We’ve been so busy preparing for Canada Day that we’ve barely had time to keep up with our blog! We couldn’t leave our readers hanging though, so here’s a blog from the past which should make your summer camping experience a little easier.
Camping is a great way to spend some quality time outdoors during the few Canadian summer months and if you can endure the bugs, there are a lot of activities, such as hiking and swimming, to keep everyone entertained and happy. But one thing to seriously consider before heading to your camp site is what type of food to bring with you and how you’ll be storing it. Here are some handy tips to take some of the guess work out of it.
1. PREPARE A MENU FOR YOUR TRIP
If you’re planning an overnight camping trip, you’ll still need to be careful of what foods to pack but less concerned than if you’re camping out for the week. Planning a menu is a great way to make sure you have all the supplies you need.
Frozen meats such as chicken, are suggested. Because they need time to thaw, they’ll stay cold for longer than fresh meat. Pack a separate cooler specifically for your meats to avoid cross-contamination. Consider marinating meat before freezing it; this way all you’ll have to do is thaw and cook it. Once thawed, meat should be consumed within two days, but most importantly, when cooking meat, make sure you have a food thermometer handy that way you’ll know when meat is properly cooked through. (You’ll find this information under “More Tips”)
Whole grain breads, such as bagels are great for breakfast. Bring them frozen and let them thaw. They’ll last longer this way.
Peanut butter is a great topper for bagels or other whole grain breads and is also a good source of protein.
Whole grain pastas can be boiled in a pot over an open fire with the proper camping cookware. Add in tomato sauce, herbs and seasonings for a very simple dish that will please the kids, or add sundried tomatoes, garlic, herbs, seasonings and a splash of olive oil for a simple yet flavourful meal.
Sweet potatoes can be baked in foil and have plenty of flavour just on their own. They are also packed with antioxidants!
Canned beans such as chick peas, red kidney beans and black beans can be heavier to carry but make great bean salads. Because they are high in fiber, they’ll fill you up and you’ll probably have some leftovers. Toss in a can of tuna, chicken or salmon for some extra protein!
Condiments such as oils, different types of vinegars, salt, pepper, dried herbs and spices are a great way to make marinades for your meats or a super tasty dressing for that bean salad! You may want to consider some lemons, limes or oranges too! Use the juice and zests to add some zing!
Granola and trail mix make a great snack!
Powdered Milkis a great option. You can make as much as you need to last you one meal. Your kids can also enjoy their favourite cereal for breakfast.
PLENTY of water!!! Keep any drinks in a separate cooler. You’ll often be grabbing drinks from this cooler letting warm air into it, so avoid storing foods in the same cooler as your drinks. Remember, you are camping and therefore sharing the great outdoors with Canadian wildlife, so if you’ll be away from your camp site for a while, find a safe place to hide your food. After all, you didn’t do all that meal planning to feed the raccoons and bears!
2. KEEP THINGS COOL
Bring two coolers - Keep all foods in tightly sealed containers and separate meats and drinks into their own coolers to prevent any cross contamination.
More tips: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency offers some great tips on preventing food borne illness while camping, including a list of internal cooking temperatures. Check out their handy tips here.