Rules in the Kitchen for Outdoor Camping

Rules in the Kitchen for Outdoor Camping
Responsible camping begins in the camp kitchen. Cooking in the backcountry can have a large impact on the surrounding environment, so minimizing your footprint at dinner time is essential to good wilderness ethics. The smells of human food also present problems for wildlife and pose potential risk to you and your hiking party if improperly dealt with. Take the time to learn about responsible cooking techniques before your next backcountry adventure.

Cook Away from Your Tent Site

You should set up your kitchen about 100 feet from your tents, especially in bear country. The cooking smells will linger around the area for some time, and animals will be attracted to the kitchen site. Don't take the risk of a raccoon--or a bear--rustling against your tent.


Pay Attention to Cleanup

Washing dishes in the backcountry is a chore, especially because you need to take extra precautions about where you pour waste water. Use only hot water; or if you must use soap, use only biodegradable camp soap. Wash your dishes 100 feet from your tents, as with your kitchen area, and 100 feet from any water source. If you plan to use the dishes again with 8 hours or so, use treated water to wash.

Secure Your Food

Hang or stuff your food in bear-proof canisters to protect it from wildlife. Include anything with food smells in this bag, including wrappers, dishes and utensils, and stoves. In grizzly bear country, you should also hang the clothes you wore to dinner. Check with local regulations before choosing between hanging and canning your food, as some parks require one method.


Article Written By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson earned his Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from The Ohio University. He has been a professional writer since 2008, specializing in outdoors content and instruction. Johnson's poetry has appeared in such publications as "Sphere" and "17 1/2 Magazine."

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