How to Avoid Food Spoilage While Camping
Camping is a fun and exciting experience since it creates lots of amazing memories that will last for a lifetime. And since the experience can be fun, you would never want to have a horrible camping adventure, especially when you open your food pack only to be welcomed with a horrible smell because the food has spoilt, and we have to be pretty honest here: Spoilage can simply turn a good day into a nightmare in a matter of minutes.
So, if you ever wanted to learn how to preserve your food and prevent it from spoiling, then you may find today’s article helpful with the tips that we are going to show you.
Let’s dive right into it.
1. Pack Your Food Properly While Camping:
It has been previously mentioned in another article that campers should not plan their camping trips in the last minutes if they ever wanted to spend great times outdoors. As a matter of fact, most of the camping trips that get planned in the last minutes end up being a total mess and won’t be as enjoyable as the others since some, if not all, of the campers will realize that they have forgot to bring a thing or two.
What is even worse than this is the fact of realizing that you had you to plan your trip so fast that you haven’t packed your food properly in your boxes, and now, it all spoiled as a result.
Improperly packing your food guarantees that sooner or later, your food will spoil. This is why it is of great necessity to give yourself some time to carefully store your food before going out.
For instance, you cannot put fruits, cakes, or any soft food at the bottom of the food box since it will get crushed and spoiled because of the heavy weight that is on the top of it.
It is not advisable as well to put food stored in glass materials at the bottom of the box as well because if the weight on top of it, and also since the bottom is the first surface to touch the ground when you put the box down.
Instead, make sure to put canned food at the bottom since metal cans are more resistible to shocks and the food inside of them will be protected as a result. Then, you can move to the top by putting softer food since it is usually lighter and won’t get crushed by any other material.
2. Separate the Food
If you made sure to pack your food properly in your food boxes, you may have the impression that everything will go smoothly as far as the rest of the camping trip is concerned. Still, have you thought about the fact that certain food types if put together can lead to the spoilage of one or more of them?
In other words, you need to bear in mind that even if you pack your food properly, you need to separate certain food from each other.
For example, you cannot pack watermelon slices alongside onion and pepper slices because of the level of acidity of these latter two elements. A direct contact between these previously mentioned foods can lead to the spoilage of the softest one of them, and to avoid this kind of trouble, you need to separate these foods by either putting them in separate boxes or by simply covering every type of food with a plastic film or an aluminum film depending on the type of food you are covering.
Remember: The above-mentioned examples are just a simple illustration that asserts the necessity of separating foods from each other. The number one rule that you should work with when separating the food is: Salty vs sugary and cold served vs hot served. This way, you’ll have a better idea about what food to separate from the other.
3. Don’t expose them to sunlight
It is true that the beach is one of the best places to camp in after all, not only you’ll enjoy the beauty of what the sea has to offer, but you’ll also get a good tint, appreciate the sunrise, and spend some unforgettable moments with your partner and family while observing the sunset. But as any other trip, you’ll need a full stomach in order to have a good supply of energy to go throughout the day.
But, if your food was exposed to direct sunlight, this can pose some serious problems no matter what type of food you might have brought with you.
Some people out there might think of the sun as being a heating lamp that only provides light and warmth. Although this can be true to a certain -general-extent, it is important to note that sunlight contains some rays that can affect the food and consuming this latter nutriment can cause some serious damage i.e. digestive problems.
Sunlight allows for the growth of bacteria within the food, and depending on how exposed your food is and how hot the sun rays are, your food may develop rot, which in certain cases can be unnoticeable since it is in its first stages. Yet, this doesn’t mean that the rot is not there or that it’s not effective. And if your food is exposed to sunlight for a long period of time, then it’s preferable to throw it away unless you are willing to risk eating it and have digestive issues later on or even deal with sever intoxication.
In order to avoid such problems, it is always advisable to cover your food no matter where you are. By doing so, you will not only protect it from insects and any extraneous elements like we have mentioned in the previous article, but you’ll also protect your food from direct sunlight and this can help preserve your food.
