Cooking Up Great Camping Breakfast Ideas for Any Trip

Key Points

  • When it comes to camping breakfast ideas, you'll likely have certain goals and limitations.

  • Various pre-made meals are easy camping breakfast ideas.

  • Grilling and cooking for large groups while camping requires more work and skill.

Most people agree breakfast is the most important meal. A complete and healthy breakfast can indeed be the essential springboard to a productive day. Few would argue that skipping a well-balanced meal in the morning can spell disaster for whatever plans might follow. While camping, your plans for the day likely include any number of energy-expending excursions: hiking, swimming, fishing, or just exploring the uncharted wilderness. It's important to consider what camping breakfast ideas will suit your family and the trip you have planned.

There are two main considerations when deciding good camping breakfast ideas: What are your goals and what are your limitations? These should ultimately be the deciding factors when choosing the best breakfast for your camp; delve into each in more detail below.

Breakfast Goals

No matter what your camping itinerary looks like, there are likely a few main goals you should strive to achieve with whatever breakfast you choose to serve. The most important thing in undertaking any adventure is, of course, having the necessary energy. Therefore, a solid camping breakfast should be both high in protein and calorie-dense to sufficiently provide you with the energy for the outings you have planned.

Due to the conditions of camping, you will likely want a breakfast option that is simple to prepare and easy to consume but also results in minimal cleanup. Above all, you want something delicious and filling to offer your fellow campmates.

With these main goals for the ultimate camp breakfast in mind, you’ll next need to consider your limitations. The simple act of camping, and all that goes with it, inherently restricts your abilities and options especially when it comes to meals.

Woman places bacon on camping fire while men drink coffee

Camping Foods and Limitations

While camping, the process of most daily activities is stripped to the bare bones. When it comes to food, you are limited by the space you have to pack items, and by what you can keep fresh using ice and coolers only. For instance, you may not have the space to pack all the ingredients to have a four-course feast for every single meal of the day.

When it comes to food prep you are also limited to certain methods based on your equipment, skills, and what amenities are offered by the campground. This generally means you'll be working with either a camp stove, a campfire with a grate, or a charcoal grill. Nonetheless, it is possible to boil, saute, steam, fry, or grill no matter which of these options are available to you.

With a little ingenuity and the right tools, it is possible to cook just about anything while camping.

No matter what goals or limitations your particular camping situation bestows upon you, this article aims to provide you with a wide range of great camping breakfast ideas to both please your campmates and fuel whatever adventures you have ahead.

From the super-simple no-cook or pre-made options to the more involved like make-ahead meals or cooking for an army, you’ll find everything you need to decide on the perfect breakfast for you and your camp.

Popular Camping Foods

The best practice to apply to nearly all aspects of camping is the KISS System (Keep It Simple, Stupid/Silly). The most popular foods for camping meals generally adhere to the KISS system.

This means that popular camping foods have a few defining characteristics: They don't take up a lot of space, can be kept fresh on ice, can be cooked in pots and pans or over a fire, and can be served or consumed with minimal utensils.

In other words, popular camping meals are simple. Finger foods are often popular camping meals and include items like instant oatmeal or eggs and bacon.

If you shudder at the term "glamping," and you’re seeking a no-frills camp experience, then you likely want to leave all the kitchen gadgets at home and keep your gear mostly basic. If this sounds like you, rest assured: There are multiple options to have a hearty breakfast while maintaining a raw and real experience.

Ditch the doo-dads and truckful of expensive gear and check out these easy camp breakfast ideas.

Camping breakfast tea, eggs, fruit

Pre-Made Meals Make Camping Breakfasts Easy

Whatever your choice of breakfast food, these pre-made meals provide excellent options while giving you more time around the camp for activities because there is little to no campground preparation.


First up are options that don’t require any cooking at all. No-cook breakfast ideas are great for a variety of reasons; chief among these is there’s no cheffing required. Just as the name suggests, you don’t have to be “no cook” to prepare these meals. This also means owning or packing expensive camp stoves and gas is not necessary. These meals are therefore quick and simple to prepare and just as easy when it comes to eating and cleanup.

A go-to co-cook breakfast option — whether you’re camping or not — has always been yogurt and granola. According to Fit & Flex Granola, the combo of these ingredients provides an excellent source of calcium and protein while also giving your GI tract beneficial bacteria and fiber. Throw in your favorite fruit and some honey for extra flavor and additional nutrition. The best part is all you need is a spoon!

A few less hearty no-cook options are cereal or protein bars. While no-cook camp breakfasts are great for their simplicity, they do come with certain drawbacks. Namely, they are not always the most filling meals, and you may find yourself hungry for lunch sooner than you’d like.

If you subscribe to KISS camping but prefer a hot breakfast or don’t mind a little extra work, there are even more camping breakfast options that are not only healthy and delicious but also easy to prepare. The best part is the only things you need for these easy camping breakfast ideas are some pots and pans and a fire or a simple stove.


The easiest camping breakfasts by far are pre-made, dehydrated meals. Often referred to as Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), these are sold in a variety of outdoor gear stores or online. MREs were originally developed by the US Army.

They are pre-cooked, self-contained meals meant to deliver proper nutrition while being easy to prepare, consume, and store. The purpose of an MRE’s special packaging is three-fold: It is used to store and transport, cook the meal, and serve it all in one. All you need to prep and eat an MRE is boiling water and a spoon!

The camping and backpacking industries have taken the MRE concept to a delectable new level offering a delicious variety of meals and flavors including some viable breakfast options. The advantages of MREs as a simple camping breakfast are clear. They were designed to be portable, fast and easy to prep and require very little clean-up.

The precise labeling on MREs also makes it simple to ensure you are consuming the proper protein and calories vital to your adventure. One downside to MREs is they tend to be rather pricey, ranging anywhere from $5-20 for a meal for two.

