Recently, we put together a list of '17 Genius Camping Hacks for Clever Campers'. The list contained camping tricks ranging from resourceful ways to start a campfire, camping hacks to use on the hiking trail and a few nighttime hacks every camper should know.
An area we didn't focus a whole lot of attention on was food. Getting food right on a camping trip is always a challenge. Making sure you have all your camping gear with you when you leave home is one thing. Bringing five days worth of food while trying to remember every minute detail is next to impossible. How many times have you left home without salt, napkins, butter or even cutlery?
We decided that campers need all the tricks and tips they can get when it comes to food. That is why we compiled this list of 13 camping food hacks. These aren't necessarily recipes or our favourite foods to bring. These are little tidbits of information and inventive tricks that will help make life a little easier. We hope you enjoy them.
1. Spicy Tic Tacs
Plain ole camp food meals can be transformed with herbs and spices. A little bit of grilled chicken or chickpea is fine. Put some curry powder in the mix and camp food just got a whole lot more inticing. Yes, herbs and spices are great but they're not the most convenient. That is where empty Tic Tac boxes come in handy. They are compact and secure with a built-in sprinkle mechanism to boot. It was almost as if they were made for camping.
2. Leave the Pasta at Home
Pasta is a friend of the outdoor explorer. It's an easy way to get in carbs are much needed on the hiking trail. However, cooking pasta is not the most convenient. When you're camping, your setup is limited and you don't have time to wait 20-30 minutes for pasta to cook on a one-speed stove. That's where quinoa comes in handy. It's even more nutritious, ready in minutes and requires far less water to come. Quinoa, the camper's carbohydrate hit.
3. Can't Live Without Pasta
If you absolutely need pasta in your life then at least cook it in the most energy efficient way. All you got to do is leave the pasta to soak in cold water before you cook it. This helps to soften the pasta and then you can turn on the gas. Soft pasta cooks faster, allowing you to save your limited gas supply.
4. On The Go Eggs
This is the first egg-related camping food hack. In reality, we could have compiled a list of nothing but egg hacks! For a lot of folks, eggs are an essential food. We love all the clever ways of using eggs but our favourite camping food hack has to do with storage.
A large tray of eggs can take up a lot of room. However, eggs keep for a long time. So. before you leave home, crack a dozen eggs and add them to a large plastic bottle. You can then pour them out when it's cooking time. Another useful trick, when you are pouring the eggs into the bottle, mark a line on the bottle after every egg you add. Now, when cooking, you know exactly how many eggs you are working with.
5. Not Just For Beer
Most people will bring a little cardboard 6 pack tray with them on their camping holiday. But beer isn't all that six pack tray is good for. They're also perfect for holding your essential kitchen items. Six perfect little holders for napkins, plastic cutlery and condiments. And you thought it was just recyclable junk, tut tut.
6. Tin Foil is Your Friend
Cooking camp food requires a good camping stove. Right? Wrong. An easy way to cook food is to make a little fire, wrap your food in tin foil and gently place it in the fire to heat up. Now that's real survival cooking!
7. Fat is Your Friend Too
If you are leaving your base for a long day of exercise, it can be hard to know what food supplies to bring. Just remember, fat is your friend. Healthy fats digest twice as slow as carbs. This will leave you fuller for longer. So bring along some nuts, almonds, cashews, avocados, even some dark chocolate. Healthy fats equals more energy for longer.
8. No Tin Opener, No Problem
Did you bring a can of tuna but forgot to bring a can opener?
Don't worry, we have a camping food hack just for you. If you are ever stuck you can open a tuna can by rapidly scraping the base of the can off a flat rock. If can take a minute but just wait for the pressure to become all too much for the tuna as it pops open. Who needs can openers?!
9. We Want Ground Coffee
It's funny. Some people are complete coffee addicts yet they turn their nose at instant coffee. We don't know what people did pre-Starbucks.
If you love having a coffee on a camping trip but can only drink ground coffee, this camping food hack has you covered. Before you leave your home, make a few rolled up filter coffee bombs. To make one, pour a few spoons of ground coffee into the filter and tie it into a ball using some floss. While on your camping trip you can drop your tied up coffee bomb into a pot of boiling water. The water will absorb the coffee without taking the leaves. Throw away the coffee bomb and you are left with some mighty fine coffee.
10. Iced Water, Cold Cooler Box
It's always good to bring a few extra bottle of water for your trip. However, you can make them useful in more ways than one. Freeze a few bottles overnight and add it to your cooler box as makeshift cooler bags. Not only do you have ice cold water but maybe even a few cold beers too!
11. Keep the Bugs Out
Love to have a drink by the campfire but don't love the bugs and bits that land in your drink? Use cupcake liners as makeshift lids. Poke a straw through and enjoy a nice bug-free refreshment.
12. Eggs For Everyone
We said it earlier that we could have made an egg-filled camping food hacks lists. We promise to keep it at two but we had to share this poached egg hack.
If you have a large group for breakfast, you don't want to spend all day preparing. Simply bring along a muffin tray and crack the eggs into the moulds. On a grill or campfire you can cook 12 eggs at once. We may have just saved half a day's work.
13. Toasted Marshmallows for Adults
Toasted marshmallows are delicious. They are a must-have for all family camping gathering. However, this camping food hack for adults brings a new dimension to smores. After you toast your marshmallow, dip it into a cup of Baileys. Don't question it, just do it. It's delicious.
Warning: Toast marshmallow first, then add Baileys. The reverse could leave you with some seriously hot fingers!
We hoped you enjoy these quick-fire 13 camping food hacks. Want to see more from our blog? In the past few months we've been sharing tips on choosing the best camping gear. Discover what's important when choosing a hiking backpack, sleeping bags, camping hammocks and more. Enjoy!