Fruits For Camping

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Fruits for camping can be an excellent addition to your menu for backpacking and camping. Besides the energy you get from fruits, the sugar level of the fruit helps to keep your blood sugar stable, which is especially crucial when you are exercising a lot. There are several types of fruits like (apple) and (strawberry) which provide you with proteins in addition to carbohydrates. Packing and planning your menu for a camping trip should also account for food and shelter, so that you will have time to enjoy more fun activities as well.

Camping with Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Summertime means it’s time for camping, hiking, and backpacking trips. Some of the best camping memories involve munching on a crisp apple around the campfire as the rest of the food cooks.

Unless you’re camping in an RV, cooler space is limited. If you’re backpacking, you have no cooler. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. Some fruits and vegetables will keep for three to five days without any refrigeration, so you can save the ice and cooler space for those foods that demand refrigeration.

Fruits and Vegetables for Camping that Don’t Require Refrigeration

Here’s a list of fruits and vegetables that will keep without refrigeration:

•Apples
•Oranges
•Lemons
•Grapefruit
•Beans
•Broccoli
•Carrots
•Celery
•Onions
•Potatoes
•Mushrooms
•Peas
•Peppers
•Tomatoes
•Turnips
•Zucchini
•Peas in the Pod

Tips for Packing Food for Camping

  • Start out with the best, freshest produce. If it’s bruised, don’t pack it.
  • Never store fruits and vegetables in plastic bags. Trapped gases produced by the ripening produce will accelerate spoilage. Store produce in paper bags.
  • Tomatoes are very tender but they can be nestled in tissue inside of a cup, bowl, or another container to protect them.
  • If you are backpacking, an onion, green pepper, or celery can add a lot to the camp dinner. Pack this produce in craft paper and then in the center of your backpack where it will be protected from bruising.

Keeping Your Food Cool and Fresh While Camping

  • If you want to keep your food cool, consider using evaporation to lower temperatures. Load your produce, such as apples and oranges, into a wet burlap bag and hang it in the shade where breezes will reach it. Dampen the bag several times per day. The evaporating water will cool the fruit.
  • Crumpled newspaper makes a good insulator. We used to freeze boneless steaks to be used on the first day of a backpacking trip. We would wrap the frozen steaks in plastic and then in crumpled newsprint. After a long day on the trail, a fresh steak was mighty inviting.
  • Be sure and store these semi-perishable foods in the coolest spot at the campsite, maybe in the shade of a tall tree.

10 Tips for Family Camping Meals

Camping is a favorite American family pastime. Every year, thousands of city dwellers escape to the wilderness armed with sleeping bags, tents and hiking boots, ready to explore the great outdoors.

While it’s exciting to plan your excursion adventures, like kayaking, bird-watching and mountain biking, don’t forget to pack plenty of food for your family to enjoy around the campfire!

It’s essential to plan for family camping meals, so stay organized and bring along basic cooking implements so no one goes hungry. Everyone enjoys a gooey marshmallow, graham cracker and milk chocolate s’more or charred hot dog toasted over the campfire, but as you plan the menu for your next camping trip, aim to expand your horizons a little.

Here are 10 tips for family camping meals that will help make your next camping trip a culinary success.

10: The Importance of Planning Ahead

You may not have access to a grocery store near your campground, so plan every meal carefully before you leave. Planning ahead for mealtime doesn’t just help you stay organized — it will also encourage you to pack only the necessities.

Write detailed menus for each day of your camping trip, and include healthy and easily prepared foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon snacks. Choose versatile foods like potatoes, beans and rice that you can cook several different ways; this will save space in your vehicle or backpack for other essential camping items. Depending on the size of your grocery list, you might want to pack a couple of emergency meals in case the cooler springs a leak during the trip, ruining steaks and poultry.

To save time preparing meals around the campfire, always make a note of foods on your grocery list that can be chopped and cooked before you leave. Prepare or dehydrate stews and soups, then freeze them and keep in the cooler for an easy, quick meal during your trip. Prepping meats in your home kitchen is significantly more sanitary than attempting to cut chicken or beef on a chopping block in the woods, and it will also save you from having to wash multiple utensils and cutting boards at camp.

