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For camping enthusiasts, properly storing food can be an issue and so does keeping them fresh. Since refrigeration isn’t always an option, knowing how to preserve meat in the wild will be very useful. While some may think this is hard to achieve with the limited supplies and equipment in a campsite, there are three easy options to keep your meat fresh and prolong its shelf life.


Curing is an easy food preservation and flavouring process that mainly uses the combination of salt, nitrates, nitrites or sugar. This method aims to draw moisture out of the meat by the process of osmosis. For curing/salting, you’ll be needing an airtight jar, salt, sugar, spices and sodium nitrite.

• Pat the meat dry first with a clean cloth or paper towel
• Slice the meat into slabs. Don’t make it too thin or too thick
• Generously rub salt and sugar onto the meat. Make sure all the slices are evenly coated
• Add herbs and spices of your choice (optional)
• Store the meat in a clean and airtight container


Brining is simply marinating meat in a salt water mixture, resulting in a juicy and flavourful meat. You’ll be needing salt, sugar, water, spices and sodium nitrite.

• Make a saline solution by mixing salt, sugar and water. The salt needs to be at least 14-20% of the solution
• Add the herbs and spices of your choice (e.g., pepper, garlic)
• Cut the meat into thin strips. Cutting it thin will help the meat absorb the spices faster
• Hang the meat to dry for several hours
• Make sure the meat is completely dried before storing or cooking


The goal of this process is long-term storage. It involves a drying process more than a cooking process. You’ll be needing a smokehouse, dry wood, thermometer and wires/grill

• Make a smokehouse where you’ll be drying/smoking the meat
• Slice the meat into slabs for easier and faster absorption of the flavour from the smoke
• To make sure that the smoke place is ready, check using a thermometer if it’s at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit
• Place the meat on either a wire or grill in the smokehouse.
• Leave the meat in the smokehouse for a day to make it last longer.
• if you want a smoked meat that will last for a month, leave it for two days

When storing in a cooler isn’t enough, meat preservation is your key. Knowing how to preserve meat in the wild spares you from bland, tasteless meat or even spoiled food while at camp. It may sound daunting, but the processes of meat preservation in the wild are simple, easy, and won’t take so much of your time. The best part is, you only need basic ingredients and tools to achieve a well-preserved meat. From the three options mentioned, whichever you choose still gives you fresh and flavourful meat that can last hours or even a day or two.



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Kimberly Powell

Kimberly loves camping, cooking, travelling and animals. She's turned her hand to writing to share her experience.