How to Use a Camping Can Opener Safely and Effectively

How to Use a Camping Can Opener Safely and Effectively
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Every time you go camping, it’s almost impossible to avoid opening up a can of food. Most of the camping food that you find in camping stores are featured in Ziploc packages, but they are often expensive and don’t feed a lot of people. So, an easier way to afford a good meal while camping includes food that comes from a can.

Camping kits often will consist of a camp can opener which can be used to open your canned goods. The only issue is that if you haven’t learned how to use a camping can opener, then you may be a little confused. If you’d like to learn how to do so, then continue reading, and we’ll show you an easy way to use them.

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Steps on How to Use a Camping Can Opener Properly

Some campers tend to overlook the fact that camping can openers aren’t similar to other types of can openers, which means you won’t be able to cut into thick or bigger cans. You should always use it for small types or standard size of cans. If you use it on bigger cans, then you risk damaging the camping can opener and injuring yourself.

Nothing is worse than sitting on the camping grounds only to realize the food you’ve bought can’t be opened and used because your can opener got ruined. Hence, let's all learn together!

Step #1: Gripping the Can and Holding the Opener

The first step to using a camping can opener is to hold the can on a flat surface like a rock or a camping table. To safely open the can, grip the can firmly with your dry hand.

Using the other hand, grip onto the can opener as securely as possible and make sure your index finger is secured between the other side of the can opener. It should be noted that most camping can openers are designed to be used with right-handed individuals, so if you’re left-handed, you need to use your right hand anyway.

Step #2: Piercing the Can Lid

Next, secure the can firmly on the flat surface and slowly place the camping can opener into the lid of the can. You should place it directly between the ridge on the top of the can. Twist your hand back and forth until you get the can opener to pierce the lid of the can; the blade should be partially submerged into the edge of the can before you can begin cutting it open.

Step #3: Completely Removing the Can's Lid

Slowly start to twist your hand in a back and forth motion; you will find this method similar to twisting the keys into your car. The blade will then start to pierce more of the rim as you do this, so continue to move your hand back and forth using a sawing like motion. You can then begin to move the can in a clockwise motion with the help of your left hand.

Continue to turn the can across the edge of the lid and repeat this motion until you’ve circled the entire rim of the can. You may need to go over some places if you aren’t doing it on a flat surface.

Be sure to remove the lid and hold the can steadily and completely. If you don’t secure the can, then you would risk your food slipping out of your hands, and the meal will be ruined.

Step #4: Cleaning the Can Opener

After you’re done opening the can and removing the lid, you should clean your can opener, which can be done by gently using a damp cloth. Be careful since the edge of the camping can opener can be sharp and you don’t want to end up slicing your finger open.

Alternatively, you can put it in the river, pour some water over it, or use a cleansing cloth. Just make sure to dry it off before you put it away.

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Are Camping Can Openers More Effective Than Other Methods?

The simple answer is no, camping can openers aren’t designed to be better at opening cans, they’re just designed to be more portable and convenient. Alternatively, you can use a knife, a spoon, or even bring a hand-held can opener with you to open a can. Just always make sure that if you bring a portable electric can opener with you, you have also packed some extra batteries.


Besides the classic hot dogs, s'mores, and other food items you bring, you should also bring some canned food. Canned food has a longer shelf life, comes in a variety of different flavor and dishes, and also requires no refrigeration. This makes it one of the best ways to get a good meal when you’re out camping, and a camping can opener can be useful, especially if you’re trying to save space in your camping pack.

Hopefully, we've helped you learn how to use a camping can opener.

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