Top 20 Cooking Essentials For Camping

A lot of people tend to think that cooking outdoors is a little bit more difficult than doing it inside the house. The truth, however, is that if you are well prepared and have all the necessary items with you then cooking your favorite dish can be both easy and fun.

Cooking essentials for camping start with having the right equipment . To give you an example: if you want to cook soup then I would recommend at least one (and better two) oversized pots and a suitable lid(s). This way you will be able to cook everything from meat stews to spaghetti sauce or freshly cooked beans in them. On top of this, make sure that you don’t forget about accessories such as spoons, forks, knives and other cooking utensils. Don’t forget that you will also need plenty of matches, lighters or stoves to cook with.

Let’s dive into the list of cooking essentials for camping;

List of Top 20 Cooking Essentials for Camping

1. Light Weight Cooking Pots And Pans: 

A big pot is great for boiling water, cooking pasta, or even making your own campfire coffee. Smaller pots are necessary to make sauces and quick hard-boiled eggs or oatmeal.

2. Portable Camp Grill: 

I love using my grill when I go camping. It’s great to cook up hamburgers, hot dogs or even veggies with some melted cheese on top. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the taste of fresh air, but food tastes so much better when it’s cooked on a grill.

3. A BBQ Smoker:

If you’ve never had a campfire-smoked brisket, then you haven’t really lived. A good smoker will allow you to use your favorite wood chips and create delicious smoked meat anywhere. Pork shoulder, ribs , and even venison all taste great when cooked over a fire with the right touch of smoke!

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4. Tin Foil: 

Tin foil is one of the most versatile camping items you can bring along with you on your trip. It’s great for cooking over the fire or in your camp stove. It can be used to cover dishes for heating, wrapped around meats to keep them safe from insects while they’re waiting in the cooler for dinner, and even mold into a makeshift lantern if you wrap it with a headlamp.

5. Tin Cups: 

A good metal cup will work well over a camp stove, but also can be used for measuring and pouring drinks. I like to bring disposable cups because they take up less space in your car than glass or metal cups. Plus, it means fewer cleanups when you’re done!

6. Heat Resistant Gloves: 

I’ll admit, I’m a little paranoid when it comes to cooking over an open fire. I make sure to bring a pair of heat resistant gloves with me on any camping trip so I don’t accidentally burn myself, or drop something scalding hot in our laps! Safety first.

7. Plates and utensils:

You don’t want to have to wash dishes at your campsite. Bring some extra paper plates, plastic cups , and silverware on your trip for easy clean up.

8. Non-stick Cooking Spray: 

Cooking spray is useful when cooking just about anything over the open flame that would otherwise stick to the bottom of a pan. It works great for eggs, pancakes, and other dishes that could be difficult to cook with just a spatula.

9. Fire Starter:  

A good fire starter will come in handy when you have extra wet wood or kindling that won’t light up on its own. I like using the smaller fire starters because they are just the right size for getting your fire started without the hassle of constantly adding more tinder.

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10. Multi-tool:

A multi tool is perfect for camping because it has so many different functions. I usually bring one with a saw, knife, and pair of scissors, can opener and bottle opener.

11. Camping Stove:   

I recently got a camping stove for my boyfriend and I to take with us on our next trip. It’s great because it’s light weight, easy to use and doesn’t take up much space in your car. Plus, with propane cartridges instead of lighter fluid, the food tastes just as good as if you cooked it over an open flame.

12. Light Weight Dish Soap: 

A small bottle of dish soap is great for cleaning up after your dinner and cooking equipment before you head out to bed. It’s best to bring something biodegradable, like a liquid castile soap such as Dr. Bronners, because most camping grounds don’t allow chemical detergents.

13. Metal Spatula: 

A metal spatula can be a good alternative to a fork and spoon. I like to keep 2-3 on hand for each member of my camping party, because you never know when you’ll need more than one utensil at a time!

14. Multipurpose knife: 

This is another must-have item if you’re planning on cooking over a fire. A good multipurpose knife will have multiple functions, such as a serrated edge for cutting steak and a can opener to make opening canned goods easier.

15. Tablecloth: 

A tablecloth comes in handy when your camping site doesn’t offer any picnic tables or surfaces to place your food on. I like buying plastic tablecloths because they are easy to clean up before you leave, and are usually cheap enough that you don’t have to worry about bringing them back home with you!

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16. Portable Cutting Board:

A portable cutting board is great for cutting vegetables so they can be thrown directly into the pan. Bring one that folds up so it doesn’t take up much room. Wash it thoroughly before heading home to make sure you don’t bring anything “extra” with you!

17. Spice kit:

Remember to pack your favorite spices when you’re heading off on a camping trip. My boyfriend likes to bring Cayenne pepper with him because it can be used for almost anything, be added to soups or stews, sprinkled over campfire popcorn, and even rubbed onto meat before grilling!

18. Metal tongs:

Metal tongs are good for cooking over an open fire. They can also double as a grabber tool, or a place to rest your hot utensils while you cook your food.

19. Bottle Opener: 

A bottle opener is often overlooked at the store because it seems insignificant. However, if you’re bringing along beverages that need to be opened, you’ll end up spending a lot of time and energy trying to figure out how to get them open.

20. Camping chairs:  


A good camping chair is not only useful for sitting around the campfire, but also for storing drinks and utensils. I like to have a folding chair for myself and a larger, sturdier wooden chair with arms on the other side of the campfire in case anyone would care to sit next to me.

Philip Okoye
the authorPhilip Okoye
Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at

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