Camping Foods That Hold Up Without Refrigeration

Camping Foods That Hold Up Without RefrigerationThe best campsites are off the beaten path, a few miles away from the trailhead, and they usually require a bit of hiking to find. The last thing you want to take along is a heavy cooler stocked with ice. Of course, you do need to take food to sustain you for the duration of your campout, so it's a good idea to choose foods that hold up without refrigeration. Some campers confuse this with very narrow choices and limited culinary enjoyment, but there is more to camping food than granola and energy bars. Here are some ideas for tasty camping cuisine.

Instant Foods Make Easy Meals

Instant oatmeal, mixed with a spoon of powdered milk and augmented with a few dried raisins and almond slivers, is an excellent meal. Mix it with hot water to take the chill off a cool morning, or with tepid water to satisfy your hunger in the heat of the day. Premixed oatmeal, raisins, nuts and powdered milk contain valuable protein and carbohydrates for energy, as well as fiber for a feeling of fullness. They are lightweight, and even if kept in a hot pack or in the full sun will be edible.

Pack Some Baking Mix

A baking mix such as Bisquick is versatile and perfect for a number of meals. Use it to prepare flapjacks in the morning, pan biscuits as a side dish to go with the fish you caught, or mix some of the powder with spices as a tasty coating for whatever you fry. It carries easily in a Ziploc bag.

Healthy, Carbohydrate-Rich Deserts

Many brands of peanut butter do not need to be refrigerated; neither does the chocolate-rich Nutella. Pack these, along with crackers or bagel chips, for great quick snacks along the hike, in between meals or as deserts. There's no need to use a spoon: Simply scoop out the spread with a cracker.
Keep in mind that Nutella gets very runny when left in the full sun; the same happens to some brands of peanut butter. While the food will keep without refrigeration, storing it in the shade is advisable.

Some Fresh Fruits Holds Up Well

Camping Foods That Hold Up Without Refrigeration

Notice how in the grocery store some fruits and veggies are not refrigerated? Usually they are the ones that have their own tough, outer skins. Examples include oranges, tangerines, bananas, tart apples, cranberries, blueberries, tomatoes and pomegranates. Mix them with granola, or simply dip the bigger fruit or veggie into the granola, and you have a healthy, filling meal at your campsite.

Commercially Available Foods

There are many foods that are prepackaged for campers. They include entire meals and either may be boiled in their packages until heated through, or require the addition of boiling water to reconstitute. Examples of the latter are the AlpineAire brand of foods, grocery store soup packets, instant couscous and instant noodles.


Article Written By Sylvia Cochran

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.

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