9: Essential Cooking Gear

The type of cooking gear you bring on an outdoor getaway really depends on how you and your family prefer to camp. While it might be convenient to bring extravagant items, like a portable ice maker and a blender to mix up a batch of tasty margaritas, take our advice and leave these items at home! Keep meals simple, and pack only the necessary cookware and utensils you need to prepare the campfire meals you’ve planned to cook.

Look over your daily menus to build your list of essential cooking gear. Indispensible items for camping include pots and pans, a skillet, knives, a Dutch oven, flatware, paper plates, tongs and a can opener. Fireproof, nonstick cookware is also handy and will allow you to prepare meals over a fire without difficulty. If you’re tempted to buy the lightweight pots and pans found in the camping section of department stores, we don’t recommend it; they’re often flimsy, cheap and easily damaged.

It’s also important to bring along an oven mitt to keep hands safe when cooking food over the campfire. Leather and suede work gloves can serve as an oven mitt and also keep hands protected when cutting and gathering logs.

8: Storage Tips and Tricks

Storing food properly is perhaps the most important aspect of camping. You should pack everything securely to prevent spoilage and spillage. Of course, this starts by choosing foods that are fresh, easy to prepare and safe for your family to eat. To keep food at a cool temperature, remember that block ice lasts longer than cubed ice, and wrapped frozen meats packed tightly with other food can keep the ice chest colder for longer. Watch your cooler closely, and always replace melting ice to keep meats and other perishable foods from going bad.

Swapping heavier items for lighter ones is another great storage trick that will open up a lot of space in a cooler or food crate for other camping items. Use recyclable paper plates rather than traditional dinnerware, and drink from plastic cups instead of glasses. Do without several different bottles of ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise and opt for condiment packets. Finally, instead of packing bulky cereal, pasta and rice boxes, pour food into sealed plastic bags. Store leftover food in airtight containers, and bring plenty of aluminum foil and garbage bags for easy cooking and cleanup.

7: For the Fire

As we’ve mentioned, space will be at a premium in your family’s car or in your backpack, so take only the essentials. You’ve probably figured out by now that you can leave the espresso maker at home, but would you be surprised if we told you not to pack firewood? Chances are you won’t need it. The campsite will have plenty of wood, sticks and brush to build a warm, large fire.

If there’s a Boy Scout in your family, you may feel confident that he can rub together two sticks and start a fire, but most people need a little assistance generating a flame. Don’t take this as your cue to pack matches. Unless you dip them in wax before your trip, they run the risk of getting wet and becoming ruined. To save yourself the trouble of scratching off wax from every match before you can strike it along the box, consider buying an inexpensive, durable lighter instead. Of course, if you and your family enjoy cooking out on a grill at the campground, remember charcoal and lighter fluid as well.

6: Multipurpose Aluminum Foil

If any item on your family camping meals shopping list should be underlined and highlighted, it’s the aluminum foil!

Aluminum foil is a multipurpose product that makes camping easy and stress-free. Foil can be shaped into a funnel, a drinking cup or a makeshift fry pan. Wrapping a cardboard box in foil transforms it into an outdoor oven (more on this later), and you can poke holes in a sheet of foil to serve as a strainer for meats, fruits and vegetables. Stretch a large sheet of foil near the campfire to reflect heat for warmth, or spread a sheet of foil over logs to keep them dry. Aluminum foil can also be molded to fit the inside of pots and pans to reduce cleanup time.

Need more reasons to bring along the foil? Almost any combination of meats and vegetables can be cooked inside aluminum foil. Vegetables and meats wrapped in foil packets are a fun DIY dinner activity that the whole family will enjoy. Everyone can stuff various vegetables, like potatoes, carrots or corn on the cob, and meats into foil packets and rotate them over the fire. For fuss-free campfire cooking, shape the foil into a bundle around food, and twist a corner of the bundle into a handle, which allows you to safely lift food out of the fire with ease. To prevent meat from burning, add a few cubes of ice to aluminum foil dinners for a juicy, flavorful meal.

