Our Favorite Canoe Camping Meals

Easy canoe camping meals and snacks

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Going on a canoeing camping trip is one of the most exciting and adventure-packed ways to experience the Great Outdoors, not to mention the fact that it’s an excellent way to reconnect with your friends and family. However, if you want your paddling trip to be truly enjoyable — you need to be prepared!

To prepare properly for canoe camping, you need to think about what you’re going to eat along the way. And that’s precisely why we’ve decided to provide you with a couple of excellent canoe camping recipes for your next trip.

Easy Meals and Snacks to Try on Your Next Paddling Trip

Canoe Camping Breakfast Idea

When you’re preparing your canoe camping meals, you’ve essentially got three priorities — as with any other meal, you want them to be decently tasty. Apart from that, they also need to be easy to make. You don’t want a fiddly meal when you’re in nature. Then, most importantly — it needs to provide you with all of the nutrition you need for all of the physical activity you’re going to have on the trip.

That’s why your breakfast should be a healthy classic: Date Maple Nut Oatmeal

For this recipe, you need:

  • 3 teaspoons of dates (chopped)
  • Half a cup of walnuts
  • 3 teaspoons of maple sugar
  • One cup of instant oats

If you don’t want to go with instant oats, you can make your own by powdering oats in your blender. And after you’ve gathered these ingredients, you’ll pretty much have your breakfast ready. All that remains in terms of preparation is combining all of the ingredients in a bowl and pouring a cup of boiling water over them; after stirring for a couple of minutes, let the oatmeal sit and cool for a bit.

Depending on how thick you like your oatmeal, you’re free to adjust the amount of water. Also, unlike most of the other meals we’ve listed here, this one isn’t protein-heavy; though, you could add some almond butter if you feel like you want a protein-laced breakfast as well.

Canoe Camping Lunch Ideas

There are plenty of people who pull off amazing cooking feats in nature, but we’re going to avoid anything too difficult for your lunch. After all, there’s still quite a lot to do during the day when lunchtime comes around, and you don’t want to waste time and effort on extensive cooking. That being said, there are some great camping meals you can make for lunch without trying too hard.

Once lunchtime rolls around on your canoe camping trip, you’re going to want something packed with protein and other nutrients but without the need for extensive preparation. That’s why we recommend a meal that takes some prep before the trip, but almost none while you’re out in nature: Camp Tacos!

To make camp tacos, you need:

  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Pre-cooked taco meat
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Avocados
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa

Apart from getting the ingredients, you’ll need to cook your favorite taco meat before the trip and keep it in appropriate canoe camping food storage. For those more inclined to vegetarian or vegan diets, you can always use vegan sour cream and another protein source. While tofu is the go-to option for many, these tacos go exceptionally well with some black beans — an excellent protein source that’s also a common staple in Mexican cuisine.

For the next lunch option, if you’re willing to prepare this before the trip itself, you’ll save a lot of time on food prep while you’re in nature itself. The famous Swedish Hardtack is one of the many granola-Esque lunch meals that are easily stored on camping trips and nutrient-packed enough to allow you to make it until dinner without feeling hunger.

To make Swedish Hardtack, you’ll need:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups of rye flour
  • Half a cup of cooking oil
  • Half a cup of honey
  • 2 cups of yogurt

The preparation itself isn’t too complicated. First, mix all of the ingredients into a bowl and proceed to knead them until you’ve got a dough with a uniform texture and smoothness. Then, leave it in the refrigerator for about an hour.

The number of ingredients above should yield you about a pound of dough. If you want to get nice, even crackers, we recommend rolling this dough to a square with a 16-inch diameter. Then, proceed to trim the edges to achieve the right shape and use a knife or pizza cutter to cut individual crackers.

Place the crackers on a cookie sheet and bake them for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F. After this, they should start browning — that’s when you can pull them out of the oven if you want to avoid them being brittle.

Voila! Now they’re ready to be stored in foil and a plastic bag. This is the perfect lunch for a long canoeing trip that doesn’t require you to do much in nature itself.

Canoe Camping Supper Idea

You can handle a more involved preparation process for supper, seeing as the day is pretty much winding down. And in the case of this camping meal, we’re going to give you an option that you can cook both on a camp stove and a campfire.

One of the classic staples of the American household — but with a camp twist: Campfire Spaghetti. We’ve provided the ingredient amounts for three servings, but you can adjust for more if you’re taking more people on your trip.

To prepare the best campfire spaghetti, you need:

  • Your preferred spices
  • 8 oz of spaghetti noodles (dried)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Previously prepared spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lbs of lean ground beef

You’ll have to make a part of this meal at home, but it’s nothing too tricky. You need to cook your ground beef until it gains a distinct brown color. Then rinse and drain until all of the fat is gone, and use a dehydrator or a classic oven to dry it completely; it should have a grape nut consistency after you’ve finished. If you are vegan or vegetarian, sub the ground beef with dried TVP (textured vegetable protein) crumbles.

If you want this meal to be as quick as possible, you can get a jar of store-bought tomato sauce. Otherwise, stir-fry the tomatoes with some olive oil, onions, and paprika (which you can leave out if you don’t want it to be too spicy). If you want the sauce to last you as long as possible, use a dehydrator to bring it to a fruit leather consistency.

After this, you need to place the ingredients in baggies — separating the beef, parmesan cheese, and the sauce. Don’t forget to bring your spices as well!

When you’ve got your campfire or camp stove going, start heating a bowl of water over it. When it’s at boiling point, separate the ingredients into cups and begin adding water slowly. Once you notice that the beef and the sauce have reached the proper consistency, you can add the noodles and cover the bowls or cups with a lid or a plate.

Give it a couple of minutes, and the noodles will be cooked. Then, all that’s left is to add your choice of spices and the parmesan cheese (vegans can sub the cheese for nutritional yeast).

Canoe Camping Snack Ideas

In between all of the meals above, you want to have a steady supply of snacks that can quench hunger without having to stop what you’re currently doing or prepare a meal. The last thing you want in this case is junk food. When you’re in nature, you need something with real nutritional value, snacks that will truly keep you going until the next meal comes around.

For such purposes, you can’t go wrong with a good nut mix. This is the healthiest nutrition-rich snack you can take with you, and it’s not like it takes up a lot of space. Nuts are rich in (healthy) fats and can fill you up for a couple of hours until you make lunch or supper. They give you an excellent balance of fiber, protein, and healthy fat, and seeing as they need no refrigeration, they make the perfect camping snack. Add some dried fruit for an extra boost of energy and sugar as well.

If you are bringing your kids with canoe camping, don’t forget to pack the s’mores either! This is a classic sweet treat sure to make anyone a happy camper.

How to store and pack food when canoe camping

One of the most innovative ways to approach canoe camping is to plan everything out thoroughly. So, after booking a guided tour that leaves nothing up to chance — you can also plan out all of your meals extensively.

When you do that, you can store all of the ingredients; the dry stuff can go in separate baggies, while fresh ingredients will need to go into a cooler. Depending on the length of the trip and the meals you’ll prepare, you may need to freeze some meat — in that case, make sure you’ve got a separate cooler for the meat and the fresh vegetables to maintain the temperature of the frozen ingredients when you take out the unfrozen stuff.

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