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One of my favorite things about camping is the challenge of making delicious meals in the great outdoors where my entire kitchen is reduced to a minimum.
In fact, our entire camping kitchen fits into a single 25-gallon plastic tote. This single box contains all the kitchen equipment I need to cook everything from pancakes at breakfast to grilled salmon with capers on curried couscous for dinner. It sits in our garage always packed. Having this box ready to go at any given moment saves me at least an hour of packing every time we go camping.
Allow me to walk you through everything that should go into a camping kitchen box. To make it even easier for you to assemble your own box, I’ve included Amazon links to all my favorite items. You can certainly pull old items from your own kitchen. That’s where I started, but over the years of camping, I’ve slowly replaced many items with ones that conserve even more space or are just more effective than my old kitchen “upcycles.”
Begin with the box for your camping kitchen
Start off by purchasing a heavy-duty 25 gallon plastic tote box with a lid.
Everything you need to play with fire
- Coleman two burner camping stove and fuel
- Firestarters and old newspaper, and lighter
- Waterproof Matches (always a good backup to have)
- Small Grill Brush
- Barbecue Utensils
- Fire Proof Gloves (use it the fire pit and doubles as pot holders)
Pots, pans, and cooking utensils
- Small camping nesting pots – nest pots save a ton of space
- Lightweight camping griddle – ’cause no one wants to cook pancakes one at a time
- Aluminum baking pan – can be used for serving or on the grill
- Silicone collapsible camping kettle
- Insulated French Press – cold coffee doesn’t taste good
- Knife with a cover
- Compact cutting board mats
- Camping cooking utensil set
- Can openers + bottle opener
- Telescoping s’mores and hotdog sticks – because no camping trip is complete without s’mores
Plates, cups and silverware
- Stainless steel plates with a rim – get all the same size so they store really compact. Plates with rims can also be used for soup and cereal.
- Stainless steel cups – got to heat just one cup of water, these can go on the stove too.
- Collapsible mixing/serving Bowl
- Stainless steel camping silverware set
- Foldable dishrack or an a collapsible dish draining tub
- Dish Towels – some old ones from kitchen will do just fine, but if you’re buying some new, buy brown ones because dish towels sure get grubby
- Gloves – so you can can use scalding hot water to soap the dishes and get all that grease off easily
- Dish Brush / Scraper
- Biodegradable Multi-purpose cleaner
- Two Dishwashing basin – Why two? I explain why in the video below, but having the same size tubs allows you to stack them for the most space efficiency.
Nice-to-have Kitchen Knick Knacks
The key to easy camp cooking is to prep everything ahead of time. Season your meats and veggies ahead of time. Or mix seasonings and carry them to camp in a bottle. These seasonings are at the campsite just in case, but it’s amazing what you can do with just a little.
- Oil (Canola, grape seed)
- Oil spray (really nice for cooking pancakes)
- Soy Sauce
For easy shopping: Go to the Trekaroo Camping Kitchen Shopping List on Amazon
Note: This article contains affiliate amazon links