You might be familiar with what it’s like to go camping. Typically, the kind of food you have available to eat is freeze dried, vacuum sealed, and dry.
You often have to pack dehydrated meals or sealed meals like MRE or “Meals, Ready to Eat” (the type used for military rations.) These are all prepared food products. They’re typically safe to eat, but not especially “fresh”.
Having a camping refrigerator can help make you able to bring fresher foods to eat with you when you go camping. Camping fridges also mean that when you catch a fish, shoot a deer, et cetera, you are able to save the meat for later so that nothing goes to waste.
This is the environmentally responsible option and also greatly increases the convenience of your camping experience.
Naturally, a refrigerator requires a power source. Operating it from a generator is quite a hassle, requiring you to carry fuel and deal with the noise of a generator. Instead, it might be ideal to use your car’s battery (or a separate 12-volt DC battery) to power your camping fridge.
Note that because a portable fridge draws quite a bit of power, you will need to be sure you do not run down your car’s battery. Keeping an emergency charger is a very good idea if you go this route.
In the event you do use a generator to power your camping refrigerator. If it is a 12 volt fridge, you will need a generator that outputs 12 volts of DC current, rather than the 120 or 230 volt alternating current (AC) that is typically provided by a wall outlet.
You can use what is called a “rectifier” to convert 120 volts or 230 volts AC at 50 or 60 hertz frequency to 12 volts DC (with no frequency.) This 12-volt power supply can also be used for recharging your car’s battery in an emergency. Be sure to research how to do it ahead of time, though, so you don’t damage your battery or hurt yourself.
The highest rated and most reviewed portable fridge on Amazon was the Koolatron Compact Kooler. One picture showed it between the two front seats plugged into the vehicle’s 12-volt cigarette lighter. This would be great not only for camping but also long road trips.
Once your camping fridge is hooked up, you can store a variety of fresh meats, vegetables, fruits, and breads. You can keep everything fresh with ease, and foods will keep much longer than they would exposed to the elements. Depending on the ambient temperature where you decide to camp, you may only need to run your 12 volt fridge some of the time, saving electricity.
Of course, keep in mind that if you camp in a cold location, nature is a great refrigerator. Just be sure that whichever option you choose, that you keep your foods within the proper temperature range to ensure that they are safe to eat.
At higher temperatures, bacteria reproduce quickly and this can increase your chances of dangerous food-borne illness. You don’t want to get sick far away from medical care, so always be careful and be prepared.
Camping fridges may be just the ticket to making your next camping trip one that really stands out. Roughing it doesn’t mean you can’t eat just like a king!