It is always recommended to get covers made of metal or of glass to protect your food since the use of plastic covers is not recommended. Also, make sure that your covers are clean before using them in order to keep with food safety measures.
This way, you can stay assured that your food is well protected from all external undesirable elements, and as a result, you’ll enjoy your camping experience even more.
A lot of campers consider themselves as professional packers since they always opt to pack everything within the smallest spaces ever. Although this can be a good skill to have, it is fair to say that packing your food within a small diameter is not always the best solution to go with.
To put it in other words, a small crumbled place means less air, and you might have experienced this with buses when there’s a lot of people in it. this same concept applies to food and if you’re asking yourself: “but food doesn’t breathe. So how come?” then let me assure you that the answer you’re seeking is mentioned down below.
There are certain foods that release gases and even moisture, and the same moister if put in a non-ventilated place can turn into undesirable substances that can affect the food that is coming from.
This means if you’ve packed some fish and meat together, they can release their own moisture and result in their spoilage.
To avoid falling in such a problem, you may need to consider opening the lid of the box a bit or making some holes on two opposite sides of the food box.
Bear in mind that your food box should be kept in a clean a dry place if you ever wanted to keep the lid open and keep your food safe. Otherwise, insects may get inside the food box and instead of trying to preserve your food, you’ll be creating a problem form a different type.
So, always make sure to preserve your food in a well ventilated and clean environment so that you can eat your food later on without having to worry about any digestive problem.
5. Preserving Beverages
Storing refreshing drinks like milk or other beverages is very simple and you don’t have to sweat over it. Simply, put the bottles inside the meat cooler and have them sealed very tight. Don’t make the mistake of freezing your drinks when in camp, rather, have them frozen before heading to camp. Doing so makes your beverages become cooler, even when the cooler loses its coldness.
6. Storing Vegetable Properly
Fruits and vegetables should be handled properly because they add flavor to your meal. It is strongly advised that you get a different cooler to store all fruits and vegetables that can easily spoil and the perishable ones like bananas, mangoes, blueberries etc.
As you are preserving them, ensure that they do not come in contact with the dairy products and meat, and for other vegetables and fruits like onions, potatoes, pineapples and other non-perishable ones, get an airtight plastic bag and place them inside before transferring to the cooler.
7. Storing Meat the Right Way
Will a camping adventure ever be complete without meat? I guess no, therefore storing your meat should be done properly. There are certain tricks that can help preserve your meat so that you have an outstanding camping experience.
As a start, slice the meats into sizable bits so that it becomes easy to pull whenever you want to eat, without pulling out the whole meat. This way, your meat will last longer since you won’t have to bring all of it out at all time.
Then, it is vital to prevent your meat from attracting snakes and bears. One of the best ways to get this done is by stashing leftover food in a metal food locker then lock it properly to prevent the smell from attracting animals.
8. Preserving Non-Perishable Items
Even though nonperishable food items can last long without being preserved, you shouldn’t just pack them anyhow because their smell can attract rodents and even a bear. What you should do is to get a strong and durable bear canister for them, preventing the smell from going out.
9. Making Proper Use of the Cooler
When camping, your cooler should be very cold, as cold as your refrigerator. You can achieve this in many ways.
One is to stack it with ice blocks a night before. Then, when you are set to load the cooler remove the ice blocks. You should also have your beverages and foods frozen before storing them in the cooler, as this extends the time needed to remain frozen.
In addition, your pre-made camping meals will be left frozen longer if you make use of ice blocks instead of ice cubes. This is because ice blocks stay longer and don’t melt easily, while ice cubes melt faster, leaving water at the bottom.
It is always important to remember that camping experience can be marred by a simple yet costly mistake like food spoilage, especially if it is your first time going out to the woods or the beach with your friends and family. With the tips shared in this post, and by applying some common sense, you can be rest assured that you food will always remain fresh and last as long as you need it to.
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Enjoy your camping trip!