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Camping Food Storage
Before you pack your food, give some thought to your camping food storage system.
There are a few important things to keep in mind about camping food storage.
A good camping food storage system will:
Keep your food fresh.
No one wants to eat stale cookies – even when camping!
Protect your food from insects.
Ants. Need I say more?
Avoid attracting wildlife.
Keep your food supplies neat.
An organized camp kitchen is an efficient camp kitchen!
Taking just the amount you need means that you won’t be throwing anything away. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has found pine needles in the large jar of peanut butter when I got home!
Simplify your life.
There’s no point schlepping the entire contents of your home kitchen to the campground with you, only to haul it home again at the end of your trip.
And you definitely don’t want to spend your vacation cleaning up spilled maple syrup from the bottom of the food box!
A good camping food storage system will meet all of these needs.
Carrying and Storing Food
I use a plastic storage tub for packing my non-perishables.
A medium sized tub (about 10 gallons) works well for camping food storage. It holds lots, but won’t get too heavy to lift and carry.
If you have an RV with a fridge, you’re all set! Be sure to start the fridge at least a few hours in advance so that it’s cold when you fill it.
If you are tenting, you might want to consider buying a real portable fridge. We have one, and we love it! We don’t have to buy ice or deal with melted ice, and our food is always cold and fresh.
If you don’t have a fridge, you’ll need a cooler with lots of ice.
Instead of buying ice, freeze tetrapacks of juice and use those instead. Frozen juice boxes have lots of advantages over ice:
- They are the perfect shape for packing in a cooler.
- When they melt, they don’t make puddles in your cooler.
- When they thaw, you have nice cold juice to drink!
A few frozen juice boxes should keep your cooler cool for a weekend trip. If you are camping for a longer time, you’ll need to buy ice once all the juice boxes have thawed.
A camping trip isn’t complete without a batch of pancakes – and pancakes demand maple syrup.
But how to transport the syrup without getting it all over everything else?
Here’s the answer:
Nalgene wide mouth storage bottles
These are food-grade plastic bottles that seal tightly.
- They are sturdy and washable.
- The lids screw on and off easily.
- The bottle openings are just the right size to allow for tidy pouring.
These are not guaranteed to be leak-proof, but I have never had one leak.
If I were to put one of these in a backpack, I’d be sure to keep it upright. I might put it in a plastic bag for extra protection. (Better safe than sorry!)
I’ve used these for syrup, milk, oil, vinegar, tamari and salad dressing.
Packing Peanut Butter and Jam
I’ve always been intrigued by the empty plastic tubes that are sold in outdoor stores.
You are supposed to be able to fill them with your favorite condiment, seal up the end, and squeeze as needed. I almost bought a set because it seems like such a great idea.
Fortunately, I read some online reviews before I made my purchase. Most reviews were positive, but the tubes have definite drawbacks.
- They are hard to clean – especially if you’ve used them for something sticky.
- They wear out and crack after a while. Some reviewers actually used them one time only and then threw them out!
- I think I would always be a bit uneasy, wondering if that tube of honey was really leakproof.
Instead, I bought some Nalgene jars.
These are perfect for camping food storage!
- They are easy to wash.
- They are sturdy.
- They don’t leak.
- They even come in a variety of colors!
I’ve used the medium size jars for peanut butter, jam, honey, and butter.
They would be perfect for hummus and other lunch spreads too.
I use those for oatmeal, stews, and cookies. I also use them for homemade baby wipes and laundry soap – carefully labelled, of course!
Advantages of Nalgene jars and bottles
I used to be tempted to buy travel-sized bottles of condiments – but they are expensive! I like to buy in bulk wherever possible, but I don’t want to carry the large economy-sized tub with me! Buying the large size and then transferring a smaller amount to a plastic container is the answer. You won’t waste a drop or a morsel, either!
These bottles and jars are all made of food-grade polypropylene, a safe, non-leaching plastic.
