Have you ever brought a few sandwiches with you on a camping trip only to find out they’ve gone bad due to the heat? You won’t have that problem with canned food, though you’ll need a way to open them.
Canned food, and a camping can opener to open it with, is an affordable, portable way of ensuring you always have a meal ready to go when you’re exploring the great outdoors. But just because you pop open a can of beans doesn’t mean you know how to prepare them in the wilderness.
Luckily, this helpful guide explains why you need a camping can opener and how to use one.
- Essential Camping Tool: A camping can opener is a vital tool for any outdoor adventure, ensuring that you can easily access canned foods, which are a practical and non-perishable food source for campers.
- Variety of Openers: There is a wide range of can openers suitable for camping, from manual to electric, and from simple bladed varieties to those with gears and handles. The choice depends on personal preference and the practicality of use in an outdoor setting.
- Usage Technique: For bladed can openers, it’s important to puncture the lid at an angle and use a rocking motion to cut around the can’s edge. Modern can openers often only require turning a knob once attached.
- Eco-Friendly Practices: Campers should be mindful of the environment by holding onto their cans and lids after use to prevent littering and to be eco-conscious.
- Safety in Cooking: It’s advised not to cook food directly in the can due to the release of harmful chemicals. Instead, use a water bath or other cooking methods suitable for camping.
- Preparedness and Nutrition: Bringing canned food on camping trips is a safe and nutritious option, providing a reliable meal without the risks associated with trying to live off the land.
- Resourceful Planning: Plan ahead by bringing along a variety of canned foods and knowing how to use a can opener effectively, as well as considering eco-friendly practices and safety in food preparation.
Why You Need Outdoor Can Openers
It’s not always possible to bring enough non-perishables on a camping trip, especially if you’re going to be in the wilderness for several days. Instead, bring canned goods to cook as needed. They don’t require any refrigeration, and you can easily store them in your camping gear.
But not every can comes with a pull tab for easy access. And even when they do, you may prefer a can opener that doesn’t create sharp edges. Luckily, you have a wide variety of options for can openers, from the electronic variety to the bladed kind. Some have gears and handles, while others are small and simple.
Best Can Openers
Campers have a few different options when it comes to handheld can openers. You have your manual options with a twist knob, as well as those with a blade to puncture the lid. There are also electric can openers that make the process much easier.
Ultimately, you should buy whatever you’re most comfortable with. Keep in mind that an electric can opener is useless when it runs out of charge, though.
How to Use a Camping Can Opener
When using a bladed can opener, get the hook of it on the lip of your can. Do this at an angle rather than perpendicular to the can.
Press down to get it in and puncture the lid. You’ll then want to rock your hand back and forth with pressure as you move along the edges of the can.
More modern can openers are much easier to use and usually just require turning a knob as soon as it’s attached.
Always make sure to hold onto your cans and the lid if you want to be eco-friendly. It’ll also help you avoid getting fined by your campsite.
Cooking and Camping With Canned Food
An important tip to keep in mind is to never cook your food in the can. While it may be convenient, you can release harmful chemicals from both the can and the plastic lining. However, you can cook the canned food in a water bath if you need to.
You can find some easy camping recipes online, whether you’re cooking for your pets or your family.
Let Your Camping Party Eat
Trying to live off the land when you go camping is an appealing prospect for some people. But it’s a good idea for you to bring things like canned food that can provide sufficient nutrition for everyone, just in case. All you need to do is know how to use a camping can opener, and you’re good to feast.
Quick Tip: get a copy of our Free PDF Camping Food List