Bringing eggs on your next camping trip can change a subpar breakfast into a Class-A feast. This may be the motivation that you need to be ready for the long trek ahead or the exciting adventure into town coming up.
A water bottle acts as an additional protective shell and is ideal for storing pre-cracked eggs, powdered eggs (just add water), or even whole eggs.
In this article we will discuss whether you should use whole, cracked, or dried eggs depending on your desired trip, the pros and cons of all these options, the science behind these decisions, the best ways to store eggs on a camping trip, and finally we will walk through a few protips to help you get started.
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Let’s get cracking! (Or not….)
Storing Whole, Cracked, or Dried Eggs in a Water Bottle
While all have their perks, I would say from experience and the testimony of countless others that using whole eggs is the best option. Here is a summary of pros and cons for each.
- Whole eggs will taste more fresh
- Whole eggs will keep longer than cracked eggs
- There are plenty of ways to carry whole eggs
- Prep-time (you can’t just pour whole eggs into the frying pan)
- Risk of breakage
- Need to use water bottle, egg carton, or other storage device
- Need to get rid of egg shells
- Easy to carry
- Fits more eggs in smaller space
- Tastes same as whole egg
- Spoils much quicker than other two options
- Risk of spillage
- No prep time
- Easy to use
- Better use of space
- Tastes the worst of all 3
- Like, really bad
- Extra cost
Best Ways to Bring Eggs While Camping
You came to this article looking for a safe way to store eggs in a water bottle, and while that is a great option, there are plenty of other viable options such as using an “egg holder” water bottle.
You can use any sort of water bottle that has a wide enough mouth to fit the egg in, and it’s even better to use a water bottle that is insulated so you can keep the egg colder for a longer period of time.
My personal water bottle recommendation is Nalgene. Not only is it my favorite water bottle I’ve had for years, but what makes it incredibly useful for camping is its wide mouth, making it perfect for storing eggs (and water). It’s also very durable plastic and has sustained many falls.
Carrying Whole Eggs In a Water Bottle
If you’re filling with whole eggs, fill the water bottle up with the desired amount of eggs and then fill up right before the trip with cold water, making sure that its as full as possible so that the eggs down rattle around too much.
Eggs are best kept at a temperature at or below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep that in mind when you choose to bring eggs with you.
Alternative: Using an Egg holder
Another option with whole eggs is to use an egg holder, instead. These are found on Amazon, such as this product, or anywhere else camping supplies are sold. These come in plenty of different sizes, so be sure to shop around. Put this on top of your pack around a few articles of clothing if you plan on hiking and it should be fairly secure.
Of course, “fairly secure” is not secure enough when it comes to bringing a egg in your camping equipment. Try taping the whole thing down and placing a paper towel inside to make sure they don’t rattle around too much. Placing the whole thing in a Ziploc bag is not a bad idea either. This will give you a good amount of comfort knowing that whatever happens during the trek you will have eggs ready to go: scrambled or not!
Carrying Scrambled Eggs In a Water Bottle
The best part of using scrambled eggs for camping or hiking is that you just pour your scrambled eggs into the pan when you’re ready! You can even make your omelet with all the other fixings and seasonings and put it in your water bottle, ready to go.
A sturdy water bottle that can withstand the expanding eggs while frozen is a great option.
With the above information, there is the option of freezing your scrambled eggs before you head out into the wilderness. With proper insulation, you should be able to keep eggs pretty well for up to about 8 hours, and then as the eggs start to thaw out they will start to collect bacteria.
The biggest disadvantage of carrying scrambled eggs inside a water bottle is that you effectively can’t use the water bottle for the rest of the trip for anything else unless you clean it with soap–and the amount of soap necessary to really clean your water bottle isn’t super easy to deal with (and isn’t very good for the environment).
If you use the very lightweight plastic water bottles this isn’t an issue, but you have to make sure and give plenty of room at the top of the water bottle for the expanding eggs (as they freeze) or the eggs might expand too much and leak out.
