Lunch containers can be for so much more than school lunches. Since lunch is included in B’s tuition costs, I don’t have to send him with lunch every day so all the containers we have I bought mostly for camping and hiking. Using your lunch box containers for camping and hiking will not only ensure you get the most use out of them but it will also reduce the amount of waste you are producing while you are away from home. Think of it as boomerang camping! I know that it may seem easier to just throw all your food in Ziploc bags and pile those up in the cooler, but trust me, using your lunch containers can be just as easy, save you money, and are way better for the environment.
When you are looking for containers think about not only how they will work for school lunches but ask yourself the following questions:
- How much room will they take up in the cooler? Are they the right shape for the cooler and do they have a flat lid? If they don’t, they it may make packing the cooler awkward.
- How heavy are the containers? The last thing you want is really heavy containers when you are hiking all day.
- Are they leak proof and water proof? Not only do you not want the contents of your containers to leak into your cooler but you also don’t want gross cooler melted ice water getting into your food.
- Can my kid open the container on their own? When you are chillaxing in the hammock with a good book, that cooler is a mile away and so the easier you can make it for your kids to open their snack containers the better it is for both of you.
Always get a variety of sizes. Small containers are great for quick snacks of homemade granola or apple slices and the larger containers can save you time by storing all your cut up veggies in one place within your cooler. Also look for containers for drinks and not just your solid food. I love to pre-make smoothies and put them into reusable bottles in our cooler. We pull them out for snacks at our campsite or as a quick breakfast when we know we have a busy day ahead.
Don’t be afraid of glass and stainless steel! I don’t use plastic in combination with my food, which means I am using a lot of stainless steel and glass containers. When giving your kids glass containers show them how to properly handle and safely open them. I chose when to use glass vs stainless steel based on each situation. I am less likely to bring a glass container on a hike and will opt for the stainless instead. I use the glass containers for storing partially prepared meals that are being stored in the cooler.
Think Outside of the Lunch Box!
- Get yourself a stainless steel water bottle and put your wine in it. It will fit in your cooler so much easier than a full glass bottle.
- Individual Lunch Bots for lunches on the trail or on the lake.
- Stainless steel containers are great for bringing only the amount of butter that you need.
- Light weight and easy to clean bamboo sporks.
- Small stainless steel containers for spices. I just leave these in my camping bins and so they are officially my camping spices.
- Reusable towels for easy clean up and doubling as a napkin.
Other great uses for lunch containers....besides just for lunch
- Fill with your homemade lotions and balms.
- Use lunch bags to collect scavenger hunt items on a hike.
- Store arts and crafts for those rainy days at the campsite.
Don’t forget to combine items you already have at home into your stash.
- Re-use mason jars with ready-made coconut yogurt, granola and berries.
- Kombuchi glass bottles are great for holding smoothies (don’t forget your reusable straws).
How do you think outside of the lunch box and find non-traditional uses for your containers?
Oh lucky you! You can win a $120 e-gift certificate from Wild Mint Shop so you can stock up on containers for your next camping trip. Can’t wait until the end of the giveaway? Wild Mint Shop is offering my fabulous readers 10% off until September 4, 2014 using the code WildMint.