Adventures in the great outdoors can be healing, rejuvenating, and great for unplugged family time! But, figuring out what to eat, especially if you are following an unprocessed real food, or keto diet can be challenging.
The ketogenic diet emphasizes a higher fat, moderate protein, and low carb intake, and is touted for its fat-burning health benefits.
Keto camping food is efficient for both your body and your food packing needs. Reducing the reliance on carbs for fuel means you can explore longer and keep your meals simple while away from home.
If you are looking for keto-friendly camping meal ideas to fit your keto family meal plan, or just tasty real food to enjoy around the campfire, you’ve come to the right place.
Keto camping packing list
Keto camping food can be quick, easy, and delicious if you come prepared with nutritious ingredients and the right tools. We’ve put together a basic packing list to get you started.
Low carb food to bring camping
Here’s a basic list to cover all your nutritional bases. If you pack these items, along with any special ingredients to make the recipes you plan to eat, you’ll be well-fed on your camping trip:
- Coconut oil/butter
- Electrolytes (available here on Amazon); electrolyte depletion can leave you feeling sluggish and flu-like
- Nuts and seeds
- Spices and seasonings
Cooking equipment for your campsite
Campfire cooking for kids is always a fun time. These items will help you cook delicious fresh food outside, and run an efficient campsite kitchen:
- Bear canisters (available here)
- Camping plates, bowls, and mugs (Here’s a good starter set from Amazon)
- Camping utensils (available here)
- Cast iron skillet (buy here)
- Charcoal chimney starter (purchase link)
- Coffee filter (purchase link)
- Cooking knife set (purchase link)
- Cooler (like this one from Amazon)
- Cutting boards (purchase here)
- Dish cloths (purchase link)
- Dish towels (purchase link)
- Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap (get it here)
- Dutch oven (like this one from Amazon)
- Dutch oven lid hook (available here)
- Dutch oven lid rack (available here)
- Fire mitts (available here)
- Foil (available here)
- Garbage bags
- Gas camping stove (available here)
- Grill rack (available here)
- Headlamps (available here)
- Kettle (available here)
- Lodge cast iron scraper (available here)
- Lodge chainmail scrubber (for cast iron) (available here)
- Marshmallow roasters (available here)
- Matches (available here)
- Meat thermometer (available here)
- Mixing bowls (available here)
- Paper towels
- Reusable baggies (available here)
- Reusable water bottles (available here)
- Tongs (for cooking on the grill or in the fire pit) (available here)
- Wash tubs (available here)
- Water purifier (available here)
Keto camping tips
As the Scout motto says, “Be Prepared!” Planning ahead will help you and your family to fully enjoy your camping experience.
As you plan your specific meals, take these considerations into account.
Consider your camping agenda
This will help you plan your meals around the activities you hope to do. If you plan to take early morning hikes, keep breakfast simple. If you enjoy relaxing around the campfire in the late afternoon, plan a meal that brings your group together to cook.
Consider the weather
Cold mornings and chilly evenings are usually welcomed with a hot meal. But, consider preparing food ahead to reduce cold fingers.
Consider the keto-balance of your meals
Your activity level during the day may influence where you like to place your carbs. Breakfast to top off glycogen stores for adventures to come? Or, dinner for added recovery?
Consider cooking time
Some campers enjoy cooking in nature as part of their experience, while others just want to get the food in their belly and move on.
What to prep ahead
Foil packets, scrambles, dutch oven dishes, and food cooked on a grill rack are all keto camping foods that can be kept simple enough to prepare at the campsite.
However, basic meal prep steps before you leave the convenience of your home can make camping life much easier.
Here are some food-prep tasks you can do in advance:
- Wash and chop vegetables
- Prepare and cut meat
- Pre-measure ingredients
- Crack eggs and store in a leak-proof container
- Shred cheese
- You may want to pre-cook some meals so that all you need to do at the campsite is reheat them — finished with a signature smoky flavor.
- Pre-cook meat
Food storage while camping
When you bring fresh, healthy food camping, you need to make sure you store and prepare it safely. Paying some special attention to safe handling and storage will help keep food fresh, secure, and safe!
- Keep cold food really cold, and hot food hot. Avoid the “danger zone”!
