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How to Keep Food Cold While Camping?

What is more beautiful than camping with your kids and family? To make camp fun, you need concrete planning from what to carry to the preparation of meals. The most concerning thing on camp is how to store food so that it does not spoil.

I am sure the question of how to store food cold is the most common one when it comes to summer camping. Summer is the time when your food turns soggy or wet. This food is not perfect to consume it contains a lot of toxic bacteria.

How to Keep Food Cold While Camping?
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You need to make provisions for storing your food cold while camping. We will discuss all the ways to keep food cold when you are camping during the summertime.

Best methods to keep food cold while camping

One of the most important things to do is to keep food cold especially when you are camping in summer. Here are some of the best methods to keep your food cold in camps:

Carry at least two coolers

Storing all your eatables and beverages in one cooler does not sound appealing. Instead, you must keep them separately in different coolers. If you are an avid explorer, this tip is very obvious during your camps. Keeping food and beverages in different coolers will help to identify them.

You can prevent the perishables from getting wet by keeping them in a different cooler. It saves time and keeps food and drinks fresh for long hours.

Plan before your trek

One thing you need to know is that camping is all about concrete planning. Before trekking or camping, make a proper list of foods that you will carry on a camp. Apart from that, you must also get some insulated bags and zip-lock bags to pack food.

In addition, you must plan where to store your dry snacks, beverages, drinks, and eatables. All these tricks will stop your food from spoiling in summer and will give you a happy meal time with your family.

Put good-quality ice blocks in a cooler

Normal ice cubes that you use in your soft drinks may work in camping but not for a very long time. So, you must take care in picking the best quality ice cubes. You can take dry ice or some large blocks of ice for your cooler. Large blocks stay for a long time and keep food good when you are camping.

Another idea you can try is to freeze water in milk jugs and make ice blocks at your home. These ice blocks also stay for a long time. Dry ice is another option to stop food from getting soggy during the trip.

Buy a right cooler

As you have to keep food fresh for a long time, it is advisable buying the cooler from a top brand. You can expect some of the best features in a good brand cooler such as durability, thick inner walls, and better insulation.

To get a better idea, you can use a thermometer inside your cooler. It is suggested to store food at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If we talk about the cooler’s size, it is advisable picking the cooler according to weather conditions, the amount of food, and your family size. For summer days, choose a larger cooler to keep food good.

Food in layers stays good

Yes, layering the food will certainly help to keep it fresh for a long time. Now, you must also know the right method of placing the different kinds of foods in the cooler. Keep foods such as fish and meat at the very bottom of the cooler as they are to be used in the next few days.

In the center and upper portion, place foods like fruits and veggies that you need to finish in a day or two. This trick will not let your food spoil or get soggy.

Avoid draining the cooler

We all hate the cool water lying in the cooler and so we drain the cooler immediately. Avoid this thing unnecessarily as cool water will help in storing your food. Icy cold water will keep meat, fish, and fruits fresh for a long time without causing bacteria.

Do not throw cool water as it will be useful for keeping your foods fresh during a hot summer camp.

Carry enough salt

While going for a long trip, carry salt in large quantities. It is because salt helps to reduce the melting point of water. Salt will thus prevent your food from getting wet and ice from melting.

Salt is one of the essentials to carry on a trip. It can be taken in any zip lock or plastic bag. You can also carry salt rocks to add to the cooler.

Keep cooler away from sunlight

Even if you add ice blocks in the cooler, it will not help much if the cooler is kept under direct sun rays. So, avoid keeping your cooler under the sunlight. Keep it under a tree shade or in your car dickey.

Carry a tarp to cover your cooler and food packets. It will provide the required shade to store the food properly.

Avoid bringing too many perishables

Normally, we all love fresh meals at home and so we plan to do it at camp. But it is better to carry perishables in large amounts while going to a camp. Some long-lasting foods to carry on a camp include sausages, herbs, spices, and dry pasta.

As far as possible, avoid carrying a large quantity of meat, fish, and chicken pieces on a camp. Instead, you can carry things such as parmesan cheese, or cheddar cheese to consume with pizza base. They do not melt easily and stay fresh for a long time in a cooler.

Carry a good quality thermos

A good thermos will help in keeping food good for a long time. You can find a wide range of thermoses to store your perishables like meat and fish. The inner walls of a thermos are made of materials that protect the food from getting spoiled.


Can the cooler work without ice?

No, the cooler can store food only for a few hours without ice. You will need dry ice or large blocks of ice to add to a cooler.

Can I create a cooler on my own?

Yes, you can make your own cooler by using materials such as neoprene and foam. Another material to use in making a cooler is plastic.

How long does food stay fresh in a cooler?

Good quality coolers can keep food fresh for about 7 days. But you need proper ice blocks to keep food fresh.

Final words

From buying a premium brand cooler to storing food rightly, there are various things you need to follow. Camping during the summer might get tedious if you do not carry a sufficient amount of food or drinks.

If you want to enjoy a good meal in your camp, learn these top ways to keep food cold. You can also share some other tips to store food for a long time in the comment section.

Written by Emma Parker

Hi, I'm Emma Parker, a passionate outdoors enthusiast and blogger. I love nothing more than exploring the great outdoors and sharing my experiences with others.

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