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If you’re the adventurous type, there’s nothing more thrilling than hitting the road, whether by car, foot, bike or whatever mode of transport you can get your hands on. Even if you’re not the adventurous type, there’s still the excitement of packing a bag full of yummy road trip snacks that you can get excited about.
One of the biggest challenges with taking long road trips or camping for a weekend is feeding yourself and your crew good quality, nourishing foods.
With a little preparation though, you don’t need to doom yourself to days of stale french fries and soggy gas station sandwiches. Here are 6 practical camping and road trip food storage tips to keep you eating Real Food no matter where you go!
#1 — Cool Storage
Food storage is the #1 thing to keep in mind when preparing for a camping trip or road trip.
One of the best investments I have made is buying a good quality cooler with insulation that can keep ice bricks frozen for up to 3 days in cold weather and even nearly 2 days in the heat of summer. These coolers are perfect for overnight camping trips or longer road trips. This allows you to travel with few cool items or keep food fresh for longer than a few hours.
#2 — Prepare Your First Meal At Home
If your trip requires you to leave early in the day, it’s helpful to prepare your first meal (or even first few meals) the night before so you have food ready to go when you get hungry. This can be as easy as a packed sandwich or leftovers from the night before. It also saves having to resort to a cheap and nasty take-out meal. Keep pre-prepared foods in your cooler to keep them fresh.
#3 — Avoid Plastic
It’s soul-destroying to travel to what are suppose to be pristine natural environments, like a national park or beach, only to see plastic wrappings littering the landscape. Even if you’re not intentionally throwing your rubbish into the wind, it’s all too easy for a plastic bag or wrapper to be swept up by the wind when you turn your attention away to take a quick photo. I love to live by the motto, “Take only photographs and leave only footprints.”
Beyond the environmental reasons, there are many reasons to avoid plastic-wrapped foods as much as possible.
First, plastic isn’t always the most pest-proof form of storage. Even if you think you’ve clipped an open packet, it’s often not enough to stop rodents from sniffing it out or to stop ants ruining your time. It’s all too easy for one little crumb to invite a whole army of ants into your tent or find their way into your bag.
And second, when traveling, especially in the car, or when exposed to the sun, plastic can heat up rapidly and there’s always the risk of it leeching chemicals into your food when left out for too long.
#4 — Store In Glass Jars Or Containers
A better alternative to plastic is storing your food in glass jars or airtight containers. This will not only help preserve your food better, it will do a far superior job of keeping unwanted visitors from raiding your supplies.
#5 — Organize Your Food
Pack a storage tub or large shopping bag in the trunk of your car with all your non-perishable food items. It’s super handy to keep all your food in one place, and when labeled well, it’s easy to pull out whatever is needed along the way.
It probably goes without saying, but keeping a separate ‘snack bag’ with you in the car that can be easily accessed is a must. 😉
#6 — Take The Basics From Home
Rather than buying all the basics when you get to your destination, like cooking oil and seasonings that you would normally use on a daily basis, pack your own.
No need to bring your entire bottle of olive oil, for example. Pour some into a smaller glass jar and simply take what you will need. The same can be said for any other pantry items.
Bonus! Healthy Camping & Road Trip Snack Ideas
Now what’s a post about camping and road trips without making a few mentions for some snack ideas?
- Nuts and seeds mixes are a no-brainer. Check out Wildly Organic’s selection of raw and soaked/dried nuts and seeds!
- Few people can go past a trail mix (unless you have a nut allergy of course!). This Nut-Free & Nourishing Tropical Twist Trail Mix or Wildly Organic’s own Superfood Trail Mix will add a fresh burst of flavor to your camping trip.
- Fresh fruit that won’t get mushy (think apples, grapes and precut melons stored in a container). Only bring bananas if you can ensure they won’t get stuffed at the bottom of the bag and forgotten about!
- Chopped vegetables sticks (carrot, celery, cucumber) with Wildly Organic’s soaked and dried nut butters for dipping
- These 2-Ingredient Berry Fruit Leather Strips are ideal to keep the sweet tooth munchies at bay.
- Here are 17 more healthy car snacks for your epic summer road trip.