While going camping, hiking, or backpacking can be great fun, what can drastically cut down on the fun of your trip is someone getting sick from food poisoning. But because the preparation and cooking of food is so different when you’re not in a kitchen, it can be hard for many people to know what they need to do in order to keep themselves safe.
To help you in figuring this out and avoiding food-related issues, here are three tips for packing, storing, and preparing food while camping.
Keep Animals Away
One of the most important things to do when storing food while camping is to take measures that will ensure that animals don’t get lured into your camp.
To do this, Lauren Wise, a contributor to USA Today, recommends that you speak to local campground staff or park rangers in the area to see what they would suggest about keeping food safe in your camp. The actions you’ll want to take will vary based on what wildlife you should be trying to avoid in that specific area. For example, in some areas, you’ll want to store your food in a bear box or other container that’s proven to keep bears away from your food and other scented items. You’ll also want to be careful about what food you leave out, as pests like bugs and squirrels could come into your camp and cause you problems.
Bring Two Coolers
The best way to ensure that the food that you’ve brought camping with you will stay safe to eat is to keep it as cold as possible over the duration of your trip.
One great way to effectively do this, according to David Sweet, a contributor to Trip Savvy, is to bring two coolers. In one cooler, you’ll want to keep items that don’t have to remain super cold in order to stay safe, like drinks or produce. In the other cooler, you’ll want to keep items that should stay as cold as possible, like meats. The point with the two coolers is to keep the colder cooler closed as much as possible so that it can keep the items in there colder than they would have been in the other cooler.
Always Eat And Cook With Clean Hands
When you’re out camping, it can be hard to keep things clean. However, to stay safe and healthy, you’ll want to be sure that you’re always eating and cooking with as clean of hands as possible.
To accomplish this, REI recommends that you wash your hands with soap and water whenever possible, even if it’s just using a bar of soap and a water bottle. If you don’t have access to this, you should use hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes to try to remove as many germs as you can before handling food.
To help you avoid getting sick while camping, consider using the tips mentioned above to properly pack, store, and prepare your food.