There’s nothing like the great outdoors to give you a great appetite—which is why a great breakfast for camping trips is essential! You’ll want to choose foods that are satisfying and filling, giving you plenty of energy for the day, yet quick and simple enough to prepare that you can start the day stress-free.
We’ve compiled our own favorite ideas for easy camping breakfast food below. These options can be cooked on a campfire or a portable stove and require little cookware beyond a fork and cast-iron pan. (Of course, it’s helpful to have a flat prep surface as well, so don’t forget to pack a portable table or camp kitchen.) By keeping ingredient lists and prep work to a minimum, you’ll have more time to relax with your coffee before hitting the trails.
Kevin Shinohara brews a perfect pot of coffee on the Slim-Fold Cook Station™
Bagels: The Breakfast Essential
While a bagel may seem like a basic breakfast, there’s something special about one that’s been toasted on the campfire. It’s quick and simple: just cut the bagel open and butter both sides, then press it into a hot frying pan with the cut sides down. Once toasted, it will be delicious on its own or as the base for an egg sandwich—just add a fried egg, slice of cheese, and salt and pepper. Make your sandwich even heartier by adding bacon, sausage, or mashed avocado.
Kelsey Kagan gets breakfast prepped with GCI’s Compact Camp Tables
Egg Frittatas: Our Favorite Breakfast for Camping Trips
Want to think beyond the bagel sandwich? Although it requires a bit more cooking time, we think there’s no better way to start the day than with a big frittata. Unlike omelets, frittatas are cooked low and slow, typically in an oven instead of on the stovetop. But while camping, they can be made using a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven with a lid.
Start by chopping up your favorite veggies. Garlic, spinach, cherry tomatoes, and basil are tried-and-true here, but feel free to get creative—or to use up the leftovers from last night’s dinner. Just note that the firmer vegetables like garlic should be briefly sauteed before the rest of the frittata starts cooking.
Crack your eggs into a bowl—use 2 for every person you’ll be feeding. Season them with salt and pepper, beat well, and then fold in any leafy ingredients like spinach or basil. With your skillet over low to medium-low heat, add in a tablespoon of oil, the egg mixture, and then top with any remaining ingredients like tomatoes or cheese. Cover with lid, and let it cook for about 15 minutes, until the eggs are set. Then just slice it up and enjoy!
If you’re looking for a quicker way to get your egg fix in the morning, you can make individual-size frittatas ahead of time using a muffin tin. Wrap them each in foil, and then reheat them right on the campfire in the morning.
Something smells good! Photo: Kelsey Kagan
Presto Pancakes & Fast French Toast
French toast and pancakes will always hit the spot—and with a little advance prep, these can be easy camping foods. The secret is to mix the ingredients at home (keeping wet and dry ingredients separate, however).
For pancakes, combine the wet and dry ingredients together just before cooking. This can be done right in a large zip-lock bag; then just snip one corner off and squeeze the batter onto a hot griddle.
We also love the idea of cooking French toast right on the campfire—check out this recipe from Food Network to find out how to do it!
Camping Breakfast Made Even Easier
There are some mornings you know you won’t have time to cook, and that’s okay! Plan ahead by whipping up (or picking up) a batch of muffins. Choose a bran or whole wheat variety for long-lasting energy.
If room in the cooler allows, treat yourself to a hearty and filling cold breakfast: overnight oats. At night, stir together ½ cup of any type of milk or yogurt with ½ cup of old-fashioned oats, plus optional add-ins like chia seeds, ground flaxseed, maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Refrigerate the mixture overnight, and in the morning, top with whatever you like—chopped nuts, fresh or dried fruit, coconut, protein powder, or anything else you have on hand.