What Should Be In Every Camping Cooler: A Comprehensive List

So you’re planning on camping this weekend? Camping is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There’s just one problem: what do you pack in your cooler for food and drinks? We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of items that should be included in every camping cooler, so you can spend more time enjoying nature and less time thinking about what to bring!

What Should Be In Every Camping Cooler: A Comprehensive List

It is just about that time to hit the great outdoors! Let’s all start planning those great vacations, down to the detailed list of what we will be packing in our camper’s cooler!

What Should Be In Every Camper’s Cooler

It is camping season, finally! Grab the tent and sleeping bags, insect repellent and the hammock, of course. Don’t forget the cooler filled with yummy treats and drinks. Here is what should be in every camper’s cooler.

First of all, you should really have TWO coolers – one for your food and one for your drinks. This is the best way to keep your food fresh and also have something cold to drink when you get thirsty.

You are going to want plenty of drinks. It is important not to skimp on the water, but other beverages should be included in your camping cooler. Think iced tea and lemonade for those hot summer days or even juice.

Other ideas:

  • Iced coffee and Almond Milk
  • Lemonade, Limeade, or Orange Juice
  • Vodka to add to the lemonade or limeade. Use Grapefruit Vodka for an extra awesome drink.
  • Craft Beer like Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Alaskan Brewing Freeride IPA, 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon, or Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale

Before we dive in, let’s talk about what NOT to put into a camping cooler? Any type of canned or bottled drinks – they are heavy (plus it will ruin the insulation of your cooler), any fatty foods like fried chicken or potato salad? They will really go bad in the heat.


Coleman 100 Quart Xtreme® 5-Day Cooler

The Basics for Your Camping Cooler

Headed out for a weekend of fun, whether it is to the beach or into the wilderness, you will need to pack a few of the basics. Eating out can be expensive, and quite frankly, you might not be able to if you are out in the middle of nowhere. Start with what your family likes to eat and build from there. Here are some of the basics to get you started.

  • Veggies cut up – carrots, celery, cauliflower, and broccoli
  • Hummus
  • Fresh fruit cut up – watermelon, strawberries, melon, and oranges
  • Fresh fruit ready to eat – blueberries, blackberries, bananas, and apples
  • Peanut Butter
  • Eggs, bacon, and tortillas for a hearty breakfast
  • Bread


Portable Plastic Egg Storage for Camping

Now you might not eat all that fruit, but it is better to have healthy snacks than not. Oh, and if you really did bring too much, toss them into a pitcher with a bottle of white wine for fresh sangria!

The Extras

The extra stuff you toss in your cooler is where you kick it up a notch. This is especially true with the drinks and the fun snacks that might not be the most nutritious for us. But seriously, how can you go camping and not have tortilla chips and salsa with a good craft beer?

  • Tortilla Chips and fresh salsa or guacamole. OK, the chips don’t have to go in but the dips should.
  • Cheddar cheese chunks and cut up sausage
  • Turkey or chicken sliced meat with cream cheese spread topped with spinach and sliced cucumbers, then rolled up.
  • Pickles!
  • Bag of ice

These are just a few items that should be in everyone’s cooler. When camping or hanging out at the lake, you want to make sure you have good protein, healthy fruits and veggies, plus other items that you might crave like pickles or chips. Having base juices that you can make other things with is also essential.


The Go Plate-Clear-10 Pack

Obviously, you will need ice packs to keep your food and drinks cold. Have one or two for every day of camping!

Keep items that are often forgotten in a separate container so they don’t get crushed by blocks of ice: condiments, spices, mixers etc.

Make sure you have a good variety of food to keep everyone happy. Camping is all about getting away from the hustle and bustle, so enjoy nature with some nourishment!

What is going in your cooler on your next camping trip?

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

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