CAMPING FOOD IDEAS: Pack like a Pro!
A thoughtful preparation will set you up for a magnificent trip. To make the most out of your adventure, here is a compact but effective list comprising of a few camping food ideas! Whilst camping in the wild, mealtimes can offer precious moments of peace and coziness – as long as you ensure to bring all the camping essentials. Travel light, but comfortably. Pack like a Pro!
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Why does it matter?
It is always useful to know how to light a fire, to be prepared in case of emergencies (if your gas stove is out of gas, for instance) or for lighter travels. It may be difficult at first, but it is certainly the cooking method that requires the least amount of equipment!
What do you need to get you started?
- Cotton wool and Vaseline.
- Matches, lighter or ferro rod.
A very effective way to light your fire is to use Vaseline and cotton wool. Indeed, Vaseline is petroleum jelly, thus, aside from softening your hands, it is flammable. Simply, rub a chunk of cotton wool into some Vaseline, light it up and place it next to the kindling. Of course, the other option is to use paper, however it is a choice that can be less efficient -especially for beginners in wild camping- and unreliable in damp weather. Above all, the benefit of using Vaseline and cotton wool is that it stays lit up for longer – this allows the kindling enough time to catch fire.
Hot food and hot drinks are always welcome when spending days outdoors, especially in cold weather. A gas stove can be a fundamental ally, on the condition that certain factors are taken into account. Not to worry though- after reading a few of these camping food ideas, you should be prepared to choose the best gas stove for your travels (and more!).
First, you must consider weight. A gas stove is an extra piece of equipment to carry. The choice is between upright stoves, lighter but not very stable, or low-profile stoves, which are slightly heavier but steady.
Then, flame control. Have you checked if you can adjust the flame? Also, be aware that no gas stove works well in windy conditions. Thus, a windshield could be a life-saver, although watch out with upright stoves as the canister can overheat.
Further more, a good gas stove should be rigid and fold away easily. Pot support should be accounted: is your stove stable enough to hold your pan? Related to that, some stoves come with heat exchanger pots, invaluable in cold weather. One or two good cooking pots are essential to complete the set. Ensure that they fit correctly on your gas stove. Pots with lids are a convenient plus.
Lastly, gas canisters come in different sizes. Factors to bear in mind are the length of your trip and how the stove will be used: a cup of tea in the morning will require less usage than two main courses per day!
Finally, this post about camping food ideas reaches its kernel.
Indeed, food is fuel for our bodies, but it also offers comfort and relaxation. Let’s explore a few options.
Dehydrated meals is the most convenient way to carry and cook food. It’s high in calories, quick to cook and it doesn’t take up much space. Often, ‘cooking’ is as easy as adding boiling water to the pack.
Here is a list of available brands and products:
- Tent Meals is a brand that strives to provide healthy and practical food for camping. My favourite main meals are Almond Jalfrezi and the Italian Inspired meal, for breakfast the Super Seed and Red Berry Porridge.
- Expedition Foods it available globally. These meals are freeze-dried. I recommend: Thai Chicken Green Curry with Rice and Macaroni and Cheese.
- Fire Pot meals are lightweight, easy to use and with maximum nutritional value. I recommend: Orzo Pasta Bolognese, Chili con Carne and Porcini Mushroom Risotto (which is Vegan too).
- Summit to eat I recommend the chocolate mousse with granola. You can watch the cooking process here: Summit to eat – How it’s made
- Moutain house: They used to make meals for the US Special Forces and they have fueled expeditions in every climate and situation. They offer interesting options like the Freeze Dried Ice cream.
- Alpineaire: Freeze-dried meals shouldn‘t be boring. AlpineAire offers a large selction including snacks, dips (classic guacamole) and smoothies. I highly recommend the Monkey mix.
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High energy snacks will fit nicely in your pack, light and compact. Some options are protein bars, nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter and cocoa balls, biscuits and dry meat. Go nuts with it!
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Hopefully, after reading these camping food ideas, you will have a better understanding of the essentials you will need for your travels! One very important note goes to packaging. Paper packaging can be burned but plastic packaging will have to be disposed properly, meaning you will have to carry that back with you.
Water is essential and it is needed in rather large amounts: for drinking, cooking, washing pots or ourselves. When camping it is crucial to keep hydrated. Luckily there are several ways of obtaining drinking water such as a life staw, boiling water for 10 minutes or more or … (you can find more solutions to access clean water whilst wild camping on this webpage). Nonetheless, the safest way to access water is to carry it, although difficult due to bulk and weight.
A plastic Folding Container can be extremely helpful to carry large ammounts of water.
In addition, for travelers that enjoy an extra treat in the morning – or simply your coffee done in a proper way – you can opt to pack a coffee maker alongside your pots. For a fancy coffee, without sacrificing space, the Aeropress Coffee Maker is light and very efficient.
Wild camping can be an electrifying experience. Take your time to choose the items that are essential for you, as a good amount of preparation will make your trip smooth and enjoyable. Alongside packing a light tent and a cozy sleeping bag, keep enough space to make your travels comfortable, particularly for some of those cold and wet days! A nice hot drink can do wonders on a rainy day. With any luck, these camping food ideas will give you the right inspiration to pack wisely and light, without giving up some of the small pleasures of life.