40 Best Camping Breakfast Ideas for families (practical advice from a camping mom)

The most important meal of the day is equally as important (if not more important) when you’re camping. Breakfast can be as simple as dry cereal or a granola bar, but where’s the fun in that? Granted, when you have small kids who need food right away, these are essentials, so don’t forget to pack them!

Once you have tamed the hangry littles with some initial food, where do you start with breakfast when you’re not only away from home in the great outdoors and without the modern conveniences of your own kitchen?

I have some tips for making breakfast a breeze while camping plus some fantastic recipes to try on your next camping trip!

Top 5 Favourite Easy Camping Breakfast Ideas:

1. Oatmeal – whichever is your favourite: overnight oats, instant oatmeal packs, or cook up a pot over the fire.  Top it off with fresh fruit, yum!

2. Yogurt – chop up some fresh fruit, add yogurt and sprinkle granola or chia seeds on top (canned fruit works well too)

3. French Toast – Crack a few eggs, a generous pour of milk, many many shakes of cinnamon, dunk in the bread and grill until crisp.  Don’t forget the Maple Syrup!

4. English Muffins – Throw them into the cast iron skillet if you want them toasty and ready for cream cheese, or bring along some peanut butter and jam!

5. Eggs – However you like them: Scrambled eggs, a make-ahead breakfast sandwich, fried with toast and bacon, a cheddar cheese breakfast burrito, or the easy way – just hard boil them at home!

picnic table with breakfast food and coffee cups

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Camping Breakfast Hacks to speed up the morning:

Favourite No-Cook Camping Breakfast Ideas:

  • Yogurt topped with fruit and granola
  • Muffins with a side of fresh fruit
  • Cereal and milk (more a favourite for the kids than the adults in my family)

Favourite Make Ahead Camping Breakfast Ideas:

  • Healthy instant oatmeal: prepared, single servings, in mason jars, ready for boiling water
  • Breakfast burritos or breakfast sandwiches: wrapped in foil and ready to re-heat

And you’ll find so many more breakfast ideas below!

If there is any way to make meals easier while camping, it’s worth a shot, right?

Prep, prep, prep! Whatever can be mixed or chopped before you leave the ease of your home kitchen, take the time and do it. Future you will thank you.

I am a huge believer in ‘lazy mom camping’ and if you want more tips and ideas around making your entire trip easier, check out this article all about planning and prepping your stress-free family camping trip.

1. Pre-cook the Bacon

Frying bacon ahead of time is a game-changer! Get that whole package done and all you’ll have to do is heat it a bit at the campsite and it’s done! I recommend saving all the bacon grease in a glass jar and bringing it along on your camping trip. You’ll want a little in the frying pan to reheat the bacon and it is awesome for making scrambled eggs.

I think these days you can also buy pre-cooked bacon in the freezer section. My grandma likes this, but I haven’t tried it yet.

2. Scramble your eggs

While cooking the eggs might not take a long time, cracking eggs does! Find containers that will hold as many eggs as you need each morning and go ahead and whisk those bad boys. Store the egg mixture in the cooler for up to a couple of days.

Or, if you have any food safety concerns about scrambling the eggs ahead of time, you can purchase cartons of egg whites and these are perfect for scrambled eggs and easy to use… or powdered eggs is an option too!

3. Pancake Batter Shortcuts

I recommend using “just add water” pancake mix while you’re camping. If you have a water bottle that has measurements on the side, add the water in, measure out the dry ingredients, give it a shake, and your pancake mixture is ready!

If you want to fancy up your pancakes, bring along some berries to add in, mash up a banana or two into the batter, or add some cinnamon and raisins (or chocolate chips!) to the dry mix before leaving home.

4. Hot Beverages: Skip the fancy, try instant

Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you have to slack on morning drink options! If you have a camp stove, you can heat water for anything from coffee to tea to hot chocolate.

Want to simplify your morning? Go instant! Spend some time browsing the coffee aisle. There are so many gourmet varieties of instant coffee these days. So much easier than cleaning a coffee machine at the campground.

Another easy tip: If you have access to electricity, bring along an electric tea kettle and an extension cord! Coffee can be made in a percolator, French press, or if you brought the extension cord, why not just bring a coffee maker? The space different items take up is all about priorities.

READ MORE: Read more about camping kettles here.

