The pleasure of spending time outdoors does not have to interfere with your appreciation for good food. With the right cooking gear, you can savour delicious meals during your camping trip. If you’re new to camping, you might find the idea of carrying heavy cooking equipment in your camping bag daunting. Thankfully, there are cooking items specifically made with portability in mind, which don’t take a lot of space and have multi-functional purposes. As you can see on Camping Cooks, the range of options is outstanding and can meet any budget.
If you want to build a small portable kitchen for short camping trips, here are our recommendations for essential cooking items to include in your list. Whether you want to experiment with more complex meals or simply ensure you’re getting your nutrients fast and easy while away, having the right tools is critical. Let’s see what you should pack.
Camp Stove and Accessories
The camp stove is the main element that determines your cooking experience while camping. You can use it for simple needs like heating food or boiling water, but also for cooking more complex recipes. Whether you’re gone for two days or a month, the camp stove remains as useful.
Camp stove models are compact and lightweight, so they won’t occupy a lot of space in your bag. However, they require additional items to function, such as fuel and a fire starter. The safest and cleanest stove option for campers is a butane or propane fueled stove, but alcohol, gasoline and kerosene are also common fuels. All canisters are small and portable. Don’t forget to pack matches or a lighter as well.
Here we will include all the small items that you need for cooking a meal. Depending on your eating and drinking habits, you can adapt the list to your preferences. Whether we talk about a solo camping trip or a family adventure, you still need to pack a frying pan, yet the number of plates, bowls or forks can vary. You also don’t want to leave someone waiting for their meal because you don’t have a plate for them. This is what a basic camp cookware list should include:
- A camping kettle or a small pot for boiling water
- A frying pan or cast-iron pan
- Plates and bowls
- A big spoon or spatula for stirring
- Cutting board
- Can opener
- Sharp knife
While it might be easier to pack paper plates and cups and plastic utensils, go for reusable cookware to avoid unnecessary waste. Reusable options are cost-effective and you won’t leave any trace of your stopover at the campsite. When choosing plates, bowls and mugs, go for enamel or stainless-steel. These materials are scratch-resistant and lightweight.
Because of its ability to distribute heat evenly and its high tolerance for high temperatures, cast iron is one of the most common choices when it comes to cookware in general. It’s also versatile so it’s perfect for any camping recipe you might have in mind. As a bonus, the clean-up is easy since there’s no sticking.
Storage & Clean-Up Options
After eating your delicious camp meal, you need to consider how to clean the cookware. Pack some dish soap, sponges, quick-dry towels, a washing bowl and garbage bags. The better you take care of your cookware, the longer it will serve you.
If you prefer cooking a larger meal at lunch and keeping the leftovers for dinner, you also need to have some good options for storage. These might include a cooler, aluminium foil and reusable containers. You can bring fresh ingredients in the containers and, after cooking, re-utilize them for storing leftovers. A cool box is good for storing ingredients for the next meals, leftovers and drinks that you prefer chilled.
Don’t Forget Seasonings
Having the right tools to cook is a good motivation boost when you start cooking, but you don’t want to put in all this effort and get bland meals. Bring your favorite seasonings in a small all-in-one container. Include salt, pepper, chili powder, mustard and any other spices you prefer.
It’s not easy to find the right mix of portability and functionality when it comes to camping gear, so take your time and test various cookware combos. A short camping trip might require fewer items, but you still need to store the food and clean the pots. So, there are many indispensable cooking items even for a one or two-day trip.
As a novice, cooking during your camping trip can be an adventure on its own. What is an intuitive and automatic process at home here becomes a challenge. However, once you build a small collection of cooking items for camping and start experimenting with them, your camping expertise grows.