If you’re planning winter camping for the first time, you might have already realized that there are far more preparations you need to take for winter camping than camping in the summer. From food to clothing to tenting winter camping always requires extra arrangements for proper insulation.
That’s why you should have better knowledge about preparing every component of winter camping accurately. So, let’s have a look at how to keep food from freezing when winter camping as it is the most important component of camping.
Tips to Insulate Your Food Before Setting Out
A huge part of winter camping food storage is done while preparing and packaging them properly before setting out for camping. Here are a few tips you should follow as much as possible before setting out for better protection of your food items.
Also, remember, try to select food that requires the least preparation from the above list to save time and hassle.
1. Use Insulated Thermos Carriers
Insulated thermos carriers are a must for food that have even a little bit of water content. Otherwise, there is a good possibility your food is going to freeze before you reach your destination. A good quality insulated thermos provides good insulation to the foods and drinks as their specially prepared to do that job.
2. Use Ice Chests or Cooler
You might get confused that why are we suggesting you use ice chests or coolers for storing food while winter camping. But did you know that coolers are really good insulators if you exclude the ice inside?
If they were not good insulators, then they wouldn’t have the ability to combat the heat outside keeping the foods cold in summer. That is why they would combat the harsh cold weather of winter as well.
3. Use Insulated Bags with Zip Lock
Now the problem with insulated thermos carriers and coolers is that they occupy a lot of space. Hence, they are not preferable to the backpackers. But, wait! There is a solution for backpackers too that works almost as well as the thermos carriers and the coolers.
It is insulated bags. Especially the ones with zip locks. This is the ultimate solution to insulate foods before setting out for the backpackers.
4. Surround with Hot Water Bottles
One of the major fears of winter camping is the water for drinking getting frozen. And for that, it is a must to carry the water hot or boiling before setting out. With being a little smarter, you can use these hot water bottles to insulate your food too.
Just surround your foods with the hot water bottles inside the thermos carriers, cooler, or insulated bag. This would help your water remain insulated for a long time as well as your food due to the additional heat from the hot water bottles.
5. Use Spare Hiking Socks
If you have spare pairs of hiking sock that you don’t use anymore or haven’t used yet, you can utilize them for insulating your food by wrapping them up after covering with food wrappers.
But in this case, you must make sure your socks are clean and not smelly because this might cause your food to get contaminated with germs from the dirty socks.
Tips to Keep Your Food Insulated While Moving
If you have taken proper preparations to insulate the food you’re carrying before setting out for the winter camping, then you do not need to worry much about it in the way. But you also need to carry some foods or snacks to have on the way when you feel hungry too, right? What about them?
Use Your Body Heat
To insulate the food, you’ll be eating on the way to the camp you can use your body heat. If you plan to hike the way to your camp, then your body is going to produce enough heat to insulate the food.
Moreover, keeping them between your body and the layers of clothing you’ll be wearing is the best option. For that, you can keep the food in the inner pocket of your winter jacket.
Tips to Insulate Your Food in the Camp
Now we are about to share how to store food while winter camping in the most effective way. These tips are going to be your saviors during camping in the cold winter.
Campfire is an amazing option to insulate both your food and yourself. Moreover, it will warm up your tent and your living space at night time as well. Also, why would you miss such a great chance of enjoying the stars under the clear sky of a winter night with some campfire by your side? It’s a whole mood you don’t want to miss.
Use Electrical Insulator or Heaters
Another effective way to insulate your food is through electrical insulators and heaters. If you can manage to bring them with you, then you will not have to take the hassle of arranging a campfire anymore. The electrical insulators or heaters will both insulate your food and your tent along with you.
This might sound crazy but trust us when we say it really works. Snow is a really good insulator. If you cover your food with a good layer of snow, it will provide a fair level of insulation for a night. You can also keep some snow inside the cooler and then keep your food inside it.
Use Your Sleeping Bag
You can use your sleeping bag to insulate the foods as well. But it would be better to insulate the dry foods rather than the ones with moisture inside your sleeping bag as it might cause your sleeping bag to smell bad.
Hot tenting is a luxurious way to warm up both your tent and your food. You will need a canvas prospector’s tent with a wood stove inside for that. This tent is specially manufactured to cook food inside the tent while winter camping and further keeping the inside of the tent warm like nothing else. This is all you want if you can afford it.
Food Items to Carry for Winter Camping Meals
Let us help you create the menu of the food for winter camping. Because just the list of foods might not be enough unless you have a proper idea of when to have which food.
Instant oatmeal is one of the wisest options to go for as breakfast during winter camping. You can also have corn flakes if you’re not fond of oatmeal. But if carrying and insulating milk feel like a hassle, try them with coconut milk.
Coconut milk doesn’t get frozen too easily or quickly even after being exposed to the cold air. However, sandwiches with cheese or bacon are a good idea too. After that, just get ready for the busy day with some instant coffee.
Will you be taking instant soup with you? Then the best time to have them would be during dinner to have a warm and cozy sleep at night with a full stomach. Though soup might not be enough to fill up your hungry bowel at night after a long tiring day of winter hiking. So, some starch would be a great idea. Instant rice and instant potatoes can do the job for you.
Won’t you go ice-fishing in the day while winter camping? Just asking! Because if you do, don’t forget to take the fish sauce with you for adding some flavor. But if you don’t, you don’t want to waste your daytime cooking.
Hence, grab some instant noodles, pour some hot water in it, wait two minutes, and you’re good to go! You can also add some jerkies to your noodle. Might sound weird, but try it out! You won’t be disappointed.
As Leisure Snacks
For leisure snacks, you can have nuts, trail bars, chocolates, or dehydrated veggies. But if you feel too hungry that the dehydrated food items do not seem to help much in satisfying you and the dinner or lunchtime also is hours away, then prepare your frozen items. If you have a camping stove and frozen food items, that should be enough for the rescue.
Don’t compromise your eating habit while winter camping. Because believe it or not, your body burns more calories while winter camping rather than in summer. And so, to stay fit and energetic you need to intake more calories than you usually do.
Thus, now that you know how to keep food from freezing when winter camping, take preparations smartly and make your choices wisely!
Pavel is a true outdoor enthusiast with a passion for nature and a love for the great outdoors. He started Outdoor Fun Mag to introduce people from all walks of life to everything the outdoors has to offer and hopes that you’ll find something that excites you every time you stop by.
When not exploring nature Pavel works as an Electronics Engineer — a job that gets him thinking and makes sure he pays attention to all those fine details. This means that when he leaves work for the week, there’s no better contrast than the calmness and serenity of the natural world. By giving Pavel the chance to switch off and relax, his time spent camping and hiking allows him to feel refreshed.
In the future, Pavel plans to explore new areas and corners of the world with nothing more than a backpack and a tent. It’s an authentic way of seeing new places that allow him to de-stress and enjoy life, and he wants you to make the most of your life too.