Hiking and camping are great outdoor activities that are enjoyed by a number of people around the world, but often when camping, people don't pay a great deal of attention to food safety, and because of this can develop serious illness. This article discusses some great ways to keep your food safe during a hiking or camping trip. Not only will your vacation be great, but you will return with no illnesses to share.
Bring Foods that Don't Require Refrigeration
One of the simplest and most effective ways to ensure that the foods you bring while hiking and camping are safe to eat is to bring foods that don't actually require refrigeration. This way, even if you spend more time than previously though out hiking, or if the foods are exposed to direct sunlight and heat, they will still be safe to eat. Great examples of items that you may want to consider bringing along on a hiking or camping trip that don't require refrigeration include:
- peanut butter
- trail mix
- bottled juice and water
- canned tuna
Try to find items that come in containers that are relatively sturdy and can stand up to the demands of hiking. For example, canned tuna is great because not only does it not need to be refrigerated, but it comes in a metal can. Because of this, you can drop, step on, or emerge the can in water, and it should still be safe to eat the tuna.
Use a Cooler
If you do insist on bringing foods that need to be refrigerated, it is imperative that you bring a cooler along on the trip. For best results, try to fit all of your refrigerated items into one cooler. This way, it will be easier not only to handle, but you are less likely to forget it along the way. Try to keep the cooler packed inside another large storage container, such as a backpack or sleeping bag. This way, the food will not only get refrigeration from the inside, but it will also receive insulation from the backpack or sleeping bag. Be aware that while there are now customizes cooler pouches that can be placed into handheld coolers in order to keep the foods inside cold, a good old frozen water bottle works great too--and is much cheaper!
Be Aware of What You Have
This is a great tip no matter if you are just going on a day trip, or will be traveling for a few weeks. In order to get the most out of the food that you have brought along, it is important to make a list of your items, and try to use them in as timely a manner as possible. While coolers can work wonders on keeping refrigerated items cold, it is still not the same as having the food in an actual refrigerator. Having a list handy of what you have available will encourage you to consume the perishable items more quickly.