Food For Thought From The Fire Service

Backcountry meals are a heck of a lot tastier than they used to be. Back in the day, everything seemed to be meat and veg and while those meals are still on the menu at our place, there’s so much more to choose from including vegetarian and specialty diet meals.

Good nutrition is vital in keeping you fit and healthy while you’re spending days at a time in the great outdoors, but you should never forget the safety aspects that come with cooking in our natural environment. This is especially important in the height of summer when everything dries out and becomes highly flammable. With that in mind, here are a few safety tips from the Fire Service for the next time you’re making something delicious in the outdoors. 

  • Make sure all your equipment is sealed and secure.
  • Pack your vehicle so that your equipment can’t get knocked or damaged while you’re on the road.
  • Position yourself far enough away from trees and bushes so they won’t easily catch fire if you accidentally knock over your cooker.
  • Keep fuel bottles or canisters that aren’t being used at least 5 metres away from the cooking area.
  • Clearly mark your fuel bottles so they aren’t mistaken for something else.
  • Store your fuel in a cool place, away from direct sunlight.
  • If your cooking appliance has a windshield to protect the fuel bottle or canister, use it.
  • Avoid using cooking utensils that have highly reflective surfaces, as these can reflect heat towards the fuel bottle or canister.
  • Don’t operate the cooker for long periods of time without giving it a rest every so often to let it cool down. 
  • Don’t refuel while the cooker is still operating.
  • Don’t refuel the cooker in the ‘kitchen’ area at a campsite or hut. Move to a safe spot where it won’t affect anyone else.
  • Let the cooker cool down before refuelling it.
  • Refuel on the ground. Don’t hold the cooker and fuel bottle or canister in the air.
  • Dispose of LPG canisters responsibly. If they can’t be recycled, discard them appropriately.

Thanks to the New Zealand Fire Service for that food for thought. And as for the food itself, you know where to find us! We have something to suit all tastes, and it’s different and far more delicious than the “good old days” of camp tucker!