Camping Food Ideas For Beginner Campers
Camping food ideas can be useful to you whether you’re an inexperienced camper or have been camping and hiking for years. I had always considered myself to be fairly knowledgeable about how to pack food for my camping trips until I spoke to an Uncle of mine that had hiked the West Coast Trail in British Columbia.
Anybody that has camped before knows that in order to eat well you pretty much need to bring along a big giant cooler of food and as the days go on that cooler can turn into a problem as the ice or freezer pack melts until eventually it’s keeping the bugs off the food, but not really doing much to keep it cool. I myself used to spend time freezing meats and packing them in a way that I would hope they would not easily thaw, only to find by the first morning that I wake up on my canoe or hiking trip that everything need to be eaten right away or it’s going to go bad.
I mentioned my Uncle above… He changed the way I pack my camping food forever. Because of him I have bought a food dehydrator and because of it, when I’m camping cooking is not only very easy but I eat like a king all the time. This is what he used for food on his trip up the coast and it’s what I’ve used ever since.
You can buy dehydrated food of course at most outfitters but it can be somewhat expensive, especially if you’re trying to feed a small group of people. With your own food dehydrator you can almost never run out of camping food ideas. Some examples of the type of food i make using mine would be things like chili, spaghetti sauce, stews and hearty soups, fruits and vegetables, fruit chews etc… In fact when you purchase an item like this it will come with a list of the type of food you can prepare so you’re not likely going to run out of ideas .
There is not really a single “biggest advantage” to eating like this on the trail. In fact, everything about it is good. First of all you don’t need to lug around a big heavy cooler trying to keep your food from spoiling. The only thing dehydrated food requires is that you keep it out of the sunlight (i.e. in your back pack). Because all of the water content of the food has been removed the food is substantially lighter so you’ve saved weight in two ways, by not bringing a cooler, and the food is lighter as well. Also I’ve kind of always felt that when the water has been removed that the food loses much of it’s smell. That makes me feel safer in terms of animals. I know animals have a far keener sense of smell than we have but I feel they’re less attracted to the food when it doesn’t smell. That being said I NEVER keep food or anything that smells good in my tent.
Becuse I’m able to prepare food in this manner I can also bring side dishes like rice and pasta to prepare with it and I can have a meal like I might have at home. There has been more than one occasion where my friends have been jealous of the food I have brought for myself.
The best part is that when you dehydrate your own food it saves you from bringing food packaging into the woods with you that may be a source of litter. I always pack out what I bring in with me so I end up coming home with just a few plastic wraps that my food has been sealed in.