Every camper would agree that preparing for camping is tricky, especially when it comes to food packing. Even the avid campers most of the time perplexed as to how to do it right! Understanding the exigency of the issue, we’ve come forward to help you out and equipped this article with the proper guideline of how to pack food for camping! Then, what is holding you back? Giddy up and continue reading to get yourself completely out of food packing anxiety as you scroll down below.
How to Pack Your Food for Camping
1. Plan Your Meals First
First things first, determining your camp meal plan should be your first step in starting the packing process. To get an exact estimate, consider how many members will be going with, for how many days, and in which season you’re going. Needless to say that, there is no point in lugging extra food along with you when carrying any foodstuff ensuring no spillage is already a hell of a challenge. Again, since, nobody would love to starve in the wilderness without adequate food supplies, hence sorting down a meal plan and packing according is essential. So, grab a pen and paper and make a list of how many snacks, meals, and drinks you’ll need for the trip to ensure you are going absolutely right.
2. Get the Right Storage System
The next most crucial step for you now is to manage the right food storage systems. That includes foil papers to filter papers, go-to zip-lock bags to waterproof DCF bags, handy mason jars to BPA-free glass bottles, leak-proof containers to multiple coolers. The list might seem slightly stretched, but these are just to reassure you that you’re having your best meal while chilling in the wilderness. Yet again, there’s nothing to sweat about the long list of storage systems we’ve talked about, as they are not at all any hard-to-get items. Except for the cooler, the rest can be found in any general store at a very affordable price. And, about the cooler, you can purchase them according to the size and service you need from any electronics store nearby your location. We want the best for you, and that’s why we would advise you to get your hands on each storage system mentioned in this post to put an end to all potential risks of spillage and spoilage.
3. Pack Dried Foods in ZIP-lock Bags
Let’s start by putting the dried foods aside. A couple of mini plastic zip-lock bags would be sufficient for this. Bring out the dried foods you’re planning to take on your trip and load them into those zip-lock bags. However, don’t overfill the bags to the point where they won’t lock. For your further convenience, we would recommend you load the dried foods by mixing them together, instead of packing each variety in separate bags. This will allow you to get all of the varieties in one package without having to open all the bags of dried food one by one. Now, if you don’t have zip-lock bags on hand, you can purchase them at your local store or order them online. Otherwise, any plastic bag can be used; just remember to tie it up with a ribbon before you put it in your backpack.
4. Pack the Fruits in BPA-free Glass Bottles
Now, let’s sort out the fruits of your choice. We can tell you, fruits are an amazing choice of food to refresh yourself after a long haul around the campsite. Alongside refreshment, it also assures that your body receives the necessary hydration for the day and generates energy to let you roam all day long without body fatigue. So, even if you don’t feel compelled to bring fruits with you, we recommend that you do so for your own good. However, in order to protect your fruits from becoming toxic over time, we suggest you to pack them in BPA-free glass bottles. To start, gather the healthy and juicy fruits you’d like to carry on your trip and then prepare them for packaging. To do so, peel their skin first and then cut them into bite-size bits. Now, pour them into the BPA-free glass bottles and seal the lid once the bottle is full. And, with this, you’re done packing fruits for the trip.
5. Store Eggs in a Mason Jar
We all know that eggs are not only easy to make but also rich in protein, as a result, it ensures that you have a balanced diet in your meal while you’re far away from your home. But, transporting eggs with the shells on can cause a few to break along the way, doesn’t it? Then, how to carry them to the spot? Let us tell you the best way of carrying eggs which is at the same time pretty easy and highly convenient. To do that – just crack the shell of the eggs, followed by whisking the egg white and yolk together, and next pour the mixture into a mason jar. Now, secure the lid tightly, voila, you have successfully done packing eggs for the trip. This preservation is ideal for scrambled eggs or omelets, depending on your preference. So, why miss this healthy delish on your camp meal when bringing eggs is this easy?
