Mastering the Art of Campground Cooking

When it comes to the outdoors, everyone has their own opinion as to what it means to “camp.” Whether you’re a minimalist who prefers open air snoozing beneath the stars or one who packs just about everything but the kitchen sink for a weekend of car camping, we all need to eat.

Fortunately, we’ve got plenty of experience when it comes to outdoor meal planning. These make seem like no brainers, but following basic tools and tips are a good checklist to ensure your next outdoor excursion is a tasty one.

Camp Stove
If you’re a backcountry hiker, a light and portable gas stove is a must. But for those sticking closer to car accessible sites, this may not seem as obvious as most sites offer grills where guests can cook meals. And yet, a two-burner propane stove opens up so many more options — Camp Chef, Stansport Outfitters and Coleman are just a few of the more well-known camp stove manufacturers. Add in a couple of Lodge Cast Iron skillets and you’re well on your way to dishing up amazing eggs and French toast in the morning, decadent grilled cheeses for lunch and fajitas for dinner!

Utensils and Cookware
We’ve touched on the Lodge skillets above, but just remember – even the heartiest camp stoves have limited real estate. We suggest purchasing skillets 10” or less to avoid overcrowding. And make sure to pre-season your pan in the weeks leading up to your trip to ensure non-stickiness. Furthermore, an adequate set of stainless steel barbecue utensils will make a mountain of difference during meal preparation. There’s no need to overdo it; a spatula, set of tongs, fork and a handful of skewers for roasting marshmallows ought to do the trick.

Coffee Press
If you’re like us, then you’re probably pretty useless before that first cup of coffee in the morning. And shaking the cobwebs out of the old brain after your first night away from the comfort of your bed can be trying, which is why we can’t stress enough how important a morning cup of java can be. Bodum French Press’ offer maximum caffeine enjoyment with minimal fuss. Just add ground coffee, hot water, wait a few minutes and you’re all set. Trust us. Your brain will thank you for it.

Insulated Mug
We’re not just talking about keeping your hot liquids hot. An insulated mug also ensures cold beverages stay cold minus the condensation and that’s key when it comes to enjoying mid-afternoon camp margaritas or other cold beverages. With summer temperatures soaring in many parts of the country, an insulated mug is a must have for camping relaxation in between hikes.

Garbage Bags
As the number of people heading out to enjoy the wilderness increases each year, it’s more important than ever to keep these areas clean and litter-free. Make sure all your trash remains present and accounted for by keeping an open trash bag nearby at all times. In areas where critters can be a nuisance, please be sure to dispose of your trash properly in approved campsite receptacles as it helps to minimize the number of incidents between humans and wildlife. And don’t leave food out – it WILL attract bears if they live in the area.

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