Camp Kitchen Must-Haves

Camp Kitchen Must-Haves

Camp Kitchen Must-Haves

When we first started camping, our “camp kitchen” consisted of an old beat-up cooler, a rusting, secondhand stove, and a few utensils I stole from our kitchen. We generally threw together some sandwiches, grabbed a bunch of pre-packaged snacks, and called it good. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked for a newly married couple.

As we started to camp more and added kids to the mix, we started building on to our camp kitchen, upgrading our gear over time and figuring out what we actually needed and what we could do without. We are still a work in progress (and I’m definitely not a master camp chef!), but we have come across some pretty awesome gear over the years that has made camp cooking easier and more fun. While this isn’t an extensive list of kitchen supplies we take on camping adventures, here are 9 of my favorite gear items to help you take your camp kitchen to the next level.

Favorite Camp Kitchen Gear

Camp Chef Mountain Series Everest 2X Camping Stove 

The compact 2-burner Camp Chef stove can pump out up to 20,000 BTU of heat and fires up easily with its matchless ignition system. We were even able to use it in windy conditions thanks to the built-in 3-sided windscreen. The stainless-steel drip tray is easy to access and clean, and the locking lid and handle make it easy to transport and store when not in use.

A Camp Chef Mountain Series Everest 2X Camping Stove on a picnic table with a pot on it at a campsite
Lodge Dutch Oven

You may be surprised at how versatile a Dutch Oven is for cooking at the campsite. It can be used for baking bread, simmering stew, sauteing vegetables, braising and searing meat, and so much more. In fact, anything that can be cooked in a cast-iron skillet can also be cooked in a Dutch Oven. This one from Lodge comes pre-seasoned with their proprietary vegetable oil formula, so it can be used right out of the box!

Coghlan Cast Iron Camp Cooker

This handy little cooker is easy to use and can make a wide variety of tasty dishes. We have used them to make grilled cheese, mini-pizzas, quesadillas, mini-pies, etc. Simply grease both sides of the cooker, add ingredients, close and lock the cooker, and set it over the fire. You can even use one half of the cooker as a mini cast-iron pan, cooking eggs or warming up meat.

Two Coghlan Cast Iron Camp Cookers with strawberry pie in them on a picnic table
Aeropress Coffee Maker

Coffee lovers rejoice! This super compact system brews smooth, rich coffee without the grit or bitterness expected from other camp coffee systems. You can brew both hot and cold brew along with espresso. The carrying case doubles as a mug, making it easy to pack super light when needed.

An Aeropress Coffee Maker ready to make coffee on a picnic table at a campsite
Jet Boil Flash Cooking System

Are you looking for something to make more than just coffee without pulling out the stove and pot to boil water? The Jet Boil Flash can boil water in just 100 seconds, making that hot cocoa, tea, or freeze-dried meal ready in a flash. It allows you to conserve fuel and reduce the “Is it ready yet?” complaints from the kiddos. The color-changing heat indicator tells you when your water is ready, and the bottom cover doubles as a measuring cup or bowl.

EarthPak Heavy Duty Waterproof Cooler 

When looking for a cooler that could work for various outdoor adventures such as camping, kayaking, and paddleboarding, we landed on the EarthPak Waterproof Cooler. It’s completely waterproof, has numerous attachment points to strap onto a board or kayak, and keeps food and drink ice cold for up to 72 hours. It comes with a shoulder strap for easy transport and a detachable interior mesh tote that makes it easy to lift out the contents, empty the water/ice, and repack as needed.

An EarthPak Heavy Duty Waterproof Cooler sitting on a picnic bench at  campsite
Yeti Rambler Mug 2.0

Sick of your coffee or chili going cold too quickly while hanging around camp? The insulated Yeti Rambler mug keeps your nourishment hot (or cold) to the last sip or bite. The MagSlider lid seals the mug to prevent splashes and help trap in warmth. The new design also allows the mugs to be easily stacked when not in use.

GSI Outdoors Folding Water Cube

Every camp kitchen needs a good water source, but not every campsite is close to a water spigot. Enter the water cube. This collapsible cube stores either 10 or 15 liters of water depending on your size choice and has an easy-to-use spigot to control the amount of water released. When not in use, it crushes down small, making it easy to transport and store.

A GSI Outdoors Folding Water Cube filling a water bottle at a campsite
Sea to Summit Wipes

Kids are naturally messy creatures. Add a campsite, continuous availability of dirt, and low/no access to a shower and they take that messiness to a whole new level. Whether you’re cleaning up a s’more explosion, wiping muddy hands before a meal, or simply removing the sweat and dirt from the day, quality wipes are a must for any camping adventure. The Sea to Summit Wipes are extra thick so they won’t fall apart easily. They’re also soft and gentle on even the most sensitive skin.

Looking for more camping gear recommendations? Check out our posts on Camping Gear for a Cozy Night’s Sleep, and Gear for Relaxing Around Your Campsite, and stay tuned for more gear recommendations in the coming weeks!

The Author and her family hiking near Mt. Rainier National Park

Rebecca is a transplant Coloradoan living in Virginia with her husband (Derek) and their two boys. She’s a teacher turned freelance writer/ homeschool mom working towards exploring as much of the east coast as possible before the next move takes her family elsewhere. You can follow her family hiking, kayaking, SUPing, geocaching, camping, and all things outdoor adventuring on Instagram @frazzlednaturemom .