Eating on the Escapade: Food for the Outdoors

Before an adventure into the great outdoors, a little preparation has to happen. Whether camping, backpacking or river rafting, here are a few guidelines for the grocery trip before the trek.

Keep it Lightweight: This is especially important for backpacking or hiking. Carrying an entire meal can get heavy, and canned food can start to feel like bricks after a few hours. Dehydrated food like jerky and fruit are super light but pack the power needed to get to the end. For longer backpacking trips, soup mixes and oatmeal packets are convenient meals that won’t break the backpack straps.

Keep it Filling: Carbs and protein are yin and yang when it comes to conquering mountains. Instant and long-term energy is needed, and both are conveniently packaged together in snacks like trail mix. With nuts, candy and raisins, all the bases are covered.

Keep it Tasty: Being in nature doesn’t necessarily mean having to eat like an animal. With a dutch oven skillet on the camping trip, nearly the entire at-home menu is available, as well as plenty of recipes unique to dutch oven cooking. And who could forget S’mores?

Keep it hot: It’s nice to have a nice hot meal after a long day of adventuring, and cooking options aren’t limited to a roasting spit over a campfire. With a pocket rocket or similar mini stove handy, just add fuel and you have an instant kitchen away from home. And the options are endless with a little aluminum foil; just wrap potatoes, veggies, or almost any other food in the foil, throw it into the coals of a fire for a couple minutes, and dinner is served.

Keep it Cool: There’s no reason why fresh produce can’t be a part of the camping trip. But if you want the food to stay fresh, make sure to have plenty of ice and a cooler to store it in. Blocks of ice will keep the food colder than smaller cubes. And if it’s a longer trip, it’s best if the fresh food is consumed…well, while it’s still fresh.

Keep it Easy: Don’t make the food prep longer than the trip when it doesn’t need to be. Foods like granola bars, nuts and fruit are quick and easy options that take no preparation and can be eaten while on the go.

Story by: Larissa Beatty
Photos by: Mitchell Quartz and Nathan Shipps on Unsplash