5. Powdered Milk?

If your kids like milk (but maybe don’t like powdered milk), there are a few shelf-safe milk options that don’t need to be chilled until you’re planning to drink it. Bring along the individual containers and throw what you’ll need for the next day into the cooler the night before. They will be nice and cold when you need them, but won’t take up tons of space in your cooler!

Powdered milk is an option for cereal and if your family likes alternative milks like soy and almond, you should be able to find non-refrigerated options of these as well.

6. Plan and Prep before the trip!

Yes, it takes a bit of extra time, but do it!

Make a meal plan, even if it’s a general outline… then, prepare everything you can ahead of time.

Cut up the pepper you plan to add to your scrambled eggs. Wash the berries. Mix up your overnight oats into individual jars before the trip. Anything that can be done at home means one less thing you need to do when you’re out enjoying the quite, relaxing wilderness.

All the Best Camping Breakfast Ideas

Here are tons of recipe ideas, broken down into handy categories so you can create a lot of variety in your morning camping menu.

The Simple Breakfast: Oatmeal, Cereal, and Fruit

Easy breakfasts are a must for some camping mornings. Especially when you need a breakfast to be quick so you can get out and explore!

Cereal: Bring along your preferred milk option (don’t forget about powdered)

Oatmeal: Instant, over-night, old-fashioned (add in some raisins, nuts, and seeds too)

Fruit: Fresh or from the can

Yogurt: Pair this with fruit, some granola, and you’ve got a yummy healthy simple breakfast!

a breakfast of oatmeal and fruit on a picnic table
Oatmeal and fruit, simple camping breakfast

It doesn’t get much more simple than cereal. Powdered milk is my go-to for a cereal morning. If you plan ahead, though, oatmeal can be a quick breakfast, too!

Instant oatmeal packets only require boiling water, which is easy! And Overnight oats can be prepped ahead of time and put into a mason jar to pull out as needed. Use those lids and don’t worry about washing until you get home.  These two options are our go-to when we’re planning early mornings or looking for something quick and on the healthier side.

Here are some other oatmeal ideas:

Espresso Overnight Oats with Almond Butter – The flavors in these overnight oats will be a delight for your morning, plus it has some of that caffeine that you might want to start your day off right!

homemade mason jars full of camping oatmeals
Homemade and Healthy instant oatmeals

Home-made Instant Oatmeal – Yes, you can create your own instant oatmeal! Pop your creations into glass jars with lids so all you have to do is add hot water. If you’re on a short trip, don’t worry about washing at the campsite, just screw the lid back on and wash it at home.

Chocolate Oatmeal – Who doesn’t love chocolate for breakfast? Here’s a healthy chocolate oatmeal option!

Berry Overnight Oats – A delicious and healthy option that will only take about five minutes to prep!

Plus, here’s a bonus make-ahead option:

Coconut Chia Parfaits with Fresh Berries – With just six ingredients, these beautiful parfaits are a breakfast superfood that will have you ready to tackle your day outdoors.

The Sweet Breakfast

Do you have a sweet tooth? These delicious breakfast ideas are the perfect way to start a day of outdoor activities:

Doughnuts and pastries:  If you’re camping close to a town and it’s easy to pop into a café, grabbing some freshly made sweets can be such a special treat!

French Toast and Pancakes:  Easy to mix up the dry ingredients before hand and mix the wet ingredients that morning

PopTarts and Toaster Strudels: Yes, a bit low on the nutritious scale, but fun for kids to roast these over the fire!

French Toast Foil Packet – You could always bring a huge electric skillet camping and make French toast in bulk, but this recipe takes up less space and is super fun to make! Packed with lots of topping ideas, these French Toast Foil Packets are sure to be a hit.

Banana Pancakes – Have some bananas at home that are turning brown? Pack them and get ready to make some delicious pancakes! Just be sure to pack a griddle or a cast-iron skillet that you can cook them in.

Giant Cinnamon Roll – Here’s a recipe the kids can help with that will make everyone’s tummies rumble. All you’ll need is some parchment paper, a cast-iron Dutch oven, refrigerated cinnamon rolls, and some hot coals!

supplies to make campfire apple pies, bread, stewed apples, pie irons all on a red checkered picnic table

Campfire Apple Pie – With just two ingredients, Campfire Apple Pies are super simple and extra delicious. Especially if you make your own apple pie filling! Plus, kids love using the pie iron to cook these over the fire!

Baked Bananas – A delicious and healthy way to start your morning at the campsite, Baked Bananas are fairly simple to toss together and get cooking over the campfire or on a portable grill. This recipe has them being cooked at home, but I’ve done this at the campfire by wrapping the bananas in tinfoil and setting them over a low flame.

