How to Build the Perfect Car Camping Food Bin System-Panergy
What Is A Camping Pantry Bin?
The pantry bin is simply where I put all of my camping food that doesn't need to go in the cooler.
This ensures that I don't have food scattered around in different bags in the car and at the campsite.
When I go camping, I only have food in two places, the pantry bin and the cooler, that’s it.
Here’s why this system is so awesome:
3 Benefits To Having A "Pantry Bin"
1) You Know Exactly Where To Find Things
You always know where to look if you want a quick snack or an ingredient for a camping meal.
Trust me, it gets very frustrating looking all around for some trail mix or that one ingredient that you need for dinner.
Having one food bin keeps you organized and knowing exactly where to find things.
I also prefer a clear bin because it's really easy to see where things are.
This is the storage box that I use. I have a 54 Qt. size, but there are bigger and smaller options as well. I use the same bin for my car camping kitchen gear. It’s really sturdy, has a tight seal, and is clear so I can easily see what’s inside.
2) Setting Up Camp Is Way Easier
When you're at camp, you can simply take this one bin out and have all your ingredients and snacks and supplies at the picnic table in one trip, instead of going back and forth a million times to grab multiple bags from the car.
3) Keep Out Small Rodents, Insects, And Birds
This is probably one of the most important benefits of this camping food bin system.
If you get a good quality bin that clips shut, it will help keep out small rodents, birds, and insects. This specific bin is pest and rodent “resistant”.
I've had animals try to get my food at campgrounds even when I'm sitting right there next to it.
Having the bin makes it easier to protect my food.
>> Note: The bin I use is not designed to be bearproof. Always check local food storage regulations for the area that you're camping because additional food storage precautions might need to be taken.
I use my bin primarily to stay organized and keep out rodents. At night, I clip the bin shut and lock it in my car. I've never had any issues with small rodents using these bins.
Mice can definitely get into your car, even when it's closed and locked, so again, having a bin that is durable and prevents them from getting your food is important.
What’s Inside My Camp Pantry Bin?
So now let's talk about what exactly is inside my pantry bin.
Snacks And Recipe Ingredients:
This bin is where I put snacks and ingredients that I need for the camping meals that I'm planning to make on the trip.
For example, I'll put trail mix, apples, granola, chips, crackers, and any other snacks/ingredients that don't need to be kept in the cooler.
I also pack ingredients such as onions, peppers, and spices that I might be needed for a specific recipe.
Pantry Staples For Quick Meals
I also have pantry items in the bin for quick meals and snacks. These are non-perishable items that I usually just leave in the pantry bin.
For example, I always have ramen packets, boxes of mac and cheese, pancake mix, and packets of Indian Food and rice.
These are all staples in my camping pantry bin because they have a really long shelf-life, and they make quick camp meals.
If you have to stay out longer than expected, there are unexpected fire restrictions, or you just don't feel like cooking for whatever reason, it's nice to have these simple go-to meals ready.
Spices And Seasonings
In addition to this, I also always have a little spice bin within the bin.
This is where I store salt, pepper, oil, honey, basic spices, and smaller snacks like protein bars and nut butter packets.
I use small durable to-go tubes for storing smaller servings of oil for cooking.
Smaller items floating around get lost quickly, so having everything in a little bin makes it easy to find and take out what you need without rummaging through the entire bin.
How I Store The Bin At Home
When I get home from a camping trip, I go through the bin and take out all of the ingredients and snacks that are perishable or opened.
I leave everything else that is unopened and shelf-stable in the bin so that it’s ready for my next trip.
I go through the bin every once in a while to do a deeper clean on the inside and make sure things haven't expired.