Camping is a fun outdoor activity that people love to engage in, especially in the summer. There are many enjoyable physical activities carried out while camping like hiking, watching the sky at night, and riding bicycles. Camping with family and friends helps create good relationship bonds.
Nothing can reduce the excited eagerness of camping more than food poisoning. A convenient method for food safety is by keeping food cold during camping tours. Even with the greatest planning, food spoiling can be very frustrating. Most campers lose some of their interest in camping when food preservation becomes a great challenge to them. Food gets bad when not well preserved and is very poisonous when consumed. This article will provide you with practical solutions you can use to keep food cold while camping.
Using a packing cooler is the most effective method for campers to keep food cold. Packing coolers are used to pack foodstuff and keep food cold for some time. The best quality coolers should have better insulation and thicker walls. It is also very important to pre-chill your cooler by putting ice a few hours before packing. This helps keep the cooler`s temperature cold.
Below are ways that help keep food cold while camping.
Freeze or cool the food items before leaving
Food items like drinks, dairy products, and raw meat should be frozen before leaving for camping to prevent them from spoiling. Freezing food items will also help the cooler maintain its low temperatures for a longer period. Frozen food can also work like ice blocks and the food will remain cold until when ready to cook. You can also purchase frozen food from stores to save time. You can also freeze cooked meals before leaving for camping as it makes it easier to manage coolers in your car and reduce the time in cooking while in the campsites. A cooler`s temperature should be 4°C or less to maintain and preserve food safely.
Pick up some ice pack
Using the right type of ice to keep food cold during camping is very important. You can use large blocks of ice or dry ice since they take a longer time to melt as compared to small ice cubes. Block ice helps in keeping your food cold for long even when the weather is hot. Packed ice prevents food from getting wet while in the cooler. You should double bag small ice cubes in freezer bags to allow for more effective packing hence preventing water leaks in foodstuffs after melting.
You can also make your ice blocks by putting cold water in a freezer bag and adding a little salt. Salt is used to reduce the melting point of water and speed the freezing process.
Properly pack food into your cooler
It is necessary to pack your cooler to properly utilize the amount of space and time to be consumed while searching for various items. The amount of unoccupied space in the cooler determines the durational time of the food to remain cold. Perishable food items and those that need to remain cold should be packed at the bottom of the cooler. Food items like meat should be well sealed to prevent contamination of other foodstuffs. Food items like snacks, sandwiches, and drinks that will be consumed first should be placed on the top layer.
After packing, you should refrain from opening the cooler to prevent warm air from getting in and escaping cool air. Ensure that all the air pockets are filled with ice to help circulate the cold air to the bottom of the cooler.
How to keep meat cold
First, seal the meat in a double pack to avoid spoiling and contaminating food. Secondly, put large blocks of ice on the first layer in the bottom of the cooler. Third, carefully lay the sealed frozen meat on the ice to prevent the seal from tearing. Add more ice cubes or more food to eliminate extra spaces to prevent the fast melting of ice in the cooler. Layering meat with ice cubes will help in keeping the meat cold for a longer time.
Keep your cooler out of the sun
Keeping a cold atmosphere in the cooler crucially help to keep food cold for a longer duration of time. Therefore, you should keep your cooler away from direct sunlight to prevent the ice from melting and food from spoiling. Place your cooler in shady spots like shades from trees, cars, rocks, and tents to keep the food cold and prevent the ice from melting.
Due to the sun`s movement across the sky, you will sometimes need to move the cooler in different areas during the day to prevent the ice in the cooler from melting. You can also cover your cooler using a sheet or blanket to provide extra insulation.
To avoid food wastage and spoiling, consume the food within a few hours after the cooler`s temperature rises. Thermal bags can also be used to keep food cold during camping. They can keep food cold for a longer period when packed with frozen food items and ice.
You can also use ice packs to keep your drinks and food items cold. They are more advantageous as they can be reused and keep food items cold for a longer period. Ice packs are pocket-friendly since they are cheap to purchase compared to coolers.
How to prevent food contamination?
To prevent your food from destroying, ensure you consider the following factors:
- Proper earlier planning
Earlier planning is an important aspect to consider as it leads to a successful camp food sustaining.
- Freezing of food items before leaving for camping
You should freeze food at least two days earlier than the camping day to keep your food cold for long.
- Carefully choose a cooler
When choosing a cooler, you should consider the degree and the camping period.
- Double-wrap perishable food
This is a cross-contamination preventive measure. This will also prevent liquids from getting into contact with the foodstuffs.
- Proper food storage in the cooler
You should plan and pack your meals in a sequence that will be easily reachable.
Food items in camping should be kept cold at all times to prevent spoiling and food poisoning. The use of coolers, ice bags, and thermal bags is very efficient in keeping food cold. Separating drinks from the other foodstuffs is highly recommended to avoid the frequent opening of coolers. It is important to keep other food items separately from uncooked meat to prevent cross-contamination. This article has highlighted some of the methods you can use to keep food cold with fewer challenges.