Depending on how long you plan to be camping you can extend the freshness of your food by the way you pack your cooler. The goal is to pack the items you’ll need early on near the top and items you’ll eat a few days in near the bottom. Also, if you’re staying for longer than a couple of days you can pack your food into two coolers and keep cooler number two sealed until you’ve emptied cooler number one.
Begin by preparing any veggies that need to be chopped and meat that will be marinated. You can make foil dinner packs ahead as well. Make sure it is all in leak-proof containers or tightly sealed plastic bags.
Choose a high quality cooler and make it large enough to hold a few days worth of food. You’ll want well insulated walls and a tightly sealing lid.
Pre-cool the food that needs to be refrigerated or freeze it if possible. Choose some well frozen ice to add to the mix in the cooler. You may want to mix it up with some cubes and a block of ice, too. The block will last longer and the cubes will fall between the food to keep it cool.
Pack in layers beginning with a layer of ice on the bottom. Put meat near the bottom because it must stay as cool as possible. You can put your veggies toward the top because they can handle being in mid-range temps.
Once you get to the campground, open the coolers as little as you possibly can. Each time you lift the lid you’ll allow cool air out and warm air in. If you follow these simple steps you should be able to keep your camping meals fresh for several days.