Peanut Butter Protein Balls – These are no-bake and ready in 15 minutes, so perfect to bring along on a camping trip!

Breakfast Breads and Muffins

I love make-ahead meals! And camping make-ahead meals are no exception. Breads and muffins are a perfect and easy camping breakfast option! Simply make a batch of muffins ahead of time and freeze them to keep other foods cold in the cooler for a day or two while they thaw.

Go ahead and make a batch of your family’s favourite muffin recipe or try something new!

Muffins: So many to choose from! Our favourites are banana chocolate chip, blueberry with brown sugar on top and morning glory muffins – full of all sorts of great things!

Cinnamon raisin bread: toasted with butter, so good!

Fruit Loaves: Zucchini, banana, cranberry, pumpkin, etc.

Toast: So simple! Peanut butter, jam, honey, easy!

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Muffins – Two fruit flavors that are a wonderful mix have to be blueberry and lemon! Try making and freezing these muffins for a fast and tasty camping breakfast.

If you’d prefer to make your bread right over the campfire, give this one a try!

Damper – A traditional Australian bread that is easy to make at the campsite, try a Damper and learn some history while you’re at it!

Hearty Breakfast Ideas

Feeling a little more ambitious? These hearty hot breakfasts may take a smidge more time if you’re making them on-site, but they will be well worth your time and effort.

Basic Bacon and Eggs: A traditional hearty breakfast without much work (if you pre-cook the bacon at home!)

Campfire Frittata: Grab your cast iron skillet, some eggs, cubed ham, chopped onion and bell peppers, spinach, and your favourite cheese. Drizzle some olive oil to sauté the onion and peppers first, then mix everything together and cook over the open flame.

Breakfast Burger, Burrito, or Sandwich: Whatever you call it, the basic recipe is the same – Bread, buns, or flour tortillas with scrambled or fried egg, bacon, sausage, or ham, and cheese inside.  Always yummy!

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast Skillet – An all-in-one pan delight that will fill hungry bellies for hours!

ham and eggs in muffin tins cooking over a campfire
A simple, but hearty breakfast cooked right over an open flame!

Campfire Egg Cups with Ham – An easy recipe to customize and so simple to make (even the kids can help!). Use an aluminum muffin tin to cook these over an open fire.  Oh, and they’re great for supper too!

Broccoli Egg Bites – Tasty whether eaten hot or cold, broccoli egg bites are a make-ahead, savory snack that will give you a boost of nutrients, too!

Make-Ahead Scrambled Egg Muffins – Another make-ahead breakfast idea, these egg muffins are easily customized to your taste. You can even make different flavors all at once to add lots of variety!

Healthy Vegetarian Greek Breakfast Egg Muffins – Here’s a scrumptious Greek version of egg muffins that is sure to add some flavor to your morning.

Bacon or Sausage, Eggs, and Toast – A simple made on-site breakfast, even this one can be simplified. As I mentioned before, you can crack your eggs and put them in a water bottle for easy scrambling, the bacon and sausage can be cookied ahead and reheated in a skillet (save that grease!), and toast can be made on the camp stove or over the campfire.

Backpacking Breakfast – Cheesy Bacon Grits. Yummy. An excellent choice for on-the-go hikers and campers!

Tailgate Breakfast Tacos – Easily adapted for the campsite, slice your peppers and crack your eggs before you leave home and this breakfast will come together quickly.

Skillet Breakfast – I recommend some prep with this one to cut down on the time, but with a nice, hot fire, this one-pot breakfast will come together quickly. Eggs, peppers, potatoes, and bacon are such a tasty combination!

Huevos Rancheros with Chorizo – A colorful and protein-packed breakfast that will be a perfect taste excursion from your everyday breakfast items!

Mountain Man Breakfast – A filling option consisting of eggs, ground sausage, potatoes (regular, sweet, or hash browns all work), and cheese, a Mountain Man Breakfast will fill you up, but will take some time to cook, so be prepared.

camping breakfast in a paper bag over the coals
Breakfast in a paper bag by Let’s Camp S’more

Breakfast in a Bag – A fun idea that doesn’t use any dishes (bonus!). Breakfast in a Bag is delicious and a simple bacon, eggs, and cheese meal that cooks over hot coals in a paper bag!

