In my basement there is a large plastic tub with the label “CAMP STUFF” always ready. That way, I’ll never forget a bottle opener, tiny salt container, or my Negroni Nalgene. Cooking while camping can be minimalist – bring a bucket of Popeyes, call it a day – or maximalist (when we’ve slowly grilled a shoulder of lamb?!? !!? A bit amazed that we didn’t attract a bear). Either way, you will need eating and cooking utensils. Here is what you need to get started.
You could cook anything over the fire, but sometimes coffee can’t wait for the child to settle down. Eureka’s camping stove is light, adorable and classic.
My favorite way of cooking at the campsite is this foldable grill from Breeo that can be adjusted up and down. We slowly roasted the above-mentioned lamb on it, ate chicken wings straight from it and soaked coffee on it.
Breeo Outpost 19 grill with bag
You only need a pot (to boil water, this has a built-in strainer) and a pan (scrambled eggs, pancakes), and these nest well together.
The all-purpose cup
An insulated mug does it all. Wipe it off after each use – you no longer have to worry about your wine tasting like Honey Bunches of Oats.
YETI Rambler 10 ounce wine tumbler
Bring the Nalgene that best suits your personality, but look, this one glows in the dark!
PARKS Glowing water bottle in the dark
Splatter enamelware is classic; can’t go wrong.
GSI Outdoors Pioneer placemat
For cooking and moving tree trunks. Necessary.
16 “high-performance stainless steel pliers
Collapsible side table
If all you want to do is have a cheese platter and a good baguette while you’re camping – not a bad way to do it – you still need a side table (or a handy stump). This tie dye is super light, packs in a tiny bag and is stretched taut to keep your drink secure. Don’t sit on it.
Helinox Table One Camping table
Refillable water jug
If your campsite doesn’t have drinking water, bring a large, refillable container like Reliance’s 7-gallon jumbo tainer. It should take four people a long weekend in the woods and you can always refill it at a rest stop. It has a practical handle and spout and its flat shape fits easily under your car seat.
Reliance 7 Gallon Jumbo Tainer Water Container
Also doubles as a side table or extra seat if you need it. Do I even have to mention a brand here? You already have one. If not: YETI or Bust.
YETI Tundra 35 hard cooler
Coffee, coffee, coffee
You just slept on hard ground and you need coffee ASAP. Instead of lugging a French press or percolator into the woods, bring cold brew concentrate or, for a crowd, the La Colombe cold brew box. Water it down and heat it over the stove or drink it over ice. Are you trying to pack lighter? Alpine Start instant coffee does the trick.
Cold Brew on Draft Fridge Pack
Big batch cocktails are a good idea. This is how an XL-insulated thermos is filled with designated cocktail ice. Box wine just keeps getting better and the best place to drink it is in the woods if you don’t want to be weighed down with glass bottles. A 3 liter box of Herisson Vin Rouge is the equivalent of four bottles and is a light, acidic Gamay blend that goes well with unwashed hair and howls at night.
Herisson Vin Rouge 3L Box
This collapsible sink is a game changer. You can also use it for lighting. Bring an old kitchen sponge, Dr. Bronner (biodegradable) and an old, dirty towel to dry with. Also, remember that you don’t really have to wash everything. A rinse and wipe are enough. You are in the forest!
UST FlexWare Foldable Sink
Heavy duty aluminum foil
You don’t even need plates when making foil packets in the fire for dinner. However, bring the high-performance film with you, not the normal material, so that it stays in place without the risk of tearing.
The kitchen double kit
Fill that bag with the little boys: a couple of battered steak knives and a decent chef’s knife; a cheap plastic cutting board from TJ Maxx; Matches!!!; Flea market cutlery, Nalgene Minis – they never leak – filled with olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce; a multi-tool that you will use all the time; and a 1 ounce. Containers with flake salt or your favorite spice mix.
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