Camping Food Storage: Tips To Pack Efficiently

camping food storage

One of the most important things you need when going camping is camping food storage. Food storage is essential when camping, because who wants to go camping with an empty stomach?

Camping food storage can be a little tricky sometimes, though. You have to think about the logistics and planning behind your camping food storage in order for it to be successful and efficient.

Luckily, camping food storage is not rocket science, so it should be easy to plan your camping food storage in a way that remains efficient and organized. The following camping food storage tips will help you do just that!

Tips for camping food storage

Campfire, Burning, Camping, Close Up

Clean the Cooler Thoroughly

Our assumption is that you didn’t clean out the cooler after your last trip. Spray it with a disinfectant spray now, and then wipe it down with it. Having a clean cooler is one of the best ways to keep food safe.

Pack Less Food Per Person

One of the most common camping food storage pitfalls is taking too much food for each person. Even though camping food storage can be a lot of fun, it is probably best to not bring your own catering. The general rule of camping food storage: start with less rather than more! If you are camping with children, ask them if they are really hungry. If you are camping with a big group, ask everyone what they feel like eating for camping food storage before you put anything into the cooler.

Consolidate and get rid of all the extra packaging.

Do this before leaving the house. Remove as many solid foods from their single-use packaging as possible and put them in reusable containers that you can use again. Packing everything into a few containers helps you keep track of your food supply and also reduces waste at your campsite, so it’s a good idea to do this. Choose storage containers with airtight lids to help keep food fresh and reduce the smell of the air in your home.

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Keep Coolers Cool

If you want to keep things like raw meat, eggs, and milk from going bad, they should be kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider chilling your cooler for an hour before you load it. This will give you an advantage. You can use water bottles instead of ice bags to keep things cool. Fill them up about three-quarters of the way with water, then freeze them and use them instead. Bottles filled with ice will last longer than bottles filled with chunks of ice that fall out. When the ice cubes melt, you’ll have cold water to drink.

Use Bear Bags and Canisters to keep things safe and clean.

Camping near bears requires more strict rules about how to store food. Bears are known to break into campsites in search of free food, so be careful. While some people say that hanging food from trees is a good idea, this isn’t always the best way to go. Bear canisters and bear bags, which can’t be opened by animals, are better than that. They absorb smells and are almost impossible for bears and their friends to get into, so don’t store them that way instead!

Don’t Leave Food Unattended During the Day

After a long hike, the last thing you want to find out is that your food has been stolen. It’s not safe from raccoons because it’s in a cooler, even though they might be interested in it. If you are not going to cook or eat it right away, store it in a safe place.

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Keep food away from your tent when you sleep.

Avoid putting food in your tent at night. Keep food in your car sometimes. In areas where bears and other animals have been known to break into cars, campgrounds will make sure that campers have safe places to keep their food, like metal lockers, to keep it safe. At least 100 yards away, food and waste should be kept away from where you sleep.

Make A Cooler Map 

If you have a big cooler, make a quick cooler map to help you find everything. This way, your cooler won’t be open for too long while you look for what you need.

Keep it in the shade.

Place your cooler beneath a picnic table or in another shaded area of the campsite. So, if you can avoid the sun as much as possible, you should. The sun is a source of heat. A piece of Reflectix taped to the lid can also help.

Keep It Closed 

The amount of time your cooler is opened and exposed to the outside temperature is a big factor in how long the ice in your cooler lasts. If you close it, it will stay cold.

Don’t Drain The Meltwater (Except When You Should) 

If you want to make your cooler more effective at “cooling,” you should leave the meltwater in the cooler rather than drain it. Why does water not change as quickly as air? Because water has a lot more thermal density than air.

But, if you plan to get more ice in the near future, draining the water from the cooler to make it easier to move isn’t a bad idea.

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Freeze What You Can

Keep as much food frozen as possible for long trips. If you need to freeze food for the first night of your trip, do not do that (or food that should not be frozen, such as eggs, dairy products, mayonnaise, and so on).

Because meat that will be frozen after the first day should be frozen. When you figure out your 2:1 ice ratio, this frozen meat counts as ice when you do it.

Keep the rest in the fridge.

Before you pack anything that isn’t frozen, you should put it in the fridge. This includes food storage containers that can be resealed.

Nothing that isn’t cold should be put in the cooler. If you do this, your ice will be used to make warm things cold instead of keeping cold things cold.

Final thoughts

The perfect camping food storage plan is not as complicated as it may seem. Make sure you follow the camping food storage tips above and your camping trip will be a great success.

So much of your cooler’s performance comes down to how you use it. While owning a high-quality, well-constructed cooler will certainly help, there is a lot you can do to improve the performance of whatever cooler you own! In short, you want to use as much ice as possible and as little of the melted ice as possible.

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