Awesome Kayak Camping Food Ideas

When you are out kayaking, it typically is a long day, so you need to have food with you. However, what type of food should you have? Should it be cooked or non-cooked? We all address all the food-related queries in this article. When you are done reading this guide, you will know the type of food that is good for kayaking.

Kayaking Campsite

Kayak Food Ideas

When you go kayaking, you won’t be able to bring your whole kitchen with you. Normally, you want to keep the food as simple as possible. Below we have shared some amazing non-cooking ideas that just require a bit of preparation and no cooking at all:

  • Smoked salmon bagel
  • Hummus-stuffed pitas
  • White bean and tuna salad
  • Greek Salad

Later on, we will also discuss basic cooking ideas such as:

  • Tinfoil camping meal
  • Beef stew
  • Camping Pizza
  • Campfire fajitas

Smoked Salmon Bagel

Smoked salmon bagel

We begin with the smoked salmon bagel; this is a bagel club sandwich with layers of delicious ingredients such as purple onion, capers, and flavored cream cheese. This is a quick fix for lunch. With this recipe, you can yield one serving:

Tools Required

  • Set of measuring spoons
  • Swiss Knife or other types of knife
  • Spatula


  • Drained Capers: ½ tsp.
  • Red Onion: Three thin rings
  • Smoked Salmon (Thin sliced): Three ounces
  • English Cucumber (Thinly Sliced): Three ounces
  • Chive Cream Cheese: Two tbsp.
  • Pumpernickel: One
  • Plain Bagel: Six ounces (Optional)


  • Cut the bagel in half and spread cream cheese on the halves.
  • Put capers, red onion, cucumber, smoked salmon on top of the cream cheese on one half.
  • Set the other half of the bagel on the side of the cheese-layered half.

White Bean and Tuna Salad

White bean salad meal

You will need to prepare the white bean salad and tuna over mixed greens, or you can even turn this salad into a delicious sandwich. Mash the white beans, and spread them on four wholegrain pitas. Put the remaining ingredients in the pita.

Tools Required

  • Large Bowl
  • Swiss Knife or other types of knife
  • Set of measuring spoons


  • White Beans can (Rinsed/Dried): Two fifteen ounces cans
  • Light Tuna (Packed in water/Drained): One fifteen ounce can
  • Cherry Tomatoes (Halved): Two cups
  • Shallot (Finely Chopped): One
  • Fresh Parsley (Finely Chopped): ¼ cup
  • Olive Oil: Three tbsp.
  • Lemon Juice: Three tbsp.
  • Pepper and Salt: Quantity up to you


  • Take a large bowl and combine all the ingredients (beans, tomatoes, salmon, olive, tuna, parsley, and shallot).
  • Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil in the bowl over the ingredients.
  • Toss the ingredients thoroughly, season with pepper and salt, and serve it with mixed greens.

Hummus-Stuffed Pita

Stuffed pitta sandwich

You can also make this delicious hummus-stuffed pita when on a kayaking trip. The recipe given below can serve four individuals.

Tools Required

  • Swiss Knife or other types of knife
  • Set of measuring spoons


  • Whole Wheat Pita (Six Inch Diameter): Two
  • Prepared Roasted Garlic Hummus: Four tbsp.
  • Fat-Free Plain Yoghurt: Four tbsp.
  • Dried Oregano: ¼ tsp.
  • Ground Black Pepper: Quantity depends on you
  • Small Seedless Cucumber (Peeled/Chopped): ½
  • Small Red Onion (Thinly Sliced): ½
  • Reduced-Fat Feta Cheese (Crumbled): ¼
  • Spinach Leaves or Lettuce (Shredded): Four
  • Fresh Hot Peppers or Sliced Bottled: Optional


  • Cut the pita bread into two halves.
  • Spread one tsp. of yogurt and hummus on each half of the pita bread.
  • Season the pita bread lightly with black pepper and oregano.
  • Stuff the bread with hot peppers, lettuce, cheese, onion, and cucumber.

Greek Salad

Greek salad

When you are on a kayaking trip, you can also try to make the Greek salad. The recipe given below can serve four individuals.

