Camp cooking is an extension of the line of fun had while camping. For some campers, cooking over an open fire with various cast iron vessels is the main camp attraction and activity. For others, a cereal bar and a swig of water serve as a full meal. But for most campers, a mix of both is the normal routine. A camp kitchen can be a spread of gear at the end of a picnic table or laid out on a portable table next to the fire ring, and with proper planning, an efficient kitchen away from home. The following five tips provide a base for an efficient camp kitchen.
1. Pack it Right
Cooking utensils, cooking ingredients (including spices) and miscellaneous camp kitchen necessities are best packed and organized in clear totes. A tote with lid will keep the items dry, insect free and easily visible to avoid rooting through in search of an item.
2. Pre-Plan the Meals
An efficient camper plans and packs gear ahead of time. That includes planning each meal so not to over buy, pack and store too much food. Meals planned around the anticipated activities of the camping excursion assist in keeping the camp kitchen in order. An organized campsite makes for a comfortable camp.
3. Bring Along Quick Meals
Quick meals are sometimes necessary if not always, depending on the demands of your activities. Freeze dried meals are reasonable and decent tasting, and best of all, are ready to eat in less than 10 minutes (that includes boiling the water). Use a fast heating cooking system like a Jetboil model. A Jetboil has water hot and ready for coffee, tea or meals in only two minutes.
4. Tandem Coolers
Utilize one cooler for food and one for drinks. Use block ice in the food cooler to obtain organized packing of food and longer lasting cool. The drink cooler is opened more times than the food cooler so going with two coolers keeps the food cooler longer.
5. Pack the Charcoal Chimney
Starting the charcoal or campfire can be accelerated by using a charcoal chimney. Use a few pieces of charcoal, prepared in the chimney, to start the cooking fire if using wood. This will get the cooking fire up to temp sooner which means the camping crew will be eating sooner.