As I mentioned in my last blog post, I survived a camping trip to the Lightning Lakes campground in Manning Park with my wife and kids. Part of my survival is based on what I took along for camp cooking essential tools.
I like to be thoughtful and organized when I go camping, or even if I am going to the cabin. Being thoughtful and organized makes for a lot more good times and a lot less stress when out in the wilderness.
To hold all our camp cooking essentials I have purchased two large Rubbermaid style bins. That way I have all the camp kitchen tools in one place.
And typically, most campsites require you to be “bear aware” meaning you have to pack up all your cooking tools and food supplies each night. Having a couple large plastic bins makes it easier for loading all the gear back into the vehicle at the end of the day.
But what do I put in those bins? Here is a partial list:
- 2 quality non-stick fry pan. One is a deep-wok style pan.
- Two decent quality, stainless steel pots
- Dinner plates, bowls, stainless mugs, cutlery (I pack the same number of plates, bowls and cutlery as there are people in my group)
- Cutting board and tinfoil
- Butcher knife, paring knife, tongs, slotted spoon, and a spatula for flipping eggs.
- Coffee drip cone and filters – always bring extra coffee filters!!
That is a pretty basic list of what you need for cooking and eating. I say I typically bring the same number of plates or bowls as there people on the trip because if you bring extra, you get more things dirty requiring you to wash more dishes. And who wants to be washing dishes while you are out camping? If you only have a few, you are forced to think about what you are doing.
Another item I mentioned bringing along was a quality non-stick pan.
Okay, okay. I am the cast iron pan guy. I have dozens of them in every shape, size, and condition. But when I go camping I like to take a relatively new non-stick pan (I am still testing out a Gotham Steel ceramic pan so that is one of the pans we brought along for this trip).
Honestly, if anything goes wrong, wiping out a non-stick pan is much easier than trying to clean-up a beloved cast iron pan.
Another consideration about the pan is that you should choose a deep pan so it can do double duty as a pot if you need to.
Of course there are some other important camp cooking essentials that play a supporting role but still are important to halp make a camping trip that much easier:
- Garbage bags (even the plastic bags you get when doing your last minute shopping trip will work).
- Kitchen scrubber things – super useful!
- Leather gloves – I actually have a pair of inexpensive welding gloves that I keep in my camping essentials bin.
- Two small plastic water containers (4l size)
- Large water container (30l size)
- 2 wash basins
The garbage bags are great for keeping your garbage in one place. If you can have a camp fire it is great to burn all your kitchen scraps and paper products, but if there is a campfire ban, well, the garbage bags sure come in handy.
The leather welding gloves are useful for so many things! Reaching into the campfire to retrieve things, roasting marshmallows, moving hot pots or pans, or what-have-you.
Water containers are essentials. The small containers are great so that you can add a splash of water to something you are cooking without having to heave the big container up.
And the wash basins…well they are essential. You just load your dirty dishes into them for clean up and there you be.
And of course the most important thing for your Camp Cooking Essentials – something to cook on. DO NOT count on being able to cook on a fire. First off, you may not be as smart as you think you are and you may not be able to light a fire. Or there may be no wood. Or it may be pouring rain. Or, there may be a campfire ban.
So bring a camp stove or a propane fuelled grill to cook with. I like my Coleman cookstove that runs off propane. It heats up quickly and is easy to work with.
That’s about it for camp cooking essentials. If I have missed any important items, feel free to add a comment below.