CAMPING & HIKING

DIY Camping Spice Kit: Spice Up Your Adventure!

camping spice kit featured
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Many of us love to go camping, to spend time sleeping outside sitting around a campfire at night, eating a nice tasty meal under the trees. We know that camping food can be really bland and not very tasty – and it is also quite the hassle to carry a ton of stuff with you! But do you know you can easily make your own DIY camping spice kit?

A kit like that should make your camping food become even tastier and you will be able to enjoy camping more with our hassle-free kit ideas. On top of that, since you’ll be the one making it, it’ll fit your exact needs!

That’s why we’ve decided to pitch in and help you out. We will outline a few different ways to put together a portable spice kit and you can choose which method suits you best. Follow up to learn more!

Choose Your Spices

Choose spices to take based on what you will be eating. Some spices such as salt and pepper are almost always useful. If you have spices at home already, check when you bought them as they lose their potency over time. You may want to buy fresh spices and make up your kit from that, especially if your spices are more than three years old.

different spices

Spices add flavoring to your food so really think carefully about what you need. Food such as pasta can be very bland without spices. You may also do some fishing, and decide to cook the fish you catch, so think about what spices you would use on fish.

Recommended Spices

Some common and useful spices to take with on a camping trip include cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, sage, basil, and oregano. Of course, there are much more spices than these that you may want to take with.

Select spices to package individually. You can also make a few blended spice packets. If you feel like being creative, you can look on the internet and see what ingredients are used to form some of the blended spices that are used. For instance, there are several different ways to make barbecue spice. You can make up your own blends to take with.

Spices As Medicine

Some spices are also medicinal. It may be a good idea to take some of these with anyway as they can help if someone feels ill on the trip.

ginger spice

For instance, ginger is good for nausea and chamomile helps stomach spasms. Mint and fennel help with stomach spasms and gas and turmeric is a good natural anti-inflammatory.

Tea Anyone?

Although you can buy special spice teas, these can be quite expensive, so why not make your own spice tea while out camping? Take spices with that can be used to make tea. Ginger, chamomile, and mint are all popular teas that people drink. You can add some of the spice to some regular tea to create a nice fresh tasting and spicy tea.

Count how many spices you want to take with so you know how many containers you will need to prepare. It may be a good idea to take some extra empty containers with as you may decide to create some blended spices while out at the campsite. Next, you need to find some containers to use.

Find Containers

Now that you have your spices you need to decide what to put them in. It is silly to take a big spice container with you on a camping trip. Since your space is limited you want a container of a size that will hold just the amount of spice that you think you will be using.

mini jars spice containers

There are many types of containers that you can use, so we have decided to give you a few options to choose from depending on your budget and tastes. You can buy specially-designed containers and kits for holding spices off the internet. However, we will teach you some cheaper ways to put together a spice kit. Here we discuss some budget-friendly ways to put together a DIY kit.

Make sure your container is clean and dry before placing the spice in it. Choose small, lightweight and waterproof containers. Putting together a decent kit means you should have all the containers the same size and shape. We will now discuss some options, from containers you can buy or repurpose to plastic straws and ziplock bags.

Use Vials Or Bottles

You can order small vials off the internet – you can decide if you want plastic or glass and what size you want. Glass is probably a bad idea because if this breaks you could cut yourself. You can either write on the vials with a permanent marker or attach a label with the name of the spice on it.

spices in vials

You can buy small plastic bottles or containers at craft stores or dollar stores. These are cheap and are easy to write on or to attach labels. There is usually a variety of sizes, shapes, and sizes you can select from.

Pill Containers

It is fairly easy to find these containers which come in various shapes and sizes. You can get rectangular and even round containers. Pill containers are usually cheap to buy.

You do need to make sure that they close properly before using them so check this before you buy them. If they don’t seal properly you could end up with quite a mess. You can add tape over the seals if you are concerned about spices leaking out.

spices in pill container

Weekly pill containers usually come as a plastic container with seven individual compartments, with each compartment representing a different day of the week. You can easily place labels on the lids and place a different spice in each container. Labels can be color-coded to make it easier.

Weekly Or Monthly Containers?

You can buy a couple of these; maybe have one seven compartment container for your Italian spices and another for barbeque spices. Then you will have all the spices you use for a particular type of dish in one seven-week container. Just pull out the container and you are ready to go. It is nice and easy and convenient.

