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Eating well at the campsite: tips for organizing your tent kitchen

Today's campers are far from the stereotypical naive travelers of the past. Camping is a serious business: from choosing the best tent pitch on Garden Sharing to buying equipment from specialized stores to setting up a real second home (tent) for the holidays.

It is therefore not surprising that even to organize the kitchen outside the tent, it can be useful to follow the advice of those who have been doing it for some years and have now consolidated a real guide to camping cooking. Once again, we can take advantage of the advice of Chiara, one of our campers.

Cooking at the campsite: here's how to do it without problems

Q. Hi Chiara, can you tell us how to organize an efficient and safe camping kitchen?

A. First of all, I would say that the kitchen and therefore the stove should always be positioned outside. For a couple, in my opinion, a single stove is enough, while for a family it may be more convenient to buy a stove with two burners. To make the kitchen more efficient, a great purchase is to buy a windscreen because camping stoves consume a lot of gas. So if you can protect the stove from the wind, you will use less gas and cook faster. Another thing is that while I recommend starting light on food and drinks, one thing I recommend is starting with a lot of gas canisters because if you find yourself in August in seaside resorts under pressure then no one will sell them to you.  In addition, I always recommend buying a foldable mesh cabinet to keep pots and utensils in because otherwise you can't keep them clean, it has changed our lives! You can also put this outside and perhaps use it as a base for the stove. If the pots get a little sun they won't spoil. Different story for food that instead we keep inside the tent in a well-shaded area, well sealed and covered to prevent it from spoiling. Personally, we prefer to bring the kitchen cabinet only if we will be away for a long time. If we will be in the tent for a few days, it is enough to position the stove outside in a corner of the living room so that the smoke does not reach you while you are cooking.

Q. Tips on choosing stoves, pots, pans and other camping kitchen utensils and some ideas for cooking simple and tasty meals?

A. As far as pots are concerned, I highly recommend the special "camping" ones that are all interlocking, so you save a lot of space and with the space of just one pot you have the pot, the pan, the plates, the forks, etc. They don't even cost that much and it's worth it. For us at least, we can't miss the utensils needed to make a barbecue which is a great solution for cooking at the campsite. In fact, many campsites have a barbecue area and it's a great way to eat - grilling them - fresh local meat, fish and vegetables without having to cook in the tent and thus have, with less effort, simple and tasty meals for everyone.

Q. Do you want to give us some indications on how to properly store and conserve food and drinks inside the tent?

A. From personal experience, I advise against starting with too much food because inevitably, even if it is long-lasting food, it will be subjected to an excessive level of heat and sun, which is not healthy, so what I recommend is to start with the minimum not to starve to death, preferably canned food (especially if you arrive at the campsite very late) and to plan meals day by day. I would also like to point out that vacations are an excellent opportunity to taste local products. In addition, very often in campsites you can find the stall of fresh local zero-kilometer fruit and vegetables. Make a sustainable choice and eat much better, eat fresh, eat good. (with Garden Sharing you can happen to camp directly on the host's farm, even better NDR). For example, we come out of the tent with the almost empty backpack with the Icing bag, we stop at the fruit stand and buy the fruit to go to the beach. Often we have the opportunity to buy fresh bread and let's say that you already have lunch ready: sandwich, fresh fruit and off to the beach. The only choice you have for storing food and drinks inside the tent is to put them where the sun beats as little as possible, so it will probably be the innermost corner of the living room towards the bedroom. If there is a window in your tent, make sure that even that corner is not the one where the sun will hit when you open the window.

Q. Can you give us some tips for properly disposing of waste and respecting the surrounding environment?

A. Waste theme. Well, there are the people who bring their four interlocking trash cans, and then there are us who are much easier and have put hooks in the kitchen cabinet where we hang the four bags so we can recycle without having to bring who knows what with us. Surely you will have to ask the campsite how the ecological area is organized to follow the rules of the individual structure and do things in the best possible way, also because, as you know, I don't always have to throw away aluminum with glass depending on the municipalities, so find out and the other advice. The wet waste will certainly have to be thrown away every day to prevent wild animals from opening the bag and spilling its contents into your beautiful living