Camping Food Storage, Preservation and Protection

Smart Camping Food Storage, Preservation & Protection

Proper care of food on a camping trip is of paramount importance to the success of a vacation. Perishable foods should be kept as cold as possible until used. All kinds of food should be packed safe from ants and other insects, secure from inquisitive animals.

Preserving Foods for Camping: Tips to Follow

Preserving the camping or trekking foods can be a little tricky If you don’t have a proper idea on the food type and preserving materials. Here is a quick guide for using the storage for camping and cooling items for perfect food preservation.

Foods that Require Refrigeration and Cooling Storage

Foods such as bacon, cold cuts, fresh or hard cooked eggs, cheeses, jellies, jams, and freshly caught fish all keep surprisingly well with a minimum of refrigeration.

Other items such as butter, milk, uncooked meats, and open containers of salad dressing and similar spreads, require lower temperatures. These should be used first or left at home if you anticipate any refrigeration difficulties.

Preserve foods on camping using cooling equipment

The most efficient and practical way to preserve foods on a camping trip is with some sort of small, portable icebox or refrigerator. The family campers find that cooling equipment adds pleasure to a trip, variety to meals.

Refrigeration aids are comparatively inexpensive and come in a wide variety of sizes, materials, and prices. They will give excellent service if given reasonable care and supplied with ice.

A few years ago, iceboxes were made of metal, lined with galvanized metal to prevent rusting. They were not too well insulated and had many sharp angles that were hard to clean.

Preserve foods on camping

New models are made of aluminum, plastic, or combinations of these with other metals. Most have rounded corners and plastic liners that take the work out of cleaning.

They are insulated with modern air-cell plastic and do a far better job of keeping perishables in good condition for longer periods. In addition, modern styles are far lighter.

How to Pack Your Cooler for Camping

One new cooler holds eleven full gallons yet weighs but four-and-a-half pounds. Another huge icebox, made entirely of plastic, is so light it can be lifted with one finger when empty. These are exceptional, but many metal and plastic models of strength will hold 54 quarts yet weigh only 17 pounds.

An icebox kept cold by ice, regardless of how well-built it is, will rarely keep foods at maximum low temperature for more than thirty-six hours, or less if it’s opened and closed often.

“Use the technology for easy food storage in camping.”

The actual length of time a box will function without refilling the ice compartment depends upon many factors: the outside temperature, amounts of food stored, the number of openings and closings, and the degree of shade.

Prepare a Supply of Ice at Home

There are several ways ice can be prepared and conserved for use. If you have a home freezer or a freezing unit in your refrigerator, you can make your own ice for the first filling. Freeze extra ice cubes and keep them in a bag or box in your freezing compartment until you’re ready to leave.

Ice cubes offer a convenient supply of ice, but they won’t keep frozen as long as a single chunk of ice the same total volume. The more surface exposed to air, the faster the ice will melt. If you wish, you can convert ice cubes to a solid piece of ice to take with you.

Perishables stay cool and fresh when you store them in a modern cooler

Meals in camp are more interesting when the menus include milk, butter, relish vegetables and other foods that require refrigeration. Ice you freeze at home keeps your first supply of perishables in good shape. It’s not unusual to find campgrounds where you can find ice daily.

Or, you can locate an ice supply in a nearby town. Good campers find a place to purchase ice before their present supply runs out. It is easier to keep the box cold than to rechill it after box warms for a while, loses chill.

Fill a plastic bag with ice cubes. Keep it tightly closed to retard melting. Or, wrap in tightly sealed metal foil. The cubes will fuse together into a block of ice for the compartment of your icebox. Or, you can pack cubes into a clean, waxed paper milk carton.

Fill the carton with water and re-freeze. These cartons are easy to pack and handle: provide you with icy drinking water as the block melts.

Commercial Liquids Double for Ice (For Better Hold)

If you prefer, you can purchase commercial freezing liquids for perfectly storing food for camping. Also, you can seal these permanently in metal containers.  You can freeze these double for ice over and over again. Quart-size cans are priced at about sixty cents.

Some campers believe that frozen commercial liquids hold better than regular ice. In a proper camping food storage, these commercial freezing liquids can be a great choice.

proper camping food storage

But, if you have no facilities for refreezing, the commercial liquids leave you with thawed cans to pack and carry. Of course, no water leaks from these cans, so no water forms on the floor of the icebox.

Ice cubes frozen in plastic bags and the ice froze in milk cartons will melt without dripping too. Also, some iceboxes feature shelves above the ice storage place so food is in no danger of a soaking.

