Eating Well in the Wilderness


Cooler for rafting

Who doesn’t love to spend time in the great outdoors? From the most rugged and adventurous explorers who opt to sleep under the stars after a long hike, to those who prefer to return to a cozy cabin after a day of fishing, people take to the wilderness, or at least a campground, when they just need to feel a bit more connected to nature. In this, the digital age and an era of technology which seems to be continuously evolving, we are rarely short on sources of entertainment, but too many people forget the beauty that can be found by disconnecting from at least a few devices and getting back to our more basic needs — feeling wild and free.

Pack up the tent, time to head into the unknown!
Whatever your camping method, it is difficult not to get excited when it comes to getting away from the bustle of city life, jobs, chores, and responsibilities. There is an innate desire in each of us — some stronger than others — that gives us that itch to get back to our origins, when our species lived in nature and let it nurture us. Of course there are very few of us that can or will actually go completely off the grid and attempt to rough it without any of the modern comforts we’ve come to love. So, unless you fall on the other end of the spectrum and actually bring a refrigerator with you on such a trip, chances are you are going to be wanting a camping cooler. But it’s not always as simple as throwing a hodgepodge into any old box that will be deemed the camping cooler.

Things to consider when packing the camping cooler
You may like to fly by the seat of your pants in general, and while you may often pull that off, there are a few things to think about before you jump into a camping trip unprepared.

  • Keeping yourself fueled
    While throwing some quick snacks into the car may seem like a simple solution, chances are it won’t take long before you and the others you are camping with are going to be craving an actual meal. Particularly if you are camping a good hike or drive away from any convenient stores or grocery markets, you are going to want something substantial. Even if you are planning on hunting or fishing for your meals, you’ll at least want something as a backup, in case you’re not as successful as you’d hoped in the hunt or starting the fire.
  • Keeping the food safe for yourself
    You’ve left most of your electronics and modern amenities behind. You’ll be just fine winging it as far as food you have grabbed from the fridge and tossed into the car, right? Wrong. There are things you do when you’re camping that you wouldn’t do at your house. But eating food that needs to be refrigerated after it has been sitting in the car or out in the sun is a big no-no. An obvious point for some, for those of you who weren’t planning on putting much thought into the menu or storage of food, don’t ruin your vacation or anyone else’s with food-related illness.
  • Keeping the food safe from wildlife
    Get far enough away from cities and you’ll start seeing signs reminding you to “Be Bear Aware!” There are coolers that are constructed to be bear-proof, typically meaning that they can withstand a full hour of contact with a bear, but it’s probably best to not be in the situation that tests it. Bears can pick up on smells from over a mile away, a sense about seven times more powerful than a dog’s. Many experts recommend storing food away from the area that people will be sleeping, and to hang it from a tree branch so that it dangles well off the ground and away from the trunk. You’d probably be wise to bring some bear spray too.

Spend your lovely adventure enjoying the experience of getting back to nature, not worrying about what you’ll eat, or if it’s okay to eat, or if something else will be joining you to eat it — or you. Camp smart, and put some thought into that camping cooler.

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