Canned Food for Camping: Essential Guide for Outdoor Meals

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When you’re out camping, it’s important to have a reliable source of food. That’s where canned foods come in handy. They’re not only non-perishable and shelf-stable but also come with a long shelf life, making them perfect for your camping food list.

Canned goods are a lifesaver in emergency situations, and they’re easy to store too. You don’t need any fancy equipment to keep them safe and sound, just a cool, dry place. Plus, there’s such a wide variety of canned foods available, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste buds.

Some popular canned foods for camping include:

  • Canned meat (ham, chicken, turkey)
  • Canned fish (tuna, salmon, sardines)
  • Canned beans (black, kidney, pinto)
  • Canned vegetables (corn, peas, carrots)
  • Canned fruits (peaches, pears, pineapple)
  • Canned soups and stews (chili, chicken noodle, beef stew)

With all these choices, you can easily put together delicious and nutritious meals while you’re out in the wilderness. Just remember to pack a can opener and a few utensils, and you’re good to go with these non-perishable foods.

Best Canned Foods for Camping

As avid campers, we know the importance of having delicious and convenient meals while out in the wilderness. And what’s more convenient than canned food? But not all canned foods are created equal. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best canned foods for camping. These products are not only tasty, but also easy to pack, prepare, and clean up. So, whether you’re camping for a weekend or a week, you can enjoy a satisfying and quick meal without sacrificing precious time or energy.

Van Camp’s Pork and Beans

Van Camp's Pork and Beans

If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal while camping, Van Camp’s Pork and Beans are a great option to consider.


  • The beans are simmered in a delicious vine-ripened tomato sauce and a special blend of spices, making them very flavorful.
  • They are a good source of protein, with 10 grams of protein per serving.
  • The small 8-ounce cans are perfect for camping trips and easy to store in your pantry.


  • The sauce may be a bit runny for some people’s taste.
  • The beans are a bit bland on their own, so you may want to add some additional seasoning.
  • The cans are not very sturdy and may arrive dented.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal while camping, Van Camp’s Pork and Beans are definitely worth considering. They are flavorful, high in protein, and very easy to prepare. 

Iberia Corned Beef

Iberia Corned Beef

If you’re looking for a tasty and versatile canned meat for your next camping trip, Iberia Corned Beef might be just what you need.


  • Made with premium quality meat
  • Seasoned to perfection with savory seasonings
  • Ready-to-eat and versatile for many recipes and dishes


  • Some may find it too salty
  • Not suitable for vegetarians or those who don’t eat beef
  • Some may find the texture too soft or mushy

We think Iberia Corned Beef is a great option for camping trips or any time you need a quick and tasty meat option. It’s versatile, easy to use, and offers a homemade taste that’s hard to beat. 

Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna, Sea Salt, Canned Tuna, Pole & Line Sustainably Caught, 5 Ounce(Pack of 4) Sea Salt 5 Ounce (Pack of 4)

Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna, Sea Salt, Canned Tuna, Pole & Line Sustainably Caught, 5 Ounce(Pack of 4) Sea Salt 5 Ounce (Pack of 4)

If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy canned tuna option for your camping trip, Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna is a great choice. With 600mg of EPA and DHA Omega 3 in every serving, this canned tuna offers essential nutrition in every bite. Plus, each can is full of fresh-from-the-sea flavor because Wild Planet skips the added water, oil, and fillers, so you can enjoy the full tuna flavor in your favorite meal.


  • No need to drain the can – no added oil, water, or fillers
  • 100% pole and line caught in Pacific Ocean or off coastal New Zealand
  • Excellent source of protein and Omega 3: 600mg of EPA and DHA Omega 3 in every serving


  • More expensive than some other canned tuna options
  • Contains less tuna than some other brands
  • Some customers have complained about the texture of the tuna

We would recommend Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna to anyone looking for a high-quality canned tuna option for their camping trip. With its delicious taste and nutritional benefits, it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to enjoy a healthy and satisfying meal while exploring the great outdoors.

