48 Best Canned Foods With Meal Ideas for Camping

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Canned foods are perfect for camping trips – they are easy to store, pest-proof, and don’t require refrigeration.

They’ve been a camping staple since they’ve been around.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best canned foods for camping to help you prepare for your next trip. We’ll even throw in some canned meal ideas for a quick and easy lunch or dinner.

Best Canned Foods for Camping

The best canned foods for camping are ones you can eat right out of (or warm up in) the can and go well in many different recipes.

Related: The Best Packaged Food for Camping

Canned Vegetables

Canned vegetables are great to use as a side dish or in stews, soups, and other recipes. A few of the best canned vegetables include:

  • Canned green beans
  • Canned baked beans
  • Canned corn
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Canned peas
  • Canned carrots

Canned Fruit

Canned fruits are great as a quick breakfast, snack, or healthy dessert. You can get just about any fruit in a canned variety. No cutting, preparing, or refrigeration is required. Plus, they pack the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit.

  • Canned peaches
  • Canned pineapple
  • Canned pears
  • Canned mandarin oranges
  • Canned fruit cocktail
  • Canned olives

Canned Meat

Canned meats make for quick and easy wraps and sandwiches. Plus, they go great in stews, soups, and salads. A few of the best and most versatile canned meats include:

  • Canned chicken
  • Canned ham
  • Canned spam
  • Canned beef
  • Canned pork

Canned Fish

Like canned meats above, canned fish makes meal prep extremely easy. And it’s a lot more convenient when there’s no way to keep fresh foods cool. Canned fish won’t compare with freshly caught fish from the stream, but they come in handy when that isn’t an option.

  • Canned tuna
  • Canned salmon
  • Canned sardines
  • Canned anchovies
  • Canned shellfish

Canned Drinks

Don’t forget the drinks!

  • Canned juice
  • Canned sparkling water
  • Canned soda
  • Canned beer
  • Canned cold brew
  • Canned milk

Best Canned Meals for Camping

Canned meals make camping dinners and lunch a breeze to prepare. Pop open a can, heat over your campfire, and enjoy!

Canned Stew

Stews are a great way to stay warm on those cold camping nights. And instead of having to prepare all the different meats, veggies, and sauces to make a stew, just pop open a can and heat it over the fire.

  • Canned beef stew
  • Canned vegetable stew
  • Canned green chile stew
  • Canned oyster stew

Canned Chili

Chili is a classic camping favorite. It can also take a long time to prepare! Canned chili, on the other hand, is ready in minutes. And they’ve come a long way in taste, with some canned varieties rivaling homemade chili.

  • Canned chili with beans
  • Canned chili with no beans
  • Canned turkey chili
  • Canned vegetarian chili
  • Canned beef chili
  • Canned chicken chili

Canned Soup

Canned soups are ready in minutes and make a great light lunch or side.

  • Canned chicken noodle soup
  • Canned tomato soup
  • Canned vegetable soup
  • Canned black bean soup
  • Canned lentil soup
  • Canned butternut squash soup
  • Canned jambalaya

Canned Pasta Meals

Canned pasta meals are another great option to keep those camping meals fun and interesting.

  • Canned spaghettios
  • Canned beef ravioli
  • Canned chili mac
  • Canned spaghetti

Related: Camping Food List for 3 Days (Meal Plan & Grocery List)

Benefits of Canned Foods for Camping

For many reasons, canned goods have become a camping food staple – whether tent camping, RV’ing, or backpacking.

Pest Proof

Canned foods, by nature, are tightly sealed, locking in any potential scents that the food may give off. This is important when camping to keep animals away, especially when staying in bear country.


Canned goods are shelf-stable. Shelf-stable foods, sometimes called ambient foods, can be safely stored at room temperature. This helps when you’re out camping with no access to a refrigerator. Even when camping with a cooler, space can be limited, so it’s nice to have foods that won’t go bad during the trip.


Canned foods are pre-packaged and stack nicely, making them extremely portable. This comes in handy when tent camping but is especially nice when you need a quick meal while backpacking and don’t want to haul different ingredients and cookware.

Easy Clean-up

Canned foods and meals make clean-up a breeze! Simply pop open the top, and cook or eat the food right out of the can. When done, simply recycle the can.


As we mentioned, canned foods have their place in all different camping environments, from tent camping to RV’ing to camping in the summer heat or dead of winter. Plus, they are arguably the best emergency food option for survival prep and an excellent choice for backpacking foods that don’t need refrigeration, nor do they need water like freeze-dried meals. In other words, they are very versatile!

Related: 101 Food Ideas to Take Camping Without a Fridge (With Meal Plans)

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