So you are off to the bush with your new fridge/freezer in tow but you need to survive for a period without being able to stock up,when we went on the Lebombo Trail we generally went into one of the camps to shower and replenish every second day so we ran the Engel as a freezer the whole time and moved it over to a second vehicle with a portable dual-battery system to keep it running when camped.
Typically we would move off after rusks and coffee,stop around 10h30 for a hearty brunch and then make camp around 18h00 for sundowners and supper- this tends to be that way many people travel even those cross border adventurers who regularly visit neighbouring states. So how do we keep it all chilled and relaxed ?
Well as a rule most folk pack their meat into individual containers or ziplock bags,putting the meat that you want to eat last at the bottom of the fridge/freezer. Then on top a layer of ice bricks which get rotated to keep fresh ingredients cool in a cooler box.
A few beers and wine are also cooled off using the cooler box .
As a rule one should only open the freezer once a day,generally when taking the evening meat out,this is then placed in the cooler box to thaw and keep the cooler cold at the same time.
Ensure that the freezer is in a well ventilated spot and running all the time especially if using a lighter socket,if camping with electricity ensure that you plug the fridge/freezer in as you set up camp,always keep the ventilation slots clear so that the fridge/freezer runs cool and check the latches. My fridge came with a zipped soft protection sleeve which keeps it in a good condition and stops it getting dented or scratched.
Even though you may pack items around the fridge it is important that it is well secured to prevent shifting when traversing obstacles, avoid parking in direct sunlight if you can,as this will just make the fridge work so much harder. Square containers with lockable lids are ideal for packing pre-cooked meals such as soups,stews and curries as they pack easier and contain the meal far better than plastic bags,in addition they defrost better without risk of spillage. To ensure a decent intake of vegetables frozen veggies are ideal to travel with but once again I would suggest that you decant them into lockable sealed containers that contain a meal sized serving for your group.
It is important that you maintain a constant temperature as meat that thaws and refreezes could cause serious “tummy” problems and that we want to avoid at all costs especially when far away from a Doctor or medical facility.
On that note however always remember your first aid kit and fire extinguisher- two key pieces of gear around the camp.
Enjoy the outdoors be it with friends or family cater well in the bush as the days of beans and toast are long behind us. Once camped savour a good South African wine or a beer while cooking and enjoy yourself.
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