Prepackaged Meals vs. DIY Campfire Cooking: A Sizzling Debate

Prepackaged Meals vs. DIY Campfire Cooking: A Sizzling Debate

Camping brings friends and family together on a fun, relaxing outdoor adventure, and nothing can make or break your camping experience more than the food you eat. Of course, cooking while you’re away from the convenience of your home presents some challenges, and many companies have attempted to answer those challenges with prepackaged food. However, prepackaged meals bring comfort at a cost, while cooking meals you prepared yourself can lend a sense of satisfaction. 

Here’s your guide to prepackaged vs. campfire cooking on your next big camping adventure.

DIY campfire cooking benefits

Campfire cooking adds to the fun and enjoyment of camping but preparing your own meals also has many other benefits. Just be sure you come to the site well equipped for cooking by bringing quality stainless steel pots and pans

Enjoy healthier options with DIY campfire cooking

When you prepare your own meals, you not only know what goes into those meals, but you can also ensure you bring healthy foods. During camping activities, you will want to be sure to fuel yourself with high-quality foods that don’t contain preservatives and chemicals found in prepackaged meals. Bringing your own meals allows you to make healthier choices for yourself and your family.

Save money by prepping your own camp food

Prepackaged camping meals cost more than DIY meals. You can stock up on savings from sales at the grocery store or buy food in bulk if you make your own meals. If you decide to buy prepackaged meals, you invest precious camping funds on food that you might prefer to spend on souvenirs or essential camping items.

Prepare custom-made camping meals

You can plan your menu and accommodate eating preferences when preparing your own camp food. With DIY meal prep, you can accommodate vegan and other special diets or food allergies. You also control the ingredients and the portion sizes, which is critical when you need energy for a hike or to stay warm while camping in cold weather.

The cost of using prepackaged camping meals

Prepackaged meals definitely score on convenience, but the ease of use and the small amount of prep time cost you. These meals, typically dehydrated or freeze-dried, pack easily, take up little space, and prep in an instant. While you spend less time at the cookstove by simply adding water to these meals, you spend more money and must plan for ordering enough meals before you go. 


Prepackaged meals can also cost you in other ways. Eating too many prepared meals can cause constipation, especially if you don’t keep yourself well hydrated. Although you can improve your gut health in the long run, stomach troubles may sour your camping trip. Because determining the true portion size can be tricky, you may overeat and run out of meals or too little and not keep your strength up for the next hike or river outing.

Before you go

Prepackaged meals provide convenience and efficiently stored food. However, you gain greater control and ensure everyone has enough to eat when you cook for yourself by the campfire.