For a recent river trip, I planned high protein camping food to bring. Here’s the low calorie meals & snacks I brought to stay on my diet.
If you ate everything recommended on this page, your full day of eating would be 1378 calories, 116 grams protein, 159 grams carbs, and 31 g fat.
This blog is all about my weight loss journey. It’s also about the food and meals I have been eating along the way to not only reach my ideal weight, but to stay there for 2 1/2 years at the age of 48!
Why bring healthy meals camping?
The truth is, I like sticking to my food plan. I like knowing how many calories and how much protein I’m eating in a day. It’s not in any disordered way. But rather I’m almost 50 years old, and being casual about my diet just doesn’t work for me (and honestly never really has).
When I overeat, or eat crappy food, I feel crappy! In fact, the day after a recent regrettable binge, I wrote in my journal that I was feeling:
- A lack of motivation
- Bloated and uncomfortable,
- and I just wanted to retreat and watch TV.
However, on the days when I stick to my healthy food plan and control for calories, I honestly feel energetic, motivated, and ready to conquer the world.
The quantity AND quality of food really does affect everything about how I live my life!
For this reason, I WANTED to bring high protein camping food on this trip. I hate being on vacation and feeling like I don’t want to socialize. I hate feeling lethargic and unmotivated.
Traveling is SO MUCH better when you feel good!
So, with the blessing of my husband (who was going to have to eat the same foods as me because everything got packed onto a 15 ft. raft), these are the meals we planned!
The high protein food we packed for camping on the river
All the food we brought had to fit on the raft, and we tried to include as few things that needed to be in the cooler as possible. So, this is what we came up with:
Breakfast- Greek yogurt and protein cereal
Getting adequate protein for breakfast was challenging. We could have set up the kitchen and cooked some eggs, but in the mornings, there was enough to do packing up camp.
So, instead we brought Greek Yogurt (1 container Plain) with Kashi Protein Honey almond flax (1 cup)= 290 calories, 25 g protein, 41 g carbs, 5 g fat.
Other non-cook, high protein, portable breakfast ideas I considered were:
- Hard boiled eggs (but those would have had to stay in the cooler)
- pre-made protein waffles! I would have liked these!
- Single serve protein powder packs to just shake into water. It’s doable, but not really filling for me unless it’s blended with ice and grows in volume.
Want to save this post?
Enter your email below and get it sent straight to your inbox.
Lunch: Chicken salad packets with tortillas
These chicken salad pouches are GREAT! They are shelf stable and took up very little space in our dry box.
And, I like tortillas vs bread for lunch while camping, because bread is too fragile and gets squished so easily. Tortillas hold up very well.
So, lunch was 2 pouches chicken salad with tortillas = 300 calories 22 g protein, 29 g carbs, and 4 g fat.
Other high protein ideas we considered for lunch were:
- Tuna pouches
- Roasted chickpeas, or dry roasted edamame
- Single serve hummus packs
- Peanut butter and jelly
Dinner – Pre-made chili
For dinner, each family that we went on the river with picked a night to feed dinner for everyone. So, for my night I chose Chili. (we also had some vegans on the trip, and so I made a second batch that was vegan friendly as well)
I made the chili in it’s entirety before the trip, and then I froze it in gallon size ziploc bags.
The Chili I made before the trip was 308 calories, 26 g protein, 31 g carbs, and 11 g fat per cup.
This of course, had to be kept in the cooler, and we heated it up when we got into camp.
Other ideas we had for a high protein camping dinner were:
- Dutch oven chicken
- Sloppy joes
High protein snacks for camping
Snacks were the easiest thing, in my opinion. We brought
- Turkey Jerky, 80 calories, 10 g protein, 8 g carbs, and 1 g fat.
- Simply Protien bars: 150 calories 12 g protein, 17 g carbs, 5 g fat (these were great because they didn’t need to be in the cooler!) Found them at Costco
- Built Puffs: 150 calories 17 g protein, 15 g carbs, 3 g fat (Not as good since I had to keep them in the cooler.
- Oat packets: kind of a last minute thing for my bag, and I kind of liked having it as a snack. I did eat it dry- weird I know. 100 calories, 4 g protein, 18 g carbs, and 2 g fat
And that’s it! We had such a blast, and I was so happy that I felt great the entire trip!
Let me know in the comments- What high protein foods can you think of to bring camping? I’d love to hear!
Click below for a printable version, or to create a shopping list.
High protein food ideas for camping
- 6 ounces plain greek yogurt
- 1 cup kashi protein cereal
- 2 pouches chicken salad
- 1 medium tortilla
- 1 cup pre-made chili
- 1 ounce turkey jerky
- 1 bar simple protein bar
- 1 bar built bar
- 1 packet 100 calorie oats
- Prepare chili ahead of time. Bring the rest of the food