Libby’s Mixed Vegetables

Libby's Mixed Vegetables

Since taking fresh veggies on your camping trip isn’t ideal, we highly recommend Libby’s Mixed Vegetables. This delightful blend of colorful and delicious vegetables makes for a great snack, side dish, or key ingredient in a soup or vegetable beef stew recipe.


  • Exceptionally delicious taste that delights the senses
  • Natural goodness with no added sugars and naturally no fat
  • Clean label with just vegetables, water, and sea salt


  • Some customers have reported receiving expired cans
  • Packaging is not environmentally friendly
  • Some customers have reported missing labels on cans

Libby’s Mixed Vegetables are made with a special blend of vegetables that are cultivated on U.S. farms and fresh-harvested at the peak of ripeness. The medley includes carrots, potatoes, celery, corn, green beans, peas, and lima beans – seasoned with just the right amount of sea salt. The naturally sweet flavor of sweet corn, sweet peas, potatoes, and carrots complement the tender-crisp texture of cut green beans and creamy flavor of peas and lima beans.

We highly recommend Libby’s Mixed Vegetables for your camping trip. It’s a delicious and flavorful blend of family favorite vegetables that will satisfy your taste buds and keep you fueled for your outdoor adventure.

Del Monte Canned Fruit Cocktail

Del Monte Canned Fruit Cocktail

We highly recommend the Del Monte Canned Fruit Cocktail for camping trips. The mix of sweet peaches, juicy pears, plump grapes, succulent pineapples, and scrumptious cherries packed in a heavy syrup is perfect for a quick fruit salad snack or a side dish to any meal.


  • The fruit cocktail is immersed in a tasty syrup, enhancing the natural taste of each fruit.
  • The canned fruit is picked and packed at the peak of freshness, making it nutritious and delicious.
  • With no artificial flavors or sweeteners, the canned mixed fruit can be eaten fresh right out of the can.


  • The heavy syrup may not be suitable for those watching their sugar intake.
  • The cans may be heavy to carry around on a camping trip.
  • The fruit may be too soft for some people’s liking.

The Del Monte Canned Fruit Cocktail is a great addition to any camping trip. It can be eaten on-the-go or as a tasty topping on your favorite dessert, salads, and other recipes. We love that the fruit is packed in natural fresh juice that is bursting with delicious flavor. Plus, the fruit cocktail is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron.

Bush’s Best 15 oz Black Beans (Pack of 12)

Bush's Best Black Beans

We highly recommend Bush’s Best Black Beans for your next camping trip cause their fiber makes them an excellent option to keep you full. A decent alternative to these are refried beans.


  • Creamy taste and texture
  • Good source of protein and fiber
  • Gluten-free


  • Need a can opener
  • May be too heavy to carry for backpacking
  • Not as fresh as homemade black beans

These canned black beans from Bush’s Best are a great pantry staple for any camping trip. They are deliciously creamy and have a great texture that makes them perfect for any meal. With 7 grams of plant-based protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving, they are a great source of nutrition for your camping adventures. Plus, they are gluten-free, which makes them a great option for those with dietary restrictions.

Overall, we highly recommend Bush’s Best Black Beans for your next camping trip. They are a great source of nutrition and a convenient addition to any camping meal.

Carnation Lowfat 2% Evaporated Milk

Nestle Carnation Lowfat 2% Evaporated Milk

If you’re looking for a versatile canned milk for your camping trips, Nestle Carnation Lowfat 2% Evaporated Milk is a great option. Cause after all, you can’t take fresh milk for your coffee!


  • Adds richness and creaminess to recipes.
  • Includes added Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
  • Long shelf life of up to 365 days.


  • Not suitable for those with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance.
  • Must be refrigerated after opening.
  • Limited to recipes that require milk.