5: Food to Fuel the Day Ahead

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should be a hearty dish served hot. Around the campfire, fry bacon, eggs and sausage in a skillet, and enjoy grapes and bananas from the cooler. Cereal, bagels and English muffins are other filling breakfast items that will stay with you and give you energy throughout the morning and early afternoon. Instead of bringing sticks of butter or margarine to camp, try squeeze bottles for easier use. On the last day of your trip, use leftover meats and vegetables to make omelets for the whole family.

For meals in the middle of the day, eat lightly to keep from feeling lethargic during activities. Pack energy-boosting snacks like nuts, dried fruit, trail mix and granola bars. Hard cheeses don’t need to be refrigerated and are convenient to pack in lunches with fresh fruits and sandwiches. If you’re considering different types of sandwich bread to bring on your camping trip, we recommend pita bread; it packs well and keeps its shape. Also, be mindful that bread will mold after several days, especially if condensation forms inside the bag and the weather is hot.

4: Stay Hydrated

It’s essential to pack plenty of fluids to keep your family hydrated on your camping trip. Having clean water available is also helpful when cooking meals over the campfire. Before you leave home, fill clean gallon-sized milk jugs or 2-liter soda bottles with water and freeze them. To avoid contaminating foods, use a separate cooler for drinks. This will also prevent family members from opening the food cooler too often and letting the cold air escape.

Milk, tea, coffee and juices are other popular liquids to pack for your camping trip, but drinking water is the only sure way to keep your family safely hydrated. While you want to make sure you have plenty of water available, packing oversized water jugs is probably excessive when you can connect to a campground’s water supply. Of course, if you’re camping far away from society and don’t have the option of connecting to a water supply, you will want to pack plenty of drinking water for family members to consume during your trip.

3: Bring Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables

Be sure to include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on your family camping meals grocery list. Nourishing fruits and veggies boost your energy and serve as sides and snacks for your family to eat during a camping trip. Many vegetables can be eaten raw, like celery, carrots, radishes, cucumbers and peppers, or dipped in dressing or hummus for a healthy snack. Store whole or chopped vegetables in a cooler and cook them with meats for delicious nighttime campfire meals.

Due to bruising, keeping fruits fresh can be a challenge during a camping trip. However, whole fruits like apples, pears, oranges, grapes and cherries keep well and taste great when kept at a cool temperature in the ice chest. Remember the importance of cutting up fruits and vegetables before you leave home in order to easily prepare meals at the campsite. Chop several varieties of fruit ahead of time, like melons, pineapples, peaches and strawberries, and store them on ice in sealed plastic bags inside the cooler.

2: Cook with Hot Rocks

Take a break from cooking on the grill or leave it at home altogether. Instead, consider building an outdoor oven using several rocks collected from your campsite. Cooking with hot rocks is an easy, convenient camping technique that works well when preparing fish, steaks and other foods you would place on a traditional grill at home.

To cook with hot rocks, start by building an outdoor oven out of a cardboard box and aluminum foil. Cover all sides of the box with foil, including the flaps on the open side that will serve as oven doors for you later. The shiny side of the aluminum foil should face up to maximize convection heating. Heat the rocks in your campfire for several minutes, then place them in the bottom of the box. Position a metal rack on top of the rocks, and place your food inside the oven, closing the flaps of the box to cook. Clamp a metal utensil or prop campfire wood on top of the flaps to keep them from opening and allowing any heat to escape. Monitor your food carefully, and cook your meal thoroughly. When everything is ready to eat, be sure to use your oven mitt and tongs to carefully remove your food from the hot door flaps of your cardboard box oven.

