When you’re on a camping trip, the worst thing you can do is forget to bring plates, utensils, and scrubbers to sanitize your dirty dishes with. These are the types of things that all car campers hate to deal with. As such, we have prepared a checklist of things to do to get ready for your trip. Checking off each item will ensure that you leave for your trip with everything you need.
Assembling a ready-to-use camp kitchen doesn’t take a lot of time to get done and is far from costly. Many of the items you will bring can be purchased at your local thrift store. It isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money on expensive utensils.
This list’s objective is to produce an organized and prepared bin that contains all the things you require for your camp kitchen. You can keep everything together in the bin so you can grab it and go for convenience sake. To begin, we suggest purchasing a nice bin that will contain your camp kitchen items; the bin can be stocked up with what you require (remember to sanitize anything dirty upon returning home). This is handy – you’ll always have what you need at the right moments (perhaps a can opener, corkscrew, or cheese grater).
A Strong Bin – A container like the Rubbermaid 20-gallon tote is suitable. We suggest purchasing a quality container that will last and won’t easily break. The 14-gallon tote is another wise choice, but it must be able to fit in your camp stove (the one we use slides into a 20-gallon bin diagonally so that more items can surround it during packing time).
A Two-Burner Camp Stove – When it comes to car camping, a high-quality burner to cook with is necessary! The Camp Chef Everest lets you cook just like you do at home. It comes with regular size pans, pots, and elicits substantial heat from the burner. If you’re on a limited budget, consider the Best Buy Coleman Triton which puts out a quality frame at a reduced price. At $100 you may be interested in the Profile Duo Burner/Grill. It produces a powerful flame and is a wonderful accessory for the fuel tank.
A Propane Tank and Tree – having a refillable propane tank on hand is a must for the camp kitchen. A popular size is the 1-gallon propane cylinder. Along with a Propane Distribution Tree, you can connect it to a lantern and stove for an elegant appearance!
Pans and Pots – A quality pan and pot is essential to cook with, but you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get them. Actually, you can obtain a frying pan and pot at your local thrift store. If you desire something economical, less heavy, and easy to store, consider buying a set of hard anodized pots, such as the Anodized Cookset, which is just over $30. You might also find value in the Solo 3 pot set and Alpine 2 pot set. Camp stores like REI and Outdoor Camper Post have an abundance of mid-weight or lightweight selections. You may also be interested in using cast iron. While the pan warrants some seasoning at first, it will last you for years to come (assuming you maintain it). The Lodge Cast Iron Skillet 12 in, Lodge Cast Iron Skillet 10 in, or Lodge Dutch Oven 8 quarts are ideal iron cookware choices.
Plates, Cups, Utensils, and Bowls – You must ensure that you regularly have the items mentioned above in the bin of your camp kitchen. You’ll require a set of cups; a coffee cup with a handle will be suitable. About four bowls and plates are convenient; even if it’s normally just a couple of you, having an additional set nearby is convenient, and you’ll be prepared to entertain guests. Ensure you have plenty of utensils (spoons, forks, and knives), as well some extras; you can get a Snow Peak Titanium Spork for $10.
If you lack some camp cookware items (plates, cups, bowls), consider purchasing a complete set like as the Outdoors Bugaboo Camper Cookware Set. It is comprised of all you need for a quartet of people, such as a frying pan that also acts as a lid, as well as a pots, plates, cups, and bowls. It also fits snugly into a sack the set comes with. This is a wonderful starter kit that will keep things sorted, which is most helpful in the outdoors. Some other extras that can make the car camping trip more enjoyable are the Destination Kitchen Set or the Crossover Kitchen Set; each set comes with numerous camp cooking tools that will please campers who like to cook. For something quick and light, think about the Pack Kitchen 8; these eight kits offer the fundamentals to cook outside and come with a waterproof condiment container, salt and pepper shakers, a camping towel, serving utensils and a scrubbing pad.
Bowls – A fantastic choice is to use something like the Delta Bowl with Lid. It can also act as a container to store leftovers! You can also stock your camping kit with real Tupperware rather than generic bowls; both options will preserve food effectively.
Cups – Having a minimum of two insulated cups for warm beverages (like tea, coffee, or hot chocolate) is best. The GSI kit comes with plastic cups (which contain insulated cozies); while this is great, a proper insulated hot beverage mug may be more suitable to keep your coffee warm on brisk mornings.
- Oven Mitt or Pot Grabber – Remember to have a pot grabber that is compatible with your pans and pots for burn prevention.
- A Tea Kettle – Keep a water kettle exclusively for having water boiled rather than using your pot. Sometimes, when pots aren’t cleaned before campers retire for the night, it can be a bother to sanitize it first thing. A Jetboil Flash or MSR Reactor can boil water using partially empty fuel cells that aren’t reliable to bring back into the woods again).
- Camp Goods and Cookware – Having all these cookware items on hand is very convenient. If you can’t afford a camp kitchen kit, you can bring items from your residential kitchen.
Recommended: Gamiet Camping Cookware
- Serving Spoon
- Cheese Grater – We suggest using a flat Cheese Grater; it doesn’t warrant a lot of space, unlike conventional box graters.