6. If You Bring Raw Meat, Pack It in Bear Canister
Camping fun doubles when you cook food out at the campsite and feast together with your camping pals in the midst of nature. And, when it comes to cooking a scrumptious meal, meat is unavoidable. However, considering the perishability of raw meat, you might be wondering how can you take it all the way from your home to your camping location? No worries, if you follow our method, this wouldn’t be of any hassle. To start, first, rinse the meat well and cut them into your desired pieces. Then, equip them in a bear canister in order to prevent spillage and the spread of raw meat smells around, which can attract wild animals to your camping spot. Once you’re done stacking the meat inside the bear canister, put the bear canister into a refrigerator. Freeze the raw meat containers for 5/6 hours, if not overnight before you put it in the cooler. This will keep your raw meat preserved for multiple days.
7. Pack the Half-boiled Veggies in DCF Bag
Only meat won’t serve a healthy and balanced meal for you, so bringing some vegetables with you to the camp spot is also essential. For this, we’ll be recommending you to get some DCF bags first. These bags are entirely waterproof and designed to store up food for more than a week without hampering its quality. You can snag those bags from general stores and also the online ordering option is available as a more convenient alternative. Regarding the loading into those bags, we recommend cutting them into desired pieces and half-boiling them first. However, make sure you have let them come to room temperature before you tuck them into the DCF bags. And then freeze them just as you would do with raw meat, although veggies take much less time to freeze than meat.
8. Squeeze the Necessary Cooking Condiments into your Backpack Pocket
Speaking of cooking brings us to the question – how do we bring the cooking essentials to the campsite, given that the liquid-like – oil, vinegar, or soy sauce has a strong propensity to spill from the containers in which it is stored. For the solution, let us introduce you to an amazing way out. Instead of bringing a portion of them pouring into another cruet, you can directly purchase condiment packages from stores. Condiment packets are small, easy to use, and come with zero possibility of spillage. So, you can take as many packets as you need with you as they won’t take up much space in your bag. Furthermore, when you’ll hop into the store, consider buying the other condiments packets of ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, and alike, so that you can relish the food you have brought with you in their best tastes.
9. Store the Spices in Tic-Tac boxes
Let’s talk about how to bring the spices that are inevitable to bring savoriness to your dish. Although some brands of seasonings come in condiment packets, you won’t find any readymade options in stores if you want to use spices separately. So, when you want to cook using spices of your choice in an amount that fits your taste, you need to pour them into handy boxes from your spice jars to carry them along with you. Here, the old Tic-Tac boxes can come in handy. They are small and have a tiny hole in the lid that makes pouring the spices much easier.
10. Pack the Salad in Leak-Proof Containers
We don’t know about you, but we won’t like to pass even a day without having some fresh and crunchy salad. So, in order to relish that in your fun camping days, you need to haul them along with you just like the above items. For taking this, usual leak-proof containers will do. We suggest you cut the pieces just as you like to have before you store them in the containers. However, if you like to have veggies like broccoli, baby corn, or beetroot in your salad, make sure to boil them well. Now, for keeping their freshness optimum, place them in the cooler and remove just before you’d like to have them.
11. Pack a Water Filtration System Bottle for Water Solution
Water is inevitable, and there is no clear limit that can quench your thirst, so estimating the amount of water you’ll need for your expedition is impractical. This is why we’ve come up with a better solution that will save you from loading extra weight on your shoulder while keeping you hydrated at best. The solution is a blessing of cutting-edge technology that filters the water instantly as you instill water into the system. It resembles a go-to water pot and is internally designed with an activated charcoal layer with some electro-positive charge. So, as the water passes through the filtration membrane, most of the chlorine, heavy metals, and an unpleasant taste get automatically wiped out from it. Isn’t it amazing? Given that maximum campsites has many water sources around them, so, why carrying the extra load of water all the way when you have this handy solution at your fingertips? This product is available in almost all popular online marketplaces, so you can easily get your hands on it according to your budget and preference. Although this water filtration system bottle may charge you pretty big bucks, its quick and beneficial service makes it worthwhile.
