends

S’mores Supplies

What is a camping trip without some gooey s’mores? Grab some chocolate bars, marshmallows and graham crackers to create this sweet fireside treat. S’mores are also an excellent canvas to try new flavor combinations. Here are a few chocolate substitutions or additions to try:

  • Peanut butter cups
  • Peanut butter
  • Caramel-filled chocolate
  • Nutella
  • Fruit

If you are bored with the basic graham cracker, swap it for chocolate sandwich cookies, peanut butter cookies, chocolate graham crackers, pretzel thins or Ritz crackers. Try new flavor combinations and see who can make the tastiest s’more.


Whether you are heading back from the pool or leaving the campground to hike in the nearby area, you will need some good snacks. They will keep you energized and stave off the midday munchies. Camping snacks should be easy to pack with enough variety to please everyone you bring along. Choose options like:

  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Granola bars
  • Trail mix
  • Cheese sticks
  • Nuts
  • Fruit
  • Veggies

Pack some healthy options for energy and nutrition, and add some of your favorite treat foods — because it is vacation, after all.


When you are whipping up dessert after dinner, you may need some sugar. Dishes like fruit cobbler or brown bears use sugar to add the perfect touch of sweetness. Pack additional sweeteners like honey or maple syrup to flavor tea or your morning oatmeal.


Veggies have a range of uses on your camping trip, especially in your dinnertime dishes, from kebabs to foil packet meals. You can plan your menu and grab the veggies for each recipe or pick up a few essentials and organize meals as you go. Here are a few vegetable options to consider:

  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots

Cut vegetables before you leave to make the meal-prepping process smoother. Chopped vegetables usually last about two or three days, which is perfect for a short camping trip. An assorted vegetable tray also gives a snacking option throughout the day. Pack ranch dip or some hummus to add flavor to this snack.

Mother making pizzas with two younger daughters in a bright kitchen.

Tips for Meal Planning

Making food on the go often takes a bit of thought. You will be away from home without access to your fully stocked kitchen cupboards. Once you buy the necessary groceries for camping, these tips will make planning your camping menu easier and more cost-effective.

Consider the Tools You Will Need

Camping means you might not have a stove or oven to cook food. When planning meals, ensure you have a strategy for cooking them. Maybe you have a camp stove and pots to bring for cooking. You may also need tools like roasting sticks or aluminum foil for packet meals. Try to keep your recipes simple to limit the number of supplies you will need to pack.

Prep Food Before You Go

Your vacation is an opportunity to relax and unwind. Save yourself some cooking time during the trip by doing prep work in advance. You might chop and marinate meat so it is ready to cook. Cut vegetables and fruits before you leave to save some time chopping. Some dishes also freeze and reheat well, making them a good choice for a simple heat-and-eat meal.

As you organize your food to bring camping, list the items you can prepare ahead and set aside time in the weeks before you leave to prepare it.

Optimize Packing Space

When traveling, you have limited room for all your food supplies, so ensure you use the space to the fullest potential. Start by planning the food you will need using the list above. A specific meal plan saves space by ensuring you have all the necessary supplies and nothing more.

Organize your food storage before you go and keep everything in its place during your vacation to make everything easier to find. Pack ingredients in smaller containers if necessary to optimize packing space. For example, rather than packing a whole bag of sugar, place a few cups in a sealed container.

Keep It Simple

Plan recipes that require minimal prep and supplies. Meal options like one-pot dishes save you from packing extra pans and cooking supplies. Also, aim for recipes with fewer ingredients. You will save packing space and time spent making food. Consider where you can reuse food, too — one night’s grilled chicken could become a salad add-in or a sandwich ingredient.

A group of five friends walks down a trail to setup for an afternoon outdoors.

How to Pack Cold Food

An RV fridge usually only runs when hooked up to electric power. Tent campers often rely on coolers to keep cold food at a safe temperature. No matter how you camp, you will face challenges keeping your food chilled. Use these tips to keep food cold and safe.

