CAMPING | Camp Kitchen Essentials For Your Next Camping Trip

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If you are considering camping for anything more than one night, you’re likely to need the ability to prepare and cook food. For family campers, this can provide a particular challenge as prepping wholesome meals for the whole family can be tough when you’re in a tent.

Camping breakfast

We don’t use ration packs when camping, and we use minimal tinned and dried foods – usually just tinned tomatoes, rice and pasta when we camp as we prefer to cook fresh food from scratch.

Looking for some inspiration?
Check out one of my favourite quick and easy camping meals, or see 6 handy food and camping hacks.

Eating well when camping is one of the things that helps to make the whole experience much more enjoyable, but to prepare and cook outdoors, you’ll need some basics.

Basic camp kitchen set up

Basic Camp Kitchen Essentials

There’s nothing wrong with having a basic kitchen set up, it’s all down to what works best for you, and the way you prefer to camp. To prepare basic food whilst camping, we’d recommend the following;

  • Gas burner
  • Spare Butane gas canister
  • Kettle
  • Mess tin(s)
  • Cutlery
  • Mug
  • Washing up supplies

camp kitchen essentials

Family Camp Kitchen Essentials

Not keen on sitting on the floor to make a cuppa? Don’t like the idea of living on Pot Noodles whilst you’re camping? If you would prefer to be able to prepare and cook full meals whilst camping, this is the essentials list for you;

  • Gas stove
  • Spare gas bottle(s)
  • Kettle
  • Frying pan (we find a wok provides us with more flexibility)
  • Saucepan
  • Spatula/stirring/serving spoon
  • Tongs
  • Carving knife
  • Chopping knife
  • Colander
  • Mixing/salad bowl
  • Chopping board
  • Bowls & plates (eco friendly disposable, tin or melamine are best)
  • Scissors
  • Cutlery
  • Mugs, drinking tumblers and wine glasses (plastic)
  • Kitchen storage unit
  • Camp table & chairs
  • Washing up supplies + washing up bowl (collapsable ones are best)
  • Water carrier

camping meal ideas

Handy Store Cupbord Extras

  • Tin foil/cling film/food storage bags
  • Plastic storage boxes
  • Bin bags
  • Kitchen roll
  • Tin opener
  • Condiments
  • Salt & pepper
  • Tea, coffee and hot chocolate
  • Longlife milk
  • Assorted spices

Please remember that cooking inside your tent is not recommended, and when using a gas stove, please ensure you follow all relevant safety instructions and ensure you are using a carbon monoxide alarm.


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  • Sarah Stockley

    We really need to get some of the collapsable bowls – we’re camping in May for 3 nights with the kids! Sarah #outdoorbloggers

  • Great advice! Cooking set up for me depends on what kind of trip I’m on. If I’m going away for a night or two on my own in my little two man tent then it’s gas stove, kettle and mug, pan and spoon – I’ll eat porridge, soup, tinned stuff (nicer than dried for an evening meal when there’s space) or pasta and sauce. If I’m going away in the bigger tent then I’ll make more of an effort, take plates and cutlery, a knife and other bits, and cook a fried breakfast and one-pot meat and veg dish for dinner. Or there is always the pub.

    • lol I must say we are starting to eat out more at local pubs when we go camping 🙂 Pasta and sauce is a life saver for camping!

  • thehelpfulhiker

    Great tips as always. We try to cook as much as possible and are finally getting it down to a fine art. I’m looking forward to this year as I think we might have nailed it. Although space is an issue so will definitely be looking at some collapsible kitchenware! Food always tastes better outdoors anyway 🙂

    • I totally agree about food tasting better outdoors! It does take a lot of trial and error doesn’t it, but once you do nail it life becomes much easier – happy camping! 😀