12. Pack Some Ice Cubes for Your Cold Water Inclination
Now, if you have a strong inclination for cold water then surely after a long haul around the campsite, you’ll be craving to swish some freezing water down your throat. For such a scenario, you might think of carrying cold water along with you, but we’d suggest you to lug trays of ice cubes instead. Because, as you can easily compare that even multiple trays of ice cubes will not weigh as hefty as an iced water bottle would weigh. Also, to drink from an iced bottle, you’ll need to wait for an ice block to turn liquid whereas with ice cubes you can just drop them into your water filtration system bottle and have you longed icy water with complacency in no time.
13. Pour the Drinks into Smaller Can
It’s easy to realize that, a go-to beer or champagne bottle does take up a lot more room than several smaller cans, so pouring the drinks into smaller cans is apparently the wisest move. If you don’t have smaller empty cans at home, then buy them depending on the amount of liquid you’re planning to take along with you from the nearby stop. Make sure they all have the same height because only then you can set them handily. However, once you have them at hand, wash them well, pat dry them, and then stick a mark to the top with the name of the drink if you want to get your preferred drink without any hassle. Now, pour the drink accordingly one by one in those cans and there you go.
14. Load Freezing Drinks Into The Cooler
No one can argue that drinks taste way better when you drink them icy cold. But how to have them cold where you’ll have no access to the refrigerator? Let us tell you a little trick. We all know a cooler doesn’t cool things up but it can retain the temperature of products that are put inside. Likewise, if you put the freezing drinks into the cooler, they will remain that cold until you remove them from the cooler. Now does it make sense to you? So, the night before you decide to leave for your camping trip, freeze all of the drinks that you poured into the smaller cans in order to bring them with you to the campsite. For the best result, leave them there to freeze overnight or at least 4/5 hours. Now, tuck them inside the cooler just before you go, and voila, you’re ready to have icy cold drinks whenever you feeling during your trip!
15. Wrap up the Easy Bite Snacks for the Journey
Up till now, we’ve walked a long length to illustrate how to pack food for camping, but what to do if you get hungry on the road before arriving at your destination? No worries, we got you covered, for such a situation, we have a simple remedy for making your stomach smile. For that, first, make some sandwiches or Shawarma for your camping trip members, and once you are done wrap them with foil papers carefully. Tuck them in a sack bag or any one-time-use carry box so that when you’re done eating the snack on the go, you can toss the wrap and package into some roadside bin without having to carry any extra baggage for it anymore.
How to Pack Your Food in a Cooler
Now that you know how to pack food for a backcountry camping trip, it’s time to figure out the right way to store it in the cooler. You might be thinking what is there to unravel about it when you can just throw everything inside and lock the lid to go. But, to your knowledge right placement can ensure your food is securely placed, easy to remove, and lasting longer.
Point to be noted that before packing your cooler, you need to clean it thoroughly to remove the internal heat; that has accumulated inside whilst it has been empty and locked. Unless that, your cooler won’t be able to work properly because the inside warmth will halt its function. Moreover, if possible pre-chill the cooler overnight, this doesn’t take much work, just put in some ice blocks or cubes all over it and that’s it.
When the pre-chilling is done, you’re ready to arrange the items in it. We suggest you start with a sheet of ice cubes at the bottom. This would ensure that the items you’ll store inside don’t come into contact with the cooler wall, but are instead covered by ice, allowing them to stay cold for longer. Now, place the things that need to remain the coldest on top of that sheet of ice cubes: meats, egg mixture, and half-boiled veggies.
Then, lay another sheet of ice cubes on top of those containers and arrange the small cans you’ve freeze overnight. Before placing the frozen water bottles, sprinkle some more ice cubes on top, followed by the salad boxes. Now, finally to shut the lid, dump more ice cubes on top. Fill any corner that is empty with the ice cubes, and when the cooler is packed up to the brim, secure the lid carefully.
As much as we hate to admit that, but the truth is food packing anxiety is real. Camping enthusiasts often feel concerned about food packing that how to pack everything right and keep the food sound till they are there. But, one way or another they end up ruining the food which ultimately puts an end to their camping trip and compels them to return home. But, this won’t happen to you anymore as you’ve found us. This article thoroughly explores how to pack food for camping most reliably and efficiently! We can vouch, these tips and hacks are enough to assure that you’re having the best camping meal over there in the midst of nature. So, don’t forget to apply those on your next escapade. Happy Camping!
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.