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How To Grill Safely On Your Camping Trip

4 minutes

I remember years ago, when I was camping with my family, I was lighting a camp stove.  I let the gas flow for too long before I put a match to the burner.  Woosh! That was when I learned what burning hair smelled like.  When you head off for a camping trip, the last thing on your mind is a grilling accident. This could happen to you if you don’t pay to attention to some basic rules for grilling safety, whether you are cooking on a portable grill or right on the campfire.

Food safety is another area that should be a concern when you are packing for a camping trip.  A few simple rules can make a big difference in your camping experience.

Grilling Safety

Before you even start out, find out if there are any fire regulations in effect.  In periods of drought, many recreation areas will issue a ban on open fires.  I remember one time I was going backpacking with my friend.  We had freeze dried meal packets and instant coffee.  When we went to get our back country permit, we were told that no fires were allowed, not even backpacker stoves.  We wound up adding hot water to our meal pouches before we even left to start our hike.  The next morning, we had instant coffee with cold water.  This was not a pleasant experience.  So, my advice to you is to check with the campground where you are going to make sure you can have that grill  or campfire.

Make sure you know how to set up your grill before you leave.  Usually, this is a simple procedure.  If your grill comes with a stand, like the Coleman portable Road Trip grill,
use it, unless you want to put your grill on a picnic table.  A stand will save you space for food preparation and also eating room.

If your grill sits on a stand, take time to make sure it is steady.   Hopefully, it has adjustable legs, or you may have to use rocks to level it.

Make sure you know how to light your grill or campfire properly.  If you use matches, make sure you get the kind that you can strike anywhere and carry them in a waterproof container.  Fire starters that you use in place of kindling are a great help when it comes to starting a campfire.  You may want to check with your campground to see if they sell firewood.  If not, you could bring some of your own.  Even if you have a grill, you know that you will want a campfire to sit around in the evening.  There’s something about a campfire that makes you mellow.  When I used to sit around the fire with my kids, we would begin to reminisce about experiences that we had as a family.  This was also when I learned some things that they did as children that I never knew about.  I guess it was safe to tell me then!

Make sure that wherever you build your campfire or set up your grill, you are well ventilated and a safe distance from any flammable material, like a tent or sleeping bag.  Remember, sparks will fly and they can burn.

Food Safety

Nobody wants to get sick on a camping trip.  If you have a camper, you probably have a refrigerator that runs on propane.  If you are camping with a pop up or tents, you probably are using a cooler to keep your food cold.  Block ice will keep much longer in your cooler than a bag of ice.

Keeping your cold food cold is one of the most important things you can do.  Check to see if ice is available at your campground.  If you are on an extended camping or road trip, you will need to replace your ice more than once.

Is there clean water available?   You will need a supply of safe to drink water for cooking and for cleaning your fruits and vegetables.  And don’t forget that morning cup of coffee.

Keep your raw and cooked foods separate.  Try to have separate plates and utensils for raw foods.  This a practice that we should be doing in our home kitchens, and especially when we are out camping.  Contamination from raw food is a major source of food poisoning.

Keep lids or tin foil over your pots and pans when you are cooking.  You don’t want stray leaves or any tiny critters dropping in your meal.

Check out my Coleman Road Trip Grill review to see a grill that I recommend.

These are just some simple, common sense rules to help you enjoy your camping experience.  Have a great trip!

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