When you go on a camping trip you can do with only the simplest dishes. But you don’t have to. With proper preparation and the right equipment, you can create conditions in your camping kitchen for comfortably preparing even the most complicated dishes, so you will have a delicious meal every day. In this article, we will give you some tips about essential cooking equipment for camping. There is lots of camping gear in the market so this list will help you get what you really need and not waste money on unnecessary gadgets.
A camp stove is, of course, the main item for a camp kitchen, so you will start with choosing the right stove. There are many stoves manufactured specifically for camps so it is a challenge to pick the right one. A 2-burner propane stove is what we advise you to go for. It is similar to the one you have at home though it takes less space, and it uses the fuel that is available everywhere. We like Eureka stoves or Coleman stoves. If you don’t have much space and like cooking one-pot meals then a one-burner stove will be enough for you. Eureka has such stoves as well. Basically, choose a stove depending on the meals you are going to cook, the pots you have, and the number of people going camping.
It is essential to have water storage because you never know how much fresh water you will have available next to your campsite. And even if you have water sources nearby you still need to store it somewhere. And you need a lot of water, not only for drinking but for cooking. If you have space, we recommend going for the Igloo water cooler, which comes in various sizes and is very tough. And they are also quite affordable. The optimal size for car camping is a 20-liter container. There is also equipment for water purification, in case you will camp in some not very close camping locations where potable water is not available. Hydroblu Pressurized Jerry Can is a great option that has a filtration system and a hand pump. Dromedary water bags are also a good choice for campers. They are hangable which is very convenient, and they have three-in-one caps for the different flows of water.
A camp cooler greatly improves the quality of your camping providing the freshness of meals, and of course, the coldness of beer. And you don’t have to pay tons of money to get a good cooler. For about $100 you can buy a cooler from Igloo which has 5-days ice-retention. LifeTime High-Performance Cooler is also not expensive and has 7-days ice retention. These coolers are well insulated and even have extra features, such as a can-opener.
Utensils for Tea and Coffee Making
For most of us, having the possibility to prepare coffee is just as essential as having meals cooked. There are a few options we suggest. You can get a MugMate piece that doesn’t need any filters. An Aeropress coffee maker is very handy for making coffee at the campsite. It is a combination of a pneumatic press and a French press that helps you prepare yummy rich coffee. If you are a tea person then having a kettle with you is important. Not only will it boil water for tea but will also be essential for dishwashing. And if you have a big group of people who drink coffee then a stovetop percolator is the best. There is a EuroLux 12-Cup percolator that we recommend. And of course, a great plus is having an insulated coffee mug which will keep your coffee hot for a while. There are many manufacturers of those so just choose something you like.
You probably have tons of cooking utensils at home for all life situations, but while camping you don’t need all of them. You need a few but good ones that will make your camping life easier. First of all, having good knives is a must. You need full-size knives, not small folding ones. Choose stainless steel knives that you can sharpen easily. Vremi Knives produce such knives that come with a sheath, which is very convenient for storing. Some other items to consider are silverware (spoons, forks, and knives), a spatula, a ladle, a can opener, and bottle opener, a grater, a few cutting boards, and some heat resistant gloves. When choosing a cutting board we suggest buying the one that can be folded so it will take less space. Also, some not-so-evident items are spice shakers. Spices will make your every meal taste better so having spice shakers with your favorite spices is a must. Choose some light ones that are moisture-resistant, for example from Alpine.
Campfire Cooking Accessories
If you do a lot of barbecue at home then these accessories are familiar to you. A charcoal chimney starter is number one. You can get a foldable one that will not take much space. A portable grill will save you in a situation when a campsite doesn’t have a grill in good condition, which happens often since so many people use them.
The cookware you take to the camp depends on the meals you are planning to cook and then the number of people you are traveling with. A rule of thumb is taking a bigger pot than you think is necessary. It is much better than having a small pot where you cannot fit everything. It is better to take a set of nesting pots that can fit one into another and not take too much space. Using cast iron pots is the best because they are good both for a stove and a campfire. A Dutch oven is a utensil you can probably do without but having it will make your camp cooking so much more pleasant. You can boil, fry, steam, and bake – all in one!
When it comes to camp tableware it is better to buy some enamel plates since ceramic could be too fragile for camping. Enamel plates are easy to clean and durable. Nowadays, there are modern beautiful sets of enamel tableware so you can give your camping meals an Instagram look while maintaining convenience. An alternative to enamel dishes is bamboo plates. And finally, another great alternative is compostable plates. They come most handy when you have a large group of people and don’t want to spend tons of time dish-washing.
Camp Cook Stations
Having a dedicated cook station is very convenient. You don’t have to cook and eat at the same table. We suggest getting a foldable outdoor cook stating. It is easy to transport and provides enough space for cooking. Some have hanging lighting and some other convenience features.
Dishwashing and Clean-Up
We don’t like cleaning and washing dishes but it is an essential part of camping. So it is better to make this process as convenient as possible. A pop-up trash can is a great device, much better than a plastic bag hanging on a tree. For washing dishes, purchase a collapsible sink from UST. A pot scraper is another utensil that will make your cleaning easier and will not leave you frustrated. For drying dishes, buy a collapsable drying rack.
Storage and Organization
Keeping your cooking stuff organized at camp is a big challenge. One item we recommend is a storage cube. It is soft-sided and has partitions inside for organizing various items. It has ventilation and a mesh screen for keeping the bugs out. Sealable containers are a must-have. Buy a set of different sizes for storing various leftovers. Some things can also be stored in zipper bags.