It’s always a good idea to escape from our stressful daily routines once in a while. Doing relaxing activities such as camping is just one of the many fun ways to take your mind off the pressures of life.
Camping can be a great bonding time for family, friends and even connect with nature itself. But like many other recreational activities, it also comes with challenges. Maybe some of you have a lot of questions in mind whenever you think of camping, and we’re pretty sure “FOOD” makes the list! Don’t worry because we got you all covered!
Here’s our useful camping guide on cooking and food preparation.
What Foods to Take When CampingThis is usually the main concern of first-time campers: what food should we bring along for the camping trip? Well, there are a lot of options to choose from to survive hunger while you’re away from the comfort of your homes!
- Non-Perishable Goods (Food that can last for a few days)
- Canned Goods – They may come in handy especially when you don’t want to miss protein in your diet. They come in different varieties which include fish, beef, and chicken. There are also vegetables, fruits and even soup in cans. Tip: Choose the ones with low sodium or no-salt-added canned foods for health reasons and to reduce the need for drinking water, which might be limited in an emergency.
- Dry Goods – Most dry goods are non-perishable, although some of them might lose flavor or texture over time. Some examples of these are cereals, pasta, oatmeal, noodles, and crisps. Aside from the fact that they won’t get spoiled easily, they can also make satisfying meals when prepared.
- Dehydrated Foods – MREs or “meals ready to eat” were originally developed for the military on their combat trips or field operations where food facilities are not readily available. Dehydrated foods weigh much less than their non-dried counterparts and do not require refrigeration which make them ideal for backpacking, hiking, and camping.
- Perishable Food (Should be eaten within the 24 – 48 hrs)
Some people don’t like to eat foods in tin cans and instant noodles the entire camping duration. Meat, salad, and milk are just some of the stuff we usually crave for or don’t want to skip. Bring a food cooler with you to keep these food items chilled and maintain their freshness, and consume them as soon as possible.
How to Keep Camping Food Cold
Follow these simple steps:
Step #1 – Invest in a quality cooler. Buy some ice packs before leaving for your outdoor adventure. For those who want to be economical, you can make your own ice packs a few days before your trip. You can use containers such as soda bottles and milk jugs for this. Remember that solid blocks of ice melt more slowly compared to ice cubes.
Step #2 - Items that will end up in the cooler should be refrigerated overnight before your camping day.
Step #3 - Freeze the stuff that can be frozen at home prior to leaving. Items like chicken, pork, beef, hotdogs and burger patties can be kept longer this way – plus, they can also provide cooling to the food box.
Step #4 - Distribute the ice packs and frozen food items evenly when you pack the cooler. Place heavy items at the bottom of the cooler. Store uncooked meat and poultry products in extra plastic freezer bags to avoid possible cross-contamination.
How to Heat Food up While Camping
Here are some ideas:
Option #1 - Self Heating Meals (portable cooking bags)
There are items with built in heating elements in their food packaging. With just a twist, snap or shake, a chemical reaction occurs which can produce enough heat to warm the contents of the container. You can also use portable cooking bags to help you heat your favorite food in a chemically heated pouch.
Option #2 - Open fire cooking Cooking in an open fire requires some skills, but it’s a great idea to master this technique since it can be a big help not just when you’re on a camping adventure but also during emergency cases.
Option #3 - Solar cooker This is a perfect tool for cooking when you’re in a warmer, sunnier climate. Solar cookers can be used to make a variety of meals from baked goods to main dishes.
Option #4 - Mini folding camp stove Since these portable folding stoves have limited heating output, it would work best for when you like to reheat food rather than cooking an entire meal from scratch.
Option #5 – Combination Stove There are products available in the market that can use multiple fuels such as charcoal, propane or wood. Most of these combination stoves are portable, so they suit well for camping or any other outdoor escapades. It’s also an advantage to have this kind of stove with you because it gives you other alternatives when you ran out of propane.
A camping stove is an essential tool to keep you comfortable even when you’re in the midst of the wilderness. It can make a big difference on your trip, so it’s best to get the most efficient equipment suitable for your needs. You can check out some of the finest camping stoves here.
More camping cooking tools you should bring
- Portable grill – Whip up delicious BBQs, burgers, kebabs and more, even on the go. This Coleman portable grill has a collapsible stand with wheels and folds for compact storage and easy transport.
- All-in-one cookware set – When you go camping, it’s important to pack tools that are light to carry and serves multiple purposes. This 22-piece cookware set perfectly fits the bill! Includes grill tools, stainless steel flatware, and utensils in a canvas storage case.
- Versatile frying pan – An all-around cooking tool is what you need to survive any outdoor trip. The Cleverona fry pan is non-stick, and has a removable handle – making it easier to carry, convenient to store, and no-mess cleaning. It’s also compatible with all heat sources.
How to Store Food When CampingSecuring your food when you’re camping is very important. You see, it’s not just you and your buddies who are on the site. Creatures in the wild can smell food from miles away, so you need to come up with an effective tactic to keep your stuff in a safe place. Nobody is going to like seeing a hungry bear ripping a tent up looking for its meal for the day. To prevent that from happening, here’s what you need to do to properly store camping food items:
- Never store food and hygiene products inside your tent.
- Put all your food in a cooler during the day.
- Place all loose food and scented products in your car’s trunk and out of complete sight during nighttime.
- You can place your food inside a container or trash bag and hang it over a tree branch approximately 10-15 feet high.
- Always cook and eat your meals away from your camping area.