It’s time to stock up the RV and hit the open road. And whether you’re spending a week at the campground or a month in the wilderness, food is essential. Therein lies a campers’ dilemma: long term food storage. Often, campers will pack too much or run out of food early in their venture. If you hope to avoid similar camp-food mistakes, these tips may help you pack your RV pantry like a pro.
Get More Mileage with Freeze Dried or Dehydrated Foods
In a kitchen on wheels, space and weight are top priorities. Luckily, dehydrated and dried foods are great solutions that maximize space and travel light. For example, dehydrated tomato powder yields more than 6 times its weight when it’s prepared. Imagine how many cans of tomato sauce it would take to match that. And don’t worry about losing nutrients from eating dehydrated foods. The health benefits of these tasty space savers are comparable to those of fresh foods. Plus, they can last in your RV pantry for up to two years (when stored properly), making it easier to buy in bulk and use for more than one excursion.
Can those Cans!
There’s no doubt about it: Cans are heavy. In order to preserve the foods within, cans contain excess water that consumers usually drain and waste prior to cooking. If you’re curious, our Rehydration Chart will show you the difference a little added water can make to the weight of your food. Cans are also more difficult to store because of their round shape, which makes them prone to rolling or falling over during transit. Most cabinets in recreational vehicles are designed with rectangular openings. This means similarly shaped containers will maximize your space and be sturdier if you hit a few bumps in the road.
Plan Your Meals Prior to Liftoff
Have you ever found yourself asking, “How much food will I really need?” Well, you’re not alone. Rather than taking a guess and falling short or over packing (as so many campers often do), try mapping out your meals for each day before you start your trip. Then use a Serving Size Chart for the dried foods you’ve chosen to help estimate how much you will need to bring along. This process may save space, cash, and time in the long run.
Don’t Forget Storage Accessories
For extra long trips or storage periods, a vacuum sealer is a helpful tool. Vacuum sealing before you stock up protects food from pests and moisture, and adds significant time to the shelf life of dehydrated foods. It’s also wise to carry a few handy zip pouches for leftovers or small portions, instead of bulky or fragile containers. Additionally, there are clever accessories, including mountable racks and spice clips, designed to efficiently store your must-have food flavors.
Be Prepared: Food Storage Safety Tips
Always have emergency water on hand, even if there is water access or a natural water source – anything can happen. Depending on your travel destination, you may also need to take extra food storage precautions. National Parks and campgrounds often have restrictions regarding bears and other critters that require special storage devices, which may restrict the quantities and types of food you can bring along. Before beginning your trek, be sure to brush up on regulations and wildlife in the area, so you can safely enjoy your adventure.