I don’t consider myself a foodie. My waistline suggests that I like eating, but I am more into a few things done well than trying to sample every new trend out there.
Creating a meal plan for a trip can be a real chore, especially if different members of the group have different preferences. I am basic but maybe someone else is very picky or meal time is a big part of the trip for them.
In order to create a meal, plan I think there are a few key questions that should be asked of the group:
Budget – are we trying to save money with food or is the sky the limit?
Allergies or Diet Restrictions – Vegetarian? Nut Allergy?
Activities – Early wake up, lunch at the beach or on the water?
Preferences – I hate mushrooms, Colin prefers tea to coffee etc
Weight/Space Restrictions - for every heavy article of food in a comfort item is out on a back country or fly in trip
Prep Time – Simple and easy? No rush lets take our time?
Depending on the type of trip there will be other nuances to consider but above should give you a good baseline.
To provide further context I will break down the meal plan from our 2018 trip to Ogoki Lake. We were there for 8 nights and 7 days. The cabin we stayed in had a propane fridge/freezer combo, a nice propane grill and had non potable hot/cold water.
Budget – We aim for under $100 per person for food
Allergies or Diet Restrictions – No allergies or restrictions
Activities – Ogoki is a big lake so we decided that we wanted to do the bulk of our lunches on the lake
Preferences – We like to eat fresh fish but not every day
Weight/Space Restrictions - With a fly in we are weight conscientious. For us that means limited canned goods, we bring a water filter as opposed to bottled water
Prep Time – We prefer quick breakfasts and lunches but don’t mind spending some time cooking dinner
Outlined below is our meal plan: individual portions of simple breakfast items a mix of shore lunch and sandwich lunches (usually made the night before while dinner was being made) and lots of dinner choices including fish, BBQ and leftovers. On previous fly in trips we had brought a few frozen meals with us – things like chili, jambalaya and pulled pork. Great for nights we have been on the water late or we want to go out for an evening fish. For snacks we bring a bunch of chips, candy and beef jerky (all the essential food groups).
For non alcoholic beverages its usually water and whatever juice additive you want. I am a big fan of Mio Lemonade. We also bring coffee (and Baileys and Kaluha) and tea. IMO the Ogoki meal plan was our finest. We ate well, we were able to explore the lake and the workload was manageable.
My family has also been taking an annual camping trip for the last few summers. The meal plan would be very different than our fishing trip (much less beer) we also prefer to keep it simple.
It’s a personal choice but overall, I want to eat well but also want to ensure cooking and cleaning isn’t taking away from the things we are truly there to experience. After all I can make a fancy dinner (I probably can’t but its due to skill not equipment) at home any day of the week. I cannot however take a long walk in an old growth forest or watch my daughter catch a nice bass of the dock everyday.
There are lots of resources out there to help. I use Pinterest a lot – you can see my boards and follow me here Andrew's Pinterest Page If you check out my links page I also highlight some great forums and communities where there are tons of threads on meal planning Links Page For campers I also really enjoyed Kevin Callan’s book the Happy Camper Happy Camper
As always please feel free to join the site and leave a comment with any questions or send me a note.