One of the most enjoyable aspects of camping is cooking. There’s nothing quite like transforming ordinary ingredients into culinary marvels while you’re in the great outdoors. It’s a primal experience that gets you back in touch with our shared human past. For some people, it can even be deeply spiritual.
Now, without going on about how wonderful outdoor cooking is, let’s talk about what gear you need to effectively bring your kitchen with you on your next camping trip. Whether you’re a hardcore camper or just casually dipping your toes into the activity, you can use the information below to make the entire experience more enjoyable for everyone.
Camping Cooking Gear for the Serious Camper
- A decent-sized cooler
This is an absolute must. Unless your idea of the perfect camping meal is a can of baked beans, then you definitely need a cooler large enough to store your raw meats and fresh produce. As a matter of fact, consider bringing more than one—you need to have a place for your drinks, too!
- A trusty knife
You need a good knife that’s capable of tackling any cutting job. We advise that you go for a sharp cleaver as it’s robust enough to stand the rigors of camping, and you can use one to cut, chop, slice, peel, and pretty much anything else.
- A cutting board
If you’re doing any type of serious cooking, you need to pack a cutting board with you. Doing so will mean that your knife is better able to do its job, and a flat surface has infinite uses when you’re out camping.
- A cast-iron pan
Ideally, you should have at least two pans. Having just one greatly limits your cooking options, or at least slows you down a great deal. A cast-iron pan that’s large enough to serve as a makeshift pot is great. They perform exceptionally well regardless of where you are, and they’re pretty sturdy, too. Go for one that comes with a lid so you can safely store any leftovers.
- A set of metal skewers
You can’t go camping without roasting a few marshmallows—or maybe even freshly caught fish if you’re lucky enough. For that, you need skewers that you can reuse and safely place over a fire.
- A can opener
Okay, so sometimes a can of baked beans might just be what people want. For those situations, you need to have a can opener. Opt for a model that has a built-in corkscrew so that you can pair those darn beans with a good bottle of wine.
- A Dutch oven
If you want to go from camping to glamping, we recommend a Dutch oven to truly impress the people with you. They’re incredibly versatile, and you open up a whole new world of recipes that you wouldn’t be able to whip up otherwise.
- A set of cooking utensils
You can’t bring your entire kitchen with you, so go for the most important utensils such as a ladle, spatula, and metal spoon.
- A camping stove
Last but not least, you need to have a camping stove if you intend to do any type of serious cooking. These are surprisingly easy to carry around, and they’re a great alternative to relying on your ability to start a fire. Please make sure you practice the necessary safety precautions at all times.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, you should also remember to bring eating utensils, cups, and plates with you. Choose reusable ones so that you don’t end up unwittingly polluting the environment.
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