How to keep food from freezing winter camping guide: expert tips for 2023

Our expert guide on keeping your food from freezing while camping in the winter

It’s that time of year again when the temperature starts to drop and camping becomes a fun winter activity.

However, one thing that can ruin your fun is if your food freezes.

When you spend all day and night in the cold, you want to be able to look forward to a lovely, hot meal to warm you up.

Here are some tips on how to prevent your food from freezing while you camp in the cold weather.

Keep reading for more information!

How to keep food from freezing winter camping

One of the key challenges of camping in winter is keeping your food from freezing. This can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible – here are a few tips to help you out.



The best way to prevent your food from freezing during winter camping months is to insulate.

While a cooler might sound backward in this scenario, it is, at the end of the day, an insulator.

We would 100% recommend the Yeti Hopper Cooler (available on Amazon here). It is a soft case cooler that can be flattened down when you don’t want to use it but provides tonnes of insulation in comparison to a bag or nothing at all.

If you want to go a step further, you can warm some water in a bottle and place this inside your cooler to prevent anything from freezing, you can repeat this step for as long as needed to keep your food thawed.

We would recommend the Yeti Rambler 36oz bottle with chug cap (available on Amazon here).

You should also pack your food properly. Make sure that you keep everything together in a single container, and try to pack items that are likely to freeze together. This will help to keep everything insulated.

Portable stove


If you’re worried about your food freezing, you can always consider bringing a portable stove.

You can heat up your food and keep it at the right temperature, ensuring that you won’t have any problems.

If you want to keep your weight down – we’d recommend the Biolite Camp Stove 2 (available on Amazon here). You can fuel it with sticks and debris found in your camp, so you don’t have to carry fuel canisters around with you.

Freeze-dried food

If you want to be 100% certain your food won’t freeze then your best bet is to buy freeze-dried food. These meals won’t freeze and simply require hot water to create a meal.

If you’re stuck on what meals to buy, we recommend Mountain House Adventure Meals. They offer meals for every time of the day such as the Beef Stroganoff with Noodles (available on Amazon here) or the Breakfast Skillet (available on Amazon here).

Will a cooler keep food from freezing in the winter?

A cooler is definitely your best idea for winter camping given it keeps your food insulated from the cold.

However, while it will freeze less than if you would have stored your food in nothing at all, anything stored in a cooler bag or cooler isn’t going to be kept completely frozen in extremely low temperatures.

In this case, you will need to add some more insulation such as blankets or towels or add a bottle of warmed-up water.

Will a Yeti keep food from freezing?

A Yeti is a great investment for those planning on camping in cold weather as it will keep food and drinks from freezing for longer.

The quality of a Yeti cooler is one of the best and provides insulation better than a cheaper cooler would.

However, like mentioned earlier, if the temps are too low, even a Yeti won’t be able to keep everything from freezing.

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