They are easy to wash, and are virtually unbreakable. I’ve had mine for several years now, and they haven’t even gotten scratched or discolored.
Non-perishable foods in these camping food storage containers can stay in the camping tub all summer! Just grab the tub and your food packing is half done!
I know some campers who take powdered eggs when they go camping because they are afraid of breaking real eggs – but who wants to eat powdered eggs?
Eggs in a carton
You could take eggs in a regular egg carton and try to remember to be careful with them.
But all it takes is one person leaning heavily on the contents of the cooler while searching for a beverage – and tomorrow morning’s French toast is history.
Eggs in a plastic egg carrier
Why not invest in an inexpensive unbreakable container?
It will pay for itself if saves just one batch of eggs!
Don’t need a full dozen eggs? You can get an egg carrier for just half a dozen – or even for just 2 eggs!
We have all been there, we reach into the cooler to grab out the container with food for tonight’s dinner only to discover the container is full of melted ice water. When you invest in the best Tupperware for camping, you are eliminating this unwelcome scenario.
There are many tips and tricks to keep your food separated from the icy water that accumulates in your cooler, but at the end of the day, your food ends up wet anyway.
Unless you are taking a camping fridge with you, the best way to avoid water spoiling your food is to use watertight Tupperware containers.
These containers are airtight, waterproof, and can handle the rugged camping lifestyle. So before your cheese gets that horrible taste as a result of sitting in melted ice water, be sure to check out the below Tupperware containers for camping.
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|Watertight ice bag to keep food cold without contact with melted ice.||Check Price On Amazon|
Tupperware Features To Consider When Camping
Waterproof Airtight Seal
Protecting your food is one of the most crucial things you need to do when you go camping. If your food gets spoiled from not being protected properly,it can leave you in a bad situation that can be difficult to get out of depending on where you’re camping.
So you will want something that is not only waterproof but also has an airtight seal. This is crucial in preventing your food from spoiling and something that should be a top priority.
By getting a waterproof and airtight container you’ve done some of the best steps in protecting your food. There is one extra step that you can do to protect your food even further and that’s to put them in a zip lock bag inside the Tupperware container. This is one of the best ways to protect your food from spoiling when camping.
Should You Avoid Glass Tupperware
With there being multiple types of Tupperware and them being made from different materials, it can make your buying choice difficult. For your camping trip, it’s advised to avoid going with glass as your container for food as it can cause more issues than actually help.
But of course, this is subject to you cooler and how you camp. But for the most part, I find glass containers not worth the extra expense compared to a hard-wearing durable watertight plastic container.
Glass Is Heavy & Can Shatter
One of the most obvious issues with glass Tupperware is that it has a higher chance of breaking. If a plastic Tupperware container breaks it’s an issue for food and not having something to protect it. When a glass container breaks you have the same issue as plastic except you have dangerous glass shards around to make the situation worse.
Something that a lot of people don’t think about when looking into glass containers for camping is just how heavy they can be. The weight of the glass is much heavier than plastic which can make carrying things more difficult compared to plastic. You want to keep the weight down when camping so being able to lower the weight by swapping to plastic is an easy choice.
Size Of Container
The size of your food container is more important then you might think and could be a reason your food isn’t lasting as long. In most aspects of storage having more is better, but it’s the opposite when it comes to food and their containers.
When storing food in Tupperware you will want the food to fill almost as much as possible with just a little bit of headroom to reduce the amount of oxygen in the container. The more oxygen around your food the better the odds of the food spoiling and ruining your mood.
Depending on what your storing and the size of your cooler, you will need to leave a bit more room than others. Things like soup and sauce do need a little bit more room since liquid can expand. So for things that are liquid-based, you will want that bit of extra room and something that’s worth remembering.
Durability and Thickness Of The Container
You will want your Tupperware containers to be durable and have a good level of thickness before purchase. If you go with something that doesn’t have these qualities you will have some issues that can be a problem when you’re in the middle of nowhere.
