If you have plans to go camping or backpacking as part of your next travel adventure, one of the most important things to prepare for is how to keep your food cold and safe for you to eat. Without access to a standard chiller, you’ll need to get creative with how you’ll pack, store, and prepare your food so that it always remains at a safe temperature and doesn’t spoil—or spoil your trip.
To help you see how this can be done, here are three tips for keeping food cold while camping or backpacking.
Take Food That’s Already Frozen
The best way to ensure that your food that’s supposed to be frozen will stay frozen for as long as possible is to take food that you’re able to freeze on its own in the first place.
While there are foods that you know can be frozen already, like drinks and water, you can also freeze things like bread, yogurt, and eggs to help them stay fresh for longer. So depending on how long you’re planning to be on your camping or hiking trip, you might want to strategically choose foods that you know you can freeze and will eventually thaw out by the time you’re ready to eat them.
Fill Your Cooler Completely
When you decide what foods you’re wanting to bring and how much you’ll need to keep cool, you should then pick a cooler that’s going to fit that food as exactly as you can.
When it comes to coolers, having a lot of extra space in the container can make it harder for you to keep the food as cold as you need it. But when you fill your cooler completely with foods that you’re trying to keep cold, you’ll be able to keep the temperature colder for longer periods of time. In some cases, this might mean getting a different cooler that you can pack completely or packing food a little more strategically.
Be Strategic About What You Pack And How
While you might think that just loading your cooler with ice will be the best way to keep it cold, this ice will eventually melt. And when this happens, all of the food in your cooler can get wet and soggy if you haven’t packed it carefully.
Knowing this, you might want to pack actual freezer packs or water bottles filled with frozen liquid to help keep things cold in your cooler. Additionally, if there is food that you need to make sure stays cold or frozen, pack those items in the bottom of the cooler where the temperature will be more consistent.
If you’re going on a camping or backpacking trip in the near future, consider using the tips mentioned above so that you can know how to best keep your food cold and safe to eat.