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How to keep food chilled when camping?

We have been away before in our camper van and i managed for 2 days with a couple of cool bags and some ice blocks.But this time we are away for 4 days,the little fridge will be full of milk,butter and yogurts,we have 1 cool box,and quite a few cool bags.
we will be taking burgers,sausages etc for them for the bbq and i will be taking my own stuff quiches,tuna pasta etc.
I am stuck on what to do,i dont want any one becoming poorly:(
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Full Member
Are you on a proper site? A lot of sites do a freezing service where you can put ice packs in the freezer and alternate them daily to keep things cold. Otherwise I would put the meat products in the fridge and the other stuff in the cool bags with ice packs
We are on a proper site,i will have to see if they do that.None of the others we have stayed on have done that,but it is a great idea!


Silver Member
I used to work on a site and we definitely did and when i've been camping the sites always have done. Its usually in the site shop or sometimes in reception. Just make sure you take them up in a carrier bag with your name on them. One ice pack looks very much like another!!


Vegetarian who lives2eat
most camp sites I have been on do this, just write your name on them in permanent marker.Failing that you could just take enough cold stuff for two days then nip to the shops, there is always a tesco wherever you go ,lol,


Full Member
Can you get one of those cool boxes that plugs into you cigarette lighter in your vehicle? Or freeze what you don't need for the 1st day and by the time its defrosted you'll be ready to eat it...


Gold Member
I was going to suggest taking meat which was fresh for the first day and meat which is frozen when you leave for the second day maybe - if you keep it in cool bags then it should be okay.
If the site doesn't freeze as suggested above, I think I'd be buying meat fresh when I needed it.
Sorry that's not too much help but you can't be too careful, especially when (not if) the weather perks up and it gets warm again.

We did 4 days camping last week and I do things like... Freeze my milk before going, it then acts as both an ice pack and just enough will defrost each day. I know that ice packs will keep it cool for 24hours and in that time I try and go to a supermarket and buy bags of ice. These then keep the food cool for atleast 24hours and you will have ice for your drinks!! I just put the bag of ice (still in the bag as it is easier when it melts then) in my cool box and pack my food around it. I did this for the 3 days and both me and my partner were absolutely fine!

Another idea that I got from somewhere was to fill a bucket up with cold water (the camp site we stayed at last week had a stream and we took water from there and honest to God it was freezing) and put bits and pieces in there... remember to change the water when it goes room temp (or should that be tent temp?!), this is a good idea for when you are at the tent so you can keep an eye on it; and remember to keep it in a shaded spot, I quite densley once left ours out in the baking sun adn couldn't figure out why I had to change the water so often!! I tend to do this on the last evening when I dont want to buy ice when I will be packing everything up the next morning.

And like the others have said many camp sites have a freezing service and this would obviously be 1st choice but hopefully my little tips above might help if they don't offer it.

Have a brilliant time!!
I will try out those tips,im not sure where the nearest shop is but the campsite has one, they might do bags of ice
I can only suggest taking the food frozen when you go and keeping it well packed in the cooler box. UHT yogurts don't need refridgerating so that may help. Have a good time anyway and I'm sure no body will be ill. xx
Do you have an electric hook up? We do and I take my daughters tiny mini fridge from her bedroom, it just holds the butter, a pack of sausages, pack of bacon etc. I take uht milk in the pint bricks so no worries there.I take a fair bit of tinned eg beans and sausages, hot dog sausages etc.


Mad as a Hatter
You have all answered a question that I have been pondering...
We are going camping a lot this summer and my little westie is diabetic so I was wondering how to keep her insulin cool - normally has to be kept in the fridge

Some of these suggestions are really good - thanks to you all

We got this really cool mini fridge for when we go camping, it plugs into your car cigarette lighter and charges when the car is on and it keeps cool for like 48 hours when unplugged. It was a bargain at £15!

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