Tent Camping Food Ideas – Our Top 10 Tips and Hacks

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Cooking while camping can be tricky, especially if you’ve never done it before. Don’t worry – we’ve got 10 tips and hacks that may make your next trip a little easier:

  1. Buy a decent stove

A good stove is an important investment for tent camping. A portable wood stove is a great choice. Some wood stoves allow you to use foraged sources for fuel, like sticks, twigs, and leaves, which is great in a pinch if you’re running low on wood supplies. A stove, plus a collapsible set of pots and pans, should be one of your first purchases if you don’t have them already.

  1. Invest in a good cooler

Another hugely important purchase is a cooler. Tent camping may involve being away from electricity, which means you’ll need a robust cooler that can keep your food cold for a long time. Try a rotomolded cooler for maximum ice retention, and make sure you don’t open it too often, as this can cause warm air to sneak in.

You can pre-chill your cooler before you go – fill it with ice the night before, and then dump it in the morning to replace it with fresh ice. This means the new ice should last a little longer. You can also use large frozen water bottles, which last for a long time before defrosting (and give you access to fresh, cold water).

  1. Don’t forget the essentials

You may also need:

  • A can opener
  • A bottle opener
  • A colander
  • Chopping boards
  • Knives
  • Equipment to wash your dishes – including a bowl, dish soap, and towels
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Cups, bowls, plates, and cutlery
  • Antibacterial cleaning wipes for your cooking area

It can be easy to forget equipment that you take for granted at home, so make sure you do one final sweep of your kitchen for anything you may be forgetting before you go!

  1. Prep your ingredients at home

To make your life easier, you can prepare some ingredients at home. Wash your fruit and veg before you go, as this may be more of a pain to do at camp. Plus, you can chop veggies and meat beforehand, stashing them in ziplock bags in your cooler until you need them.

Meal planning in advance can help here – write a list of the meals you plan to eat during the week and prepare as much as you can at home to save time while you’re adventuring.

  1. Cook one meal before you go

Arriving at your destination and setting up camp may take a while, and you might not be in the mood to cook after all that work. Cook something like a casserole or a stew before you go, and all you have to do is reheat it when you get there, saving you a lot of hassle on that first night.

  1. Save space by decanting food

You can save a lot of space by decanting dried food. Bring just what you need for your trip – ziplock bags work well here, or you can use tubs or containers. You can buy stackable pill packs to store your herbs and spices, saving you from bringing your larger tubs from home.

  1. Learn some one-pot meals

One-pot meals are great for camping, and you can find tons of ideas on YouTube if you’re stuck. The less equipment you need to prepare a meal, the better. Think casseroles, stews, and one-pot pasta dishes. Look for meals you can leave to bubble away while you sit back and enjoy the great outdoors.

  1. Bring some easy options

Think about bringing some simple options for meals, too. Think breakfast cereals, cereal bars, multipacks of crisps, and fruit – easy options to snack on the go without having to do any preparation. These are great for picnics, too.

You can prepare snack packs before you go, too. Bags of trail mix can be personalized for each family member and can provide much-needed energy on long walks or days out.

  1. Don’t forget about bears

Depending on where you are, you may have grizzly bears to consider. It’s really important to make sure that you don’t attract bears to your camp. Keeping your camp clean can help – make sure you dispose of any leftover food and wash your cooking equipment thoroughly each day.

You’ll also need to make sure all food is stored securely. Look for a cooler that is IGBC (interagency bear committee) approved. Used with an appropriate lock, these coolers are bear-resistant, making them a safe choice. 

  1. Bring treats

Don’t forget to bring some camping goodies! Decent coffee, marshmallows for toasting, and pre-mixed cocktails will make your trip extra special and will give you something to look forward to in the evenings while you watch the sunset.

We hope this has helped you prepare for your next camping trip!

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