Few things can beat the joy of hitting the open road, traveling to a campsite at a scenic national park, and enjoying a weekend of camping. One of the challenges you may run into, however, is cooking in the rain. But with the right gear, the right equipment, and the right strategy you and yours can enjoy quality meals even if it’s raining cats and dogs.
So, how do you cook food while camping in the rain? Use these three easy steps to cook food while camping in the rain:
- Do everything you can to stay dry. Make sure your clothing and outerwear will allow you to comfortably cook outdoors whether rain or shine.
- Bring the right equipment so that mealtime is fun whatever the weather.
- Adopt some techniques to keep your food from getting drenched.
Whether you’re going with family or friends, you should make sure you’re ready to cook meals even if it’s raining outside. Your best bet is to create a checklist so that you’re prepared come what may. Let’s now take a closer look at what you need to do to be prepared.
Tip 1: Wear the Right Gear
The last thing you’ll want to do is to have to cook outdoors while the rain is coming down with a fury. It won’t make for a fun occasion. After all, who wants to spend time cooking or doing anything else, for that matter, when their clothes are soaking wet? The good news is that there are things you can do to stay dry and warm. Keep the following gear tips in mind:
Avoid Cotton Clothing; Opt for Synthetic Materials
Cotton fabric brings many benefits. It is breathable and prevents moisture from occurring between your clothing and your skin. But it’s not the best fabric when it comes to camping in a wet or damp environment.
If you wear, say, a cotton shirt and it gets wet, your shirt will pretty much stay wet and damp. That’ll definitely compromise comfort.
Your best bet is to pack clothing manufactured from a lightweight material such as nylon or some other synthetic materials. These materials will address any moisture problems — and keep you comfy.
Raincoat and Rain Pants
You should also travel with a raincoat and rain pants. You really should never leave home without them when going camping. And if you don’t own the right gear, it’s worth going out and buying them. There may be times when you have to step out from under a tarp — should you set one up at your campsite — Wearing a raincoat and rain pants will ensure that you stay bone dry even if you’re in the midst of a rainstorm.
Waterproof Boots and Hat
It’s also a good idea to buy some sturdy waterproof boots or shoes as well as a waterproof hat. These will help to keep your extremities warm as you enjoy the open space that a rural area offers. Combining waterproof boots, a waterproof hat, a raincoat and rain pants will give you all the protection you could ever need when cooking out in the rain.
Tip 2: Bring the Right Equipment
It’s also important to take the right equipment with you. Of course, you won’t have much to worry about in this regard if you go camping in a recreational vehicle equipped with a kitchen. But if you’ll be roughing it, so to speak, you’ll need to carry the right things so that your food stays dry. After all, you won’t want meals you’re preparing to get more water than the recipes call for.
The good news is that the right equipment doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. You likely have some of the required items in your home, garage, or shed right now. And the things you don’t have can be picked up at a department store, big box store, or even online whether new or used.
Things you definitely need to take with you on a camping trip include the following:
- Simple Camp Stove: You really don’t have to go overboard when buying a camp stove. A simple two-burner stove powered by a small propane tank might be all you need. You might want to keep things even simpler by using a barbeque grill fueled by charcoal. Don’t forget to set up a tarp over the cooking area.
- Plastic Bags: Bring lots of plastic bags with you. This means Ziploc-type bags and even large garbage bags. These items will allow you to ensure that food remains dry.
- Tarps: It’s also a good idea to bring some tarps. When you find an ideal area to set up your outdoor kitchen, you may want to suspend some tarps overhead for protection.
- Umbrella: Bringing a large, sturdy umbrella is also a great idea. You’ll need teamwork to execute this strategy. So, if you’re cooking out in the rain, ask one of your travel companions to hold an umbrella to keep you, them, and the food from getting wet.
- Lighter: You may have learned as a child how to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together. But be sure to pack a lighter just in case Mother Nature douses your campsite.
- Coverable Serving Tray: A coverable serving tray will come in useful if you need to get a hot, freshly cooked meal from the cooking area to the tent where your hungry travel companions are waiting. The food will stay hot and won’t get soaked.
Tip 3: Use the Right Techniques
Wearing the right stuff and bringing the right equipment will help, but so too will employing the right strategies. There are things you can do that will make for a more pleasant — perhaps even quite enjoyable — experience while cooking outdoors on a camping trip.
These sorts of techniques won’t cost you a penny. They just need to be implemented. Here’s a look at things you can, and should, do when cooking out in the rain on a camping trip:
- Don’t Pitch Tent or Cooking Area Under Tree: You’ve no doubt heard that it’s unwise to stand under a tree during a thunderstorm. But it’s also unwise to set up your cooking station under one. When it rains, the water will weigh down the branches… and the branches may eventually give way.
- Portion Your Meals: If it’s raining cats and dogs out, you’ll want to portion out your meals in waterproof Ziplock bags. It’ll make it easier to cook what needs to be prepared.
- Organize Your Cooking Area: The more organized you are, the easier it will be to cook your meals. So, logically organize things so that you can be more efficient.
When you pack up your stuff, hit the open road, and travel to a scenic rural spot, you don’t have to allow the elements to rain on your parade.
You just need a little preparation ahead of time, and this will pave the way for an enjoyable trip for you, your family and your friends.
Remember that you probably already have most, if not all, of the things you’ll need to cook outside if it’s raining. Be sure to make a list before heading out so that you don’t forget anything. So, you’ll want to do the following if you want to be ready for kitchen duties rain or shine during a camping trip:
- Dress for the weather
- Bring the things that will help to keep you — and your food — dry
- Keep in mind some best practices for cooking out in the rain on a camping trip