Mature couple cook breakfast with stove while camping


If you don’t care to splurge on MREs but still want an option that offers easy preparation at the campground, then make-ahead camping breakfast ideas might be for you!

As the name suggests, make-aheads are meals you prepare yourself before your trip. While these meals require a little more planning and work than an MRE, they offer the same convenience of having a well-balanced breakfast that’s quick and easy to prepare in the field. Make-ahead meals save space, time, and cleanup at the campground.

Since you’ll be preparing these meals at home the possibilities are endless. The only thing to consider is how you will store and reheat your breakfast before serving it. Skillets or hash and burritos make for delicious, filling, and protein-packed make-ahead camping breakfast ideas. You can easily customize these options to your family’s individual tastes and needs.

The premium breakfast skillet or breakfast burrito includes your choice of eggs, protein (meat), potatoes, veggies, and cheese. The best part about make-ahead breakfast meals is that you can personalize them with whatever ingredients you prefer. If you’re willing to put in the extra work before the trip, it will pay off while you’re enjoying yourself at the campsite.

While camping, take advantage of make-ahead camping meal ideas for at least one meal per day. This will spare you from a potentially frustrating experience and afford more time for all the fun things you have planned for your camping trip.

Camping Breakfast Ideas Requiring More Work

Do you consider yourself a Propane Professional or the Briquette Boss? Is Hank Hill your spirit animal? Maybe you don’t own a camping stove, or your campground doesn’t allow gas stoves. It's possible you simply wish to take your grill skills to the campground.

Either way, fear not: There are options even for you with these delicious camping breakfast ideas for the grill!

Cooking eggs and toast on a camping fire

Cooking Eggs

Most people assume breakfast on the grill is a propane pipe dream. Sure, steak and eggs sound like a great camp breakfast, but how in the world do you cook eggs on a grill top? Believe the hype. There are workarounds for this that even translate to camp cooking. All you need is some cookware and a little ingenuity!

Cooking the perfect egg is an art. Add in the challenges camping presents and the idea of cooking eggs can seem like more of a science — even for the most culinarily inclined. There are a variety of simple techniques for cooking eggs at the campground.

With the help of a simple camping stove and a pan, frying or scrambling eggs is just as simple as at home. With a little bit of care, this can even be performed over a campfire.

But what if you only have a grill? No worries! The perfect over-easy or sunnyside-up is within reach with the next tip.


If you have some camping pots and pans, or any old ones lying around that you’re not worried about scorching, you can typically use those on a grill without any problems. If you invest in a griddle, you can cook any breakfast meal on a grill, as well.

This way you can cook items directly on the grill like steak, sausage, veggies and fruit, or potatoes. These will retain that special BBQ flavor while you prepare your eggs, pancakes or bacon on the griddle. Some clever campers have served up the pro-tip of using a muffin pan to cook the perfect eggs on a grill!

As you can see, there are plenty of camping breakfast ideas even for the Grill Guru in your camp. These options might demand a certain degree of culinary skill, but they also afford you a wide variety of delicious and hearty breakfast choices with relatively minimal cleanup.

Large Groups

All the breakfast options detailed thus far assume you’ll be cooking for a few friends or family, but what if you have an entire army to feed? If you’re serving a camp of 10+ people look to the following camping breakfast ideas for large groups.

When feeding large groups of people on a camping trip, it’s best to take advantage of the make-ahead meals previously covered. This will spare you from spending hours cooking on a small camp stove and the extensive cleanup that would result. You'll still be about to offer up a tasty and well-balanced breakfast your whole group will enjoy. Make-ahead skillets or breakfast burritos are great in this respect.

During the prep for such an extensive meal, utilize liquid eggs to make scrambling easier. Consider fresh sliced fruits for a sweet addition to any skillet or burrito. Instant coffee is also a simple addition — easily brewed with a camping coffee pot — that will be a welcome treat among the caffeine fiends in camp.

Utilizing the advantages of the make-ahead breakfast ideas will save you a big headache first thing in the morning, and they might even give you the strength and energy you’re going to need to cook dinner for all the people in your troop!

Cooking breakfast with an RV stovetop

Should you choose to prepare breakfast for your large group in the field, you’ll be faced with a litany of challenges. First and foremost is the fact that packing the necessary food for even one meal to feed a group of 10 or more will take up a lot of space. You have to find a way to not only transport multiple food items but also keep them fresh.

Cooking a decent breakfast of say three offerings — eggs, meat, veggies/potatoes — is also going to take quite a bit of time away from your morning. The intensive cleanup effort you’ll be faced with after all that work is another consideration.

That’s not to say that cooking a decent breakfast option for large groups is impossible. Perhaps you genuinely enjoy the art of cooking and don’t mind putting forth the extra effort to please your campmates. Plus, when you cook for a large group, there are a lot of hands available to help with the process and cleaning up afterward.

Camping grill cooking bacon and potatoes

Several Breakfast Options To Choose

Breakfast is an integral part of any day and considering breakfast ideas for a camping trip is even more important. A good breakfast in any setting is a well-balanced meal that provides you with the nutrients to attack your day. The energy from a healthy and hearty breakfast is all the more important when your day involves any number of camping adventures. Although the act of camping naturally comes with its particular limitations as far as what you can pack and prepare, there is a wide range of camping breakfast ideas to choose from.

Easy options such as no-cook, pre-made, make-ahead, and even MRE meals can all cook up a more convenient camping experience while camp stove, grilled, and large group meals ensure your camp will start their day off right with a well-rounded and delicious breakfast.

No matter what your particular circumstances or goals are, there is a camp breakfast out there that’s perfect for your next camping adventure!

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