Cooking fresh fish over an open fire.

Tips for Food Storage – Camping and Road Trips

While travelling long distance in your vehicle, to camp or road trip, it is important to make sure you take the proper steps for food storage. After camping most weekends over this last summer, I have gotten a pretty solid system down that works for me, and although you will find your own system for your needs, there are certain things to keep in mind when storing your food.

Check out these 5 tips on keeping your food on those long trips:

Meal Prep Ahead of Time

Fresh cooked meal at camp with beautiful forest backdrop.

It is much easier to prepare your food at home than out in nature. Especially if bad weather is in the forecast. No one wants to chop potatoes in a storm.

Depending on what you are cooking, it is a good idea to try and meal prep ahead of time and make things easier when you hit camp. Pre-chop veggies and put them in bags. Pre-mix your seasonings so they are meal ready. Whatever you can do to save time do ahead of time, so you can fully enjoy your time outdoors.

Pack bags for garbage

I hate it when arrive at a beautiful, secluded spot and find a pile of trash left from someone before. It is our responsibility to clean up after ourselves whenever we leave camp.

Garbage can harm animals, disrupt the ecosystem, and take away from the natural beauty of the great outdoors. Make sure you always pack a bag to pack in you trash and potentially pack in whatever others may have left over and always practice responsible overlanding.

Keep your food cold

Obviously, you are going to want to keep all your perishable food cold for as long as possible, so it is important to have a quality cooler handy. I use the Pelican Elite cooler and it has kept my food cold for long periods of time even in 90+ degree weather. You can also try to get a portable refrigerator installed in your vehicle for convenience and reliability.

I like to freeze the food that I will not eat for the first couple of days, to keep the cooler extra cold and make sure I have fresh food on the final days of the trip.

Pelican Cooler keeping food cold while fishing on a lake.

Keep your food secure

While outdoors, there are all sorts of critters and creatures that would love an easy meal. Bread left on a table out in the open is an easy target for chipmunks, birds, and the like. Therefore, it is important to make sure you have cases to pack your food away so animals cannot get to it.

In bear country, you need to take it a step further. If bears are nearby make sure all your food containers are bear proof. This means that you need a bear proof cooler and bear boxes for cold and dry food, respectively.

I recommend the Pelican Elite Cooler. This cooler keeps ice for up to 10 days. Even in trips to the hot desert under the scorching sun this cooler performs.

Always have an emergency supply

While on a camping trip, you are at the mercy of mother nature. That means that any number of unexpected things could happen to change your plans. A tree could fall on the trail, leaving you stuck. Your car could die. You could hurt yourself and not be able to make it back home.

You should always have an emergency supply of dry food to last you in extreme cases and the proper overland gear and recovery gear.

It could be as simple as buying a bunch of energy bars, or you could get food rations. Just make sure to pack dry food high in calories to keep you fueled in a worst-case scenario.

For the best gear of your outdoors kitchen, check out our article on Kitchen Setups.


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