- Contain raw meat and prevent cross-contamination with cooked food, or food that will remain uncooked. Store any raw meat in well-sealed containers at the bottom of your cooler to prevent any leakage onto other food.
- Use well-sealed locking lid Tupperware or zip tight bags to store food. Plan quantities to avoid leftovers.
- Have a system for cleanup. We use a triple wash bin system to clean and rinse dishes. Keep hands clean by washing well with soap for 20 seconds.
- Keep food, food smells, and garbage away from animals. A midnight visit from the bear family up the road can put a damper on any camping trip. Check out these helpful tips for more info!
Keto camping food ideas and recipes
One thing is for sure when it comes to camping and cooking… it’s more of an art than a science. Each environment and campsite is different. You can’t set a campfire to exact temperatures, and you can’t always predict what type of weather will roll in.
But, that’s half the fun, and a hot meal or a refreshing snack never tasted so good as when you are out enjoying it in nature.
Some of my favorite keto camping foods are:
- Low-carb breakfast burritos
- Boiled Eggs or Avocaoda
- Meat and veggie foil packs
- Primal Chili
Get more great keto-friendly recipes with 4 Weeks of Real Food
Out of keto-friendly, grain-free meal ideas? My 4 Weeks of Real Food meal plan gives you everything you need for a full month of delicious, healthy real food meals.
Real food keto products to bring
Keto is currently one of the most popular diet trends to date, so naturally, there’s an increasing number of keto-friendly products available. Be careful and read labels as many are full of artificial or poor quality ingredients.
Here are a few healthy camping foods (no cooking) that I recommend having on hand for outdoor adventures.
Low Karb Keto Nut Granola
Full of nuts and seeds, coconut, natural no carb sweeteners, and dehydrated berries, this Low Karb keto nut granola is an easy breakfast with a drizzle of cream, or a simple snack on the go.
You can buy some on Amazon here.
EPIC Pork Cracklings and Bacon Bites
EPIC brand products, such as Pork Cracklings and Bacon Bites (available here) are perfect for keto camping. The Bacon Bites take up little space and will keep you satisfied — super tasty, too!
No refrigeration needed! These convenient packages of Moon Cheese (available here) are keto friendly and contain real food ingredients. A crunchy snack to satisfy hunger.
Start your day in nature on the right foot with a nourishing breakfast. Mornings at the campsite are my favorite — warming up around the fire until the sun peeks out and takes over. A hot cup of coffee or tea and a meal to get us all going for the exploration ahead.
Bacon, egg, & veggie scramble
There’s nothing like the taste of eggs cooked in bacon grease when you are camping! I promise. This easy bacon, egg, and veggie scramble is worth firing up the camping stove for.
Egg Muffins are a great make-ahead keto camping breakfast. They are naturally low-carb and can be filled with fibrous veggies and satiating fats (cheese, bacon, etc.). Tasty straight from the cooler, or warm them indirectly over your morning campfire.
Low carb breakfast burritos
When you are excited about the adventures that the day has in store, you may not want to fuss with breakfast cleanup at your campsite. Keep things simple and make these breakfast burritos at home — freeze them in double foil wrap, toss them in your camping cooler, and warm them up over morning coals in the fire pit.
Hard-boiled eggs, berries, & avocado
This no-cook keto breakfast is an awesome grab-n-go option for days when you want to hit the trails early. Cook up some hard-boiled eggs before you leave home and pair with half an avocado and a small handful of antioxidant-rich berries.
Low carb granola
This tasty mixture of baked nuts and seeds works perfectly for a keto style low carb morning granola. Make it ahead and top with a splash of cream when you’re ready for a filling and nutrient-rich bowl of power fuel.
When you are keto-adapted, most snacks become unnecessary, but depending on your activity level and meal timing, you may want to throw a few in your pack just in case!
Low carb trail mix
It doesn’t get much easier than nuts and seeds when it comes to keto camping food. Just make sure to avoid adding sugar-laden dried fruits. This savory pizza trail mix recipe consists of a variety of keto-friendly seeds and nuts.
Quality olives in olive oil provide healthy fats for a keto snack. These handy olive packs, which you can order from Amazon, require no refrigeration and are easy to throw in your bag!