Tools Required

  • Large and small bowl
  • Set of measuring spoons
  • Swiss Knife


  • Cherry Tomatoes or Grape: One pt.
  • Cucumber: One
  • Kalamata Olives: One
  • Red Onion: ½
  • Crumbled Feta Cheese: 3/4


  • Red Wine Vinegar: Quantity depends on you
  • Lemon Juice: ½
  • Dried Oregano: ½ tsp.
  • Kosher Salt: Quantity depends on you
  • Black Pepper: Quantity depends on you
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: ¼


  • Prepare all the ingredients (You can also do this at home).
  • Slice the cucumber in any shape you like.
  • Then, slice the olives, cherry tomatoes, and red onion into thin pieces.
  • Slice the lemon in half.
  • Take a large-sized bowl combine red onion, olives, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes in it.
  • Combine lemon juice, oregano, vinegar, and add salt and pepper seasoning in a small-sized bowl. Add olive oil and then whisk the mixture.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the salad.

Below we have discussed some basic cooking ideas:

Campfire Fajitas

Campfire Fajitas

This is one of the easiest snacks that you can make for dinner. The recipe given below can serve up to four individuals.

Tools Required

  • Bowls
  • Set of measuring spoons
  • Knives
  • Cooking grate
  • Frying Pan
  • Stove


  • Skirt Steak (Trim the access fat off the steak): Two pounds
  • Avocado (Large): One
  • Beefsteak Tomato (Large): One
  • Jalapeno: One
  • Fresh Cilantro (Bunch): One
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Block of cheese or Shredded): ½ pounds
  • Tortillas: Quantity depends on you
  • Bell Peppers or Onions: Optional


  • Lime Juice: ¼ cup
  • Water: ½ cup
  • Cloves Garlic (Crushed): Four
  • Olive Oil: Two tbsp.
  • Soy Sauce: Two tbsp.
  • Salt: One tsp.
  • Black Pepper: One tsp.
  • Cayenne Pepper: ½ tsp.


  • Make the marinade combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. You can also marinade the fajita meat in Ziploc bags.
  • Let the steaks marinate for at least two hours. If you can leave them overnight, that would be better.
  • Slice the avocado and tomato into small cubes.
  • Slice the jalapeno into thin slices.
  • Pull off the cilantro leaves (Ensure the quantity is enough for the tacos)
  • Take the meat out of the marinade toss it in the grate (Pre-heat the grate).
  • Thoroughly brown each side of the meat.
  • Medium or medium-well should be good enough for the meat.
  • Once the meat is cooked, take it off the grate and let it sit for up to five minutes.
  • While the meat rests, toss the tortillas on the grate.
  • Slice the cooked meat and keep the slices as thin as possible.
  • You can also add bell peppers and onions.

Campfire Pizza

campfire pizza

We are certain you like pizza; who doesn’t, right? Therefore, we have given below a delicious pizza recipe. This pizza recipe can serve up to four individuals.

Tools Required

  • Charcoal Grill
  • Set of measuring spoons
  • Swiss Knife
  • Frying Pan
  • Stove


  • Olive Oil: Three tbsp.
  • Baked Pizza Crust (Ten to Eleven Inches): One
  • Onions (Thinly Sliced): Two
  • Bulk Italian Sausages: Eight Ounces
  • Salt: ¼ tsp.
  • Pepper: ¼ tsp.
  • Thyme Leaves: One tbsp.
  • Pizza Sauce (Homemade or Store-bought): ½ cup
  • Fontina Cheese (Coarsely Shredded): Six ounces (1 ½ cup)
  • Parmesan Cheese (Grated): Two tbsp.
  • Oregano Leaves (Fresh): One tbsp.


