Say goodbye to charred hot dogs. It’s time to take your camp cooking to the next level with our favorite camping kitchen gear.
Sure, a s’more can be fun, and a packet of tuna fills the tank, but there’s nothing better than making a truly tasty meal outside. Saddled up to the car at the campground or miles into the backcountry, dinner should be something you look forward to.
Whether checking items off your own list or giving to the camp chef in your life, these camp cooking gear favorites are sure to please.
OtterBox Venture Cooler: Starting at $229
Designed in Colorado and made in the USA, the Venture Cooler is built to last. With excellent ice retention and a “true capacity” interior you can fill it up and get ready for a week in the woods. Customize the interior to suit your needs and enjoy the included dry storage tray and bottle opener. And you can rest easy knowing the latches are keeping contents in and critters out. Available in 25 liter, 45 liter, and 65 liter capacities.
A multitool designed for your mouth, Sprongs are a fork, spoon, and tongs all in one. They clip together for easy tong pinching while cooking and then serve double duty as your go-to utensil while eating. Best of all, these made-in-the-USA workhorses are constructed with BPA-free nylon that can handle temps up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Sporks are so last year, so get with the times and grab some Sprongs.
Vino lovers know: there’s nothing like enjoying a good glass of wine in a beautiful place. And with a YETI Rambler Wine Tumbler, you never again have to worry about broken glasses. Lounging on the boat, hanging by the pool, gathered round the campfire, or relaxing at home. There’s no end to the places you can enjoy an insulated, shatterproof tumbler of cabernet. This is the perfect gift for the wine-loving, good-time-having people on your list.
There’s nothing like sipping a good cup of coffee from the comfort of your sleeping bag. The Kuju Pocket PourOver comes preloaded with quality coffee grounds and snaps over the edge of your mug. Slowly add hot water, and voilá! You’re ready to go. From camping to traveling to office caffeine emergencies, this is the next best thing to a pocket-sized barista.
Leatherman Wave+: $100
A good multi-tool is a camp chef must-have. The Leatherman Wave+ has 18 tools, including pliers, a bottle opener, a can opener, and two different knives. Basically, it’s the most important thing in your camp kitchen. Ultra-durable and endlessly useful, it’s no wonder this multi-tool is an international bestseller.
Gone are the days when pots and pans took up your entire bag. This set folds down flat and weighs in at a super-light 14.5 ounces. Perfect for backpacking for two, you get a collapsible 1.4-liter pot, mug, and bowl. Sea to Summit also makes an array of collapsible pots and dishes to suit your every space-saving, camp cooking need.
Chop, peel, slice, dice, and pop open the vino with this handy camping knife set. The kit includes a paring knife with built-in corkscrew, a serrated knife, and peeler. Each item folds into its own handle for space-saving storage and the included dish towel doubles as a storage pouch. Packable, portable, and multi-functional.
MSR Windburner Stove: ($150-260) & GOOD TO-GO Dehydrated Meals: ($7-13)
Is your idea of camp cooking pouring boiling water into a pouch? Then this combo is for you. I used the MSR Windburner for more than 400 days while motorcycle-camping across America. It boiled water with impressive speed, packed down small, and lit without a problem no matter the stormy conditions. As for Good To-Go, the brand has completely changed my mind on dehydrated meals. Made from real food (seriously, the ingredient list only contains words you know and can pronounce), these tasty meals will instantly transport your taste buds from cold campsite to high-class restaurant. The pad thai is tasty, and the granola is my morning go-to. But for a real treat, go with the Thai curry. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, check out the newly released Corn Chowdah.
On top of being downright adorable, this kettle is outrageously useful. Efficiently boil water for a quick meal, cup of tea, or that requisite morning cuppa joe. Weighing in at just 5.8 ounces, it makes the cut for both car camping and backpacking trips. And, while it works great on a camp stove, you can also place it directly over the fire.
Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink: $20-33
I think we can all agree: The worst thing about any meal is dirty dishes. This is especially true while camping, but this collapsible kitchen sink makes washing up easier. Folding down into the size of a large deck of cards, it’s equally useful backpacking and at the campground. Soak dirty dishes in warm water, rinse efficiently, or fill for a large, impromptu dog bowl. The possibilities are endless.
Imagine biting into a warm, freshly baked muffin or devouring a bowl of perfectly steamed veggies. And did I mention this is all happening from the comfort of your campsite? Yep, that’s all possible with the GoSun. Using solar power, the GoSun can bake, steam, roast, and sauté an entire meal in as little as 20 minutes (in direct sun). From apple crumble to chicken stir-fry, this handy gadget will take your camp cooking to the next level.
BearVault Food Canister: ($70) and Ursack Bear Bag: ($90)
Anyone heading into bear country needs to take proper precautions with their food. When done properly, bear hangs work well. But, often, you end up camping in places where bear canisters are recommended or trees are sparse, as I did this summer outside Lake Tahoe. We made use of the BearVault, which worked like a charm but can be a bit burdensome to pack. And while we haven’t yet put the Ursack to test, it gets rave reviews and was given a thumbs-up by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.
Hot sauce is always the answer. This bottle (and cap!) works for backpacking, travel, or spicing up camp meals. A bit like a spicier version of the cult favorite Sriracha, it’s great on everything from scrambled eggs to cold cut sandwiches. A perfect camping stocking stuffer if we ever saw one.
A good multitool is indispensable. And one that weighs in at a scant 41 grams is downright amazing. Made of German steel and constructed in Switzerland, this handy pocket tool has a bit of everything, including a fork, screwdriver, fish scaler, square, wire cutter, ruler, hexagon, screw wrench, and more. This is the epitome of an EDC (everyday carry). Get one, give one, and be ready for whatever life throws at you.