Camping Pantry Staples - 20 Items You Should Always Have On Hand

Having a well-stocked and basic camping pantry can be a huge help when traveling.  There are several items that we keep in our RV all of the time.  These are basics that won't spoil and provide you with the start of a simple meal or stretch leftovers.  Plus, cooking on the road is much better with the basics already in place.  What are my camping pantry staples?

Camping Pantry Staples - 20 Items You Should Always Have On Hand

I quickly learned in our RV travels, that there are some home essentials that I just can't live without.  If you are going to cook at the campground, you need to be equipped to do the job.  You are going to need more than just utensils, pots, and pans.  There are 20 items that I keep in our pantry all of the time.  I would recommend stocking up on these items too!

Meal Starters

Sometimes my meal plans fall short or a day runs long.  When we need something quick for a meal, I have several items that we can just grab and pair with fresh fruit, cheese, or other perishable items that we might have in our fridge.  

Peanut Butter


Quinoa Enchilada Casserole from Damn Delicious  - You can make this casserole ahead of time and freeze it for a last minute meal.  This is also a favorite at the lake or on at the end of a long day!  Just thaw during the day and cook that night!

Instant Oatmeal Cups - If you are packing to leave on the middle of a cross country trip, these breakfast options come in their own cook and can go in the microwave or work with hot water.  

Tuna - Get the seasoned tuna packets that are shelf stable.  These are perfect with crackers, on lettuce for a salad or plain with apple slices.  

Soup - Keep a can or two in your pantry and serve with grilled cheese or crackers!

Spices and Seasonings

While camping I rely on seasonings that pack a big punch and seasoning blends.  I can't pack every spice that I have in my home kitchen.  So, I a much more strategic and stream lined kitchen on the road.  I also pre-mix some seasoning blends ahead of time if I am planning for something really specific.  Aside from the pre-determined seasoning mix, I keep a few simple spices that work for lots of dishes.

Hot Sauce - This is a staple item that we eat on just about everything from eggs to fish and everything in between.  

Salsa - We use salsa on eggs, tacos, nachos, burgers and chips.  Mix it with sour cream for a dip.  But overall, it is a versatile way to season food at the campground.

All-purpose seasoning blend - I use Shapley's seasoning as my all purpose way to season eggs, potatoes, grits, fish, chicken and burgers.  But, you can choose any all purpose blend that would meet your flavor profile preferences.

Salt - A good basic salt will go a long way.  And if you want to take it up a notch, throw in a container of smoked salt to finish dishes.  

Cooking Basics

Other basics that you will need in your RV kitchen are the items you will use every day.  These are basically non-negotiable items for my kitchen both at home and in my rv.

Olive Oil - And brand or variety will do.  But this will work for cooking potatoes, meats or anything really.  Its an all purpose tool you just need.

Cooking Spray

Self Rising Flour - I use self rising flour to make my two ingredient biscuits.  This recipe uses a southern white wheat flour.  So, I keep the brand I normally use in our RV.  If I decide to make these, I can pick up a container or heavy cream or keep one packed in my RV fridge.



Evaporated Milk - I use this as coffee creamer, it can be used for cooking and more.  Its just practical to have a can or two in your RV.  If you make cobbler, use this as a topping.  You.  Are.  Welcome!

Nice Extras

I consider this last group as my icing on the cake.  If you need a few fillers or a dessert one night, these items will make it work!  

Soy Sausage (frozen) - This may seem like a cheat item because it isn't technically in the pantry, but its not really.  I don't always think to get a breakfast meat for meals.  Or I just need a little protein with breakfast.  Either way, we always have these on hand.  They won't spoil and travel great.  

Puff Pastry - If you want to make a quick and fun dessert at the campground, pie irons are perfect.  You just need a little puff pastry and canned pie filling to make this work!  Again, not cheating.  I just keep a box in our RV freezer.

Pie Filling

Crackers -  From serving with tuna, peanut butter or soup, we use crackers as another staple in our RV.  Plus, we always have cheese or some type of spread.  You just always need a box of crackers.

I've created a quick, printable Camping Pantry Staples list for you to use.  It includes the link to that delicious Enchilada Casserole Bake that we love on the road.  If you have some pantry staples that you can't live without, I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time...Happy Camping!

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