NDSU Extension - Benson County

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Keep your Food Safe when Camping

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

When we are exploring the great outdoors, there can be a lot of planning involved, and food safety should be included.  Depending on how long you plan to camp or be outdoors, the type of food you use, and how it is stored are important factors to keep in mind. 

When camping or hiking, try to make meals so that there are not any left overs.  Oftentimes, it is difficult to safely store food while camping.  Refrigeration or freezer options are usually limited or non-existent.  Choosing items that need no refrigeration is often the best choice.

In addition, be sure to check if campfires are allowed in areas where you will be staying, or if another cooking method, such as grilling will be needed.

Although it may be tempting to ‘live off the land’ for a few days, be cautionary of the health hazards of camping.  Assume river or stream water is unsafe to drink.  There could be harmful microorganisms lurking that could quickly ruin your trip.  If there is not a safe water source near you, bring bottled water instead. 

If you plan to bring meat or fish along when you camp, be sure to double wrap those packages.  Bacteria can easily spread if juices drip from the meat to other foods. 

Even in the great outdoors, it is still important to wash your hands for 20 seconds before you eat.  Germs are everywhere, and can be easily gone with just a few seconds of our time, along with soap and water.

Here is a recipe for a roasted pumpkin seed snack mix, perfect for the fall camping season.  Enjoy! 

Roasted Pumpkin Seed Snack Mix

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups crispy rice or wheat cereal squares
  • 1/2 cup roasted whole pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and serve.

 

Makes: 8 servings.  Each serving contains 194 calories, 10 grams of fat, 93 mg of sodium, 25 carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein. 

 

Sources:  

  • NDSU Extension Service, Keeping Food Safe when Camping and Hiking, July 2016
  • Regional Mental Health Center.  Regional Mental Health Center Cookbook.
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