One of the best things about Carnation evaporated milk is its long shelf life, making it a great option for camping trips. You can store it in a cool, dry place for up to a year, and once opened, it can be refrigerated for a few days.

However, it’s important to note that this product is not suitable for those with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. Additionally, it’s limited to recipes that require milk, so it may not be the most versatile ingredient in your camping pantry.

Annie’s Organic All Stars

Annie's Organic All Stars

If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal while camping, Annie’s Organic All Stars canned pasta might be a good option for you.


  • Fun-shaped pasta with tomato and cheese sauce that’s perfect for all ages
  • Made with organic ingredients and no artificial flavors, synthetic colors, or preservatives
  • Quick and easy to prepare by heating on the stove or in the microwave


  • Some reviewers noted that the can contained less pasta than expected
  • A few reviewers received dented cans
  • Some reviewers found the taste to be underwhelming compared to other canned pasta options

Annie’s Organic All Stars is a convenient and tasty option for a quick camping lunch. The star-shaped pasta adds a fun touch, and the tomato and cheese sauce has a comforting flavor kinda like spaghetti sauce. We appreciated that the ingredients are organic and free of artificial additives, making it a healthier choice compared to some other canned pasta options.

Overall, we would recommend Annie’s Organic All Stars as a convenient and tasty option for camping meals, especially for families with young children.

Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup

Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup

If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal while camping, Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup is a great option. Made with white meat chicken raised without antibiotics, this soup is a classic comfort food that’s perfect for chilly nights.


  • Ready-to-serve canned soup in under 5 minutes
  • Made with quality ingredients, no artificial flavors, and no colors from artificial sources
  • Comes in a pack of four, so you can stock up for your camping trip


  • Some may find the soup to be too salty
  • The noodles can be a bit mushy
  • The soup may not be filling enough for some people

Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup is a tasty and convenient option for camping trips. It’s easy to prepare and has a comforting, familiar taste. However, some may find the soup to be a bit salty, and the noodles can be a bit soft. Additionally, if you’re looking for a more filling meal, you may want to pair the soup with some bread or crackers. Overall, we recommend giving Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup a try if you’re looking for a quick and easy meal option while camping.

Campbell’s Chunky Soup, Hearty Beef and Barley Soup

Campbell's Chunky Soup, Hearty Beef and Barley Soup

If you’re looking for a canned soup that’s perfect for camping, Campbell’s Chunky Soup, Hearty Beef and Barley Soup is definitely worth considering.


  • This soup is packed with big flavors and bold ingredients that are perfect for enjoying around the campfire or the dinner table.
  • With savory beef, carrots, and potatoes that come together with toasted barley, this soup is a delicious and comforting way to fuel your day.
  • Each can of this hearty soup contains 20 grams of protein, making it a filling and satisfying meal.


  • The soup can be a bit salty for some people’s taste.
  • The soup is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.
  • The soup may be a bit heavy for some people, especially if you’re planning on doing a lot of physical activity after eating.

The soup is easy to prepare – just heat it over the campfire for a quick meal.

Overall, we would definitely recommend Campbell’s Chunky Soup, Hearty Beef and Barley Soup for anyone looking for a tasty and filling meal that’s perfect for camping.

Hormel Chili With Beans 15 Oz (8 Pack) Chili 15 Ounce (Pack of 8)

Hormel Chili With Beans 15 Oz (8 Pack) Chili 15 Ounce (Pack of 8)

If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal while camping, Hormel Chili with Beans is a great option. It’s one of those perfect wholesome meals that really fills up up when dining around the campfire.


  • The easy-pull top makes meal prep quick and convenient.
  • With 14 grams of protein per serving, it’s a good source of energy for outdoor activities.
  • The chili is gluten-free with no artificial ingredients or preservatives added.


  • The flavor may be too spicy for some.
  • The texture of the beans may not be to everyone’s liking.
  • The chili may be too salty for those watching their sodium intake.