Campfire Breakfast Burritos – Breakfast Burritos can be made ahead completely, wrapped up in foil, and reheated over a campfire. You can also scramble the eggs ahead of time and toss them in a plastic bag for the cooler to use as-needed.

Camp Kitchen Considerations and FAQs

If you’re in an RV, you don’t have to worry about a stove and refrigeration (probably). For those of us who love (or are willing to endure) a hardier form of camping, let’s think through the kitchen situation.

No Refrigeration?

My first suggestion is to be sure to invest in an excellent cooler. Read those reviews and find one that stays cool for a long time. Also, I recommend finding one that has a spigot on the bottom so you can easily drain the water that accumulates from melting ice (and for easier cleaning). Check that cooler often and make sure everything is staying nice and cold! If you want to be extremely precise, invest in a thermometer so you can monitor those temps.

The second recommendation is to find alternatives to having to use a cooler. Especially for items that would be a huge issue if they spoiled or would take up a lot of space in a cooler.

I’m talking powdered items that come to life with a little water, for example, Powdered Milk – If mixed correctly, your kids can’t tell that you’re using powdered milk instead of fresh milk in the cereal. Just be aware, once reconstituted, the milk has to be refrigerated. So be sure to make just what you need or you’ll be cooling it anyway. But you can definitely store it in smaller glass containers and it will take up less space in the cooler, so it is still a great alternative!

READ MORE: All about keeping foods cold when camping without a refrigerator here.

How will you cook breakfast?

The next challenge is the cooking. It’s likely that you are cooking over an open fire, on a camp stove, or on a single butane burner (because, remember, if you have the luxury of all amenities in an RV, you’re skipping this section).

A campfire will allow everyone to cook their own food as they like it. Pop some toast in a toaster basket and throw it over the flame for a few minutes and it’s done. Easy peasy. There are also lots of foil-wrapped meals that can be cooked in the hot coals.

The downside to a campfire is that the heat can be inconsistent and if your wood is wet, you are out of luck. Keeping a fire going can be a challenge, so make sure you’re up for it! And, in the morning, some campers don’t enjoy waiting the time needed to get the fire going properly for cooking.

a frypan and kettle on a propane camping stove
Campsite Breakfast Setup: frypan and coffee maker on the stove

A camp stove is a great way to have more consistent cooking capabilities. With two burners, you can heat more than one thing at once, which will make a meal take shape much quicker. It also has a natural enclosure which will help keep wind from killing the flame.

The downside to a camp stove is that they tend to be rather large and cumbersome plus they require fuel which you will have to purchase separately. While they are safer in terms of starting fires in the wilderness, they aren’t nearly as cozy and nostalgic as drinking your coffee by the campfire. 

A single butane burner will be lighter in weight, for sure, but be sure to purchase a wind screen, too. Nothing kills breakfast quicker than a burner that won’t stay lit.

What are some no cook camping breakfast meal ideas?

As mentioned above, cereal, granola, yogurt, fruit (fresh and dried), and bagels with peanut butter are great options.

READ MORE: If you’re looking for more no cook camping meal ideas, click here!

What breakfast ideas have more protein?

Eggs, Greek yogurt, hard cheese, meats, and some milk powders will have a full serving of protein. You can also increase the protein content of breakfast by adding seeds and nuts to the top of your toast, yogurt, oatmeal.

What is a good breakfast protein beside eggs?

Here are some ways and examples of high protein breakfast food ideas:

  1. Find heartier breads with a higher protein count (look at whole grains and sprouted wheat options), then spread them with nut butters and a sprinkling of seeds and nuts on top
  2. Greek yogurt (check the protein content), top it with seeds and nuts (chia, pumpkin, almond, shredded coconut, etc.)
  3. Sprinkle granola, extra seeds and nuts on top of your chopped fresh fruit
  4. Add a few slices of hard cheese to your breakfast
  5. Make ahead sandwiches or wraps with cooked turkey or chicken, cheese, and avocado
  6. Cook up some breakfast meats: bacon, sausage, ham
  7. Have a few pieces of beef jerky with your morning meal
  8. Prepare a batch of your favourite protein balls
  9. Bring along some granola bars higher in protein. Clif bars (chocolate chip or fudge) are our favourite!

I hope you have found some helpful tips and tasty and easy breakfast ideas to try on your next camping trip. Happy camping (and eating)!

And, if you found this article helpful, you’ll want to read this one next: Easy Camping Lunch Ideas!


For more information on getting more protein in your breakfast, see Canada’s Food Guide Here.

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