Winter is a great time for outdoor adventures and trips like any other season! However, winter camping does not mean you need to give up comfort, feel thirsty and hungry and eat only cold meals.
In this article, we will find an answer to the age-old question: “How to keep food from freezing winter camping?” and help you make your camping in cold temps at times more comfortable!
If you are going to have a winter camping trip, you need to note that it is advisable to drink more hot drinks and eat warm, full meals at least twice a day to produce enough energy to deal with any weather conditions and stay warm and active during a whole trip!
Let’s start with the preparation
How your winter camping trip goes will depend on your attitude to the first and really important step – preparation!
Cooking delicious meals at home is a great and time-saving step in preparation for the outdoor adventure, no matter the weather conditions and the season. However, sometimes the outdoor activities lovers want to bring hot and tasty meals for the trip but do not know how to do this.
There are some brilliant life hacks to make this process fun and stress-free:
Pay closer attention to the package
Packing your prepared meals in parchment paper is advisable because it creates a non-stick surface and provides a barrier that will help keep food from freezing.
If you want to enjoy scrambled or fried eggs for breakfast in the fresh air, there is great advice!
Before going on a winter camping adventure:
- Crack some eggs into a zip-lock bag, bag it twice and store it correctly.
- When the time comes, get your zip-lock bags with eggs from a cooler and put them in hot water.
- Boil them in a pod or fry them on a frying pad.
Choose the right food
It is important to pay closer attention to a food selection while preparing for the cold weather camping trip. Give a preference for food items resistant to freezing or less likely to freeze. Make a choice depending on the camping you will be doing: meals for winter hiking will differ from meals for car camping.
Pack rice cakes, crispbreads or crackers instead of usual bread, and replace fresh fruits with nuts and dried fruits. If you are a cheese lover, cut a piece of the cheese into slices and put them into a zip-lock bag.
Suppose you want to enjoy the hot first course (like soup, ragout and other liquid goods) while camping, it is advisable to transport them in a thermos. It allows you to keep your dinner warm for 3-4 hours. In addition, the thermos protects food from getting microbes and dirt.
Unfortunately, the thermos is designed for one portion, so it will not be suitable for those who want to keep a lot of food warm, for example, travelling with your family.
Bring already frozen food with you
If you want to go winter camping and be calm about food preparation, purchase some frozen meals and bring them with you! When the time comes, boil water in a pot on a stove or over a fire, put a frozen meal into hot water, wait a bit and enjoy!
You can do these things with meals of any type, like, soups and second courses.
Free-dried food is one of the easiest ways to arrange your meals during winter camping. In simple terms, dehydrated foods, also known as dried food, are edible items completely devoid of water. You can buy pre-dried ready-to-use food or make dehydrated foods at home using a dehydrator a few hours before camping.
If you are scratching your head and wondering what food is suitable to dehydrate, pay attention to our list of ideas!
Some ideas for freeze-dried food
1) Sweet dehydrated fruits, like crispy banana chips, in addition to nuts, will be a quick snack;
2) Freeze dried vegetables to prepare a soup or pasta for dinner;
3) Dehydrated meat and seafood to add to a hearty meal;
How to you use your freeze dehydrated food during winter camping?
Preparing dried food is an excellent option. If you are tired of a long day on your feet and want to fastly cook some delicious meal, enjoy it and go to bed. There is nothing difficult in dehydrated food preparation! Just follow our step-by-step instructions from experienced tourists:
- Choose a suitable meal, which is packed into the vacuum seal bag. As it was mentioned, the freeze-dried food can be easily purchased or be prepared with a dehydrated in home a few hours (6-8) before a trip;
- Use a pot to boil some water over a campfire or stove;
- Carefully put your vacuum seal bag with dehydrated meals into the hot water;
- Wait a bit until the food becomes warm and thawed;
- Enjoy your meal
Use an insulated cooler
A cooler is well-known among experienced tourists. This camping gear is made to maintain the internal temperature regardless of the outside temperature. It prevents edible items from freezing and works just as well when it keeps your food cold in the summer time.
