Camping Food Storage – 13 Tips To Keep You And Your Guests Safe

Written By: Eric Williams
Reviewed by: Mike Reyes
Last Updated November 1, 2023

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people at a campground drinking around a campfire

If a camping trip is in your plans, one of your main concerns will likely be what kind of food you’ll pack and camping food storage ideas. Planning a camping trip can be hard enough, and if the food loses its taste or spoils, this will make things even more difficult. For a longer trip, fresh food might be the hardest thing to achieve. But, with a few tips, you’ll be good to go.

13 camping storage ideas for camping food storage

Keep smelly stuff in one place

Have you ever walked to the campsite holding your toothpaste, deodorant, and soap in your hands because they’re too smelly to pack up with the rest of your gear? When we do this, we end up waiting until we can find a spot that’s far enough away from our friends and then quickly change out of our clothes.

The solution is to put your toothpaste, deodorant, and soap in a plastic bag before putting it into your backpack or duffel bag. If you keep these three separate, you can move the entire bag of smelly stuff to another spot if someone gets too close or put them on a picnic table.

Remember next time you’re camping with friends, not to neglect this simple trick because you’ll be able to enjoy your campout without having to relocate all of your smelly stuff!

Some people also use a separate container for other items that might start not smelling but will later. You should apply sunscreen in a container that is separate from the one you keep your toothpaste, deodorant, and soap in so you’ll have a separate place to put them away.

Have specific storage ready for your trash

Sometimes, if you’re planning a camping adventure that will involve cooking your food, then the simplest thing to do is pack a lot of trash. This means that you’ll have garbage bags and containers already set aside for this specific purpose.

If you don’t want to tamper with having a separate container for trash, then there are still ways to ensure that your trash stays away from your food, like plastic bags. Many people who cook their food will put the garbage at a distance from where they’re cooking, and it’s also a good idea to have a trash bag with you.

Use see-through storage bins

Having a sense of direction will help you when you’re packing for camping trips. This way, you know where everything is–and if it’s there at all. One of the ways to tell if an item is in a particular box is by using see-through storage bins.

These plastic containers are almost entirely transparent, so be sure to label the sides of each one so you won’t have any trouble spotting them when it’s time to eat.

See-through storage bins are easy to stack inside another camping food storage box. This should be a good solution if you want to put more than one type of canned goods without mixing them up with the rest of your foods. You can stack them over each other, but make sure to put the lids on tight.

Make a diagram of your camping food storage boxes before putting anything in them. This way, you’ll never forget where everything’s supposed to go. And you’ll see if anyone messes around with things that they’re not supposed to touch. If you’re packing for a camping trip with friends, this is especially important.

People can be clumsy and careless at times, which means they might accidentally kick the containers in the dark or knock them over when setting up camp.

Embrace multi-use items

optimize Camping food storage by using multi use items such as coffee cups.

This seems to be one of the most effective for those camping food storage ideas. Just because you’re going camping doesn’t mean that you have to pack everything from home. If you can use something for multiple purposes, always choose that over a singular option.

As an example, consider a favorite cup or mug used during the week. If you’re camping, this can act as your drinking cup, but it can also be used to scoop water out of a river or lake and take it back to camp. You could even use something like this to brush your teeth in the morning if there’s no chance for privacy.

You can also consider other multi-use items, such as grocery store bags with multiple compartments. This way, you can keep your canned goods and dry foods separate from one another without having to get an extra container for just one type of food.

Get organized but keep it light

One of the best camping food storage ideas is ensuring that everything is properly labeled and organized. In this way, you know exactly where to look for something when it’s needed.

However, just because you’re going camping does not mean that you have room to bring many bulky types of equipment with you, like a hanging shoe rack. There are many ways to stay organized without accidentally packing for yourself.

For example, you could get a camping food storage box with these special compartments or labels. If you do this, make sure that the color of the label matches up with the color on your food items. For instance, if your pasta is in a blue container, make sure to put the blue label on that container.

Another option to consider is using a camping food storage bag instead of a box. These are often made from mesh and lightweight material, which means nothing can go wrong if you mistakenly bump it or knock it over. Plus, they take up a lot less room.

