Things you don’t need to pack in your cooler is something I wish I’d had when I started camping in earnest. I had started doing most, if not all, of the cooking for our family and friends. The number of people I cooked for on a long weekend camping trip ranged from five to fifteen people on a regular basis. We had three coolers, and no matter how I tried I could never get everything packed in!
I knew canned goods were fine outside the coolers, and stuff like sugar, teabags and flour. But it took a good many camping trips before I had all the unnecessaries out, and just the stuff that really needs to be in the cooler, in. For a long weekend, not very much needs to go into a cooler:
- Other salty condiments, such as soy sauce and fish sauce
- Other vegetables such as tomatoes, avocados, eggplants, bell peppers, squash, pumpkins and green beans
- Honey, maple syrup, molasses (maple syrup should be refridgerated for long-term storage, but a long weekend is fine)
- Other fruits such as bananas, pineapple, melons and quinces
- Vinegars, steak sauce, hot sauce
- Olive oil and other vegetable oils
- Peanut butter, jams and jellies
- Relishes and pickles
what to pack in your cooler:
- Fresh milk
- Other dairies such as sour cream, yogurt and cheeses
- Sliced tomatoes
- Leafy greens (to keep them crisp)
Even in summer, you will find that the majority of items you take don’t need a cooler for the long weekend. And in fall and winter, that time extends to a week, or indefinitely if it’s freezing out!