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Storing Food At The Campground

Discussion in 'Food' started by karpackie, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. karpackie

    karpackie Newbie

    Are most people good at storing their food safely?
    Yes, or they will learn very quickly. The smell of spoiled meat in a cooler is usually enough, but tummy aches and other bodily discomforts soon teach us that we should better store our food.

    What's the most common mistake people make?
    The most common mistake that I observe campers making in regards to food storage is to leave it out while they go off to play for the day. Covering it up on the picnic table will not keep crows, ravens, gulls, chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, and other small animals out. These creatures can literally wreck a campsite in a matter of minutes. When you're not preparing meals, secure all food in containers, place them in the shade (not in your tent!), and dispose of all garbage in appropriate receptacles.

    How do you keep food from becoming rotten and dangerous to eat?
    E coli can be a big problem at the campground. First, invest in a quality cooler; second, keep foods in a separate cooler from drinks; third, replenish the ice level daily. I also keep my food wrapped or enclosed in containers to avoid having it sitting in the water in the bottom of the cooler.

    Do you have any convenient storage tips?
    Freezing foods ahead of time will extend their storage time and decrease the need for replenishing ice. This is particularly useful for chicken, which we tend to eat in the first couple of days at the campground, because it spoils faster than meat. Also, there are numerous recipes that can be prepared ahead of time, frozen, and then finalized at the campground without requiring all the fancy utensils that you used to prepare it at home. We've found that we've been able to keep foods frozen in our cooler for over a week, which allows for lots of make-ahead meal possibilities.

    What's enjoyable about campground meals?

    Food always tastes good at the campground! Mainly because we make it into more of an event than we do a daily routine. The atmosphere is relaxed, we're sharing in preparations with family and friends, and we are eating healthy.

    Do you ever recommend trying to catch your own food?

    There is no need to undergo hardship in order to enjoy the outdoors. Hunters and fishermen may cook up a meal with the daily catch, but there's no need to go to the extreme of eating the local creatures. I advocate conservation and respect for nature, which includes not eating the animals around the campsite.

    How much food do you need per person per day while camping?
    Campers love to eat, and since we're usually participating in other outdoor recreation while camping, we tend to expend more energy and consequently build up larger appetites come meal time. Plan on enough food for a good breakfast, a hearty lunch, some afternoon snacks, and an evening dinner per person, per day.
  2. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Haha yes, the smell of spoiled meat is not pleasant. This is a great list of tips you've shared, thanks for posting.

    I usually hang my pack from a tree to avoid the animals getting at it and try to bring mainly no perishable food items.
  3. Toxique

    Toxique Newbie

    O yes, the smell or food can attract many unwanted guests :p

    Great post karpackie
  4. Foster

    Foster Newbie

    I kept the food in my cooler. Not a good idea. Spoiled and rotten. Thanks for the tips!
  5. This is a great list of tips for storing food. I have found freezing what you bring does help to extend its life as you mentioned. I never thought about the use of smaller containers in the cooler, but that would be a great way to prevent the water from getting into the lunchmeat or from meat to leak into the cooler ice, etc. I'm curious why you suggest separating the drinks from the food, but I'm guessing that is to prevent them from leaking into the cooler. Thank you again!
  6. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    Great tips - I've found that planning meals ahead of time is a great idea. I have also found that my state runneth over with local fauna so it isn't much of a concern that I'm cheerfully eating rabbits, deer, birds, and fish. I do wish I lived in a state more prone to wild pigs, but I'm not fond of the little monsters anyway.
  7. bigteeth96

    bigteeth96 Newbie

    I keep my food up a little higher, like a zippered-bag attached to a tree branch.
    I heard of this tip somewhere on tv, so I do it out of habit now.
    I'm not even sure why I do it, but my food hasn't been stolen yet.
    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
  8. lsc

    lsc Newbie

    Great tips! I have to say that in all my years of camping, I have yet to experience the smell of spoiled meat! I have been pretty good at planning the meals ahead of time and packing them appropriately. I also camp in an area where there is a store close enough that I can refresh the ice in my cooler as needed. When I am going to be away from my camp site for a short period of time, I put the cooler under the picnic table and stack things on top of it to ensure that animals are not able to open it and gain access to my food. This has worked pretty well. At night, I store my cooler in my car.
  9. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    If hiking I have found it best to hang my food bag from a high limb. However, when young we always kept our cooler in the car at night and in shady places during the day. However, many of my friends who camp have been having trouble with bears in the camp area that make leaving food out during the day harder and with the bears breaking into their cars and trucks at night.
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