Cook Outdoors Without Attracting Attention

If the time comes when you have to bug out, you will probably need to spend some time outdoors before you are able to locate a suitable indoor shelter. And if that situation occurs, you will have to cook food outdoors, most likely in a woodsy area.

Now, maybe you’ve already done this plenty of times before, or perhaps it would be a completely new experience for you. But in a bug-out scenario, the chances are that this time you will want to stay as far under the radar as possible.

You probably will not want any authority figures or wild animals becoming aware of your campsite due to the sighting of smoke or fire, or the smell from your food that animals are sure to notice.

But how in the world could you possibly avoid either of these scenarios if you’re cooking food in the wild? Authorities might be looking for just this type of occurrence, especially if martial law is in effect. And animals have a sense of smell far superiority to that of humans.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution to this problem. But there are a few things you can do to lessen the odds that your outdoor meal will be interrupted by uninvited authorities or animals. Here are seven of them:

  • Cook your food away from your campsite. Even though it will be an inconvenience, make sure your cooking site is at least a 10 or 15-minute walk from your campsite. Cook your meal at this site, eat it quickly and get back to your campsite. Hopefully you’ll be long gone before a human or animal shows up to investigate.
  • Stick with precooked meals. Emergency food, often featuring long shelf lives, will emit weaker smells than cooking fresh meat and some other foods will.
  • Douse your campfire. This is important anytime, but in this case it will help keep other people from noticing it and either finding you there or following you to your campsite.
  • Use canisters for transporting food. In a perfect world, you’ll consume all your food at the cooking site. But you don’t want to waste leftovers, so if you transport them to your campsite, use canisters to hide smells more effectively than plastic baggies will.
  • Clean your utensils. Smells will linger on knives, forks, spoons and any other utensils you use for cooking and eating, so wash them thoroughly before you leave your cooking site.
  • Wash your clothes. Yeah, that’s right, the smell of food you’ve eaten will soak into your clothes and follow you back to your campsite. So, as soon as possible, change your clothes and wash the ones you wore while eating.
  • Assume the worst. Always assume that authorities and/or animals will be arriving at your cooking site soon. That will keep you motivated to eat and clean in a timely fashion before returning to your campsite.

By taking some of these precautionary steps, you will reduce the odds that your eating will bring people or animals your way that you don’t want to see.


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