June 02, 2017 3 min read


 How are you? Have you done any summer hiking trips yet? We have! And let me tell you this: whenever we're indoors or outdoors, there's only one thing that can make the experience extra enjoyable; food! 

However, in the wilderness, one of the ubiquitous organisms you’re going to see are animals. And just like you, they are also attracted to your food. Bears, rodents, and other animals will chew right through your backpack for any morsel of food that they can get their paws on. 

As a hiker, one of the things you have to bear in mind is to not disrupt the balance in nature, and that includes the natural diet of the animals. If they are fed human food, they can get sick or become dependent to humans, and ultimately, be an nuisance. 

Moreover, minding your food is also a top priority unless you enjoy a trip to the latrine every half an hour. Make sure that you follow our tips below to guarantee yourself an enjoyable and runny poo-free camping trip. 

General Food Storage Tips

•    Do not leave food, wrappings, trash, or any scented materials that can attract animals, inside your tent. 
•    Do not leave your food unattended. Squirrels can grab your lunch away from you faster than you can say, “hey, that’s my lunch!”

Food Storage in a Campground

•    During the day, keep your food items secured inside a cooler or in a car. 
•    At night, keep the cooler inside your vehicle or in a metal bear box if you have one. Raccoons and bears are capable of opening coolers. Some cooler makers guarantee certain models are bear-proof, however locks may be required.

Food Handling Basics

The last thing you want to do during your camping trip is to spend most of it in an outhouse. To avoid this horrible and potentially embarrassing situation, make sure that your food is handled well and cleanly. 
There are three possible ways you can be sick from improper food handling and preparation: 
1. Transmission of bacteria from your hands to your mouth after using the latrine
2. Consuming spoiled food from a cooler
3. Contamination of meat due to improper storage

How to avoid fecal-oral germ transmission:
•    Always wash your hands after using the bathroom. 
•    Dry your hands using a separate towel, not the same towel that you use for drying the dishes
•    Use hand sanitizer if you can't wash your hands

How to keep cooler food from spoiling:
If you’re car camping, it’s most probable that you also have a cooler with you. You’ll want to keep food items that are easily spoiled first, such as raw meat, eggs, milk, at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. 
•    Chill the cooler with ice blocks for a couple of hours before you put in any food.
•    Fill large BPA-free water bottles with water or juice and freeze. These would keep your cooler colder longer than ice cubes, and you can drink the liquid after.
•    Double the Ziplock bag of raw meats so it doesn’t leak and contaminate other food items. 
•    Put raw meat on the bottom where the cooler is coldest. 

More food handling tips:
•    Cook food and wash dishes away from your camp so the smells don’t invite animals near where you sleep. Use only a small amount of liquid unscented soap.
•    Strain out any food scraps and throw them in your trash.

There you go! We wish you a happy trip and we hope you enjoy your food as much as you enjoy the experience. :) 

Happy Hiking!
Daniel E.
Hyke & Byke - Outdoor Gear that Eliminates Poverty

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