Keeping Food Fresh While Camping

Half the fun of camping is cooking. It’s hard to beat a meal that’s been put together on a stove beside your wagon, or even better grilled over an open fire. Food always seems to taste better outdoors anyway, plus the normal rules about eating a healthy diet don’t apply. At least we hope they don’t. The only problem with camp cooking is keeping everything clean. A grilled steak beside the fire, washed down with a few stubbies, is great. A bad attack of the runs because the chicken was past its best is not so great. Here are a few tips to keep everything the way it should be.

Probably the most important thing is storing your food correctly. Any meat products need to be kept below 5°C for safety. If you have a fridge that’s pretty easy; if you’re using an esky you’re limited to how long the ice lasts. As long as you can keep the temperature down figure on fish and chicken staying good for three days, and red meat for five. That should suggest some menu planning for your camps – eat the chicken first. Once that and the fish are gone you have red meat for a couple more days, and if it’s a long trip you can move on to prepacked stuff after that. Processed meat in a sealed packet can last a lot longer – check the dates on the packet, but if the shop didn’t have it in a chiller cabinet it should be good for a week or two – and tins will stay good for years. Salad, fruit and vegetables are easy to manage. They might start to wilt after a few days, but they probably won’t do you any actual harm until they go runny.

Another way to extend the life of food is to vacuum seal it. Sealing machines are pretty affordable now, and by packing meat in an airless bag you seriously slow down any bacteria that managed to get on it. Refrigerated, properly sealed red meat can last up to two weeks. Just make sure you do the sealing in a clean environment. There are even portable models that will run off your 4wd’s power system now, so if you’re resupplying on the road you can pack that too.

Now your food’s reached the campsite in good shape you need to think about hygiene. Living in a sterile bubble won’t do your immune system any favours, but the average campsite goes a bit far in the other direction. With dust and flies all over the place it’s easy to get sick if you don’t keep things clean. The trouble is that clean water is valuable and you can’t afford to keep washing your hands. The solution to that is sanitiser gel. Pack a couple of bottles of that and use it when you’re cooking; it’ll keep the germs off your hands.

Mixing up cooked and uncooked meat is a quick way to end up on the dunny for a week, so make sure everything’s clean before you put cooked steaks down on the plate they were on when they were raw. Keeping two chopping boards is a good idea, and mark them for cooked and uncooked.

Dirty water is also a hazard, so for cooking, drinking and washing up only use water you brought from home or have purified. Boiling for five minutes will kill germs, but it won’t remove swampy tastes or get rid of the bodies of all the bugs you just boiled. Purification tablets will also leave water safe but make it taste like a swimming pool. We’d recommend a good filter system, like the ones from Lifesaver Australia. Their jerrycan is ideal for camps; it can purify 20 litres in one go and the filter lasts for years.

Keeping your camp hygiene up isn’t really a lot of work, and it makes life a lot more pleasant. Some simple gear and a bit of attention to detail will leave your meals safe to eat and you with your insides the shape they should be. It’s all about enjoying yourself, and that’s a lot easier when your food isn’t trying to kill you.



Tough Toys is an industry first with its revolutionary 4x4 accessories website. With quality real world tested 4wd accessories, Tough Toys always sell at mates rates. Offering some excellent 4wd techniques, 4wd tracks, and camping advice, the Tough Toys website is always a point of reference for any tough 4x4 enthusiast. If you are looking for more information on 4wd vehicles our 4x4 review page can give you a head start.

Whether you are a novice four wheel driver, or a seasoned veteran we have the right 4wd products for you. Offering paypal payments and great value products, Tough Toys takes pride in it’s secure shopping experience. We are currently able to service the areas of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra and other regions of Australia with great 4wd accessories online.

As well as offering a range of Tough Toys branded products and accessories, Tough Toys is also an authorised retailer of some of the biggest and well known name 4wd brands in the industry. If you're looking for gift ideas, look no further than the Tough Gifts at Tough Toys. We have gifts for all kinds of special occasions and holidays.

With our off road maps, 4wd guides and 4x4 atlas section including the well established Hema maps, you dont have an excuse to get lost again! While you're roaming around Australia, why not find all the campsite and caravan park information you'll ever need with the Camps Australia Wide and Caravan Parks Australia Wide books.

Any time you need a hand or have a question about any of our products, our online support can help you determine the best gear for your needs. We take four wheel driving seriously.

© 2013 Tough Group PTY LTD. All Rights Reserved
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

Web Design Brisbane by Interaktiv