The easy-pull top makes meal prep a breeze, and with 14 grams of protein per serving, it’s a good source of energy for outdoor activities.

While the flavor of the chili is savory and delicious, some may find it too spicy for their taste. Additionally, the texture of the beans may not be to everyone’s liking. Those watching their sodium intake should also be aware that the chili may be too salty for their dietary needs.

Overall, Hormel Chili with Beans is a great option for those looking for a quick and easy meal while camping

SKIPPY Natural SUPER CHUNK Peanut Butter Spread

We highly recommend the SKIPPY Natural SUPER CHUNK Peanut Butter Spread for camping trips because of its delicious taste and versatility.


  • Universally loved flavor with the perfect balance of sweet and salty
  • Works well in a variety of applications, from a simple sandwich spread to an ingredient in exotic sauces or comforting baked goods
  • 100% natural with no added preservatives, no oily mess, and no stirring required


  • Not suitable for those with peanut or soy allergies
  • The chunky texture may not be preferred by everyone
  • The 15 oz. jar may not be enough for larger camping groups

This peanut butter spread is a great source of energy and leaves you feeling charged. The SKIPPY Natural SUPER CHUNK Peanut Butter Spread is a must-have for any camping trip. It is delicious, versatile, and a great source of energy. Plus, it has been a trusted brand for over 80 years.

Types of Canned Foods Recommended for Camping

When you’re packing for a camping trip, it’s essential to bring along some trusty canned foods. They’re easy to store and don’t require refrigeration. Plus, they’re versatile and can be used for various meals. Let’s dive into the types of canned foods that are perfect for your next camping adventure.

Canned Meats: Bring along some canned meats like chicken, ham, and even the classic Spam. These meats are great for sandwiches or to add some protein to your meal. Mixing canned chicken with mayo and relish makes a killer chicken salad, while Spam can easily be fried up for breakfast or dinner.

Canned Fish: Don’t forget about canned fish like tuna and salmon. They’re nutritious and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, perfect for keeping your energy up during outdoor adventures. Make a tuna sandwich or include salmon in a pasta dish for a quick and tasty campfire meal.

Canned Beans: Canned beans are a must-have for any camping trip. They’re versatile, filling, and packed with protein and fiber. Go for the classic baked beans or try different varieties like black, pinto, or kidney beans. These are perfect for chili, tacos, or just on their own as a side dish.

Canned Vegetables: Veggies don’t have to be boring when you’re camping. Pack some canned vegetables like peas, carrots, and green beans to add some nutrition to your meal. You can mix them into rice dishes, stews, or warm them up as a side. Don’t forget about canned corn – it’s great for a quick snack or to mix into a veggie salad.

Canned Fruit: Keep your sweet tooth satisfied with some canned fruit like pears, peaches, and pineapple. These are perfect for a refreshing dessert or snack during the day. Mix them into yogurt, add them to pancakes, or enjoy them on their own with a spoon.

Canned Pastas: Sometimes, you just want a quick and easy meal without much fuss. Canned pasta, like ravioli or macaroni and cheese, serves as a satisfying comfort food after a long day of hiking. Heat them up on your camp stove, and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal in no time.

Nutritional Value of Canned Foods

When you’re out in the great outdoors, it’s important to fuel your body with nutritious food. While fresh fruits and veggies might be your go-to, let’s face it, they’re not always practical for camping. Don’t worry; canned foods have come a long way and can offer you the nutrition you need while on the trail.

Canned meats, like chicken, tuna, and corned beef, pack a punch of protein to keep you strong and energized. Plus, they’re way easier to carry than fresh meat, which can spoil pretty quickly without refrigeration. So, forget about lugging around a heavy cooler and make room for these lightweight options.

Now, don’t think we’re knocking fruits and veggies – canned versions are also super convenient for campers. Canned vegetables, like peas, carrots, and potatoes, retain most of their nutrition while having a longer shelf life. Same goes for canned fruits – you’ll still get your dose of vitamins and minerals, just make sure to look for options packed in water or their own juices, rather than heavy syrup.