If you don’t make sure your Tupperware container is durable you’re risking the chances of it breaking. The issues of your container breaking are pretty self-explanatory and the issues it can have. So you want something that’s tough and can handle when something goes wrong to protect your food.
While it’s tempting to go with the cheapest Tupperware containers you can find, this is a case of when quality really is more important than quantity. Cheap plastic containers will break, split and leak water. This is not ideal for camping when you’re putting food inside a cooler full of ice.
Best Tupperware For Camping
This 8-piece set(4 lids, 4 containers) of plastic containers by Snapware is simple yet extremely effective at protecting your food from outside nasties. Something that makes this a great option for camping is that it has a good number of pieces. This means you’re not carrying too much around when camping which is useful.
The size of the containers is a good size that can fit a variety of foods. The containers come in two different sizes with 2 of them measuring 1.34-cup square, and the other 2 are 5.4-cup square.
In my opinion, one of the best features of these plastic containers is the impressive snap lock lids. These lids are airtight which helps with protecting your food from what you’re using to keep your food cool. This is one of the most important features if your goal is to protect your food and prevent it from spoiling.
Cleaning is a task that not too many people actually enjoy and having to do it by hand is something that can be even worse. With these containers being BPA-free you’re able to put them in a dishwasher to clean them which makes life easier. Just remember to put them on the top rack of the dishwasher.
*Available in sizes ranging from 4 piece sets to 20 piece sets.SNAPWARE 8-PIECE TOTAL SOLUTION FOOD STORAGE SETMORE DETAILS
Leak Proof Containers For Camping
Rubbermaid has an excellent track record of making excellent homewares that are not only extremely durable but also of high quality. This is exactly what you want when handling harsh camping environments.
This heavy-duty construction is what is on offer with this impressive 10-piece set that is excellent for taking camping to help protect your food.
One of the biggest problems one will face when going camping with food in a plastic container is water getting into or liquid spilling out of the container. With this set from Rubbermaid being 100% leakproof this isn’t a problem anymore. Your food is now safe from the melted ice water spoiling your food.
The latches on these containers are extremely impressive with them being able to prevent the splatter that comes from microwaving something in them. This gives you a fairly good example of just how airtight these containers are compared to your standards ones.
The containers that come in this 10 piece set comes in 3 different sizes. With two of them being 1.3-cup square, two more being 3.2-cup square, and the final being 9.6-cup square. This wide selection will give you a better chance of finding something that will suit your needs. It also gives you a wider selection to find the right size to leave just the right amount of headspace.
*Available in sets from 10-piece to 44-piece sets (Ideal for large families).RUBBERMAID BRILLIANCE LEAK-PROOF FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERSMORE DETAILS
Innovative Food Storage Containers For Camping
Most other companies who will say they’re a ten-piece set and then you get them and it turns out they were counting the lids as individual pieces. This can be frustrating if you aren’t aware that’s how most companies do it, except Mr.Lid who when they say ten pieces that mean ten containers.
Without a doubt, one of the most frustrating things when it comes to containers is losing the lid and being unable to find them. This is an issue whether you’re camping or at home. This is one of the reasons I really like these containers as the lid is attached by plastic so you won’t be losing the lid anytime soon!
Since there are ten pieces to this incredible set, it does mean it offers a variety of sizes that can make them useful. With there being so many different sizes you will be prepared to handle any food you will need on your next camping trip.
There are a number of reasons why these containers are incredible with them being BPA-free and being dishwashable. Then you add in that they’re leakproof as long as you fill to the food line that’s on the front of the container. Adding all these things together you have an incredibly useful container for your next camping trip.
*Also available in a 17 container set & Made In The USA.MR. LID PREMIUM ATTACHED STORAGE CONTAINERSMORE DETAILS
Stainless Steel Container For Storing Camping Leftovers
Klee Utensils have really knocked it out of the park with this 3-piece food storage containers. One of the strongest design points of these containers is how they will preserve your food for a longer time than your standard containers. This is due to what I will go over just below.
Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Advantage
The first thing you will notice about these containers is that they’re made out of stainless steel instead of like most others being plastic. This easily makes them the most durable containers on this list and will work well for those who want their containers to last for a long time to come.
An issue that can occur when you go with some of your more standard containers is they will hold an odor of the food that was in them. You don’t get that with these containers that really do benefit greatly from the stainless steel design they went with.
More Than Just A Durable Tupperware Container
If these containers were just good for being stainless steel then I wouldn’t have included them on this list. The number one job of a food container is to be leakproof otherwise they’re not very useful in my opinion. The stainless steel helps with keeping the food fresher for longer but it’s the leakproof seal that protects your food.
There is nothing you can’t store in these containers that they won’t benefit from being in them. They can keep your chips nice and crunchy and preserve your fruit just as well as handling your leftovers.
In my opinion, these steel containers are some of the best on the market for preserving your food for longer. It’s really difficult to pass up the chance to include these containers on your next camping trip to help keep your food safe for longer.KLEE UTENSILS 3-PIECE REUSABLE STAINLESS STEEL FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERSMORE DETAILS
How To Stop Ice Water Getting In Your Food Containers
There are a lot of tips and tricks that you can do to help with preventing water from getting into your items in a cooler. Sometimes there is no way to prevent this from happening, but with the aid of a useful product like these ice bags from Ice Lock, you can no guarantee the preservation of your food from melted ice water.
When it comes to ice lock bags the zipper is one of the most important things that need to be done right. The zip lock on these bags are impressive as it’s watertight which helps keep the ice and water in the bags and prevents it from going all over your food.
There is a good amount of room inside the bag to fill with ice. It’s able to fit your standard bag of store-bought ice which does make your life easier if you don’t have time to make your own.
The advantages of using these bags are many that make them well worth your time in considering if they will make your life easier. With them being BPA-free means that they’re reusable which can help you save money in the long run since you don’t need to keep buying more.
Depending on the ice you use to fill inside these lock bags can have some useful advantages thanks to the bag’s excellent design. It has a valve on the front of it that can be used to empty the water out. If the ice cubes you used is normal water you’re able to drink the water which means you don’t need to bring a water bottle.
But the main advantage of taking a bag like this camping is that your food storage containers never need to come in contact with melted ice water again. For the small price of these bags, I think food protection is well worth the investment.
Plus you get to enjoy uncontaminated ice cold water once the bag of ice has eventually melted. No more wasting cooler water on the grass as a result of it being contaminated by food products and germs from your hands.ICE LOCK WATERTIGHT ICE BAGSMORE DETAIl
Tips & Tricks To Keeping Your Food Dry When Camping
If you want to try and avoid spending extra money and want something that’s a bit more DIY then there are a few ideas that you can use. It’s a good idea to learn these kinds of tricks to make your life easier when you don’t have time to organize properly.
One of the simplest and easiest tricks you can do instead of using ice is to use empty bottles instead. Filling empty bottles with water and freezing them overnight to use in your cooler is one of the easier ways. This is a great cheap alternative to cooling your items down that is very budget-friendly.
If you really want to use ice there is something that you should do that will help with keeping your ice longer. Once a bit of the ice has started to melt you should start to empty the excess water out. This will help with making the ice last longer and keep your items free from water. A simple but surprisingly not a common method used
What Items To Use To Keep Your Items Water Free
Some people don’t want to use bottles of frozen water to help with keeping their items cool and want something else. There is another really good option that you can do that will keep the water out of your items. This is to put things in the bottom of the cooler to use a stand for your food so they can’t get wet.
Doing these ideas will require some simple DIY ability which most people will be able to do which is what makes them so useful. One of the best things to do is to get a wire shelf and cut it down to fit your cooler. This will allow you to have ice underneath which will cool the items in the cooler but keep them from getting wet.
