Car Camping Food

What are Your Options When it Comes to Good Car Camping Food?

If you are camping out of your vehicle, you probably don’t have a not of space to haul a big barbecue, a large cooler and lots of food. You may, but ley’s say you don’t.

You can do perfectly fine without all of the traditional cookout gear and actually cook gourmet meals in less time, fewer ingredients and minimal cooking equipment. On top of that, you’ll find that there is less to clean up too.

In fact, you might enjoy these car camping food ideas so much that you’ll opt for this style of car camping food, even if you do have a gigantic cooler and big barbecue laying around. Less time and work spent preparing meals means more time you can spend doing other fun outdoors stuff…

What I’m talking about here is freeze-dried meals or dehydrated food where you simply add hot water and eat. If you’ve never had a freeze-dried meal before, you might think this is just too strange. However, if you consider the number of benefits they offer, you’ll probably think again.

  • You don’t have to refrigerate them, and they last a long time
  • They are compact and don’t take up valuable storage space
  • You don’t have to bring bulky cooking equipment, supplies, etc..
  • You don’t have to spend a lot of time cooking (virtually none)
  • Forget about the hassle of clean-up!
  • At about $2-3 per meal, you may end up saving some money too.

Below are some popular meal options (you can get variety packs too) that get the thumbs up from eaters:

Mountain House sells a 20-pack meal assortment where you simply add water and eat. Premium gourmet meals means that you don’t need to give up flavor, as long as you can get past the idea of preparing a meal in a bag with hot water.

They also work for long-term (7-years) storage for potential emergency situations, so leftovers can easily wait until your next camping excursion.


The Mountain House Best Sellers Kit is variety pack and is freeze-dried as well. Meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner are included – plus dessert. Get ready for hearty meals like lasagna, beef stroganoff and chicken teriyaki.

If you’ve been out all day hiking, biking or swimming – ┬áthis may sound a lot better than having to get up and prepare a meal from scratch!


This emergency pack contains a wide variety of freeze dried breakfast and lunch/dinner entrees. There are 52 meals altogether.

It’s ideal for emergency prep, since it has a shelf life of 25 years. However, there is no reason it can’t also be used for camping as well. Customers have differing opinions on taste, but agree that it is compact and easy to prepare. (Foodies may prefer to opt for the selections above.)


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