Planning a menu and meals for food to take camping is vital to ensure that meals are healthy and nutritious.
Food just tastes better outdoors. Our sense of smell is so intrinsically linked to our sense of taste, and by breathing in fresh air we greatly enhance the flavour of our food
Celia Brooks Brown
Although a cooler box is a limited recourse for keeping foods fresh and cool, it keeps food safe to eat and gives a bigger variety of ingredients in the menu.
Examples of convenient food to take camping
Camping meals should be fun and easy to prepare contributing to the overall pleasant outdoor experience.
To keep meals nutritious and healthy is possible, but planning is vital as there might not be a shop nearby for daily provisions.
Look what's available in instant or quick to prepare meals at your local supermarket. There are new products on the shelves every week and some of them are ideal food to take camping.
Ten day camping menu gives further ideas for food to take camping.
Storage is vital to keep insects at bay and food from drying out. Take sufficient containers in different sizes that seals well. Zip-lock bags are handy and come in different sizes.
Frozen meat wrapped in foil will stay frozen for longer
A crate with a tight closing lid is convenient to keep all dry and tinned foods in.
Freeze meat solid before placing into a cooler box. If you don't have freezer packs, plastic bottles of water frozen solid helps maintain the temperature in the cooler for longer.
In general it's hard to take fresh fruit and vegetables on a camping trip as fresh produce only last for a couple of days if not refrigerated.
Fruit that last longer like oranges and apples can work on a trip, just take enough for a couple of days though.
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and butternut pumpkins are veggies that keep longer and easy to prepare even on or close to an open fire, simply wash the spuds prick the skins with a fork, cover with foil and place right next to the fire. This works well with sweet potatoes too.
Cut butternut in halves or quarters depending on size remove the seeds, season add a blob of butter, wrap in foil and roast just like the potatoes.
Onions and garlic keep well and provide good flavoring.
Dried fruit and nuts are convenient alternative food to take camping when fresh fruit is not available, and a healthy snack for young ones and adults alike, make a mixture of different nuts, dried fruit, jelly beans, pretzels and small pieces of chocolate in small containers or zip-lock bags to dish out when a boost of energy is needed.
Dehydrated vegetables are handy to add to any meat dish. Quick cooking lentils are nutritious and thickens any stew and gives extra flavor.
Sun-dried tomatoes give a colorful splash and a tantalizing taste to any dish.
Tinned food is one of the backbones of easy to prepare camping meals especially in the absence of a fridge. The large variety of canned beans, vegetables, soups, meat or stews and fish make preparing a simple dish by heating only.
Add tinned tomatoes and mushrooms to a stew or sauce to enhance the flavor.
Pickled vegetables, gherkins, olives and condiments perk up any meal.
Canned fruit topped with long life custard is delicious.
Peanut butter on a cracker or slice of bread is healthy and filling.
Add Condensed milk or tinned cream for a sweet or creamy cup of coffee.
Tinned food is easy to transport, pack into a crate or basket. The only negative is weight and space.
Carbohydrates is a great energy giver and an important part of everyday diet. Pasta, Couscous and rice are quick to cook and easy to jazz up with bottled toppings of pasta sauces combined with a tinned meat, mushrooms or vegetables.
Pancake mix is an easy alternative for a quick tasty breakfast. Prepare the dry ingredients of a favorite mixture place into a sealed container ready to add egg and fluids just before preparing at the camp.
Paste, rice and dry mixes packed in zip-lock bags travel without spilling as well as cooking oil and condiments, simply place the bottle into a zip lock bag and seal tightly.
Jerky (Biltong) is a great source of protein and quick to serve with bread and butter and a salad for a light meal.
Health bars or energy bars with lots of nuts and grains are easy to prepare in advance or simply buy some to take with for a healthy snack.
Instant cereals and oats for breakfasts are convenient and make a quick snack for hungry kids in between meals.
Different cracker and flat breads are easy to pep up with a topping of your choice. A great alternative for normal bread that squashed easily is to try Ciabatta bread, which is firmer.
Two minute noodles and instant soups are quick to prepare for a light meal.
Take a good supply of dried herbs and spices to add extra flavor. Pack into tiny zip-lock bags or small containers to save space.
Fruit juice in boxes are easy to pack. Tea, coffee, cocoa or Milo for chilly evenings next to the campfire will keep chills at bay.
Long life products like milk and custards are a good choice if fresh milk is not available.
It's important to have enough healthy food and snacks to keep hungry tummies from rumbling. With good preparation it's easy to know what food to take camping, think what you prefer eating at home and adjust for camping trip.