A Combination Of Ideas For Great Results
As with most things, there is never one style suits everybody and using a combination is a great alternative. By combining these two ideas you can have a simple and effective solution to keep your food safe from the water.
You will need to fill several empty bottles of water and then freeze them to put in your cooler. You will need something that will go in between the frozen bottles and food that will keep everything flat and dry. There is a number of things you can use here but there is something that I recommend above all.
A good thing to use is to get some corrugated cardboard that will give you a flat surface and even absorb some of the condensation preventing. Corrugated cardboard is a great option as it can absorb some of the condensations of the bottles without completely soaking through keeping your food safe from water.
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Keeping food in a cooler may work well for a day or two, but what should you do when the ice in your cooler begins to melt into your tupperware?
It might be surprising to discover that your kitchen tupperware may leave you with soggy food while camping. Ice-filled coolers sometimes don’t get along well with standard forms of tupperware and melting ice can result in water leakage. Instead of having to toss your soggy food out, try out options like locking lid containers, waterproof ice bags and DIY solutions to keep your food dry.
Continue on, and you’ll find that there are actually many solutions you can make use of to keep your food safe!
Isn’t All Tupperware Waterproof?
Most of us would probably assume that waterproofing should be something that is standard among tupperware options. However, that simply isn’t true in all scenarios. While for the most part tupperware is resistant to water leaks, there are some situations in which it can happen anyway.
One such situation includes camping. If you choose to camp in a tent or sleep in your car, odds are you don’t have access to a fridge. In place of that, many rely on coolers to keep their food and beverages cold.
This tends to work well up until the ice in the cooler starts melting. Unless the cold water is removed and replaced very quickly, you can easily end up with some water in your tupperware containers.
Although it’s a frustrating situation, it’s not an unsolvable one! Checking out higher quality tupperware, waterproof ice bags and unique DIY solutions is a great place to start. With a little bit of problem solving, you’ll have water-free food storage prepared for your next camping trip.
Best Waterproof Tupperware
The first solution many campers turn to involves their tupperware. High-quality, waterproof tupperware can stop the problem before it starts and keep all your food from becoming waterlogged.
Consider these great waterproof tupperware options while you’re hunting for the perfect solution for your cooler.
If you tend to bring a lot of food when you go camping, then this set may be a helpful choice. It comes with 16 pieces that include 8 unique sizes, so you’ll have the right size for just about every food item you may need.
Additionally, these containers use locking lids. As a result, they tend to be better-protected against things like water leakage from cooler ice. On top of that, they are also easy to keep in a freezer if you have one. You can also heat them up using a microwave or send them through the dishwasher without an issue.
See Amazon for the price for a 16-piece set.
This Snapware is a tried-and-true option for many campers. It also allows the option to build up your own set based on what you actually need. While it may be an option that is less budget friendly, it’s also one that is reliable and customizable.
Depending on the size option you choose, you can typically get one or two pieces of Snapware per order. As a result, you won’t end up with several pieces of tupperware to search through in order to find the right size.
Additionally, this is another great option for keeping cooler water away from your food, thanks to the locking lid.
Check out Amazon for the price for a 18-piece set.
Another option with some fantastic reviews are the Fullstar locking containers. Like the Popit containers, these ones come in a set. That set is a little bit smaller than the latter option, with only 12 pieces but it’s still a great one when you want to avoid water sneaking into your tupperware.
This is also a great choice for those who might want to match their tupperware to the colors of your other cooking tools, tent, or just pick your favorite. You can select from three color options, allowing for a little more customization.
The set provides 5 container types in different sizes, and they all come with locking lids to keep air, water and bugs away from your food.
Check out Amazon for the price for the 12-piece set.
Waterproof Ice Bags
One of the best ways to keep water from getting into your food containers is to stop it at the source. That means keeping the ice under control so that when it melts, you won’t even have to worry about water floating around in the cooler.
