Camp Kitchen Checklist

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Master cooking when camping

Camping trips are a ton of fun and can be quite adventurous. You’re out in nature, throwing caution to the wind, and living life on the edge. But occasionally, you might find yourself wanting to make more than just s’mores at your campsite. If you have any desire whatsoever to cook while camping, you will need a good camp kitchen checklist to make sure you don't forget anything important.

Step 1

Popular mistakes

Equipment is the most popular mistake campers make when it comes to their camp kitchen. Many people assume they can use any old pots and pans for cooking over a campfire. Not so!

You’ll want to bring non-stick cookware, which will make it easier to clean up and not ruin your dishes. You’ll also want to keep things as light as possible while still bringing all the tools you need.

A good camping checklist should include portable pots, utensils that fit on the grill, tongs or spatulas for flipping food, a cutting board, plates or bowls, cups or mugs, a paper towel roll or two, dish soap and a scrubbing sponge.

Lastly: be sure to pack something like zip-lock bags or containers for storing food (you don’t want ants crawling into your baggies).


Think it through

The first step to packing for a camping trip is to make a list. Including everything you need for your personal kitchen and not forgetting anything. Below are six things you’ll want to remember when considering what to bring for your camp kitchen: -Stove, stove stand, pot holders, utensils
-Grill or griddle
-Coffee maker
-Potato masher
-Dish soap and dishcloth
-Mugs, plates, bowls and cups
Read this article to find out what else you should pack.


Want to know more?

If you like to cook, good for you.

Now, you need to pack cooking equipment: pots and pans, wooden spoons, spatulas, can openers, knives of various sizes and shapes, cutting boards (plastic or wood), tongs for flipping meats on the grill and skewers for kabobs.

Also include your favorite cooking spices (chili powder, garlic salt) and condiments (barbecue sauce). You might want to bring a stove or camp grill if cooking is one of your top priorities.

If you're not much of a chef but would prefer to focus on other camp activities instead, bring simple things like canned foods like beans with diced peppers and tomatoes that are only heated up in a pot with water. Other easy meal ideas are instant oatmeal packets with dried fruit bits or applesauce in a squeeze pouch.

The first thing you’ll need to consider is how to store your camp kitchen. Whether it be in a large cooler, a backpack, or some other container, you’ll want something that will protect the food while maintaining easy access. If you plan on keeping your food in a cooler, make sure to pack it tightly with plenty of ice so that air doesn't leak in and warm up the contents.

If you bring along utensils, pots, pans and dishes, you'll need a way to carry them. A backpacking stove will also require its own storage space. The more gear you have for camp cooking, the more storage space you'll need.

The first step to a successful camp kitchen cleanup is to clean as you go. This means one of the first things you should do when breaking down your campsite is to wash all the dishes, pots and pans, cups, utensils and cooking appliances that have been used throughout the day. Don't forget to rinse out the coals from your fire pit to prevent any smoldering embers from catching fire again.

After you've cleaned up as you go, it's time for a final sweep. Sweep up any debris that might be on the ground around your campsite and dispose of dirty water in an environmentally friendly way (check with your local authorities for proper disposal methods).

Stick to the Plan

Now that you know more or less what to expect, it’s time you created your own camp kitchen checklist. Feel free to use our template and add what you think should also be on the list, as well as take off anything that you wouldn’t otherwise buy. Also, check our other shopping lists here.

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