All iceboxes are equipped with some sort of a drain plug so excess water inside can be drawn off at one end.

Packing Food for Camping with Ice

If you want to know how the food can remains safe to eat during the camping in an easier and better way, then check out the hints on icing and packing food for camping.

Some campers prefer to leave the spigot or drain cock open a bit all the time the icebox is in use, tilting the box slightly to permit a continual runoff of melting ice water. Others argue that as long as the water is ice cold it should be left inside the box. Experience will dictate which course you’ll prefer.

Camping Food List to Pack and How to Preserve Them

Experience will also teach you how to fit oddly shaped packages of food, cans, jars, containers into limited space and gain the best refrigeration. Good packing contributes to the successful operation of an icebox.

It is wise to pack the most-easily spoiled foods close to the ice, or actually on it, or at the bottom of the box where warm air will least affect it during openings and closings. Butter, fresh meat, and other perishables should be put into tightly sealed containers or wrappings of metal foil.

These treatments will give foods additional protection from warm air that flows in when the lid of the box is raised.

Bottled drinks are fine on a camping vacation. But, glass takes a lot of chilling, so it pays to have the bottles cold before you add them to the box. Veteran campers, who pitch near running water, take bottles out of the icebox and secure them in the stream. This practice saves a lot of precious ice.

Quick opening and closing of the box will do wonders in keeping the box chilled. Get your food as quickly as possible and shut the lid promptly. Do not run back and forth to the table while the lid remains open.

Finding Ice to Use in Camping Food Storage

Ice may be difficult to obtain in some camping areas. If you’re at a well-established or public campground you may find an ice vending machine or even daily deliveries of this important commodity. Or, you may have to do a bit of scouting to find a reliable source of ice.

A local restaurant, drugstore, or service station may be willing to sell you cubes. If there is a small town nearby, check with the post office or police headquarters for the location of a local ice company that sells inexpensive block ice.

Finding Ice to Use in Camping Food Storage

Good campers locate an ice source before their present supply runs out. It is far easier to keep a box cold than to rechill it after the box has had a chance to become warm.

Packing Dried  Camping Food list ( no Fridge )

There are some foods you can use, which are easier to store for days camping and also don’t requires any fridge or cooler during the camping. With just a decent camping food storage (or no storage), you can have them in great shape. Here is the food list that requires no fridge.

  • Honey
  • Bisques
  • Cheese Whiz
  • Canned Evaporated Milk
  • Herbs (dried)
  • Milk Powder
  • Dry Lentils
  • Bread and Dry Bread
  • Butter
  • Chips
  • Potatoes
  • Crackers
  • S’mores
  • Muffins
  • Energy Bites
  • Banana Bread
  • Coffee Cake
  • Snack and Energy Bars
  • Pop Tarts
  • And many more

Keep an extra block of ice to use

When you find a good ice source, you can purchase more ice than you can presently use in your box.

The extra block can be kept for a long time in a pail, wash basin, or even under leaves. The ice should be covered with wet cloth, wet papers, or wet leaves.

Keep the interior of your icebox spotlessly clean. Wipe up any spilled foods at once, and, if there’s a period of time when it’s empty or almost empty, give the box a chance to dry out and air. If you run out of ice, or have no further use for refrigeration, put the icebox to work as a storage chest.

Bread, canned meats, preserved meats are safe from small animals if stored in a tightly closed metal ice chest.

Or, you can put hot foods into an empty icebox, close the lid, and wait until serving time. A pot of beans, hot muffins, or a roast will keep fairly warm for the few minutes you have to wait until all of the meal is ready.

The Right Size of Food Storage (compartments)

Commercial iceboxes, designed for campers, come in many sizes and types. Small units may measure about 20x10x12 inches externally with an actual food compartment of about 12x10x8 inches, not including the ice compartment. Although, some family boxes are almost twice as large.

Right Size of Food Storage

Bear in mind that the more food a box will carry the more ice will be needed to chill it adequately.

Moreover, some boxes are made of enameled steel, and others are of aluminum or a combination of plastic and metal. When you shop, check on the amount of insulation.

look for strong, nonpitching handles, a good spigot, stout hinges, and if possible, an easy-to-clean interior with no corners or crevices that might be hard to clean. A shelf, or shelves, to hold food up away from the bottom, adds to the convenience.

About the Author Alex Raynold

Looking at the bluest sky, I forget all my stresses. Going through the green I try to breathe, more than I do in my reality. So, that's why I love camping.

Leave a Comment: