What you’ll find here – The camp kitchen essentials you’ll want to know and the camping cooking gear you’ll need for a successful camping trip. Below you can find a recap of what to consider for getting your camp kitchen setup and running. To learn more more about camping, see our camping skills guide and see the camp kitchen checklist that has the camping cookware we recommend.
What you decided to cook and the camping cookware you bring will depend on the type of trip you are planning, how many people will be joining, and what you prefer to eat. For the most part however, from the outdoor prep table to camping utensils, you will need a base level of camp cooking gear to handle your cooking needs while in the outdoors. Here you can find the camping kitchen checklist for the base level of gear needed to get started.
The prep area
Pick a location that is fairly central to the camping area. People will be coming by to help cook or grab food and you still will want to be near the fire if you’re cooking in the evening or just want to chat with people. You don’t want to be squatting down near the ground to cook. The first part of an outdoor cooking station is a nice outdoor prep table. We recommend a folding table so that you can easily fit it into your car and one with adjustable height so you’re not leaning over it. You’ll also want bring some trash bags along and place or connect them to your table. Keep your cooler and clear plastic bin (camp kitchen box) near your foldable kitchen table for easy access to the items you’ll need while cooking.
Camping cookware storage
Once you decide on your camping cookware, keep it in a clear plastic bin. This allows you to carry all you need to the cooking table and also helps when you are needing to search for something. Once you arrive home from camping and keep all you camp cooking gear in the clear plastic bin so you’ll be ready for your next camping adventure. Here you can find the camping kitchen checklist for the base level of gear needed to get started.
Food – Keep your in a cooler until you’re ready to cook. If you are in bear country, we suggest using a bear resistant cooler to store you food. In the evening when you’re done cooking, we suggest you keep your cooler and food in a safe place which usually mean away from where you are sleeping.
Water – If you’re car camping, bring big water jugs and place them on your cooking table. Not only do they help secure the table from being blown over in the wind but they make a great water bottle refilling station. Many times you’ll be needing quick access to water while cooking or during the cleanup stage and a big water jug on the table helps tremendously with this.
While cooking – Many times you’ll only have a two burner camping stove. If you’re cooking for many people you may need to cook in stages and allow people to eat while the food is hot. If you spill some food, clean it up quickly so that it does not attract small animals or wasps.
Cleanup – Bring paper towels, a camping wash rag, or disinfectant wipes to wipe down the cooking area once you are done. Bring multiple trash bags (trash and recycling) so you can carry the trash out with you.