  • Heat the charcoal grill to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the camp stove and use medium heat.
  • Take a large frying pan, and place it on the heat. Once the pan is hot, oil the sides and the bottom.
  • Toast the pizza crust press down on the sides until golden and crunchy. This process should take four to five minutes. Once done, transfer the crust to a cutting board.
  • Stoke the fire and add up to two tbsp. Of oil to the pan. Then add other ingredients such as thyme, pepper, salt, sausages, and onions.
  • Stir the onions until they have a medium golden brown color and a soft texture.
  • Once down, pour the onion mixture into a bowl.
  • Take the remaining oil, and brush the pan. Place the crust in the pan to ensure the toasted side is up. Spoon on two-thirds of the onion mixture and pizza sauce, followed by oregano, onion mixture, and cheese.
  • Place the pan on the heat cover it with a lid until the cheese melts. This process should take three to five minutes.
  • Once the pizza is done, transfer it to a cutting board.

Beef Stew

Beef Stew on campfire

This is the benevolent king of stews. This dish contains chunks of tender potatoes and beef, covered in a rich and thick brown gravy. This dish will bring joy to your kayaking trip, especially if the weather is cold and chilly. The recipe discussed below can serve six to eight individuals.

Tools Required

  • Wood Stir
  • Set of measuring spoons
  • Knives
  • Frying Pan
  • Stove


  • Beef Chuck (Cut into Large Pieces): Two pounds
  • Flour: ¼ cup
  • Butter: Two tbsp.
  • Olive Oil: Two tbsp.
  • Onion (Large/Chopped): One
  • Diced Tomatoes Can: One (14.5 ounces)
  • Carrots (Small to medium/Cut into large chunks): 12
  • Dried Thyme: One tsp.
  • Dried Rosemary: One tsp.
  • Red Wine (Dry): 1 ½ cups
  • Beef Stock or Water: Two cups


  • Season the beef with pepper and salt. Put the meat in the flour coat the meat thoroughly.
  • Take a large pan, and place it over the heat.
  • Add olive oil and butter to the pan.
  • Put the beef in the pan and sear for a few minutes until it is brown.
  • Remove the beef from the pan and let it sit for a bit.
  • Add onion and garlic to the pan and let it cook for about five minutes until the onions have a soft texture. Add stock, wine, herbs, carrots, and tomatoes to the pan. Add the beef again to the pan.
  • Let the stew boil.
  • Simmer the stew for about thirty minutes until the beef develops a tender texture.

Tin Foil Camping Meals

Tin Foil camping meal

The tin foil camping meals are the true spirit of camping, and the good thing is, they are easy to prepare. Kayakers love the thin foil camping meals more than traditional meals because they taste good and are easy to make. Below we have discussed the classic hamburger tin foil dinner. This recipe can serve on one person.


  • Hamburger: 1/3 to 1/2 pounds
  • Cabbage Leaves (Whole): Four to Five
  • Hashbrown Potatoes (Diced): One cup
  • Corn and Peas (Frozen): ½ cup
  • Whole carrot (Sliced/1/4 inch thickness): One
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning: To taste
  • Pepper and Salt: To Taste
  • Margarine or Butter: One tbsp.
  • Other Veggies: Green Beans, Sweet Peppers, Onions, etc.


  • Place a double layer of cabbage leaves and the frozen vegetables on the bun.
  • Next, put the hamburger on top of the vegetables, followed by butter, salt, pepper, and Montreal steak seasoning.
  • Top the ingredients with more cabbage leaves.
  • Place the burger foils on mature coals (Not on flames, as the burger will burn instantly).
  • Let the burger cook for half an hour.

Kitchen Equipment for Kayak Food

When you go for a kayaking trip and plan to make kayak food, you need something to generate heat. Typically, a campfire is a warm and relaxing place where people sit and share stories. However, here are a few good quality stoves that you can take with you:

1. Propane Stove by Coleman Classic

This stove is manufactured by Coleman Classic and comes with a unique green camp. This stove has been a mainstay of camping grounds for generations. The stove is sturdy, perfectly on the table, and reliable.

This stove can cook scrambled eggs simmering soups and offers a low flame. To prolong the life of this top-quality product, you should keep it clean and regularly wipe the spills.

2. Tupike Stove by Primus

This stove by Primus is well made, compact, and lightweight. This product is easy to carry, easy to clean, and is made of stainless steel material. This stove has 7000 BTUs and is perfect for low heat cooking.

The Primus stove does well in windy conditions and comes with a wire latch that holds windscreens in place.

