Whether it’s hiking, exploring the area or just chasing after toddlers, it’s easy to work up an appetite while camping. So meals and snacks are a crucial part of the planning, prepping and packing for any trip.

And there’s nothing worse than preparing that recipe you found on Pinterest only to discover it’s a total flop while hungry campers look on.

So when stuck at home dreaming of future camping trips I try to test some of those recipes, hopefully avoiding any campsite disappointments.

With the cracking open of a fresh calendar comes the urge to eat better, exercise more and hold oneself more accountable. There’s something about “January 1” that encourages us to hit the reset button, especially after the most indulgent month of the year. A bit cliché but we do seem hardwired for this annual aspiration for self-improvement.


In this spirit, I’ll save my S’mores recipe for another time, and feature my favorite homemade treat that is a healthier alternative to store bought snacks for my first “Camping Recipe Test Kitchen” post. My kids love these and don’t stray far from the kitchen in hopes of becoming official tasters.


It’s by no means low calorie, but you have control of what ingredients you include and each ingredient is easily pronounced. They are convenient and can give that burst of energy your tiny adventures, and you, may need. The only downside to these snacks is their need for refrigeration, unlike their store bought cousins. When camping I throw them in a big ziplock and place them on top in the cooler.

They go by many names on Pinterest, Energy Bites, Granola balls but search for any combination of these words and an onslaught of no bake snacks will fill your feed. I first discovered them on Gimmie Some Oven and my recipe is a variation of her No Bake Energy Bite. (Her pictures are beautiful too!)


Energy Bites (Store Bought Granola Bar Alternative)

I’m featuring a very basic version but there are a ton of variations to tailor to your family’s likes/dislikes, dietary restrictions


1 cup uncooked oatmeal

1/3 cup coconut

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine all ingredients, mix well. Cover and let chill for 30 minutes then roll into desired size balls, I make mine pretty small to accommodate a two year old. Store in airtight container, they should last about approx. a week.