Alternative: Plastic Bag (Multiple Layers)
Failing that, a plastic bag will also work (doubling up is a great idea).
From personal experience, when my dad put frozen eggs in a plastic bag and when hiking all day, the eggs were still frozen at the end of a very long day hiking (probably the longest day of my life… I’ll tell you about it, sometime) sandwiched in there with all the gear in his backpack.
Carrying Powdered Eggs In A Water Bottle
Carrying powdered eggs in a water bottle is a very convenient way to handle eggs, especially if the water bottle is big enough to handle the water and the powdered eggs (in other words not filling the container to the very top with powder). You can just mix the powder and the water by shaking the (closed) water bottle!
Powdered eggs in a water bottle have the same disadvantage as scrambled eggs in that you won’t be able to use the water bottle for anything else during the trip. So lightweight disposable water bottles are probably your best option.
A whole egg will be good for a longer period of time than a bunch of cracked eggs. This is because the eggshell naturally guards against bacteria and other organisms that make them go bad faster. When you crack an egg there is a disbalance in the pH level of the eggs; the yolk is a base and the white is more acidic.
Bacteria love neutral pH levels, so when you scramble your eggs this leaves little more than a few hours before you should think about eating them. Whole eggs have around a week before they start to go bad if they are not properly refrigerated.
Canoe Trip, Hiking, Car Camping: Your Options with Each
If You Are On a Canoe Trip:
Bring whole, scrambled, or powdered! It is easy to bring either whole eggs, powdered or scrambled eggs on highly mobile trips like these, where you will stop to eat frequently. A canoe trip is usually one that is laid back and easy to pack for, so feel free to be creative with what you pack and have a good time with it!
If You Are Backpacking/Hiking:
Be careful with cracked eggs. If you crack your eggs and don’t use dried eggs or whole eggs, consider freezing the eggs and insulating them the best you can. The biggest concern here is smell, so make sure that whatever you bring is double packed so that you are not confronted by wildlife.
Cracked eggs are incredibly desirable for wildlife (we have composted eggshells before and you’d be amazed at the tenacity of critters trying to get them)
If You Are Car Camping:
Bring whole eggs, this setup is extremely easy to handle if you are close to your car. Dried eggs and cracked eggs are also options, but not preferred for longer trips. This is the easier setup because you have access to your car and therefore a multitude of other ideas such as a cooler, so you can truly be free with what you bring.
If your trip is less than a couple days, you could get away with using cracked eggs for easier and lighter travel. Trips from 3 days to a week should consider using whole eggs. For trips longer than a week, you should consider using dried eggs.
Leave No Trace Principles
As always, I want to offer a word of caution for everyone thinking of bringing a type of meat into the wilderness where there are plenty of animals that would love a piece. There is a concern also with wrappings and eggshells, so make sure to pack out what you pack in. This is not only for your own benefit, but also for the benefit for the ones that come after you and the wildlife around you.
Just because eggshells are biodegradable doesnt mean that they should be left for others to see and, even worse, smell.
- If possible, buy your eggs unwashed from a local farm or a friend who has chickens. Unwashed eggs can be kept outside in indirect heat for several days longer than washed store-bought eggs.
- Coat your eggs with a waxy material such as paraffin to help them keep longer. This will assist in keeping out the bacteria that will try to get to the egg in the shell.
- According to the Egg Safety Center (here’s their website… and YES, it actually is a real thing): ” For hiking, backpacking, camping and boating, when refrigeration facilities aren’t available, buy dried eggs from supermarkets or sporting goods stores and reconstitute with purified water”.
- You can freeze scrambled eggs ahead of time in order to help them keep longer.
- Here is an easy camping breakfast idea with scrambled eggs
There are many different ways to bring eggs with you on this camping trip, and that means you can get really creative when it comes to what you want to cook.
Whatever means you choose to use to bring the comforts of home into the wilderness, do what is easiest and most comfortable for you! This trip is about you and the amazing things you want to experience in nature, and that is a wonderful goal.