Another thing to consider is the weight of canned foods. While they might be a bit heavier than their dehydrated counterparts, their convenience and nutritional value more than make up for it. Plus, with the right gear and planning, you can easily manage your pack weight.

Mix it up with an array of canned foods, from protein-packed meats to colorful veggies and fruits, and your body will thank you for the well-rounded nutrition. 

Meal Ideas Using Canned Foods

Let me give you some meal ideas using canned foods, so you can enjoy delicious meals on your next camping trip.

Pasta dishes are always a hit when camping. Grab some canned tomato sauce, canned veggies like olives and artichoke hearts, and some canned beans for protein. Mix ’em all together with your favorite pasta, and add some spices to taste. Voilà, a simple and delicious meal!

Sandwiches can be an effortless lunch option. With canned meats like corned beef or Spam, you can create mouthwatering and filling sandwiches. Just add some canned veggies or even canned fruits like pineapple for extra flavor.

Turn your canned goods into a colorful and refreshing salad. Toss together canned beans, corn, artichoke hearts, and beets, and dress it up with your favorite sauce or vinaigrette. Pair it with some grains like rice or quinoa for added nutrition.

For those chilly nights, making a hearty stew or soup using canned ingredients is perfect. Combine canned stew with some extra canned veggies, or make a big pot of soup with canned soup as a base. Add in some spices, grains, or pasta to give it your personal touch.

Quesadillas are another fun and straightforward camping meal! With canned veggies, canned beans, and your favorite cheese, you can create quesadillas to die for. Spice it up with some hot sauce or salsa for extra flavor.

Tools Needed for Using Canned Foods in Camping

When you’re packing for your camping trip, it’s essential to have the right tools to make the most out of canned foods. Here are some must-haves for your camping kitchen:

First and foremost, don’t forget a trusty can opener. You don’t want to be stuck trying to open your canned soup with a knife or rock. While you’re at it, pack a spare, just in case one goes missing or breaks.

No camp kitchen is complete without a portable camp stove. You need something to heat up that canned chili or stew and make it more enjoyable. There are many compact and lightweight camp stoves available, perfect for fitting into your backpack.

For an easy breakfast, consider bringing canned spam and creating delicious spam and eggs or spam sandwiches. A portable skillet or griddle works wonders for frying up your spam and is also handy for heating up other canned meals like ravioli, beans, or even toast.

Speaking of toast, if you want to level up your camping meals, why not enjoy some toast alongside your canned soup? Invest in a camping toaster; these compact, lightweight gadgets sit on your camp stove and hold slices of bread above the flame, toasting them to perfection.

Some canned foods also come in pouches instead of cans, which can be a game-changer when it comes to packing and carrying your camping meals. Pouches are lighter and more flexible than cans, making them easy to slip into your backpack. Just remember you’ll still need a tool to open them, like a sturdy pair of scissors or even a knife.

And last but not least, always make sure to pack a set of durable utensils to enjoy your canned camping delights. A set of cutlery, including a fork, knife, and spoon, will ensure that you’re well-prepared to dig into your canned feast.

Storage and Transport of Canned Foods for Camping

Canned foods can be a great choice for camping since they are non-perishable and have a long shelf life. Not to mention, they’re versatile and easy to transport. But how do you go about storing and carrying these canned goodies for your adventure? 

First off, think about weight. Canned foods, while convenient, can be a bit heavy when you’re packing for a camping trip. To minimize the burden, you can look for lighter-weight options like pouches instead of cans, or choose smaller cans with just enough food for each meal. Be selective and prioritize high-quality, nutrient-dense canned foods on your camping food list.

When it comes to storage, canned foods are shelf-stable and don’t require refrigeration, making them ideal for camping trips. However, you still need to keep them organized and protected. Instead of throwing them haphazardly into your backpack with your other gear, use a separate bag or container to keep them all together.

