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Americans love the outdoors. Hiking and camping are great activities the whole family can enjoy. While outdoors you must handle food properly as indicated; otherwise, you may experience food spoilage during hiking and camping trips which can cause illness and spoil your vacation.Keep hot foods hot and cold foods coldSeems simple enough. Bring along a cooler for the cold foods. If you are hiking or camping it’s easier to cook the food at home, cool it, and then bring the food along in the cooler. Food that is cooked on the fire or camp stove should be eaten when cooking is complete and then stored appropriately.Safe Drinking Water Never depend on there being fresh water available. When starting out bring bottled water or tap water with you. Replenish your water supply from tested water systems along the way whenever possible. If you run out of water and are not near a shelter on the trail you can boil water from the stream. It should be at a rolling boil for at least 1 minute. For higher elevations, boil water for at least 3 minutes. If you wanted to go to the expense you could always bring along water purification tablets. Simply follow the directions on the package.What Foods to BringIf your hiking trip is more than a day, the food situation gets a little trickier. You’ll have to include items that don’t spoil. Some items that are non-perishables include:·    Peanut butter in plastic jars;·    Concentrated juice boxes;·    Canned fish or meat, such as tuna, ham, chicken, and beef;·    Dried soups & noodles; ·    Beef jerky and other dried meats; ·    Dehydrated foods; ·    Dried fruits and nuts; and ·    Powdered milk and fruit drinksYou should be sure to include some protein because hiking can be strenuous and you need to keep up your strength.Cleaning up camp after mealsWhether hiking or camping you will be washing your dishes, utensils and cookware. There are specific rules to adhere to. Biodegradable camping soap in liquid and solid forms should be used but use it sparingly and keep it out of all water supplies, as it will pollute.If you use soap wash the pots at your site, not near the water. Dispose of dirty water on dry ground, well away from fresh water. Some outdoor enthusiasts use baking soda to wash their utensils. Use disposable cloths for fast cleanups. To avoid any complications, be sure to wash your hands before and after handling food.General Rules for Outdoor Food SafetyPlan ahead: decide what you are going to eat and how you are going to cook it; then plan what equipment you will need. After your bellies are full and you are roasting marshmallows around the campfire, kick back, relax, and enjoy your trip with the knowledge that all is well with the food supply.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charlotte Winslow has had experience with food spoilage during hiking and camping trips. At http://hikingbasics.info you can learn more and keep this dreadful experience from happening to you.

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