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How to Keep Food from Spoiling on a Camping Trip

When camping, the risk of food spoilage can be minimized if you keep these tips in mind.


  • Step 1: Keep food hot or cold Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Most food bacteria stop growing at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The in-between range is the danger zone.
  • Step 2: Practice good hygiene Practice good hygiene. Bacteria present on raw meat can spread to other foods if juices are allowed to drip from packages, hands, or utensils.
  • Step 3: Transport food cold Transport food in the cold state. It is easier to keep things cold than it is to keep them hot. Use frozen gel-packs or frozen box drinks as cold sources.
  • Step 4: Bring disposable wipes Bring disposable wipes to clean dishes if clean water will not be available.
  • TIP: If you plan to use water from streams, lakes, or springs, be sure to purify it first. The safest way to purify water is to boil it.
  • Step 5: Carry shelf-stable foods Carry light-weight, shelf-stable items for the duration of your trip. Cold foods are best used on the first day of camping.
  • Step 6: Use a food thermometer Use a food thermometer when cooking meat or poultry over an open fire or on a portable stove to make sure it is fully cooked. Always be sure to clean the thermometer after using it.
  • Step 7: Enjoy your trip Enjoy your healthy, food-poisoning-free camping trip.
  • FACT: More than 700 serotypes of E. coli have been identified.

You Will Need

  • Hot foods
  • Cold foods
  • Good hygiene
  • Frozen gel-packs or frozen box drinks
  • Disposable wipes
  • Shelf-stable items
  • Food thermometer

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