Non-Perishable Foods to Take Camping


Let’s face it: Planning for a camping trip is not as fun as it sounds. Even if you know the logistics of your trip, including your destination, the number of people, your clothing, etc., you still have to consider what food to bring. While it might be tempting to stop at your nearest grocery store and buy refrigerated food you can store in a cooler, you should consider non-perishable food for camping items.

Whether you’re a vegan eater or a meat lover, there are nutritious options. In this blog, we’ll list food to take camping without a fridge, so you can spend less time worrying about proper nutrition and more time relishing your outdoor adventures.

Benefits of Non-Perishable Food Items

Non-perishable foods may sound like poor alternatives compared to well-cooked items that leave your taste buds wanting more. After all, you want to stack up on delicious and fulfilling meals that will make your camping experience all the more pleasant without the unpleasant cravings brought on by a bad dish.

Fortunately, these selections come with several benefits. Here are some advantages of non-perishable food to be aware of:

  • Convenience: No refrigerator or cooler? No problem! Since you don’t need a refrigeration system for your non-perishable meals, you won’t have to worry about your meals going to waste.
  • Saves time: Let’s be honest, the last thing you want to do when waking up bright and early on a camping trip is to cook for others, especially if you have kids running around the campground. Non-refrigerated meals allow you to focus your time on other activities.
  • Healthy and nutritious: Non-perishable foods are not only nutritious but can provide high levels of protein, vitamins, and minerals. For example, dried fruit is a good source of fiber and can be consumed as a quick snack.

Non-Refrigerated Camping Food To Consider

When it comes to no-fridge meals, you have several options to choose from. Take a look at this condensed list featuring options for meals, drinks, and snacks.

Non-Refrigerated Breakfast Options

  • Bagels with cream cheese
  • Cereal with powdered milk
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Honey or syrup
  • Toast with peanut butter
  • Homemade or store-bought muffins
  • Tortillas
  • Breakfast-style potatoes
  • Powdered eggs
  • Cinnamon toast crunch
  • Banana bread
  • Peanut butter wrap
  • Pre-cooked bacon
  • Fresh fruit (e.g., apples, oranges, watermelons).
  • Honey for tea or coffee
  • Breakfast burritos
  • Avocado toast
  • Protein shakes

Non-Refrigerated Lunch Options

  • Canned tuna
  • Dessert cups (e.g., puddings, jello, applesauce).
  • Canned chicken
  • BLT sandwiches
  • PB&J sandwiches
  • Tuna sandwiches
  • Sardines
  • Boxed Mac & Cheese
  • Canned salmon
  • Pre-cooked rice
  • Canned vegetables
  • Dry pasta
  • Canned meats (e.g., spam, meatballs, chicken, sausage).
  • Butter (keep in a storage container).
  • Hard cheese
  • Potato flakes
  • Canned soup
  • Pizza pockets
  • Chicken salad sandwich
  • Tomato soup

Non-Refrigerated Dinner Options

  • Instant noodles
  • Dry yeast
  • Dry lentils with beans
  • Spices (e.g., salt, pepper, sugar, cinnamon).
  • Pasta with premade sauce
  • Campfire nachos
  • Chicken tortillas
  • Ramen
  • Baked beans
  • Canned chili
  • Soup mixes
  • Pre-packaged backpacking meals
  • Campfire baked potato
  • Chili potatoes
  • Cured ham
  • MRE (meals-ready-to-eat)

Non-Refrigerated Snacks and Dessert Options

  • Granola bars
  • Trail mix
  • S’mores
  • Cake and cupcakes
  • Candy bars
  • Waffle cones
  • Graham crackers
  • Cookies and brownies
  • Potato chips
  • Popcorn
  • Marshmallows
  • Dried fruit (e.g., pineapple, strawberries, cherries).
  • Beef jerky
  • Pretzels
  • Cheeze wiz
  • Pop-tarts
  • Pudding
  • Covered raisins
  • Dry beans

Non-Refrigerated Drink Options

  • Juice boxes
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Bottled water
  • Powdered milk
  • Sport drinks
  • Water flavor packets
  • Shelf-stable milk boxes
  • Freeze-dried coffee
  • Powdered creamer (for your coffee).
  • Hot chocolate packets
  • Kool-Aid powder
  • Green tea
  • Canned orange juice
  • Malted milk
  • Canned cranberry juice

As you can see, the list of food to take camping without a fridge is quite extensive. Feel free to mix and match these items to fit your preferences and nutritional needs. When determining what to bring on your trip, consider the type of food you’re craving, whether or not you’re on a budget, and how many family members you’ll have to accommodate. 

Fridge on Wheels

While camping food ideas and no refrigeration are splendid options, you should consider obtaining a mini-fridge with multiple functions. A mini-fridge for your RV is convenient, lightweight, and takes up very little space. They can run on different power sources and move heat from the inside to the outside. Best of all, they come in a variety of sizes, have zero installation, and can be taken out if needed.

With Cruise America, you don’t have to worry about spending large sums of money on cold storage systems. Our customized RV rentals come equipped with both a gas/electric refrigerator and a microwave for those late-night cravings. This means no more rummaging through your pack for any uncooked leftovers. 

Get On the Road With Cruise America

If you want more information on food to take camping without a fridge or meal planning ideas, check out our meal planning guide.

Contact us for more information once you’re ready to get yourself an RV rental for the road ahead. Let us help you take that next step in your outdoor quest.