- Strainer – A Collapsible Strainer can easily fit into your bin and prevent spills from occurring.
- Big Collapsible Bowl – Much like the collapsible strainer, a Collapsible Serving Bowl is a wonderful small extra to use for gourmet camping meals. This bowl is convenient to whip up a salad, brownies, or anything else you can think of.
- Chef Knife with Sheath – a handy sheath accompanies the Tomodachi 7” Santoku Knife to keep it protected when it gets moved around in your bin. They are inexpensive and comes in various styles and sizes.
- Bottle Opener and Corkscrew
- Can Opener
- Dish Scrubber and Soap – We suggest Campsuds, a completely biodegradable soap that can be used to clean dishes and your body.
- Cutting Board – A basic plastic and thin cutting board is a wonderful choice as it’s strong as simple to sanitize.
- Garbage Bags – Storing several grocery or garbage bags is prudent.
- Paper Towels – A full roll of paper towels, as well as several rolls of toilet paper, should be on hand at all times.
- Table Cloth – This is more of an aesthetic item, and will cover up the old wooden picnic table you’re eating on.
- Foil Paper – Ideal for putting away leftovers and cooking by the campfire.
- Matches or a Lighter – Your kit should contain several packs of matches or lighters.
- A Coffee Maker – If you want to indulge, check out the Aerobie AeroPress. It makes delicious coffee fast and easily. The AeroPress is stronger than most coffee cones.
- Bladder or Water Jug – Keeping a large Dromedary Bagor water jug is essential. The tiny pinhole spout gives you just enough water to sanitize your dishes or hands.
- Spice Kit – Keeping a spice kit in the kitchen aids in giving your meals some flavor if you’re eating the same thing every day. Check out Penzeys Spices, as they come with numerous choices for keeping spices stored; it’s beneficial to purchase a few small plastic bottles (between the 2-4 oz. range) and keep them filled up with the spices of your choice.
- Salt and Pepper
- Red Pepper
- Curry Powder
- Burrito or Taco Spices
- Italian Spices
- Cooking Oil – It is worthwhile to have a small or medium-sized cooking oil bottle in your bin, something that is often neglected when gathering items to bring.
- Lantern – It can be very advantageous to have a lantern near your cooking area. The Coleman Propane Lantern uses LED rather than propane and can connect to your distribution tree, illuminating your whole picnic table. The smaller Black Diamond Apollo is a decent alternative and is just as bright.
Bonus items for a truly elegant camping adventure!
Keeping all the knick-knacks on the list, such as your silverware or spices, within a small resealable bin (that can be kept inside of a larger camp bin) will be beneficial. The more organized your bin is, the easier it will be to grab what you want when you need it.
There are more items that are wonderful additions to camp kitchen bins that aren’t associated with your kitchen, such as the following:
- First Aid Kit – A small med kit containing several items will be most helpful when you need it.
- Thermos – A one-liter Thermos is ideal for making warm beverages for a couple of people. You can get the Stainless-Steel 1L Thermos for about $15. For double, the price, have a look at the Stainless-Steel King 1.5L Thermos which is a fantastic insulator that functions optimally when making either cold or hot beverage (or keeping soup warm).
- Camping Chairs – Ensure you have a couple of camp chairs to make things comfortable; you can purchase a cheap camping chair such as the Trail Chair, or you can sit with elegance in the award-winning Coleman Oversize Quad with Cooler. This chair lets you keep your beverages close to your hands.
- Saw or Hatchet – This is a smart item to have in your container so that you’re prepared to chop wood up if necessary.
- Cooler – This probably won’t fit inside your Ultimate Camp Kitchen Bin, but it is very convenient to have on hand. For about $50, you can get the Coleman Xtreme 5-Day 70qt cooler, and for seven times that, you can own the Yeti Tundra 65. Although costly, these top-of-the-line coolers do exactly what you expect them to – freeze things for long durations no matter the climate it’s placed in.
- Dutch Oven – If you have the right tools, you can cook using a campfire. A Lodge Dutch Oven – 8 quart is an optimal piece of cookware to prepare meals for numerous campers. You can make all kinds of desserts and meals with it.
- Multi-Tool – Keeping a multi-tool inside your kit is convenient when something needs to be repaired. It isn’t necessary to spend a fortune on a quality tool; for about $30, you can buy a Leatherman Wingman. Alternatively, you can purchase the much cheaper option for under $10 at your local hardware store.
- Pocket Knife – A pocket knife can come in handy in several situations. For about $135 you can buy the Benchmade Mini-Barrage 585. For half that price, you can buy the Kershaw Leek – at $75; it is a little more budget-friendly.
- Playing Cards – Boredom can set in when camping. Why not enjoy yourself with a game of Solitaire or a round of poker with your fellow campers?
- Marshmallow Skewers – If you don’t want to buy a Telescoping Marshmallow Fork, a coat hanger will be sufficient.
And that’s all you need to fill up your Ideal Camp Kitchen Bin. Have a look inside your kitchen, purchase a quality container, and you’ll always have an organized set of cooking items assembled. The next time you go camping, just grab the bin and go!
Recommended: Coleman Pack-Away Kitchen