Waterproof ice bags are a fantastic way to keep everything well-organized. When you purchase your bagged ice (or make ice yourself), all you need to do is place the ice in the waterproof ice bag and make sure it is closed up tightly. Both the ice and water will remain in these bags, ensuring none of it can reach your food.
Additionally, many of these ice bags are reusable. You won’t need to worry about purchasing new bags every time you camp or using a new bag each time you want to add more ice.
A great example of these ice bags is the Ice Lock. This is a re-usable bag that you can store your ice in easily. It also includes a spout to release water cleanly when the ice has melted. Instead of having to deal with water in your cooler, you can simply remove the ice bag, drain it, refill it and place it back in the cooler to continue keeping your food cold.
Check out the price for an Ice Lock on Amazon.
DIY Waterproof Tupperware Solutions
When standard solutions just aren’t working for you, a more creative option might be just what you need to keep your food from getting soggy. Try out some of the following solutions if you just aren’t getting what you need from purchased products:
- Use a grill or DIY shelf to keep your food above the ice. This may decrease the cooling effects slightly but it will also keep water from making it into your food storage containers.
- Make your own ice and keep it in some kind of plastic container, like a water, milk or juice bottle. When the ice melts, it will stay in the bottle and help to keep the whole cooler much cleaner.
- Find an inexpensive box or wastebasket that fits into the cooler. This can be used for storing items that absolutely need to stay dry.
- Store your food using canning jars rather than Tupperware. This can make your cooler quite a bit heavier but it will also ensure no water gets where it shouldn’t be.
Heavier can be better, if you are able to carry it! This is also true for your cooking tools like pots and pans. If you’re looking for the ideal camping pots and pans in addition to your tupperware, take a look at our article on the subject here!
These solutions can also be incredibly helpful for keeping water out of your food containers. Although they may require making more purchases rather than doing it yourself, they can be highly effective solutions.
When nothing else seems to work and you don’t mind spending a little money, try out these methods:
- Vacuum seal bags ensure that nothing at all can get into your food, aside from what you may want in there. They keep things sealed up tightly, but may require a bit of prepping beforehand.
- If you tend to camp in campgrounds that offer electricity, you can spare yourself a lot of trouble by investing in a mini-fridge. However, keep in mind that these can be heavy and the space inside them is limited. Furthermore, portable fridges can be more costly. To learn more about the cost of portable fridges, check out our article on the topic here!
- When you just don’t want to spend too much extra money, you can always try doubling or tripling up your storage containers. It’s not the ideal solution, but it can be helpful in a pinch.
Tips For Storing Food Safely
Storing food in a cooler is an imperfect solution. Typically, it works out just fine because it’s only being used on a temporary basis. However, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when you store food in a cooler. Safety is incredibly important, as is keeping your food in edible condition!
Use these tips to help ensure that your food is safe and delicious while you’re camping:
- Make sure to familiarize yourself with what can go in the cooler safely. While some foods may be obvious, others may not. Eggs are often something people wonder about keeping in coolers. Take a look at our article on storing your eggs to find the best way!
- Keep a close eye on the ice in your cooler and drain it often. Less water can mean that remaining ice won’t melt as quickly.
- Furthermore, it helps to keep water out of your food. You’ll also be able to get a more accurate read on when you may need more ice.
- Try using block ice. A large block will melt more slowly and gives you more of a chance to drain the water before it can get into your food.
- Keep your beverages in their own cooler. Opening up the cooler frequently to search for a drink can bring up the temperature, making it harder for food to stay cold.
- Use a thermometer to check the temperature inside the cooler regularly. Make adjustments when the cooler is getting too warm before the food inside can go bad.
It’s always a great idea to be as prepared for possible when you’re camping. This includes not only your cooler storage but also the items you keep in your camping kitchen tub as well! Check out our guide on what to store in yours!