How to Effectively Build and Run a Camp Kitchen

By on January 23, 2014
Camp Kitchen - cooking over a hunters fire.

Camping – cooking over a hunters fire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Snacks and food from a can are hardly a camper’s favorite choice. This is why regular campers always try to build a camp kitchen for hot meals. However, not everyone manages to effectively build a compact, versatile, and easy to set up kitchen. Even if they do, they may have a tough time running it. If one or both of these issues has made your previous camping trips unpleasant, read on to ensure that your next one is organized and fun.

The Right Way to Build a Kitchen for Your Camp

In order to build the perfect camp kitchen, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps.

  1. Make a List of What You Want – Organized people start anything with a list. To make one, include everything you can possibly want in the kitchen. However, focus on the essentials, which are practical equipment that you really need and want to take camping.
  2. Prioritize Your List – Go over your list one more time and see which items are necessary and which you can do without. You should check off everything that you already own and what you can borrow from friends or family.
  3. Go Shopping – Before your next camping trip, start buying the things you need. Over time, you can purchase the things you borrowed until you have a complete camp kitchen.

Try to keep things simple, and look for things that can serve dual purposes in your camp kitchen.

The Art of Running the Perfect Camp Kitchen

A typical back-country camp kitchen setup.

A typical back-country kitchen setup. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once you’re done shopping and collecting your camp kitchen necessities, the following tips will help you run your kitchen smoothly.

  • Keep Your Kitchen Well Stocked – If you tend to go camping on a whim, make sure that your kitchen has everything you need. You can have a list ready and tick off your necessities as you go.
  • Plan Your Meals – If you’re planning a camping trip soon, plan your meals ahead of time. This will ensure that you don’t forget anything. Besides, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip better since the thinking part will be over.
  • Shop Wisely – When shopping for your kitchen’s necessities, always avoid fresh ingredients since they can perish if unused on time or due to differing temperatures. Also properly pack whatever you need to cook or else you’ll have ingredients everywhere.

A Few Extra Tips for the Road

In addition to the aforementioned steps, you should remember and implement these tips for the perfect camping experience.

  • Consider investing in non-stick frying pans and aluminum stockpots. These are perfect for a camp kitchen. However, make sure to get a cloth casing for them or else they’ll be scratched.
  • Buy your kitchen necessities according to your needs. For example, if you don’t have children and camp only with your significant other, you won’t need a 10 quart pot. A smaller one will do.
  • To differentiate your regular kitchen’s equipment from that used for camping, consider a theme for the latter. Different companies provide sets that you can purchase off the shelf rather than resort to mixing and matching.
  • Buy a large box or cooler for your kitchen. This way, you can organize your things and easily load them onto your car in one trip.

With this information, your camp kitchen will be the envy of other campers for sure.


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