You can also buy monthly pill box containers which will hold more spices than the weekly set. Some of these even come packaged in a sturdy case. The monthly containers come as a box with 30 individual compartments. This may be more than you need on a camping trip, but the option is there.

monthly pill containers

These pill containers are all quite affordable and can be purchased cheaply. You do need to double check that they are sealed properly. But, what about something that is stronger and sturdier? Maybe made of aluminum?

Waterproof Aluminum Pill Box

You can buy waterproof aluminum pillboxes to use. These may be more expensive than the plastic pill boxes but they are stronger and more durable. They can come in different colors so you can have color coded spice containers as well. They are airtight as well as waterproof. Often they can also be attached to a keychain.

Use Film Canisters

If you have any old film canisters lying around, these can be reused. Film canisters are a nice size for holding spices. You can stick labels on these with the names of spices on. The disadvantage with film canisters is that you can’t instantly see the contents, this may be inconvenient. Of course, you will label them so that may not be a problem for you.

Use Ziplock Bags

Some people like using plastic ziplock bags. You can buy the small size ziplock bags, label with a permanent marker, and place spices in them. These are nice as they take up very little space and will seal shut nicely. They are also see-through so it is easy to see the contents.

spices in ziploc

The advantage of using ziplock bags is that they lie flat and take up very little space as a result. They also seal well so you should not have a problem with spices leaking out.

You can use a permanent marker to write the name of the spice directly on the plastic. If you don’t write on them you can simply affix a self-adhesive label with the name of the spice written on it.

Use Straws

A cheaper option is to use plastic straws. You can use colored straws, but clear plastic straws may be better since you can easily see what is in them. Collect however many you need. Then cut them all to the same size. It will be easier to pack if they are all the same size.

Seal Them

Hold the end of the straw together with a pair of pliers. Heat one end of the straw with a flame from a match or lighter. The plastic will melt and seal the straw on one end. Don’t hold the flame too close as you may burn the straw. You will lose a little space when you seal the end. Seal just a small portion of the straw, about 3 mm.

sealing a straw

You can close the other end of the straw by sealing it shut with the flame. You can then cut it open when you need it. Another way you can seal the end is to fold it over and tape it closed. You can also fold the end part of the straw over. Then cut another piece of straw to place over the folded part. This is another way to seal the straw.

Label Them

It is a good idea to save the paper sleeve the straw comes in. You can then write the name of the spice on that and slip it back over the straw. Once you have done this for all the straws you can fill them with your chosen spice. If you don’t use the sleeve of the straw as a label, then you can buy self-adhesive labels.

Remember to label each one as you do it. You can buy white labels, or even color-coded labels to make it easier. You can even use masking tape to label your straws.

Add Your Spices

If you don’t have a funnel on hand you can easily make one by folding some paper into a cone shape. Remember to check how fresh your spices are before adding them.

pouring spices with funnel

With the funnel in place, you can easily add the spice to your chosen container. Make sure whatever you are using as a funnel is dry and clean before you use it.

Pack The Spices

There are several different ways to pack your spice packets when packing for the trip. You need to place your spice containers in a single well sealed and waterproof container.

You can even buy a pencil case or use a larger plastic ziplock bag. Almost any larger plastic container will do. These can be cheaply purchased. Obviously, the size you buy will depend on the size and number of spice containers that you need to pack.

Some pencil cases or small bags come with ready-made compartments that you can slip your spice containers into. You can make your own compartments by sewing Velcro or pieces of elastic into a cloth bag. You can then place each spice in its own individual compartment. This is very convenient and makes for a nice, neat well organized little spice kit.

pencil case compartments

If you are using small straws you can place them in an empty Altoids tin, or other small tin, or simply place them in a ziplock bag. Place your spice packets where they are easy to find.

You don’t want to have to search through the luggage to find the spices. It makes sense to pack the spices with any cooking supplies and food you take, so pack your spices with your food and pots, plates, cups, and cutlery.

Wrapping it Up!

So far, you have learned a couple of ways to make a cheap effective DIY spice kit to take with on your next camping trip – hopefully, you’ll be able to say goodbye to all the bland-tasting food.

Next time you go camping you can sit back, relax and enjoy a tasty meal with your new spice kit. Do you know any other ways to make a spice kit to take when you go camping? Let us know.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

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