Compression sacks are your friends for cramped quarters

If you’re going camping and have a specific destination in mind, you most likely won’t be able to bring much equipment. In this case, one of your larger concerns is how much space is available.

One camping food storage idea might be to use a compression sack with all of your clothes. This doesn’t just save room; it also keeps everything clean and pressed for easy access whenever you need something more than just the bare minimum.

Just make sure that these sacks are completely closed before you try to compress them as much as possible. Otherwise, the contents will fly out and take you by surprise.

Water storage containers for primitive camping

If your plan is to stay in one spot for longer than usual, then you might want to consider using water storage containers instead of having to drink directly from any nearby rivers or lakes. These containers are usually made with plastic so that they can be thrown away after you’re done with them.

Just make sure that the containers can be sealed completely before you drink out of them so that no water will escape if something goes wrong. Also, try to choose cups or spouts instead of lids to be easier to use on the go.

Take advantage of old metal coffee cans

If you’re looking for a great camping food storage idea, you should think about using old metal coffee cans. These can come in handy for storing so many different foods or supplies that it’s almost ridiculous.

First of all, the lids on these coffee cans are designed to screw on and off completely so that no moisture will escape if they tip over. This makes them great for storing things like cookies, chips, or dry foods of any kind.

You could even use these cans as makeshift cups by filling them with whatever you like and carrying them around with you instead of a normal drinking cup or camping mug. However, make sure to wash out the can completely before putting anything inside it.

Mini containers to bring along spices

One of the most irritating parts about camping might be not cooking exactly what you want, especially if it’s your favorite meal. One of the best camping food storage ideas is to bring along mini spice containers so that you can make your meals even if they’re going to be a little different from the way you’re used to.

The advantage is that most spices stay fresh for a long time, which means you won’t have to worry about re-buying anything or getting sick of all of the flavors too quickly. Also, these containers are small and light enough to fit on your keychain so that they can be taken with you anywhere.

Set up a hand and dish washing station

When you’re camping, it’s important to keep the number of germs and bacteria as low as possible. This means that it’s a good idea to have hand and dishwashing stations established at all times.

If you ever have doubt about whether or not your dishes are clean enough, look for bubbles. Now, if they don’t form, your dishes are clean enough to use again.

Indeed, if you’re looking for a good camping food storage idea, this should be one of the first things on your list because it helps keep everyone safe and healthy.

Make a poop bag

Sometimes it can be so hard to find a place to put all of your different bags and carryalls when you’re out camping. However, there’s one more thing that you might want to try if you’re having trouble with finding enough storage space.

Make a poop bag holder by drilling small holes into the side of a tree and then putting a small rope or belt through them. You can therefore use this as a holder for all of your bags by just tying them onto the belt or piece of rope.

This is a perfect way to keep your equipment organized and ready for anything that you might need it for, especially if you’re going out on a regular camping trip. Remember to carry your toilet paper as a necessity at this point.

Select storage boxes for your camping gear

Not every camping bin is created equally. That’s why you should always go with what you know, and here that means investing in the best storage options for your gear.

There are plenty of different types of storage boxes to meet all of your needs, including weather-resistant containers designed specifically for transporting sleeping bags or items inside tents. Look for models that are stackable and easy to assemble while also holding enough for your whole camping trip.

Choose sturdy, heavy-duty boxes specifically designed for camping. These will be made of materials that can take a beating and protect your items from water damage in the camping vehicle and the outside environment.

The camping bins system

Finally, one of the most effective camping food storage ideas you can use is to get ready-made bins and boxes specifically designed as camping food storage containers. You can find multiple sets of these containers in just about any store across the country, and they’re usually very affordable as well.

The best part about using these types of containers is that they’ve already been designed to be stackable, which means you won’t have to worry about things taking up too much space or being hard to transport.


Camping food storage ideas are simple to incorporate into your plan for a safe and happy time out in the wilderness. Since there is a wide range of ways to cook things, there’s no need to waste space with useless items.

It’s better off being packed with meals that will keep you energized throughout the day or snacks that’ll keep you upbeat. Anything that can be eaten at a moment’s notice is the best to pack along.

Even though these are some of the best camping food storage ideas that you can find, it still doesn’t hurt to get creative with what’s available to you. After all, who knows what you might be able to come up with on your own?

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