Pack Enough Ice

Your cooler’s ice-to-food ratio should be 2:1 to keep your food cold. Optimize your space by freezing supplies you plan to use later in the trip. Things like frozen meats substitute for ice to keep your cooler chilled while allowing you to pack more supplies. When adding ice, follow a specific order — layer ice on the bottom and alternate between layers of ice and food for even cooling.

Keep Perishables Colder

Cool air sinks while hot air rises, meaning the bottom of your cooler will stay chilled the longest. Layer the bottom with perishable products like meats to ensure they remain at a safe temperature. On top, place items you use regularly and less perishable foods. Things like cut vegetables and fruits work well as a top layer.

Make Everything Watertight

Keep your food items from getting soggy by using plastic bags or plastic storage containers. These options keep the moisture out so your food stays fresh and delicious. Consider using freezer bags for extra durability. Pack extras in case a bag rips or you need to add to the cooler throughout the week.

Keep the Lid Closed

Unlike your fridge, a cooler will not send in chilled air after you open it. Maintain fresher food by lifting the lid as little as possible. When camping with young children, instruct them to ask you before they open the lid to search for food. Another way to maintain cold temperatures is to keep your cooler covered in the shade. Direct sunlight will melt the ice inside much faster than in a shady spot.

Dutch oven pot cooking over an open campfire.

Other Gear to Pack

Once you purchase food for your meals, you will need some additional camping supplies to prepare the food and set up your campsite. Here are a few categories to consider as you pack.

Cooking Gear

Your cooking supplies will vary based on how you plan to prepare food. A full menu of campfire meals might mean leaving the pots and pans at home and packing extra aluminum foil. Consider your menu and food options to determine which items on this list apply to you. Here is a general idea of what to pack:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Bowls
  • Can opener
  • Cups
  • Dish soap
  • Paper towels
  • Plates
  • Plastic bags
  • Scrubbers
  • Silverware
  • Skewers
  • Tablecloth
  • Camping stove
  • Pans
  • Knife with protective cover
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Measuring cups
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Mixing spoon
  • Spatula
  • Tongs
  • Coffee maker
  • Pot holders
  • Thermometer
  • Marshmallow sticks
  • Campfire pie irons
  • Cutting board
  • Campfire grate

If you plan to go camping often, you might opt to purchase separate supplies to use for camping. Store all your gear in an organized tub or cupboard so it is easy to pack whenever you go. You’ll also save yourself from bringing your home pots and dishes to a campground.

Another way to simplify your camping trip is to buy disposable or recyclable plates, bowls and silverware. You will save time washing these supplies at the campground and get easy replacements for things that break. You can buy reusable plates and silverware from discount or thrift stores for affordable products to add to your supply.

Camping Supplies

In addition to food and utensils, here are a few other items to ensure you bring on every trip:

  • Batteries
  • Flashlight
  • First aid supplies
  • Insect repellent
  • Matches
  • Sunscreen
  • Tarp
  • Trash bags

A family gathers at a Deluxe Cabin on a KOA campground.

Reserve a KOA Campsite

Now that you know what food to pack for camping, continue to the next vacation planning stage: reserving a campsite. KOA Campgrounds offer an excellent option for any camper, from those who like to rough it to campers who prefer a more comfortable camping experience. Over 500 KOA locations across North America mean you can find a campground wherever your next adventure takes you.

Many campgrounds offer a variety of ways to stay, from Lodging to RV and Tent Sites. You will also enjoy excellent amenities to make your stay more relaxing and comfortable, including a campground store with essential food items you might need during your trip. Browse online to find a KOA near your camping destination, and reserve a site online today.

About the Author: Kampgrounds of America

Kampgrounds of America is the largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds in the world, with over 500 locations across the United States and Canada. Founded in Billings, MT in 1962, KOA’s family of campground brands – KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort – today serve more than a million camping families each year. KOA is dedicated to “connecting people to the outdoors and each other” by providing people with a variety of camping experiences and the information they need to make the most of their camping trip. Read more of their camping and travel resources by visiting

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