When it comes to camping, one of the things we love most about it is the food. You’ve probably heard someone (or us) say before that everything tastes better when you’re in the outdoors, and it’s absolutely true. But the one meal that really trumps them all while camping is breakfast. There’s something about waking up at sunrise, stepping out of your tent into the brisk morning air and cooking up a warm and hearty breakfast.
It may be because we’re starved from a full day of hiking the day before or maybe the beauty of the morning sun helps us appreciate our food more. Or maybe it’s because breakfast is the one meal during a camping trip where we get to have our freshly brewed cup of pour over coffee. You can learn more about that here.
But whatever it is, we really do love breakfast while camping. And to help you see where we’re coming from, we’ve put together a guide on how to make the camping breakfast of your dreams, so that you can also have an amazing breakfast while camping.
Five Pillars of Great Breakfast While Camping
Before diving into the five pillars of great breakfast while camping, we would like to point out that this guide for breakfast while camping is meant for car camping. Some call it convenience camping and some might even call it glamping, but this is not necessarily for backpacking or hardcore thru-hiking which both take weight heavily into consideration.
Easy to Make (and Eat)
One of the most important pillars of great camping breakfast is that your breakfast is both easy to make and easy to eat. Oftentimes breakfast is one of the last meals of the trip, so you’ll most likely be pulling from the last bits of your food supply. As a result, you’ll want to make sure the ingredients needed for your camping breakfast meal can stand up to a couple days of being in the cooler. In addition, you’ll want to use ingredients that can be used completely. The last thing you want is a half-empty carton of eggs or container of oatmeal with just a little left. Because at the end of the trip you’ll have to pack it out and that’s one more thing to worry about.
Making it easy to eat is also important because if it’s difficult to eat, having breakfast will feel a little more like a burden rather than a joy. This also plays into the next pillar of making it easy to clean up.
Easy to Clean Up
When out camping, you don’t necessarily have access to the luxuries of home like a full sink to wash dishes or even the right sized plates or utensils for your job, so you’ll want to definitely make sure that your breakfast is easy to clean up.
We like to cook meals that can usually be done in one pot or pan and leaves little food waste. We follow Leave No Trace guidelines where we can so the less waste we have, the better. The best version of this is when you cook a meal and your pot or pan is already clean when you’re done cooking!
This doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn't have foods like scrambled eggs that are generally more difficult to clean, but it does mean you should plan ahead and also use the right cookware that doesn’t stick!
Pillar number three is that you want to make sure that your camping breakfast is nutritious. When we spend time outdoors, we tend to expend more energy even if we’re just walking around the campsite. So your meals need to be more nutritious, especially breakfast because it’s the first set of nutrition you’ll get for the day ahead of you.
You’ll want to make sure you include a balance of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. A banana is a great quick meal, but it lacks the fats necessary to provide full nutrition. This also means that the best camping breakfast usually comprises more than just one simple ingredient.
When you think of the breakfast of your dreams, rarely does it end at just a bagel and cream cheese or a singular CLIF Bar (which we love). It’s more complete than that. It’s a full meal with not just the food we love, but the hot beverages we love!
For us, that’s a freshly brewed cup of pour over coffee. It tastes incredible, the beverage warms you up on a chilly morning and it’s the perfect complement to delicious breakfast foods. A toasted egg, bacon and cheese breakfast sandwich with a cup of coffee? Now that’s a complete breakfast.
Lastly, you’ll want to definitely make sure that your breakfast tastes great, at least if you want to have the camping breakfast of your dreams. A food bar or bowl of oatmeal might be convenient, but if it doesn’t taste great, is it really worth hauling it out to the woods and spending your morning cooking it? Probably not!
Our Dream Camping Breakfast
So what is our dream camping breakfast? We have two. The first is a simple sausage and pancakes, which taste great and are easy to eat. However, our ultimate camping breakfast is breakfast tacos and coffee!
Why this? Because breakfast tacos meet all the criteria in our five pillars of great breakfast while camping. You can add whatever ingredients you want and you don’t even need a plate to eat breakfast tacos, so it’s both easy to make and easy to eat.
Everything can be made in just one nonstick pan. Start with your bacon, cook your scrambled eggs in the leftover oils, and warm up your tortillas on the pan. You’re left with a clean pan at the end. Pro-tip: As you warm up your tortillas, use the tortillas to clean up any juice bits of bacon or eggs for an even easier clean up.
Breakfast tacos are nutritious and include a healthy amount of fats, carbs and protein, so you’ll be ready to take on the day. It’s a complete breakfast because of all of the simple ingredients. You can make it even more complete by sprinkling on some cheese or adding a hash brown or two.
And lastly, it’s incredibly tasty! Just imagine mouthwatering bacon, soft scrambled eggs and cheese wrapped in warm tortilla, then followed by a sip of Kuju Coffee...now that’s the ultimate camping breakfast of our dreams.