For most camping enthusiasts, the major highlight of any camping trip is exploring the wilderness of the outside world, unearthing the majestic beauty of Mother Nature, and bearing witness to some of the most incredible sights and views. For many others, it’s also about chowing down on the various snacks that they bring with them on their outdoor adventures.
From grilling dinner sausages over the open campfire to indulging in melt-in-your-mouth s’mores for dessert, eating outdoors is a whole other experience in itself.
Food plays such an important role in camping trips because when you’re camping outdoors, you’re likely to engage in high-energy activities, such as hiking, rafting, kayaking, climbing mountains, etc. All this means that you need to be energized all day long, and that’s only possible when you have enough food with you.
However, food is, after all, perishable, and if you don’t take extra precautions, it’s definitely going to rot and go bad. If there’s one thing that can easily turn an exciting camping trip completely sour, it’s none other than the lack of proper food storage. To make things worse, improper food storage also increases the risk of health concerns because it can seriously spoil the food and lead to several stomach issues.
To help you with that, here is an easy and handy guide on how to store food while camping in order to keep it fresh and hygienic.
When going on a camping trip, you are obviously going to carry dozens of beer bottles and soda cans – camping is pretty much incomplete without these beverages, right? Not just that, but you also need to ensure your drinks stay chilled at all times because a flat coke or warm beer is nothing to write home about.
So, to prevent your camping mealtimes from getting ruined, the key is to properly store all your drinks and other cold food items in high-quality coolers. Fill all the empty spaces inside the cooler with ice packs and frozen water bottles, which is a sure-shot way of keeping them chilled for several days.
Metal Food Lockers
If you’re camping in a location where you’re likely to encounter bears, the best food storage option is a metal food locker. These lockers act like bear-proof containers or boxes where you can easily stash all your food supplies without having to worry about bears getting into these lockers and stealing your food.
If you’re looking to store your food while camping and want to keep it safe from bears and other animals, then you should seriously consider metal food lockers.
BPA Free Plastic Containers
BPA-free plastic containers are those that don’t make use of Bisphenol A, which is an organic compound that was once used in the construction of many resins and plastic products. It has been associated with numerous health risks because this chemical tends to seep into food items and can lead to health complications.
BPA free plastic containers are an excellent way of storing food while camping not only because they prevent health concerns, but also because they do a great job of keeping the food fresh and in perfect condition. They are great for food items such as cookies, crackers, and chips and will prevent them from losing their crunchy and crispy textures.
Steaks, sausages, and hamburger patties are an absolute given when going on a camping trip. However, meat-based items tend to spoil and go bad really quickly if they aren’t stored properly. One of the most effective ways of storing meat while camping is with the help of airtight and watertight Ziploc bags.
Ziploc bags prevent food items from rotting by locking all the moisture and air out of the bags. The key is to wrap all your meaty items in wax paper and then secure them in plastic wrap. Next, insert them in individual Ziploc bags. During this process, make sure that you squeeze out all the excess air before properly sealing the bag.
If you’re more of a backpacking-camper, your food choices are highly limited. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy biting into a fresh, crunchy apply as you sit next to a blazing campfire to keep yourself warm.
There are many fruits and vegetables that can stay fresh for at least five days without refrigeration, such as apples, oranges, grapefruit, lemon, tomatoes, onions, and carrots, to name a few. These fruits and veggies are not only healthy, but they also ensure that you get a good boost of energy when you get back from your hiking excursion.
One of the best ways of storing fruits and vegetables while camping is in a burlap bag. Burlap is a highly durable and breathable kind of woven cloth made of coarse and strong fibers of fabrics such as hemp, jute, or flax. These bags have long been used by campers to store food while camping because of their eco-friendly and biodegradable nature.
All you need to do is place all your fruit and vegetables in a wet burlap bag. Hang the bag under a shady tree, and at this point, you should ensure that the bag is hanging in the direction of the wind. The main reason for using a wet burlap bag is that storing these food items in damp conditions can help them last longer than expected. Also, since these bags are breathable, the water continues to evaporate, which lowers the temperature, creates coolness, and prevents the fruits and vegetables from getting too damp.
As we mentioned above, when traveling in the wild, you’re likely to come across bears and other animals. It’s very essential to keep your food safe from them, and one of the most effective ways of doing that is by using bear-safe canisters.
These canisters are hard-shell, portable, cylindrical containers with lids that have a proper locking-unlocking mechanism. The best part about them is that they’re available in many sizes so you can get one that best fits your preferences.
Bear canisters have proven to be a highly efficient way to store food while camping because you can easily leave them on the ground without having to hang them anywhere. Another great feature of canisters is that they do a great job of keeping bears away with the help of their screw and lock system. Even if a bear does try to tackle your food-storing canister, they’re not going to be successful and will simply walk away empty-handed and disappointed.
Our Final Thoughts
If you follow our guide on how to store food while camping, you won’t have to deal with rotten or stale food on your next camping trip. The key is to properly organize your food, store different food items in appropriate storage containers, and make sure that you stack them in a shaded area on your campsite.
This will not only ensure that you enjoy fresh food, but it will also prevent you and your camping buddies from falling victim to food-borne illnesses. You’ll probably agree with us when we say that there is nothing worse than getting sick when you’re camping outdoors and have many exciting things lined for your trip up ahead.
After all, one of the many joyous wonders of a good camping trip is being able to enjoy safe, hygienic, and delicious food amid nature and some of its wonderful displays!