The blazing campfires. The invigorating hikes. The gorgeous sunsets. The sense of disappointment as you get ready to prepare what feels like your thousandth hot dog… for breakfast.
While camping can be a great experience, the food is often anything but. Yet mealtime shouldn’t be the downfall of your trip. Even though finding healthy (and interesting) foods to take with you can be challenging due to lack of refrigeration and space, there are choices out there.
The next time you go into the wild, consider taking these 10 nutritious options with you to help you feel sustained from sunrise to ghost story time.
For super grain power: Alter Eco Black Heirloom Quinoa
- Price: $7.95 for a 12-oz. bag
- Good for: energy in the a.m.
Spoon it out, cook it up. Easiest breakfast ever. This special type of “royal heirloom” quinoa is grown on Bolivia’s volcanic Salar De Uyuni salt flat, which gives it an unmistakably fluffy, nutty taste. And if you want even more flavor, try jazzing up this vegan treat with dried fruit. Bonus: The package is compostable. Buy it here.
For warm and toasty vibes: Patagonia Provisions Red Bean Chili
- Price: $7 for a 6.1-oz. bag
- Good for: feeding the family for dinner
Skip the baked beans and go for something a bit more gourmet. You can make this certified organic chili in a pan over the campfire in about 10 minutes. While the end result is a piping-hot bowl of chili like your mom makes, it starts as a vegan dry mix containing red and pinto beans, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, herbs, and spices. By the numbers, that’s 14 grams of plant-based protein that will energize you before that night hike. NO FOLLOW: Get it here.
For natural nourishment: Patagonia Provisions Savory Grains
- Price: $7 for a 3.9-oz. pouch
- Good for: replacing a side dish of potato chips
You’ve heard of bulgur wheat and quinoa. Now meet another ancient grain — KAMUT khorasan wheat. Each portion is high in fiber and low in fat. They’re also available in a few different flavors (think green kale and mushroom). Just add to boiling water and simmer. It’s an earthy treat that may get you in the mood for foraging. Grab some here.
For ocean-fresh flavor: Patagonia Provisions Wild Lummi Island Pink Salmon
- Price: $14 for two 4-oz. pouches
- Good for: a light lunch
Fully cooked and ready to eat: music to a camper’s ears. And there’s no need to cast a line, either. This lightly smoked and peppered wild pink salmon can be eaten right out of the pouch and requires no refrigeration — although, once opened, keep it on ice and finish within three days. This salmon is harvested from sustainable runs off Lummi Island, Washington, using reef nets that allow for a superior product (think mild flavor and firm, flaky texture). Buy now.
For a snack attack: Primal Kitchen Dark Chocolate Almond Collagen Protein Bar
- Price: $14.99 for a 6-pack
- Good for: re-fueling on the go
Sure, you’ve been around the bar scene. Still, there’s nothing quite like this sweet and savory wonder, which offers the extra benefit of a collagen boost. Collagen is known to help relieve joint pain and improve skin health. Still, it’s understandable if you’re too busy enjoying the taste of Turkish almonds, roasted pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate to think about all the health perks this bar offers. Either way, it’s an ideal addition to your backpack. Buy it here.
For a light bite: SeaSnax
- Price: $8.95 for a 6-pack of sheets
- Good for: chomping around the fire
While seaweed may not have the same fun factor as a s’more, it’s certainly healthier. SeaSnax has made the nutrient-packed ingredient available in several ready-to-chomp formats, including sheets, chips, and salad mix. The snacks are lightly roasted using organic seaweed, 100 percent organic extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt. If you like a little more kick, try the chipotle or wasabi flavors. Buy it here.
For a late day pick-me-up: That’s It Apple + Blueberry Bites
- Price: $2.89 for a 1.83-oz. bag
- Good for: binging in your tent
After digging in, you’ll be saying “just one more.” And that’s perfectly okay considering each bag has a modest 150 calories for a mouthful of dark chocolate, mixed with real apples and blueberries. They’re non-GMO, all natural, and gluten-free. It’s like fruit snacks, but all grown up! Buy some here.
For satisfying sipping: Aloha Banana Plant-Based Protein Powder
- Price: $30 for 1 lb.
- Good for: making water fun again
Boring old H2O? Add some flavor with this powder, which blends in easily and tastes like ripe bananas. You can also sprinkle it into your morning oatmeal for an energy boost or even bake it into pancakes when you’re back home. However you play the game, you can feel good knowing it’s organic, gluten-, and dairy-free — plus it’s made with real bananas and a protein blend of pea, pumpkin, and hemp seeds. Get it here.
For dressing up meals: GSI Outdoors Soft-Sided Condiment Bottle Set
- Price: $11.95 for four 2-oz. containers
- Good for: making food more interesting, anytime
Can’t live without Green Goddess salad dressing? Have separation anxiety when you’re far from sriracha? Leave the glass and hard plastic containers at home and let these bottles help you out. They’re soft sided for easy packing and also leak proof. Buy them here.
Kelly Aiglon is a lifestyle journalist and brand strategist with a special focus on health, beauty, and wellness. When she’s not crafting a story, she can usually be found at the dance studio teaching Les Mills BODYJAM or SH’BAM. She and her family live outside of Chicago and you can find her on Instagram.