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Food late at night while camping

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The collective experience of this board would be perfect for this question.

I'm a night owel. So when I go camping, it's late at night when I want to eat. That's not a problem logistically. I'm usually at a camp ground at a paid-for-spot with other spots around me.

My main concern is wild life. There are nocturnal creatures out there, and I've encountered some of them. For obvious reasons I'd rather not do that again. Wild life in this context can range from raccoons and coyotes to bears, depending on the hour.

So what I want to know is: how late can I prepare a meal without attracting attention (either at the moment or for a while thereafter) safely. Can I cook a can of Spam at 1:00 AM? What about roasting foil wrapped chicken at 11:00 at night?

I have a car parked in my camping spot, so I can always put the food and waste in there after I'm done.

If it's not safe to openly prepare food late at night in the wild, then are there any alternatives? Maybe a candy bar, where the empty wrapper gets thrown into the car.
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5,615 Posts
if your in bear country, you car is not safe either. But better than in your tent. Its best to cook your food well away from your sleeping area and use bear wire whenever possible.

Now that said, I know people are just not going to do that so I would suggest to all keep your food in containers and clean any dishes or food away from your area. Throw your left overs in the fire. Criters come out at night. There is no secret to avoiding that. You can make noise and have a nice fire to keep away some of the larger ones but eventually a mouse or something is going to check out your stuff.

It used to bother me when I first went out but now I i dont give it a second thought.
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