Nut ball snackers
“Fat bombs” are all the rage since the keto diet has taken hold. These Nut Ball Snackers can be made at home, kept in the freezer, and packed in your cooler for a high-fat, low-carb morsel of nutrition.
Don’t overlook the power of wild salmon when it comes to a keto-friendly diet. Rich in omega-3 fats, B vitamins, selenium, and the antioxidant, Astaxanthin. Smoked wild salmon, available here, is a great addition to your list of keto camping food.
100% grass-fed beef jerky is protein-packed trail food that you don’t want to leave behind. (Buy it here.)
Keto foil packet meals
Foil packet meals were some of our family’s first camping dinners. Wrap up your ingredients in aluminum foil (this can be done at home if you wish) and place them in the hot coals of the fire pit, turning over halfway through cooking time.
Sausage and veggie foil packs
This simple camping recipe features sausage, mushrooms, and vegetables for a nutritious lunch or dinner.
Steak fajitas are a great keto-friendly meal option that’s easy to make on a camping stove.
Whole trout on the campfire
Our kids love to fish the local streams and lakes when we camp, so we often bring the fixings for campfire cooked trout just in case. Sometimes we prep the fish and skewer them with a stick for the kids to cook over an open flame, but this foil wrap method is just as tasty!
Dutch oven keto cooking
Nothing says camping like a cast iron dutch oven! Camp style dutch ovens come with three small legs on the bottom to place over hot coals (wood or charcoal), and a rimmed lid for hot briquettes to sit on top.
This cast iron pot can be used as a mini oven with the lid on and coals above and below. It can also be used to saute and boil without the lid, or the lid itself can be turned upside down and placed on hot coals to use as a griddle!
Check out this resource for how to best care for your cast iron.
This tasty Nacho Skillet dish is delicious whether you are camping or not! You won’t even miss the chips with this keto friendly meal.
Turkey stuffed poblano peppers
For this turkey stuffed poblano recipe, you will need to use a 12” dutch oven and cook with hot briquettes above and below.
Sometimes we cheat and make Primal Chili at home, and bring it to reheat in the dutch oven! (Just omit the carrots to make it more keto-friendly.) So tasty without undergoing the chopping and cooking process of making it at the campsite.
Although, you certainly could cut the quantity down, simplify the ingredients a touch, and cook it out in nature if you choose.
Cooking food on a grill rack over a campfire adds flavor like no other form of cooking. Give these easy grilling ideas a try next time you’re off the beaten path.
Bacon wrapped asparagus and steak
Bacon wrapped asparagus spears are a great keto-approved accompaniment to grilled steak.
Grilled sausage kabobs are an excellent grill friendly camping meal. I like to use pre-cooked breakfast sausage links so that I don’t have to worry about whether the meat is cooked through, but raw sausage works great as well.
Campfire dogs with brussels sprouts
Dogs cooked over an open fire! Yum! A favorite keto camping food for kids, and grown-ups, too! Select grass-fed beef hot dogs when possible and use marshmallow skewers or these fancy fish and meat skewers to cook with.
Pair your dogs with grilled Brussels sprouts. Use a grill basket, like this one, to place on top of the grill rack. Trim and quarter the Brussels, toss with avocado oil, and season with salt and pepper before giving them a good cook.
Tasty morsels at the end of the day (especially one spent connecting with Mother Nature) don’t have to be full of sugar. Here are a few treats to keep you on the keto train.
Pomegranate pistachio bark
Making your own dark chocolate bark is easy-peasy and gives you ownership over the ingredients. You may use a stevia-sweetened extra dark chocolate, like Lily’s brand, to make this Pomegranate Pistachio Bark meet your keto needs.
These super clean Keto Cups, available on Amazon, are a tasty treat without the sugar. Organic ingredients with less than one gram of sugar per cup will keep you on your healthy track.
If smores are a coveted camping dessert in your family, you can make them keto-friendly with some extra effort on the front side of your camping trip. This keto recipe for homemade graham crackers and marshmallows paired with Lily’s stevia sweetened dark chocolate, available from Amazon, will hit the spot.
Hit the campground with keto camping food!
You now have more than enough ideas to help make your keto camping trip a success.
Review your packing list, follow our suggested meal planning tips, prepare any food in advance, and carefully think through your food storage strategies.
Food should never slow you down when it comes to getting out in nature.