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5 Best just add water meals for camping

Food is one of the major concerns for newbie campers. When you are hundreds of miles away from home, it’s nearly impossible to find food that satisfies your taste buds.

Also, how do you carry a giant burner stove with you to cook that delicious meal? But, you also can’t compromise on food as you need energy to camp or trek. Just add water meals for camping can be a real lifesaver in such a situation.

In this article, I am going to help you find the best ready-to-eat or just-add-hot-water meals that you can take to your trip to have the best time on your campsite. All these meals require a bit of heat and a few ounces of water and VOILÀ! Your meals are ready! At least you deserve a hot, yummy, and healthy meal after a long day of camping to keep you going!

So, what is just add water meals? Just add water meals are almost ready-to-eat foods you can carry with you during camping and only need hot water to prepare. They provide you with enough calories and daily diet essentials in the wilderness. They might not be the best tasting meals, but they sure are healthy and easy to prepare.

What if these foods do not provide you with the taste you want? That can happen many times because there are plenty of providers that sell ready-to-eat food that tastes awful.

If you are new to camping or haven’t tried a just add hot water meal yet, this article is for you. I will explore the 5 best, just add hot water meals that you can carry with you on your next camping trip.

Let’s go.

5 best just add water meals for camping

Listed below are some of the most amazing meals that you should take with you on your next trip. All you need is a stove or woods for a campfire and hot water.

#1 Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one of the easiest things to cook. Yet they don’t disappoint in terms of taste and healthiness. They are rich in potassium, carbohydrates, and vitamins as well. In the wild, they can be a good source of energy which has low calories and fats.  

Just Add Water Meals For Camping

To prepare mashed potatoes, you need to add the whole packet into a pan, place it over the fire and add water. Gently stir and let both mixes. You can add some salt, mayonnaise, and sour cream to add a little taste.

Product suggestion :  Idahoan mashed potatoes

These Idahoan mashed potatoes are popular amongst campers because of their deliciousness and ease of cooking. It has a flavor of butter that makes it taste so good. This can be used as a full course lunch or dinner meal with baked veggies and bacon.

#2 Oatmeal

Oats being rich in nutrients grain is an incredible addition to your camping meal. It is one of the most commonly used grains for breakfasts suggested by many pro campers. Oats are rich in fibers, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.

oastmeal just add water meal for camping

To prepare a delicious oatmeal breakfast, all you need to do is place 2 cups of water in a kettle on the fire and let it boil. Then, add the required quantity of packed oatmeal into it and let it sit for a few minutes for the oats to soften up. To add flavor, you can cook it in milk and add blueberries, strawberries, and dried nuts.

Product suggestion : Quacker Protein Oatmeal

You can get any instant oatmeal, but Quacker instant banana oatmeals are one of my favorite campsite food.

It is healthy and delicious due to banana nuts, walnuts, rosemary, and a handful of dried bananas. You can also find it in different flavors like cocoa, coconut, blueberries, and peanut butter.

#3 Frozen Dried Camping Meals

Frozen dried meals are amongst the most popular food options available for campers. These little packets are stuffed with varying taste and nutrients like proteins and vitamins that constitutes a full-course meal.

Whether you’re craving a good breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these dried meals have options for all. These meals are manufactured just like any other meal but are dried up completely. These foods are healthier than your regular ramen, mac, and cheese.

The best thing about these packets is that you can find anything you are looking for, from chicken to dumplings to vegetable mix to eggs and puddings.

To cook these foods, all you need is a few ounces of hot water, which you will add to the packet itself. The packet is shaped like a bowl for the ease of eating, and your food is ready.

Product suggestion : Mountain House Foods

Mountain house foods are designed to cater to the needs of campers. The most popular mountain house meal for breakfast is scrambled eggs and bacon. For dinner or lunch, campers usually prefer beef stew or chicken teriyaki with rice.

#4 Rice and cheese

While camping, you need food that is the easiest to make yet sate your appetite. Rice is the most commonly used staple food that is rich in carbohydrates, fibers, and iron. But, rice can be pretty bland if eaten without anything. Rice with cheese is not a common combination but indeed a tasty one for campers.

For this, you do not really need any preserved or packed food. All you need is to boil the rice in a pot and add a bit of salt, seasoning, with chili-flakes.

Product Suggestion:  Rice A Roni Cup

This is another delightful addition to your campsite meal. This quacker product provides a perfect blend of rice, pasta, cheese, and broccoli.

The manufacturer recommends it as a microwave meal, but once you empty the packet in a bowl with the addition of hot boiling water and let it sit for a while, you will know that it’s just as good with boiling water. All these ingredients constitute a perfect full-course meal for dinner or lunch.

#5 Ramen noodles

Ramen noodles are also easy and tasty dishes to eat on the campsite. Though it is not very healthy and doesn’t have many benefits, it is definitely a delight for your taste buds. Ramen noodles generally require water to cook. The amount of water depends upon how soupy you want your ramen to be.

Product suggestion: Maruchan Ramen chicken

Maruchan noodles do not require much effort and take 2-3 minutes to cook. It is the cheapest campsite food you can get as compared to all the canned foods.

It comes in different flavors like chicken, cheese, and sausages to satisfy your everyday cravings.

How beneficial are dehydrated meals?

Dehydrated or packed foods help a lot in travelling and speeding up the cooking process in the wild, but the major concern is – Are they healthy?

Dehydrated meals are actually as healthy as a normal meal. Some of the nutrients may get reduced in benefits due to sunlight exposure or heat, but it is still better than eating processed food.

Are packed meals as tasty as normal meals?

Nothing compares to a freshly cooked meal at home when it comes to taste but packed food is not very far behind.

To keep these foods good for travelling, manufacturers dry to save them from deterioration and increase shelf life.

When these foods are prepared with herbs and properly seasoned, they can taste quite close to the actual freshly cooked food.

What are the best camping munchies?

Apart from main meals, you can also have munchies or snacks during your camping and hiking. Especially while doing hard physical activity like hiking uphill, you constantly need calories to burn, and calorie-rich snacks are the best options.

Below is a list of camping snacks you can sneak in your backpack before leaving.

  • Energy bars (recommended: this one)
  • Protein bars (recommended: this one)
  • Mix dry fruits/nuts (recommended: this one)
  • Cookies (recommended: your favorite one or try this)


Campsite meals have a lot to do with you as a camper, how easy-going or passionate you are, OR you’re requisite for healthy, tasty, and nutrients filled food.

The list does not end here. Other ingredients like beans, avocados, corn, and chickpeas can also make your dinner the kind that gets you going! Being creative with foods can help you cook some of the most amazing dishes on the campsite.

It just depends on how experimental you want to get with your camping meals.

Happy camping 🙂

Recommended Camping Gears: I have compiled a list of my favourite camping gear in one place. The selection is based on my own personal experience using them for many years camping as well as feedback from fellow campers. Check them out on my Recommended Camping Gears page