It's a lot easier than you might think to cook really yummy and fulfilling meals while camping. Here's everything you'll need to do so!
Just because you don't have all your regular kitchen equipment doesn't mean you can't cook yummy and fulfilling meals while camping! And honestly, you don't need much in your camping kitchen arsenal to cook really good food. Most of the items on this list you should be able to collect from your own kitchen, but if you can't, I'll also include links to almost everything!
Check out this list of everything you need to cook awesome camping meals!
1. Camping Stove
The first thing you need that's basically a non-negotiable is a camping stove! We thought this two-burner camping stove by Coleman was perfect. The two burners came in handy, and the fact that it was so slim made it easy to pack up.
Don't forget to grab some propane camping gas tanks to fuel the camping stove! You can usually find them at sporting goods stores (like Dick's) or sometimes even gas stations. Here's a pack of two from Dick's you can get online before you go!
2. Pot and Pan
Next, you'll need a pot and a pan. This should be easy enough - just grab some small-ish ones from your own kitchen!
3. Wooden Spoon
We packed our "kitchen" box for camping with a lot of utensils we really didn't end up using. For example, we thought a ladle might come in handy, but when it really comes down to cooking a can of soup on a camping stove - the fewer dishes you have to do, the better. So we always opted to pour the soup directly from the pot into the bowl rather than use a ladle - it's easier anyway!
Point is, you don't need all the utensils you might normally have in your kitchen to cook camping meals. A wooden spoon though is a must-have. You can use it for stirring, scraping, even flipping... it's just the best. Grab one here (or from your own kitchen).
4. Cutting Board
You definitely want to have a cutting board to protect your food from the definitely-not-clean picnic tables and other surfaces found at campsites. We picked up this one from Target and found it to be a perfect size - small enough to pack nicely but big enough to work with.
5. Knife Set
Knives are important for cutting and chopping, but you also want to be smart about packing and traveling with sharp knives. That's why you definitely need to bring knives with a cover - like these. We brought this exact pack of three knives, which we loved (they're surprisingly sharp), but we ended up primarily using just the largest one. So if you want to pack super lightly, buy the whole pack (I mean, it's less than $8 for the whole pack!) and pick just one of them to bring along.
6. Can Opener
Everybody knows that cans are a big part of camping food and you need a can opener to open them!
If peelers are not a regular part of your cooking routine, then, by all means, skip it, but I find peelers to be both necessary and handy. It depends on your cooking preferences though! We personally found a peeler to be helpful when cooking breakfast potatoes and for peeling carrots to snack on.
8. Utensil Kit
Your standard utensils (fork, spoon, and knife) are not only important for eating with, but they're also important for camp cooking! Because we aren't bringing along bigger utensils like a spatula, tongs, ladle, etc., these little guys can help do their jobs. For example, forks are great for flipping food while spoons are natural stirrers! I'm a big fan of utensil kits on Amazon that include a case because they help keep everything clean while traveling!
9. Plates and Bowls
Like utensils being important for more than just eating, the same applies to plates and bowls! They act as trays, mixing bowls, and containers while prepping food. We kept it simple by purchasing some cheap plastic ones from Target because we definitely didn't want to bring anything breakable! These plates and bowls from the Room Essentials line at Target were less than $1 each!
10. Water Bottles
Reusable water bottles are honestly a non-negotiable when camping, road tripping, or traveling in general. Without them, you'll end up purchasing plastic water bottles left and right which is no good! This is the brand of water bottle I've had for years and it does an amazing job of keeping liquids hot and cold.
Apart from water bottles, it's nice to have an extra set of glasses for drinking coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or in our case, mostly wine. We loved these because they came with a lid that served a dual purpose - keeping drinks warm and keeping out pesky flies!
12. Bottle Opener/Corkscrew
If you're a beer and/or wine drinker, you'll want to make sure you have a bottle opener/corkscrew! Something like this is most convenient because it's both of those in one!
13. Dishwashing Liquid
If you're going to be cooking, you can't forget about the cleanup! We wanted to make sure that whichever dish soap we bought was as environmentally clean as possible because we'd be using it directly outside. We ended up choosing the Puracy brand.
Of course, you'll need a sponge (or two) to actually scrub the dishes. The Scotch-Brite Greener Clean sponges were our choice!
And last but not least, a towel to dry your dishes! (Or at the very least, to lay your dishes out to dry). This should be easy enough to grab from your own kitchen!