5 Simple Ways to Make Camping Grocery Shopping Easy

March 12, 2019

You can’t wait to get out of town this weekend for your camping trip. You’ve got pretty much everything prepared — you’ve reserved your camping spot, you’ve put together your itinerary of activities, you’ve packed all your clothes and gear.

There is just one thing that stands in the way of you saying “sayonara” to reality and “hello” to a weekend of fun and relaxation: grocery shopping for your trip.

Grocery shopping for camping is about as much fun as a trip to the dentist.

Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but it certainly isn’t fun.

Unless you want to be stuck eating granola bars and potato chips all weekend (which we do recommend, but if this is your idea of delicious camping food, we won’t judge), then you need to go into grocery shopping for your camping trip with a plan.

This is not something you can wing.

But don’t stress. Our Camping Grocery List that will take the fear of hitting the store right out of the equation.

With this list in hand, and our tips below, you will be through the grocery store in no time, and even leave with a smile still on your face.

Tips for Camping Grocery Shopping

Tip #1: Aim for mostly non-perishables

Even if you’re camping in an RV that allows you to plug in at night, you don’t want to rely too heavily on raw meats and other things that can easily rot.

And if you’re tent camping, obviously perishables are quite limited since you’ll the most you’ll have is a cooler.

Either way, try to have the majority of your grocery items be shelf-friendly and only opt for a few things that need refrigeration such as milk, cheese, eggs, and yogurt.

Any meat that you want to have on your trip you should try to cook ahead of time, and simple warm up at your campsite.

Here are some of our favorite non-perishables:

  • Beans
  • Chili
  • Almond or peanut butter
  • Canned tuna
  • Freeze dried food
  • Trail mix

You can get really creative with your non-perishables, especially when it comes to canned goods. Chances are you’ll be surprised at what they can pack into a can!

Camping Grocery Shopping

Tip #2: Buy for meals you can cook ahead of time

Even when you’re in an RV and have access to easy cooking, the less time you have to spend cooking during your vacation, the better.

Thus, before going grocery shopping, plan out meals that you can make ahead of time and that can easily be warmed up once you’ve arrived at your camping destination.

Here are some of our favorite meals to cook ahead:

With the recipes linked below, you have quick access to all of the ingredients you need from the grocery store to put together your meals.

Simply page through the recipes, write down the ingredients you need, and you’re ready to head to the store.

Once you’ve got your ingredients, take a day to prep your favorite foods before you leave for your trip. That way, you’ll have a quick and painless way to enjoy your meals, rather than sweat over the stove or campfire on your vacation.

Tip #3: Pick known favorites, and don’t try too many new items

While we are all about trying new things, and think that trying a bit of a new food while camping is a great idea, make sure that you’re also picking some of you and your family’s favorite foods as well.

Picture this: You’re doing your camping grocery shopping and you find a new type of cracker that you think everyone will love. You buy 3 boxes of it and no other type of cracker because you’re sure they’ll be delicious. You arrive to your campsite, open up the box of crackers and everyone immediately spits them out. They are not good. And, you don’t have any backups. Say “goodbye” to your beloved cracker snacking.

In order to avoid that scenario, get some ideas from your family about what things they’d like to eat while camping, and pick up the reasonable items (as much as we are with your kids and are all about eating nothing but donuts for an entire weekend of camping, you’ll probably end up regretting it).

Grocery Shopping For Camping

Tip #4: Simplicity is key

As you can see from the this Camping Grocery List, the more simple you keep your food, the better. Even the recipes we shared above are simple, as to make things easy for you.

Camping is not the time to try out the creme brulee recipe you found online. It is the time for classics (with a twist, if you’d like), that are sure to win over the hearts and stomachs of your fellow campers, but that are also sure to put minimal stress and work on you.

Tip #5: Leave the kids at home when you head to the store

Yes, we just said that.

Your kids are likely already amped up with excitement for your upcoming camping trip, and giving them access at the grocery store to every snack in the world is likely to excite them even more.

To keep things simple (as we said in tip number four above), and to keep yourself sane, it’s probably best you head to the grocery store solo so that you can get exactly what’s on your list, and do it efficiently.


And that’s it! Pretty simple, right? We’re guessing you built up this grocery store trip a terrifying height that made it feel impossible to tackle.

That’s why we wanted to show you how easy grocery shopping can be with these tips and tricks.

With some planning, some help from our Camping Shopping List, and with your family’s favorite foods in mind, you can take the stress of out grocery shopping for your upcoming camping trip, so that you can instead focus your attention on having fun!

Leslie K Hughes

Leslie, a.k.a. Copy Girl, is a copywriter who gets butterflies from telling stories through words.

Her voice comes from a place filled with passion, dreams, and lots of sugar. “Cake over steak” is her go-to motto.

With over 10 years of experience in crafting words, and years of embarking on travels that have taken this Montana girl to some incredible places, Leslie love the adventures of both body and mind her writing takes her on.

Everywhere she goes, she takes this advice with her:

“Hold on to your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown.” – Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

To see what Leslie’s up to in the writing world, visit her website here.

Follow these tips to make grocery shopping for your next camping trip easier.

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