Are you looking forward to a camping trip in Colorado’s great outdoors? If you’re anything like us, you’ll be super eager to savor a delicious meal in front of a soothing campfire. Before you get too excited, it’s worth considering whether you have everything you need to whip up a gourmet meal at a campsite. To help you prepare, we’ve put together a handy camping kitchen checklist below.
Creating your camp kitchen setup
If you’re wondering why your camping kitchen setup is so crucial, remember that a fresh hot meal is far tastier and more nutritious than a pre-packed alternative. While it may be tempting to opt for the easy, instant option, cooked meals will fuel you or your family’s adventures and ensure you feel good for whatever adventures lie ahead. Plus, cooking is a fun and sociable activity. Of course, you’ll need to pack a range of tools if you’re planning a varied menu, as you won’t find any cookware stores in the wilderness!
What you’ll need
The following checklist covers the basic items you’ll need to cook tasty meals outdoors:
A cooler filled with ice will ensure your ingredients don’t spoil – particularly vital if you’re traveling in summer. If you’re looking for a highly versatile cooler that is also easy to transport, Rovr has you covered with their wheeled coolers. We checked them out a few years ago at Outdoor Retailer and have been a fan ever since.
You’ll need a portable camping stove, as well as fuel and lighters. While it’s possible to cook over a campfire, it simply isn’t practical to ignite a fire every time you want to eat. Plus, it might rain!
Remember to bring sizable containers for water storage. Remember you’ll need plenty of water for cooking, drinking, and even cleaning up after cooking. It’s also helpful to have a water filtration system in case you run out of stored water and need more.
The more ambitious your meals, the more cookware you’ll require. Try to bring at least one pot and one pan to suit different situations.
Don’t forget to bring spoons, forks, knives, and whatever else you’ll require! Opinel has a great camping kit that includes two knives and a peeler, and packs down into a small carry pouch.
You’ll need a range of accessories to help you prep food, including a cutting board, chopping knives, towels, and napkins. Other optional additions include spatulas, a cheese grater, tin foil, and more. For towels, we like Lava Linens and use their Mini towel while cooking and cleaning up after.
A Coffee Maker
Trust us – you’ll need a good cup of coffee to wake you up on a fresh outdoor morning. Fortunately, there are plenty of portable coffee makers on the market to ensure you enjoy a high-quality drink. If you want to save a little space, you can get away with instant coffee and leave the coffee maker at home.
Bring storage bins to ensure your cookware and non-food supplies are safe and easy to find.
Bring plenty of cleaning supplies to keep your campsite clean and avoid harming the natural environment. As well as trash bags, you’ll need eco-friendly soap, a sponge, a drying rack, and a portable, collapsible sink.
Planning to cook after dark? You’ll need a bright lantern to ensure you don’t slice a finger! We really like the Goal Zero Lighthouse Core Lantern.
What about backpackers?
Without the luxury of a vehicle, backpackers may struggle to cook elaborate meals in the great outdoors. While it makes sense to bring prepackaged items, you can also enjoy a few cooked meals by packing smartly. Shop around for portable stoves that will slip easily into your backpack, and limit yourself to a small pan for cooking one-pot meals. You can also drop the optional add-ons such as cheese graters, coffee makers, and cutting boards. Think carefully about what you’ll need to make something healthy and enjoyable – and step out into the wilderness!