Overland Camping Tips and Reminders

TIPS for Camping Food, Meals & Grocery List Suggestions

Whatever you’re cooking, make sure you start all meal prep and cook in the daylight. It’s far easier if you can see clearly what you’re doing and you can make sure everything’s fully cooked. The last thing you want on a camping trip is an upset stomach. If cooking in the dark is unavoidable, a lantern or head lamp will come in handy for lighting your way.

  • Plan out your camping meals before you go to the grocery store.
  • We suggest dry foods to lighten the load.
  • Aim for mostly non-perishables. Here are some of our favorite non-perishables: Beans, chili, almond or peanut butter, canned tuna or chicken, freeze dried foods, nuts and trail mix.
    • 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.
    • On shorter camping trips, cook larger pieces of meat in advance and simply warm up at your campsite.
    • Pre-made meals/foil packets to throw in a pan or on the fire make meal time easy.
    • Once you’ve planed your meals, 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. Here are some of our favorite meals to cook ahead: Spaghetti, lasagna, cold pasta salad, pulled pork for sandwiches, layered Mexican dip, breakfast parfait, overnight oatmeal, French toast casserole, cornbread…

    • Foods that you can throw into one pot to make a meal. Any meat, veggie and starch combo works great. One Pot Meal Suggestions:
      • smoked sausage, diced potatoes, onions, and green beans
      • kielbasa, pineapples, and cauliflower
      • teriyaki chicken, pineapple and green beans


    • Selecting a campsite: Be sure to survey the landscape.  Be aware of dead trees that can fall at any time and ruin a perfect camping trip.  Downed limbs and debris around the site can be a good indicator of what’s to come. 

    • Know the general wind direction.  Nobody wants to be sucking down the neighbor’s campfire smoke all night. Look for sites that are upwind whenever possible.

    • Pitch your tent facing east so you can see the sunrise when you emerge to make a morning cup of coffee. Determine where the sun will rise and set.  A site with tree cover may block some of the early morning sun.  A nice sunset view could be equally rewarding so think it through.

    • If it’s windy, though, pitch the tent so that the door is facing away from the wind to avoid being blasted every time you unzip.

    • Practice fire safety with kids. Fire pits get hot to the touch almost instantly.  Use rocks to surround the fire pit and create a bit of distance between kids and the flame.  Explain the process of fire building to your kids so they understand what you’re doing and how it all works.  Giving them an activity like collecting tinder can make them feel included.  Consider what your children are wearing.  Some synthetic garments can be dangerous when exposed to an open flame.

    • Avoid large swarms of mosquitoes by setting camp up away from standing water.

    • Mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing, sweat, deodorant, and perfume.

    • When you are on a primitive camping trip, you may not have to an opportunity to take showers regularly. Be sure to stay clean by washing your hands and using baby wipes or personal wipes to clean other body parts.

    • Keep the kids busy with a scavenger hunt. Write the items down on a paper bag so they have a receptacle for the items. For example; something fuzzy, something round, two different kinds of leaves, a beautiful rock, a pine cone, a stick….be creative.


    • First and foremost, let’s keep Idaho beautiful! At the end of your trip, you want to leave the area where you camped just as you found it. Make sure to pack out anything that you packed in for your trip; this includes toilet paper and trash. Please leave your campsite in better condition than it was when you arrived, in other words “LEAVE NO TRACE”.

    • All campfires MUST be extinguished fully before leaving your campsite. Failure to do so may result in forest fires, and any fines and lawful action will be the responsibility of the renter.

    • Please be kind and courteous to all campers in your area. Respect others privacy and space. No excessive noise after sundown or before sunrise.