How to store Food While camping? Prevent Food Spoilage While Camping

How to store Food While camping? Prevent Food Spoilage While Camping

Going Camping and setting up a durable and good camp is a challenge itself. But what adds up to more difficulty is to Store food properly while camping. This is the biggest mistake beginners make at their first camping trip. Taking the food storage for granted can lead to the spoilage of whole food and in worst cases, it could lead to a deadly bear attack.

But what’s the correct science for storing the Food while camping? We are gonna explain each and everything about storing different kinds of food materials properly so that they last longer and provide you with a more comfortable and hunger free camping experience.

10 Hacks for “How to store food while camping?”. All these Tips are explained Below in the Article.

  1. Pack the Meat with 2 layers of plastic wrap and wax paper and store it inside a camping Cooler.
  2. Store vegetables and fruits in a separate cooler to avoid spoilage. You can also hang them in a wet Burlap bag.
  3. Freeze any Beverage ahead of time to make it stay cool longer and to make it act as ice that cools other Foods.
  4. Get a Bear canister to store all the instant snacks and non-perishable Food items to avoid Bears in the camp.
  5. If you can’t afford 2 coolers then store Meat and vegetables in one. Make sure that you pack the Meat in multiple layers.
  6. Get a separate cooler for beverages and other frequently used perishable snacks.
  7. Always sanitize you hands before handling any food item.
  8. Always keep the less used and more perishable food items at the Bottom.
  9. Keep the cooler away from direct sunlight.
  10. Freeze all the food and beverages ahead of time.

Reasons to Store the Food smartly while Camping

How to store food when camping in a Bear country

Well, if you are not concerned enough about storing your food properly when camping then you can get into some serious trouble that can ruin your entire Trip. As there are Solid reasons behind everything, so we are gonna explain you those Reasons which are actually responsible for Ruining your Camping trip when it comes to Food Storage mistakes.

The Fear of getting your Food Spoiled

Imagine, you have brought in different types of perishable food materials like Meat stakes, Cheese and milk to your camping site and you plan to have a nice Barbeque session in the evening but the Meat and other Food materials get spoiled within a Day of improper storage. Your whole setup will get ruined and ore than 50% of your food supplies would be in the danger of getting spoiled other than those which are non-perishable like breads, bacon etc.

So you need a proper storage to prevent the food from being spoiled and leave you to survive only on some snacks and boring food during your camp.

Improper storage is prone to Bear Attacks and squirrels

Smell of the Food plays major Role in attracting animals like Bears and Squirrels. Some animals may be safe to encounter but others like Bears could Hurt or kill you if you seem to be a Danger for them. Better don’t learn the tactics to deal with Bears but Learn to completely prevent any encounters with them.

To Deal with the Problem, we have enlisted a few tips below that will keep Bears away from the Campsite. You can conquer this problem by just learning ‘How to store food in such a way that it eliminates any tempting smell’. Don’t worry, we got you covered with all the Tips below.

Most Dangerous Guest – A snake in your Tent

You ain’t worrying because your campsite claims that it’s free from Bears? Well, don’t sit back and relax because we have another guest for you waiting inside the camp.

What can be worse than a snake Bite in the Wilderness where you rarely get any Medical Assistance. This hazardous surprise could become a threat to life if didn’t handle properly. See, a snake will always try to stay away from unusual things as they are really secretive and always find hiding spots. But better it doesn’t be your Tent. Snakes don’t give a shit about the smell of your Food supplies but other small animals do. And this predator is always in the search of some fresh prey. So what can be a better place to find a prey? Obviously a tent full of tempting food smells.

Did you get the Food chain here? Your food is also the food for squirrels and other small animals but those animals are food of a snake.

So again, the answer goes back to the Storage of food which can totally avoid any encounters with snakes. You can also Read this Guide for ‘How to keep snakes away from the Campsite?“. It won’t only help you with the Food storage but will also guide you to the ways by which you can avoid any other snake encounters outside the camp and the self treatment if you get bitten by one.

Different Types of Food need different storage approach

we want our food according to our mood and we won’t be happy if we get served with a desert when we actually want something spicy. Just like that, if we start storing every kind of food the same way, we’ll end up spoiling some or the other as every food item needs a different atmosphere to stay fresh and healthy. Here we’ll break all the food items you can carry to a campsite into two categories – Perishable & Non-Perishable.

The Perishable food items like Meat stakes, milk etc are not so suitable to carry for camping but if you really want then there are certain tips on how can you keep them fresh and save them from getting spoiled

The non-Perishable Food items are more suitable and durable for Wilderness as they don’t need special food storage because they don’t get spoiled easily. You can have every kind of tasty food item on the list and still you can choose non-perishable ones. But you really need to store them safely to avoid those Bear and snakes as your Guests.

Common Non-Perishable Food Items for Camping

By Non-Perishable, I mean that these products need not to be refrigerated keep them fresh. You can prepare your Food list and recipes according to the list mentioned below to avoid that Refrigeration issue.

  • Meats like- Cooked Bacon, Salami, meat jerky and Tuna would survive without refrigeration
  •  Dairy Products- Salted Butter, powdered Milk, some varieties of Cheese
  • Fruits- Oranges, Pineapple, Peaches, Apple(2 Days), Lemons, grapes etc.
  • Vegetables- Potatoes, Tomatoes, onion, broccoli, pumpkins, cabbage etc.
  • Nearly All the Dry fruits.
  • Snacks like Oats, peanut butter, Jam, Biscuits, instant Noodles, Instant Pasta, Cereals, Protein Bars, Popcorns etc.