Consider using a sturdy, portable container like a plastic bin or a durable, reusable grocery bag. Not only will this help keep your canned goods protected, it’ll make it way easier for you to find exactly what you need when you’re rummaging for snacks by the campfire. Plus, once containers are empty, you can use them to store your other camping supplies.

Don’t forget that cans need to be opened, so always pack a reliable can opener. Trust me, you don’t want to be stuck in the wilderness with no way to open your food. Store the can opener with your canned goods to make it easy to find when hunger strikes.

When it’s time to cook, your camp stove will be your best friend. One of the benefits of canned foods is that they can be warmed up quickly and easily. Just pop that can on the camp stove, and you’ll have a meal ready to go in minutes. But remember, never cook your canned food directly over an open flame or in its original container, always use a separate pot, pan, or skillet, ensuring that you’re safe and the food gets evenly heated.

Making the Most of Canned Foods in Camping

Canned foods are your best friend when it comes to camping meals. They’re non-perishable, easy to pack, and super versatile. Here’s how to make the most of canned goods on your next camping adventure.

First off, stock up on a variety of canned foods like canned meats (Spam, tuna, or corned beef), canned veggies, and canned soups or stews. You won’t have any trouble finding tasty and filling meal options that work great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

When cooking with canned goods, don’t be afraid to get creative! You can transform canned soup into a hearty stew by adding some extra veggies, spices, and a bit of meat if you have it. For a quick and satisfying breakfast, try heating up some canned beans and serve ’em on toast with a dollop of peanut butter—you’ll be surprised by how satisfying this combo can be.

When it comes to flavor, don’t rely solely on the canned goods themselves. Bring along small containers of your favorite spices and sauces to elevate your meals. You’ll be amazed by how much better your food tastes with a sprinkle of salt, a dash of pepper, or a spoonful of hot sauce.

Canned food also pairs well with other camping staples like oatmeal. Try mixing in some canned fruit with your morning oats for an instant upgrade. You can also use canned goods to bulk up other dishes, like adding canned corn or black olives to your pasta salad.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some easy-to-prepare canned meals for camping?

When you’re camping, easy-to-prepare canned meals are super convenient. Consider options like canned chili with beans, canned pasta such as ravioli or spaghetti, and canned stews. All of these can be heated up quickly over a portable stove or campfire. Mix in canned veggies or meats like chicken, tuna, or salmon to create a balanced and filling meal.

How can I cook canned food while outdoors?

Cooking canned food outdoors is a breeze. You can use a portable camp stove or a simple campfire. If you’re using a camp stove, just heat your canned food in a pot or pan and stir occasionally until it’s heated through. For a campfire, create a sturdy fire, wait until you’ve got a good amount of hot coals, and place a grill or grate over the fire. Place your pot or pan on the grate and cook your canned food, stirring as needed.

What are the top canned food options for campers?

Top canned food options for campers usually include canned meats like chicken, tuna, and salmon, as well as canned beans, vegetables, and fruits. These provide necessary nutrients and make a great base for various meals. Other popular options include canned pasta, soups, stews, and chili.

How do I create a meal plan using canned foods for camping trips?

To create a meal plan using canned foods for camping trips, start by considering the number of days you’ll be camping and the meals you want to prepare. Make a list of canned food items that can be used in multiple meals, such as canned vegetables, beans, meats, and soups. Plan out each meal with a main dish and sides, and ensure you have enough canned ingredients to last your entire trip. Don’t forget to include some no-cook canned food options for quick and easy snacks or meals.

Are there specific canned soups that are ideal for campers?

Canned soups can be a tasty and satisfying meal while camping. Look for hearty soups like chicken noodle, minestrone, beef and vegetable, or clam chowder. Cream-based soups can also provide added richness and comfort during cooler evenings. Don’t forget to pack a few extra cans in case of unexpected hunger or extended stays in the great outdoors!

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