For the most part, packing for a camping trip is relatively simple. Hopefully all your gear is stored in a ready-to-go place (if it’s not, then make it easy on yourself and have it all in one place—ready to go!), and it just needs to be placed in the vehicle. But, what about cooking? What if you have to cook for a large group? How do you pack food in a cooler? What foods do you pack? It doesn’t have to be overly difficult. Here’s a few tips to packing food for camping.
It works best to have two coolers—one for food and one for drinks (although it’s not entirely necessary). Separating the two makes it easier to pack the cooler efficiently. Usually, people are in and out of the drink cooler throughout the day, and then, in the evening, they break into the food cooler for dinner. Having the two different coolers will help keep the food cooler at a colder temp, which helps with ice melt, etc.
Oftentimes, one of the hardest parts of cooler preparation is to keep the ice in the cooler frozen. The night before a trip, consider placing ice cold water, or a bag of fresh ice—you’ll probably end up dumping out the ice and the water the next day, so a bag of ice will be sacrificial—in the cooler to keep the insides of the cooler cold. Then, the next day, pour out your ice or ice-cold water, and pack your cooler.
Pack food in leak-proof containers. Place these containers in the fridge the night before—you may even want to pre-pack all your food in these containers, so they all go into the cooler at the perfect temperature. But, regardless how diligent you are, ice will melt, and the water will infiltrate any packaging. And, as far as packaging, remove it. It just takes up room—i.e. egg cartons can be replaced with a container.
When you go to pack your cooler, pack the bottom with ice first—block ice or frozen packs work well for the base, because they take longer than cubed ice to melt. Then build up the layers of food containers—best to pre-plan dinners, and then pack your layers accordingly—pack cubed ice in the space between these containers, keeping everything evenly cold on all sides.
If you have any questions about camping equipment contact Reliable Tent & Tipi today!