The experience of camping in the great outdoors is considerably improved by being able to make a good home-cooked meal when the need arises. Whether you’re camping alone or with the family and don’t intend to search for food in the wilderness, nutritious cooked meals will supply the strength needed for a full day of camping activities. And a well-planned camp kitchen can help you easily prepare your favorite foods at any campsite. By using a reliable camp kitchen to reduce the time required for meal prep and cleanup, you can increase the chances of making your own meals when your taste buds beckon.
Many of the items needed to create a first-rate camp kitchen are reasonably priced and easily included in most travel budgets. Moreover, a well-equipped camp kitchen greatly enhances the experience of camping. The more time you’re able to spend in the wild between trips for meal supplies, the more you’re able to benefit from your days spent out-of-doors. The following are some of the items you’ll need to set up a basic camp kitchen
Camping Stove and Fuel
Cooking provisions extend beyond meal planning and cooking to include all the necessary prep supplies, ideally in small and reusable forms. Unless you subsist on a raw-food diet and avoid hot beverages, a propane camp stove and fuel should be the first purchases you make for creating your camp kitchen. A rudimentary propane camping stove or a wood-burning model is the best choice for many campers.
Propane stoves are typically sold in one and two-burner varieties. The burners connect to propane tanks by means of a hose-and-valve arrangement. Prefilled tanks ranging from 16.4 ounces to 40 lb. are available at many retail shops and sporting goods stores. For campers, 20 lb. tanks, aka five-gallon cylinders, are usually appropriate and can be refilled at propane suppliers, camp stores, and farm supply retailers.
Table and Chairs
If you plan to spend much time in the wilderness, a good-quality camping table is a wise investment. Even if you normally camp at conventional campsites with picnic accommodations, you may wish to escape from the crowd and find a secluded place in the shade to set up a table. When shopping for a table to use in the outdoors, look for a sturdy well-made model that can be used for both meal preparation and eating.
It’s not necessary to pack separate chairs to use with your camping table; just use your regular camp chairs at mealtimes. Go for collapsible versions to save space in your vehicle and for handy storage when you get home.
Pots, Pans and Other Items
The pots and pans you’ll want to get are largely dependent on your cooking setup and the kinds of foods you and your family like to eat while camping.
If you have a preference for cooking communal soups and chili and ladling out portions for the whole family, go for a big boiler, camping oven, or stovetop Dutch oven for most meals. If you want an efficient operation, include a saucepan and skillet to brown your other foods and you should be set. A small saucepan may be used to boil water for hot beverages. Finally, add a camping kettle if you anticipate serving many refills or plan to brew coffee at the campsite.
If you want to cook directly over a fire, cast iron cookware is a must-have item, along with sizeable tongs or heat-resistant gloves to make sure you can remove pots and pans from grates over the fire without issues.