3. Party Grill 400 CV by Campingaz

This party grill manufactured by Campingaz weighs approximately 4.66 kilograms and comes with one burner. This product is powered by propane or gas canisters and comes with a grill, piezo ignition, pan, skillet, and a carrying bag. This stove is highly versatile and is compatible with all types of cooking.

4. Combi IR Grill Cooker by Vango

This beautiful grill cooker is also a stove and is manufactured by Vango. Although this product weighs only 4.83 kilograms, it comes with a grill tray and piezo ignition switch. This stove is powered by propane or butane canisters and has a pair of burners. While this stove is a bit heavy, it is still easy to carry and won’t strain your body.

5. Folding Gas Stove by Vango

Vango also manufactures this folding gas-powered stove, and it runs on either propane or butane mini gas canisters. This stove comes with a regulator, a carry box, and a gas hose. While this stove doesn’t have the piezo ignition switch, it is still compatible with all types of cooking. This stove is also foldable, making it easy to carry and store.

Frequently Asked Questions

What other food items should you take for Kayaking?

There is a good chance that you will get hungry when you head out kayaking. You might dig your teeth into a snack or something else. When planning your kayaking trip, look for food items that come with simple ingredients and are:

  • Calorie dense
  • Non-perishable
  • Easy to pack

So, what type of kayak food should you take on the trip? Here are some great options:

Pre-packaged Meat

Pre-packaged meat that comes in foil packets is the best. You can easily buy chicken, crab, tuna, and salmon. While canned varieties of beef are slightly heavier, you can take them as well.

Instant Oatmeal

For instant oatmeal, you need to add boiling water to the oatmeal, and you will get a delicious meal just moments later.

Pre-Cooked Grains and Beans

Get items like beans, couscous, and rice pre-cooked and sealed in foil packaging. Try to buy pre-cooked things that are ready in two to three minutes.

Preserved Meats like Summer Sausage and Pepperoni

Cut up the pepperoni and sausages and mix them with rice, soups, or pasta.


Opt for small-sized pasta because they are compact and easy to cook.

Beef Jerky

The beef jerky is a delicious snack; however, you can add it to rice, pasta, and soup. Ensure that you add the jerky to hot water while cooking it, so it softens up.

Nut Butter

Spread the nut butter on a piece of bread or tortilla. You can also sprinkle some granola on the nut butter to make a delicious snack.

Dried Fruit

Calorie-dense and lightweight, dried fruits are a great addition to a snack, trail mix, or granolas.

Premixed Season Packets

These packets will make it easier to add flavors to your food.

How do you come up with Kayak Food Recipes?

If you have the right ingredients, it is extremely easy to make your food on a kayaking trip. All you need to do is:

  • Pick a carbohydrate
  • Pick some vegetables
  • Pick a protein
  • Pick a seasoning
  • Cook all the ingredients in a pot

This is a recipe that you can make on your own:

  • Chicken (foil packet ones)
  • Lemon pepper seasoning packet
  • Dried vegetables

Mix all these ingredients, and you will have a delicious meal in no time.

How to Keep Bears at Bay during a Kayaking Campfire?

You probably don’t want to interact with bears on a kayaking trip. There are a few things you need to consider to keep bears at bay:

  • Use a bear bag or canister to keep the food away from the bear’s reach.
  • Dispose of the food scraps or burn them far away from the campsite.
  • Wash the dishes away from the camp.
  • If you are in a region with bears, you should also cook your food away from the camp.

What type of Wrappings to use for Food?

Try to use biodegradable wrappings for food, especially kayaking in warm or hot weather. It is also necessary to take care of the trash and properly dispose of used containers and wrappers.

How Much Water to keep for the Kayaking Trip?

This depends on the weather; if the weather is hot, you will sweat alone and need to drink a lot of water. Experts also recommend bringing salty food on a kayaking trip since humans lose a lot of salt in hot weather. Try to carry a filtration system with you or additional pure water bottles. You can also bring a bottle or two of wine with you.

Is it Important to take Food on a Kayaking Trip?

Should you be bringing food on a kayaking trip? Yes, because kayaking is a physical sport, you need an energy source to refuel your body. Try to take with you plenty of drinks and packed food to boost your body’s energy levels easily.

