Planning A Menu


Getting the menu worked out for a normal work week is hard enough, but to come up with one where there will be limited…well, everything? That can be almost overwhelming.  There are a few helpful tips to be considered when you are trying to tackle this task.

Best Laid Plans

The first would be writing it out. Writing it out will not only allow to see what meals you’ll need to plan for but also while you’re doing it, you can make a grocery list as well. Begin by listing out all the days you will be cooking while camping. Under each of these day list what meals will be needed that day.  For instance maybe on the first day, you will be part traveling therefore you won’t need to plan a breakfast or lunch for that day.  Example below:

                Friday                    Sat                          Sun

B             N/A                        cereal                    breakfast burritos

L              N/A                        sandwiches        sandwiches

D             hot dogs              hamburgers       N/A

Then determine how intense you can get with your meals.  If you have limited space or equipment, obviously you’ll need to keep things simple – cereal/sandwiches/hot dogs – for example. If you have the ability to expand your menu due to an assortment of equipment, you can get meals that rival your normal weekday meals.

Buffet Anyone?

Another factor when making your menu is who you are camping with. If you are going with a group, then a great way to get a super meal is to have a pot luck night.  This can be a lot of fun and not to mention a wonderful way to have a super feast one night with minimal effort on everyone’s part. I’ve found it’s a good idea to have it be a “theme”; you don’t want someone making BBQ, while you’re making something with a Mexican flare.  


The best “cheat” for planning a menu for camping is pre-preparing as much as possible. For instance, I have discovered cooking spaghetti noodles at home then tossing them into a baggie in the cooler.  Then warming them in the saucepan with your sauce – presto! Spaghetti around the campfire!  What a wonderful thing – even better that it took less than 30 minutes!  Look at what your family loves to eat and see if you can’t prepare the most labor intensive part beforehand. This will make cooking life much easier out in the wild and a well fed family is even better.