Looking for a complete camping meal planner with daily menus, a grocery list and a task list for make ahead recipes? Below you will find a 4 day camping meal planner full of healthy, simple and kid-friendly recipes based on feeding a family of 4. Plus, free printable pdfs!
Let’s get planning! We’ll cover a few basics about meal planning before moving into the delicious details of this 4 day plan.
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Meal Planning Basics
It may seem obvious but the best way to make your camping meal experience easy is to take time to plan ahead and prep some of your meals beforehand. Spending a few hours choosing daily menus and preparing your food will save you the mess and stress of prepping food at your campsite.
The key to meal planning is choosing recipes that use the same ingredients for slightly different meals. That way you can save time making larger amounts of the same food to use for multiple meals. This meal planner repeats foods like chicken, deli turkey, tortilla shells, sliced veggies and avocados for various meals, but this principle can easily be applied for different menus.
One essential tool of meal planning is having quality food storage containers. I have used Snapware glass containers with airtight lids for years, which work great because they keep your food fresh and leak-free and can be used in the freezer, dishwasher and microwave. I like the peace of mind of using glass food storage, but they can be more expensive. With camping specifically, glass containers can also be heavy especially in a full cooler. The Snapware plastic containers with airtight lids are another good option and are a lot lighter for camping. Either way, definitely go for containers with airtight lids because they really make a difference with preventing leaks.
4 Day Camping Meal Planner: Daily Menus & Shopping List
Note: This meal plan includes 4 components that need to be prepped ahead of time – seasoned chicken, mixed roasted potatoes, baked oatmeal muffins and sliced veggies.
Below is a free pdf printable with daily menus and a shopping list of all the items you will need to make these meals.
Before you head to the grocery store with a massive list, check your pantry first as you will likely have some items already on hand already, especially for the muffin recipe. Also, the amounts listed are based on a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 young children), so feel free to make adjustments as needed.
Note: This meal planner focuses on the main meals, but if your kids are anything like mine, you will also want to plan on extra snacks and desserts!
Want to make some meal substitutions for your own menu? Below is a free blank printable camping meal planner you can download instead.
For more ideas, check out Easy Kid Friendly Camping Meals.
4 Day Camping Meal Planner: Make Ahead Task List
Ready? We are going to get this done! You will need approximately 1 1/2 hours of meal prep time. In that time you will:
- Roast potatoes and chicken
- Bake muffins
- Chop veggies
You will need the following supplies for this prep work:
- Cutting board, chef’s knife, meat thermometer, 2 baking dishes, muffin tins, baking cup, mixing bowl, cooking spray
- Glass or plastic airtight storage containers
- 2 large containers (6 cup) – one for the muffins and one for sliced veggies
- 2 medium containers (4 cup) – one for the roasted potatoes and one for the fajita peppers and onions
- 2 small storage containers (2 cup) – split the seasoned chicken into 2 containers for the fajita meal and the chicken and potato meal
Mom Tip: If you have little ones around while you are trying to work, encourage them to help you with simple tasks. Washing and scrubbing potatoes are perfect tasks for little fingers. Using a step stool or a dining room chair, have your child rinse and scrub potatoes in the sink and then hand the potatoes for you to chop. You may need to do a little extra scrubbing first. Putting baking cups in the muffin tin is another great child task.
Bake roasted potatoes – about 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- While the oven is heating up, wash and lightly scrub your red skin potatoes and sweet potatoes. No need to peel them.
- Then chop into 1 inch pieces making the sweet potatoes slightly larger as they will cook faster.
- Lightly coat with your favorite cooking oil (I use olive oil) and salt and pepper.
- Bake for about 30 minutes until just starting to brown.
Bake seasoned chicken – about 20 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, start prepping your chicken. Cut 4 chicken breasts into 1 inch pieces.
- Place in a lightly oiled glass cooking pan. Sprinkle with your favorite taco seasoning mix or use this homemade mix. I use 2 tablespoons of the homemade mix for a nice flavor that isn’t too spicy for little ones.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes until the internal temperature is at or above 165 F on your meat thermometer. The chicken and potatoes should finish cooking around the same time, but you may want to use separate timers to help keep track.
Bake oatmeal muffins – about 30 minutes.
- While the chicken and potatoes are baking, mix together the batter for the muffins. Follow the recipe for Blueberry Baked Oatmeal Muffins.
- About 1 minute. When done, remove the chicken and potato dishes from the oven and set aside to cool. Turn the heat down to 375.
- About 10 minutes. While the oven is cooling down, take a little break. You’ve earned it! Then put the muffin tins in the oven for 30 minutes.
Slice veggies – about 15 minutes.
- Slice 1 bell pepper and 1 small white onion for the fajitas. Place into a medium storage container and lightly oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Slice 1 bell pepper and enough celery and carrots sticks to fill a large storage container for snacking veggies.
- Slice any extra veggies you may want for sausage or hot dog toppings.
Finish up – about 15 minutes.
- The chicken and potatoes should be cooled. Divide the chicken into 2 equal portions with half for the fajita meal and half for the chicken and potato meal. Move the potatoes into a medium storage container.
- Remove muffins from the oven. Once cooled, place in a large storage container.
Tips: Freezing your chicken and muffins beforehand can help keep your cooler colder and reduce the need for more ice.
You did it! That extra effort you are putting in today will help make your camping experience a little more relaxing. At your campsite the chicken fajita meal and the seasoned chicken and mixed potato meal can easily be reheated over the campfire in aluminum foil or over a portable stove in a pan.
Any questions or comments about this 4 day camping meal planning process? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Need some ideas for camping activities with kids? Check out 16 Hiking & Camping Activities For Kids: Fun Times Ahead!