All aspects of camping rely on a blend of experience and preparation. Cooking is no different. Even if you are a great Camping Cook you will still suffer if you do not prepare correctly. No list can be all encompassing, as each person wants to cook different things. But this list is a great reference the next time you are planning on doing some serious cooking at the campsite.
Not everything you are bringing will be pots, pans, and food. You need to bring some things that open up the space so cooking is easier.
- 1 to 3 Coolers with ice. Each one dedicated to a type of food or drink
- 1 to 3 Big Plastic Storage Tubs. Mostly so all your pans, plates, and so forth are in one location
- Box of Trash Bags. So you can keep all your trash away from your food and off the ground
Every time you can clean a pan or plate means you need to bring less with you. Having a decent Cleaning Area set up creates a lot of room for other things.
- 1 Medium sized plastic bin. This is to act as a sink, so you can wash your dishes and pans
- 2 Sponges. One is used to clean most anything. The other is to clean things that are dirty with grease or meat. Keep them separate as you don't want your Grease Sponge touching other things.
- 1 Scrub Brush. A must have for those sticky pans and grill grates.
- 3 Microfiber or other reusable towels. One for drying dishes, one for drying surfaces, and one for drying you.
- Environment friendly and natural soap.
Make cooking easier with these aids. These will allow you to get the most out of everything you are bringing to the campsite.
- 5 One gallon jugs of water. The more water you have for rinsing, cleaning, and boiling the better. Bring as much as you can, basically. Let's you boil potatoes, make tea, and other extras.
- 2 Sharp Knives. One small, like a paring knife. One large knife for doing large amounts of chopping. If you have extra room you can bring another and have a Meat-Only Knife.
- 3 Cutting Boards. Plastic, bendable, and colored cutting boards are great. One for vegetables, one for chicken or fish, and one for red meat.
- Tinfoil. For just about everything.
The bread and butter of cooking while camping. The gear on which you'll be doing most of your cooking. This is probably the most flexible section of the list as each person will be focused on different things.
- 2 Pots. One for smaller things like heating up soup or boiling water for hot chocolate. The other one should be large for making lots of stew or chili.
- Skillet. Skillets are really versatile; with a little bit of practice you can make most things on a skillet.
- Bowls. For holding, for serving, for storage.
- Plates. For eating. And the occasional Frisbee.
- Utensils. For eating.
- Wooden Spoon. I prefer a slotted spoon and I prefer wood over plastic or rubber.
- Spatula. The spatula is usually better off being a heat proof plastic. You might need two, one long and flat for flipping and another for basic cooking and stir-fries.
- Tongs. Tongs are very useful at the campsite. They allow you to do so much more than just spoons and spatulas.
These things can be make or break for you. If you've packed all the necessary gear, check out some of these extras that might make things a bit easier.
- Camping Stove. If you want to cook off an open fire with a grill, then you can do that. But a Camping Stove gives you so many more options and freedom.
- Lantern. If you plan on cooking at night without a dedicated light source a lantern can be very useful.
- Dutch Oven. A Dutch Oven allows you to cook a plethora of unique things.
- Muffin Tin. A Muffin Tin can be used simply for actually making muffins, but they can be great ways to cook eggs and other things.
- Wind Guards. Wind is either not a problem or a huge problem. Wind guards can help turning a bad situation into a good one.
- Coffee Stuff. Either learn how to make coffee from a pot or get yourself a peculator. Either way, if you want coffee you'll need the right gear and the right know-how.
Cooking while Camping is a perfect balance of experience and preparation. Experience comes by doing. Even cooking at home can be enough to give you the know-how to make a few decent meals at the campsite. But without the right preparation you won't have a chance to show off your experience. With this list you'll never be left out in the cold.