1: Dinner Around the Campfire

Dinner should be served hot, especially if you’re camping during colder months. Hamburgers and hot dogs are traditional campground dinners that are easy to prepare over a fire. To make sure you cook hamburgers thoroughly, poke a hole in the middle of your hamburger about the size of your finger. As you grill, the hole will disappear, and the center and edges of the hamburger patty will be cooked evenly. Rotating hot dogs on a stick over the campfire is a simple dinner activity your kids are sure to enjoy. Go a step further and substitute bratwurst or Italian sausages for hot dogs on your next family

10 Foods No Camping Trip Is Complete Without

Food essentials that will satisfy your hunger and not attract the bears.

Camping is waiting for you “just around the river bend!” All Disney references aside, spring is here. This means the weather is warming up, allergies are acting up from the blooming flowers, and new fruits and vegetables are going to be in season.

So, gather your friends and camping essentials because this is the season for camping. It’s time to channel your inner Henry David Thoreau and have some one-on-one time with nature. Of course, snacks are the most important part of any excursion. Here are the 10 best foods to bring camping.

1. Dehydrated Foods

A personal favorite of mine is the Mountain House brand. They have a huge variety of meal kits available for any meal, and they will satisfy any hunger. A personal favorite of mine is their beef stroganoff. With dehydrated foods, you may think there wouldn’t be any flavor, but they’re surprisingly delicious. They’re also easy to pack and require little cooking. They’re especially good for those who are technically challenged in cooking.

2. Trail Mix, Nuts, and Bars

An enjoyable camping snack to bring is trail mix. Something fun to do together with your group as you’re preparing for the camping trip is to have a trail mix-making party. This snack is light to carry and easy to make. Bring it on your own trail while you’re hiking. 

3. Instant Mac & Cheese and Cup Noodles

During your time in college, hopefully you were able to develop some creative cooking skills. In the case of camping, you can use your dorm knowledge to make instant mac and cheese, Cup Noodles, or anything that only requires hot water.

Planning the menu for camping can be a challenge because you want to be able to cook certain foods, but there’s only so much that you can cook. It’s okay to go simple, relive the college days, and embrace the simplicity of instant food.

#SpoonTip: If you feel like adding seasoning to your food, bring spices with you to add a bit of flavor.

4. Chili

If you have a secret family recipe to make some bomb-ass chili, BRING IT WITH YOU. If not, good ol’ Dennison’s has your back for eating chili while camping.

5. Beef Jerky and Dried Fruits

Beef jerky is packed with protein and can satisfy your hunger. On top of that, it’s easy to pack dry foods because you don’t have to worry about them spoiling, and there won’t be any messy prep, cooking, or cleanup. 

6. Instant Coffee Packets & Tea Bags

If you’re a one cup of coffee a day person, don’t forget to pack instant coffee packets. Instant coffee packets, tea bags, and powdered juices are easy to bring and make because you just pour them into your water. Voila! You have the drink of your choice. This minimizes trash, reduces the weight in your car, and you can reuse your camping cup or mug for your whole camping trip.

7. Sandwich-Making Materials

Pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or any other ingredients to make a sandwich, because sandwiches are easy to make, and everyone can personalize them to their liking.

A fond camping memory I have from my Girl Scout days was making “sit upon” sandwiches. And yes, you did read that correctly. You make your sandwich with meat, cheese, and any other condiments you want, then you wrap it in clear plastic wrap and sit on it. It’s something fun for you and your family, especially with little ones! 

8. S’mores Ingredients

Did you even go camping if you didn’t eat or make a s’more around a campfire?

9. Pre-Cut Frozen Fruit (Especially Watermelon & Grapes)

Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you should forget about eating the essential food groups. These are perfect to snack on when the weather may be warm, and they’re easy to prepare.

When you’re packing and prepping your food essentials, freeze your cut fruit at least a day before leaving and pack them in a cooler with ice.

10. Bagels

Bagels are easy to pack for your camping trip and are versatile. You can cook them up, make them into a fancy breakfast sandwich, or smother them in cream cheese. They’re also a good source of carbohydrates, which give you energy for those long hikes. 

There you have it! Now you have a list of the best food to bring camping. Whether you’re camping or glamping, bring foods that will be easy to pack, minimize trash and cleanup, and most importantly, satisfy your hunger. 

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