Cooking While Camping: Choose the Right Gear for a Mess-Free Trip
Have you ever been on a camping trip that was meant to be relaxing and fun but ended up being the exact opposite? What if I told you that you could avoid those traumatic nights that make it hard to sleep without fire ants attacking you, other insects eating lumps out of your tent, and worst of all, no hot snacks or warm meals? Cooking while camping can be really fun, as long as you’re properly prepared.
Thankfully, now that you have a range of outdoor cooking equipment to choose from, whipping up your favorite recipes on camping trips has never been easier.
Choose the Best Camping Stove
A camping stove is a vital piece of gear for every camper. It’s your only option for cooking in the backcountry, and it can be a life-saver when all you want is a hot meal or cup of coffee, especially if the weather isn’t cooperating.
Each stove type has its advantages and drawbacks. The key to choosing the best camping stove for you is to figure out what type of cooking you want, how often you plan to use it, and how much you’re willing to spend. For instance, gas stoves are incredibly easy to use—simply screw the stove onto a threaded fuel canister and light it with a match or lighter. It doesn’t get any simpler than that! They’re also extremely compact, so they’re great for backpackers who don’t have much room in their pack.
The downsides: Canister camping stoves don’t perform well in cold weather, the fuel canisters are not refillable (although possible with some models), and they tend to be less powerful than liquid fuel stoves.
These stoves run on propane or butane fuel cans and are very easy to use. However, since they depend on these cans for fuel, you must ensure that you have enough of them before leaving for your trip. If possible, bring more than one just in case one gets lost or damaged along the way. These camping stoves are a favorite among campers because they are portable and lightweight.
Pack Lightweight Cookware
You can’t bring a full kitchen to the campground, so you must pack light and pick your equipment wisely. If you’re cooking at home, you probably use a spatula, tongs, wooden spoons, and maybe a whisk. When cooking over a campfire, though, these might be difficult to clean or even catch on fire. A simple metal spoon and fork are good tools for flipping burgers and stirring pots of beans. If you have different needs, stick with heavy-duty plastic or silicone utensils that can withstand heat but won’t catch fire.
A Folding Table is Essential
When you’re out camping, cooking can be a challenging task, especially if you don’t have the right equipment. A folding table is an essential piece of gear that makes it easy to prepare meals and keep all your utensils and cookware at hand. There are many different kinds of folding tables on the market, but not all are created equal. Some are small, narrow and unstable, making them useless for anything but prep work. Others are more stable and offer more space, but they can be heavy and too bulky to carry on a long hike.
When choosing a folding table for camping, look for one lightweight but sturdy enough to hold a stove or other heavy items. It should also be big enough to fit whatever you need while still being compact enough to store easily in your pack.
Food Storage Solutions
When it comes to camping, one of the most important factors is how you’re going to store your food. Not only can the right food storage solution help keep your food fresh, but it can also prevent critters from getting into it — not to mention helping you store the right amount of food. Food bags are a good option for storing fruits, vegetables, and other produce. They come in various sizes so you can find one that fits your needs.
A cooler is also essential for keeping your food fresh while camping. If you’re planning on bringing along meat, seafood, or dairy products like cheese or yogurt, those must go in a cooler packed with ice immediately. A cooler can also keep drinks cold if you prefer more than just water when at camp.
To Sum Up
As with most cooking and camping products, the gear choice will ultimately depend on your specific needs and preferences. But I hope we’ve helped to dispel some myths about what’s required for a successful camping trip and helped you to understand better what would work best for you. Even if you are an avid camper, it can be hard to know what cooking essentials to bring. There could be plenty of situations in which the wrong equipment or too little equipment could lead to you having a very unpleasant camping trip. Thankfully, you can avoid these mishaps with little research.