Common Perishable Food Items

I would suggest to stay away from these items but some of them are really tempting and are must on a camping trip. Don’t worry, we got ways to keep them alive for days.

  • Meats like Stakes, Fish, pasteurized Eggs and any other cooked meat other than Bacon.
  • Dairy products- Milk, curd, cream, some varieties of Cheeses and puddings.
  • Vegetables- Mangoes, Bananas, strawberries, blueberries etc.

How to Store Food while camping?

Storing food can be a challenging task as a lot of science and presence of mind is needed to keep the food from being spoiled. You have to handle each food material with different approach as the one that works with meat won’t work with fruits and vegetables. We’ll explain you everything on How to store food properly while camping. From preventing it from spoilage to prevent any wild animal encounter due to its smell, we’ll cover everything.

1. A Freezing cooler to store meat

Storing food while camping

To store meat, you only don’t need to buy a long lasting cooler but you also have to perform certain tricks that will keep the meat just fine for days.

Keeping it from spoilage: To save the meat from getting spoiled or catch bacteria, first you need to wrap those Stakes, Beef Patties and other raw meat in wax paper and then seal it inside a plastic wrap and squeeze out all the air. After that, you’ll need a separate Cooler(This one’s Quite Reliable) for all the perishable meat products you are carrying as you don’t want to spoil every food item if one of them gets infected. You can keep the sausages without any wraps straight into the cooler.

What you can do it to cut the large stakes into small ones so that you don’t need to pull out the whole stake if you wanna eat a little. This will help you keep the meat safe for longer period of time.

Save your camp form Bears and snakes: Now, you are done storing meat the right way to prevent it from getting spoiled. But what about the measures you have to take to keep away the Bears and snakes from your campsite?

  • Most back country Campsites provide Metal Food lockers where you can stash all the left over food or crumbs and lock the latch. They are mostly communal so it would be hard to stash the food if there are many campers out there.
  • Never Leave any crumbs or other waste food out as it can be a nice dinner for Squirrels and Raccoons which will attract snakes towards your camp.

2. Storing Vegetables and Fruit the Pro Way

How to store food while camping

After learning several tricks to store Meat correctly so that it lasts your whole camping trip, we are heading towards handling Fruits and Vegetables from getting spoiled.

  • Earlier, you bought a cooler for the Meat products. Now you have to buy another cooler(We used this one) for all the Perishable Fruits and Vegetables as you can’t keep them with the Meat and dairy products. Put all the different vegetables and fruits in air tight plastic bags when putting them in the cooler.
  • If you have other expenses that are being too heavy on your pocket and you have a tight budget that you can’t afford 2 coolers for a camping trip, then try this method that really works well to store Fruits and vegetables. Get some Burlap Bags from Amazon. They are special bags that are breathable. What you have to do is to stuff in the fruits and vegetables inside a few bags. Then Damp the Bags in water and hang them high on some Tree branch. The wind will do it’s job in evaporating the water and creating a cooling effect on vegetables. But you need to damp the bags At least 4 Times a day. This method is not as reliable as the Cooler but will help the Vegetables stay fresh for a longer time.

3. Freezing down the Beverages

food storage while camping

You have beer, Milk or any other juices or refreshing drinks but wonder how to store them? This is simple. Just throw in the bottles inside the Meat Cooler but seal them tightly and you are good to go.

Pro Tip: Freeze all your drinks and beverages before moving out for the campsite. This will keep the drinks cooler even when the cooler gives up after days of continuous use.

4. Storing Non-Perishable Food items

bear proof food storage

One thing you can do is to store your non-Perishable Food items in a Bear Canister(Self Tested) like this one. They are strong, durable and Bears are unable to open them. So you can throw in your important non-perishable food items and sit back and relax as it will lock seal the Food and its smell too.

Mistakes that people often do when storing Food in a camp

  1. If you only have one cooler then you can store the vegetables and meat together but make sure that you seal pack the Meat in two bagging Layers to avoid spoilage.
  2. Don’t open the Cooler frequently because the warm air sneaks inside every time the cooler is opened. You can keep a separate cooler for your beverages and snacks to open and Eat more often.
  3. Never touch any food item without sanitizing or washing your hands when you come back from the woods as the germs on your hands  can lead to the spoilage of food quickly.
  4. Don’t put the food that you need the most at the bottom and other less used perishable food items like Meat and Milk at the Top.
  5. Don’t forget to freeze all the Food items and Water ahead of time whenever you go camping.
  6. Don’t keep your cooler under direct sunlight. Always keep it under some shade or inside your tent.


We just gave you a River full of tips required to handle food properly in the camp. When we went on camping the first time, we also faced this issue and ended up surviving on instant noodles for a couple of days. But we don’t want you to do that. We want you to get the Grill out and cook those juicy stakes and enjoy in the middle of cold woods. If you follow the above tips about How to store food while camping then We are sure that you don’t get any difficulty dealing with the Food related problems out there.

Virat singh

Being an Outdoor Enthusiast, I am an avid Camper and an adventurous brat. I have been to several Campgrounds around the world along with my Girlfriend and my Gear in past 3 Years. Camping has taken my Drowning Relationship to the new heights where I can bet that we both share the strongest bond, understanding and Love. I always wanted to share this Outdoor therapy for all the weak relationships worldwide and want to help all the couples to Camp safer, better and make their camping experience the Best of all the things they have done together.

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