Whenever we you have an outdoor trip planned, you just bring out your big red cooler, fill it with ice then put all your food and drinks in there, right? Having a cooler is a good start, but proper food storage is so much more than throwing all your food in one. This is especially true if you’re staying outdoors for more than a couple of days.
Make your food last longer and fresher with these tips about proper camping food storage:
Keep your cooler colder for longer
Your cooler will serve as your “fridge” when you’re outdoors, that’s why it’s important to keep it cold for as long as possible, especially when your trip is for more than a couple of days. Freeze all your food and drinks before packing them inside the cooler. If you can, use separate coolers for food and drinks, as you will be opening the cooler from time to time to get a drink, which may melt the ice quicker and affect the perishables.
Use block ice instead of ice cubes if you can because they last longer.
Plan for more ice
If you’re camping out for a while, your cooler will run out of ice eventually. Call the campground office ahead and ask if they sell ice. If they don’t, find a convenience store or establishment nearest your campground where you can get ice.
Otherwise, plan your meals ahead and make sure to consume perishables first.
Store your food under the shade
A sunny day is great for outdoor activities, but not so good for your cooler. Make sure that your cooler always stays in a shady spot. Under a tree, a tent awning or a pop-up shelter are good places to keep your cooler away from the sunshine.
Don’t forget your dry goods
Your snacks, spices and other dry goods need a home, too. Store them in a plastic bin or two, which you can keep locked or hang up in a tree when not needed. Storing them in one place keeps your campsite mess-free.
Keep wildlife away
There is only one thing that attracts bugs, critters and wildlife (including bears!) to a campsite, and that’s food. Make sure that you keep all your food, leftovers included, locked away in your coolers or bins at all times.
Do not eat inside your tent and make sure you properly dispose of trash at the end of each day.
Follow these tips on proper camping food storage for an mess-free and organized campsite!