Cold Food Ideas for Camping

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When you’re going camping, you may not have the time or supplies to cook the same types of meals that you would have at home. You will have to eat though, and restaurants may be few and far between. Taking along some cold foods allows you to eat well without having to worry about cooking.

Cereal and Milk

Cereal and milk can make for an easy breakfast or snack. Choose healthy cereals made with whole grains rather than the sugary kids cereals. These will provide you with a steadier energy, which you’ll need for your hikes and other activities. Remember that milk can spoil, so take care to keep the cooler filled with ice.


Pack sliced cheese, deli meats and condiments in the cooler and keep your bread separate. You can make sandwiches whenever you are hungry and serve chips along with them.

Frozen Meals

If you want a more solid meal, you can cook and freeze meals wrapped in aluminum foil. This could be something like lasagna or burritos. The frozen food acts as ice in your cooler and when it’s time to eat the meal, it’s already thawed. Put the foil package on the grill to easily cook these meals.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy and easily portable. If possible, choose items that don’t require preparation, such as apples and baby carrots. You can also pre-cut items and store them in plastic bags for easy munching.

Pasta or Potato Salad

Pasta and potato salad are an excellent side dish for sandwiches or burgers. It’s too hard to make at the campsite, so prepare things ahead of time and pack it in airtight containers in the cooler. Remember that mayonnaise can spoil, so it’s important to keep your cooler cold.


Cheese can be an excellent snack when you’re camping, especially when you pair it with fruits or whole grain crackers. Pack along the individually wrapped cheese sticks or slice your favorite type of cheese before you go so that you don’t have to bother with cutting it on site.