Before going on a kayaking trip, prepare the food and pack it properly. Try to put them in containers that come with a lid. Please bring as much food as possible, as you will need to eat a lot.

Accessories and Clothing for a Kayaking Trip?

Keep these general tips in mind for your kayaking accessories and clothing:

  • Dress in layers: The upper portion of your body should be covered in several layers of clothes. However, you only need to do this in cold weather. This layer of clothing will protect you from the cold and chilly weather and keep you warm.
  • Dress according to the water temperature: You need to dress according to the water temperature regardless of the air temperature. On a few occasions, the temperature in the water is colder than the air temperature. Therefore, you need to prepare for the cold water temperature.
  • Don’t wear cotton: Cotton is efficient at absorbing water, so if you put on cotton clothing, you will probably stay wet throughout the kayaking trip. Instead of cotton, wear polyester or nylon clothing. Wood is also a good alternative for cotton.
  • Put sun protection on: The sun is dangerous, even on cloudy days, and it becomes even more difficult when you are in the water. Wear UPF-rated fabrics, and apply plenty of sunscreens.
  • Wear comfy clothes: You might end up sitting in the kayak for a long period of time, so try to wear comfortable clothes before going on a kayaking trip.

Camping Gear for Kayaking?

Do you plan to camp during the kayaking trip? The good news is, when you go for a kayaking trip, you can carry a lot of gear. These are some items you should have:


If you plan on spending the night along the banks of a lake or a river, you will need some shelter. On most occasions, a one or two-person tent is good enough. This tent is also easy to pack; you can store it on the kayak. Please buy a tent that has:

  • A bug screen for ventilation and insects.
  • A built-in ground tarp and bathtub floor.
  • A fly that extends the length of a tent wall.
  • Minimal stakes, pole, and hardware so that you can easily transport the tent.


The undergarments you decide to wear should have a strong base layer, which should be able to draw sweat away from the skin. These undergarments should also provide insulation that will keep you cool. Bring several garments, and ensure they are easy to wash.

For colder weather or conditions, consider putting on a thermal undergarment. If you plan on putting on the thermal undergarment during the day, do not sleep in them to prevent sweating and dirt from entering the sleeping bag.

Sleeping Bag

Apart from the shelter, you will also need a sleeping bag. There are many sleeping bags, and each is designed for specific conditions. Since you will be transporting your camping gear to the kayak, you should bring a sleeping bag that is light in weight and easy to carry. Also, ensure that your sleeping bag is properly insulated. Your sleeping bag should have:

  • Moisture-resistant insulation
  • A liner
  • Head ventilation
  • Foot ventilation

The bag should be versatile enough to handle cool or warm conditions. You should also look to buy sleeping bags with a cushioning pad.

Floatation Bags

To stop the water from collecting in the kayak and prevent the kayaking from sinking, you should use a floatation bag. These bags will reduce the chances of the kayak flipping over and give it stability. Floatation bags are generally used in whitewater kayaks, designed to trap wind at the stern and bow.

Additional Essentials

In addition to the items listed above, there are a few additional essentials that you should bring along with you to the camping trip, such as:

  • Cockpit Covering: This covering is used to stow the camping and kayaking gear at night to stay safe from animals and remain dry.
  • Bowline: This line must tie a kayak; no matter how far you are from the shoreline, the bowline will help you anchor your kayak.
  • Duct Tape: You cannot imagine a camping trip with duct tape since it is useful and comes in handy.
  • Repair Kit: This kit should have all the necessary tools to do a quick patch job or fix a broken rudder.


In this article, we discussed eight different ideas for kayak food that you can try. Apart from that, we addressed several other queries related to kayak food and camping, such as stoves, camping gear, and how you can protect your food from bears. Please carefully read the entire article, then decide your next step.

Vanessa Hopkins

Hi, I'm Vanessa. Long-time kayaker who's proud to be part of this community. I strive to provide our visitors with insightful guides with the aim to improve their kayaking experience. I've been working with SunshineKayaking for over 5 years, providing world-class services.

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