To raise the temperature inside the cooler you can put a hot water bottle. Due to insulation, the heat from the bottle will be kept inside the cooler.
Try to cover the cooler with ice. It will work like an insulator in winter snow and keep food from freezing winter camping.
Insulated bags are another great option for tourists and outdoor activities lovers to keep food products from freezing. For keeping them warm for a longer period pack the hot food only, because the insulated bags are known as camping gear that is made to keep the temperature inside the same.
It is not necessary to spend money on expensive insulated bags! You can easily make an insulated container for your food at home. It will help to keep your food warm during the trip.
For this take a bag or a deep bowl, put a few layers of aluminium foil inside and wrap it outside with a few layers of foil too. The hotter the meal is, the longer it will be warm in the insulated container. It is advisable to wear protective gloves so as not to burn yourself.
How to keep food from freezing in field conditions?
There are various opinions about whether storing your food in the tent is acceptable to keep it from freezing. On the one hand, the tent will play the role of a blanket: it will reflect the heat from the food and keep it warm. On the other hand, the smell of your food will attract small rodents or even some carnivores, which can disrupt your sleep and ruin your winter trip.
If you do not have an opportunity to use coolers to keep your food from freezing on a camping trip, try to keep food warm with your body heat!
Use a sleeping bag
First thing you can do to keep food from freezing in winter camping is pack all edible items into zip packs and put it in your sleeping bag. You can also sleep in this bag and your body heat will keep food warm.
Do not forget about winter hiking socks
Unusual but effective method – use your clean winter hiking socks to store some edible items and keep food from freezing.
Keep your food warm during winter camping without an insulated bag or foil! How? For this you will need thick fabric and dry rice. You can easily use your spare winter socks. Pour some rice into socks or put it on the centre of the piece of fabric and wrap it tightly. Additionally, you can tie it up with a rope or lace. If you do not have rice, you can replace it with some beans. It also helps to keep your food hot during winter camping.
The next step is to put the fabric or socks with rice/beans into a microwave oven for 2-3 minutes. It is long enough to become hot. Then you must put our self-made heater to the dish with the food. They must be densely pressed to each other. The dry rice becomes cooler slowly, so the meal will be warm for 2-3 hour.
Use spare jackets and fleece
Wrap your food with a spare jacket or fleece. Pay closer attention to this time-tested lifehack since you do not want food liquids to ruin a pair of winter socks you plan on wearing on your trip in cold temperatures.
Keep your food from freezing with the mylar blankets
In case of an emergency, the mylar blankets will come to the rescue. Wrap your food with the mylar blanket to enjoy a warm meal after a long day. It is important to use an extra mylar blanket, not your first aid kit one.
Use the power of Nature
Using the sun’s heat to make your outdoor trip more comfortable is a great idea! Please choose a suitable cooler or water jugs (give the preference to dark color), put them in such a way that they fall into the sunlight to keep things warm and thawed.
How to keep water from freezing during winter camping?
Water is just as important part of human nutrition as food. It is necessary to drink your water intake to stay active and hard to withstand long-lasting days on your feet while winter camping. It is easy to face difficulty while trying to keep water from freezing during winter camping.
There are different time-tested methods, and life hacks to keep your water warm during winter camping.
Store the water in the insulated water bottles with a protective layer
Do not neglect this helpful, practical advice. It is the simplest way to slow down a freezing process. If you decide to store water in usual water bottles, you will face water scarcity because it will freeze fast.
Use your body heat
Keep water bottles on you or put them in your sleeping bag when you take a nap or sleep.
Insulate water with snow
Dig a small hole in the snow, put water jugs in a spot and cover them with a layer of snow.
Our article will help you to solve the problem of keeping food items warm during your winter camping or hiking without stress and worries! We wish you a comfortable and fun adventure in any weather conditions!
If you want to know, how to stay warm in a tent, read the following articles.
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