Camping cook ware includes a lot of different items. A camping spoon, a cutlery set, frying pans and pots, pans and baking sheets, spatulas, ladles and spoons, and other cooking utensils can all be used while camping.
However, when choosing what cooking utensils to take with you on your next camping trip, there are some things to keep in mind before purchasing anything. Below are a few things to consider when buying camping cookware.
Best Material for Camping Utensils
The weight of your cookware is an important consideration when purchasing lightweight cookware. If you plan on cooking heavy meals or having several utensils on hand, then you will want to choose lightweight cookware made from heavy materials, such as stainless steel or aluminum.
Aluminum utensils tend to be the lightest of the three, but they do not have the durability of the sturdier materials. They also do not hold up well in extremely hot temperatures.
The material from which your utensils are made is another thing to check price and quality. Cooking utensils made from stainless steel are the most affordable, but they also tend to be the strongest and most durable. You will find many different utensil materials including glass, ceramic, porcelain, aluminum, copper, and even titanium.
Aluminum and copper bowl are great for campfire burns and warming foods over the fire. If you are looking for a more budget-friendly, lighter bowl, check out a porcelain bowl, which has the same great qualities of stainless steel and a much cheaper price.
Do you Need a Full Utensil Set?
Your cookware needs will be determined by what type of cookware you decide to take with you on your trip, it also depends what you are planning on cooking. If you will be making camp fires, then you will need a camp stove. These can vary greatly in both price and size.
There are basic units that can be purchased for around fifty bucks that will boil water or melt cheese. You can also take a combo of several smaller sized items, if you plan on cooking a number of foods or roasting/baking meat or vegetables.
If you keep the types of food you’re going to cook simple, you will only require the basic cooking utensils. For example, beans on toast for breakfast would only require a pot and a grill top for your campfire or if you have a camping grill – even better!
Camping cooking equipment can vary in price based on the brand of the items, size and the quality of it. If you will be going camping regularly, it is worth investing in your camping equipment initially or you may find yourself constantly replacing cheaper camping cooking equipment.
What if You’re Hiking to Your Camp?
If you are hiking or camping in the woods, you may prefer to use a simple stove to take your camp meals. These stoves can range greatly in size from a two burner stove to a large gas or propane burner. You can take a mug of coffee or tea in a flask, a bowl of soup or stew, and anything else you think you might need along with you in order to stay warm. This is a good option for solo travellers or campers on short trips.
Do you Need a Full Set of Pans
Cooking utensils are an important part of creating easy camping meals. When selecting a pan, be sure to take into consideration the type of pan you will be using for the food you want to eat. For instance, cast iron makes a good choice for hot dogs, steak, or omelets. Aluminum pans are great for baking bread, making cornbread, or even beating eggs. A stainless steel pan is the best choice for beating eggs, and any other type of food. So if you’re planning on making a variety of foods whilst camping, stainless steel is the most diverse.
Cooking utensils are a necessary accessory when going on a camping or hiking trip. If you do not want to carry a large frying pan, you should consider purchasing a portable oven or microwave. Small microwaves or ovens are easy to take with you in a backpack, while larger ovens take up much more room and tend to be heavy. Again it depends on the type of trip you’re going on but here is my utensil packing list:
- 1 Stainless Steel Frying Pan
- 1 Stainless Steel Pot
- 1 Camping Stove
- 1 spatula
- 1 spoon
- 1 set of tongs
- 1 set knives, forks and spoons
- 1 sharp knife
- 1 multitool – can opener, bottle opener etc
- 1 plate or bowl
- 1 mug
- 1 chopping board
- Fridge or cooler box
- Camping Grill
If you aren’t travelling alone, take the correct number of the items in bold to ensure there is enough for everyone.
Camping Meals that Require Few (Or no) Utensils
- Yoghurt with Granola – simply mix a tub of yoghurt with a handful of granola and add some fresh fruit if you have it for extra flavour!
- Overnight Oats (can be made at home and eaten whilst camping as long as they are stored cold) – leave oats to soak overnight in a jar with milk. In the morning, add your favourite toppings, from fruit, to peanut butter, yoghurt or even biscuits!
- Beans on toast – add your beans to your stainless steel pot, put the pot on the stove and allow to beans to heat up on a medium heat for around 5 minutes. Whilst the beans are heating, add bread to your grill to make some toast. Grab your plate and pour the beans over the toast. Voila! Add a sprinkling of cheese for extra flavour if you feel like pushing the boat out.
- Sandwiches – make them before you go and pack them in to storage or take some fresh bread and create your sandwiches on your campsite by simply packing your favourite sandwich fillings. Peanut butter or jam would be better to take than ham or any other meats as you don’t have to worry about keeping them cool or them going stale or mouldy.
- Soup – again, you could make soup prior to your trip and take it in a large flask so it lasts a few days and only has to be heated on the stove. This gives you more options as you have more equipment and ingredients at home. If you choose to make soup on your campsite, opt for something simple like a vegetable soup that only requires your pot and stove.
- Salad – as long as you have a fridge or cooler box, you could eat fresh and tasty salads throughout your camping trip and once again, you can make before you go to give yourself access to a wider variety of ingredients. Just ensure you have somewhere to keep your premade salads or salad ingredients cold and fresh.
- Grilled Meats – if you have a grill then the world is your oyster. Grilled chicken kebabs, lamb chops, baked potatoes, you can make it all. Alternatively, you could take a disposable BBQ and barbecue the meat selection you have. Maybe even accompany it with a salad.
- Pasta – If you have a camping stove or a fire with a stove top, you can easily boil up some pasta and if you don’t feel like cooking, just pop in a jar of store bought pesto and serve with salad. Or you could create your own sauce by frying up garlic in oil, adding basil and passata – depending on how much you’ve packed!
- Hot Dogs – simple and a camping favourite that can be eaten both hot and cold. Hot dogs don’t have to be stored in a cool box or fridge and don’t have to be cooked so they are the ideal camping food. Eat them cold or hot, just make sure you’ve got some condiments to enjoy them with.
So there you have it, the utensils i take camping and the simple foods i would eat based on those utensils. I hope this helps if you’re currently buying camping equipment and are worried about what you really need.