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Camping cooking supplies

Updated on November 3, 2010

Many of us enjoy the outdoors, and there are few better ways to immerse yourself in the whole experience then by spending some time away from all the hustle and bustle and going camping. When you mention camping, a lot of people think of discomfort and inconvenience however that really never has to be the case if you prepare for your trip adequately.

This article will explore some of the different camping cooking supplies that are available on the market today and how they can serve to make your camping trip all the more enjoyable. There really is no reason why after a long day outdoors trekking, fishing and enjoying nature do you need to eat something that looks like pet food, unless your culinary skills state otherwise.

There is an extensive range of portable cooking equipment that is available on the market today and these are a big departure from what your granddad used to make dinner. Camp cooking supplies now come in all shapes and sizes and the best thing about the equipment is that the design is great not only for camping but you can also use your gear on road trips, trips to the beach picnics and even at home.

Why You Shouldn’t Bring Your Kitchen Cookware.

Many of the items in your common household kitchen are made for use specifically in your home. Though that may sound obvious, consider just what cooking in a camp environment involves. Generally food is cooked on an open fire, unlike your stove at home it’s a little more difficult to regulate the temperature and also keep an even amount of heat in one place. Campfire cookware is purpose built and as such is made from heavy duty materials that don’t need to be treated as delicately as the equipment you use at home.

Your kitchen cookware often contains plastic handles and glass lids. The glass will be more of an inconvenience in terms of packing as you need to wrap it carefully and deal with your backpack and cases appropriately. The plastic on the other hand may simply melt in the fire making it very difficult to retrieve your meal once it is cooked. In addition to those issues most kitchen supplies are light in colour making the cleaning process exceedingly difficult.

Camping cooking supplies
Camping cooking supplies

Basic Tools

The right tools will not only make your overall experience easier but will also make the food that you have brought with you or caught taste better.  Most of the camping cooking supplies are made with cast iron not only for its durability but because it is slightly thicker and will allow the food to cook more evenly much like your ovenware.  Aluminum is also a widely used material because its weight makes it easy to carry, the only drawback is that it will dent and be harder to clean though these are incredibly small trade-offs against the weight.

Tools for Cooking Your Food

Of the cooking tools some of the most popular amongst campers are the frying pan and Dutch oven. The frying pan can be used for a number of methods including frying; grilling, toasting, quickly boiling small amounts of water and slap stick comedy, while the Dutch oven can even be buried in amongst the coals so the food is cooked faster and with a more even heat. 

These two pieces allow you to cook almost anything that you are able to cook at home and many campers do very well cooking with only these two items.  As for the cooking utensils, a good stainless steel spatula and long cooking fork will be enough to make most meals. Also bringing along a pair or heat resistant gloves is always a good idea.

Aside from the basics there are a plethora of other cooking tools out there to make a fully equipped camp kitchen. They start from the basic camp grill which sits atop the fire like a stovetop through to other products including Pie irons, popcorn makers and bread pans.

Tools For Eating Your Food

When it comes time to serving you food at camp there are a number of choices as to what type of table ware you can buy. The most basic option is to use disposable plates and cutlery. This may be a good short term option if you are staying at a campsite that has the proper waste and recycling bins however if you are staying a little off the beaten trail then you should be taking everything you bring back out again, with the exception of your footprints.

A step up from the disposable stuff is to use stainless steel dinner ware or mess tins. The mess tins were originally designed for military use and this reflects in its practicality. The tins can all be stored within themselves inside the largest unit and the handles will fold around to keep compact inside your backpack. The stainless steel ware has the added benefit of being able to cook in them directly so if you are only boiling water for a cup of tea or camping on your own or with a friend mess tins are a great option.

For those of you looking for something a little less like a coalminers lunch box there are a range of enamel plates cutlery etc that are not only extremely light and easy to carry but durable as well. Another option becoming popular is collapsible plates and bowls that are made of plastic and can pack perfectly flat. This makes transportation and cleanup extremely convenient. Thermal mugs are also a popular choice for enjoying hot beverages at your campsite.

When you have finished eating, all of your cooking equipment should be washed properly to avoid attracting unwanted animal visitors to your site and also to minimize the chance of food poisoning affecting you and your group. using your camp shower to provide you with hot water will make the job easier.

With the huge range of camp cooking equipment available in the market there is very little that you can’t prepare when you are out camping. Your food play a huge role in not only giving you energy for the adventures ahead but also to boost your morale after a long day of activities. So rest assured in the knowledge that you aren’t resigned to eating a warm tin of beans when go camping, unless you want to of course.


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