Are you the type of camper who attempts to chuck all but the kitchen sink into your car and hope for the best? How about you let our gear experts Ben and Lauren talk you through the ultimate functional camp kitchen for your next adventure?
In this episode of the Snowys Camping Show, they’ll cover their personal camp kitchen setups, plus the different ways to organise your own. From cookware and tableware, to your cooking station, dishwashing, condiments and storage solutions. It’s all in there, so save yourself time, space, and frustration by checking it out below.
Listen to the full episode here:
Or you can watch the video version here:
- 00:00 – Intro
- 03:38 – Ben’s kitchen setup
- 08:20 – Lauren’s van kitchen setup
- 12:15 – Saucepan & frypans
- 13:50 – Using a billy
- 16:50 – Utensils
- 18:27 – Tableware
- 20:32 – Condiments
- 21:33 – Dishwashing station
- 24:07 – Kitchen pantries
- 29:27 – Camp cupboards
- 31:42 – Summary
Links to things mentioned in this episode:
- Water purification
- Tips for Keeping Camping Food Fresh
- Melamine dinnerware
- Nalgene leakproof bottles
- HumanGear GoToobs
- Collapsible sinks
- Opinel knives
- Campfire cooking equipment
- Mini grater
- Camp Cupboards
- Camp Kitchens
- Outdoor Connection Collapsible Stool
- Seat to Summit Trashsack
- 23Zero Kitchen Gear Sling
How to set up your cooking station
Ben has a minimalist approach towards his gear, so he keeps everything he needs in a stackable tub that can be packed neatly and safely into the back of his 4WD. Lauren, on the other hand, prefers a full bush kitchen arrangement when she goes away with her family. It takes around 20 minutes to set up but caters for 6 people, and she does also have an edited kit for shorter trips.
However you set up your space, it’ll save you time to have your cooking essentials such as oil, paper towel, utensils, and spices always in your camp kit ready to go. Then you can change out your gear seasonally or based on how many people you’re travelling with. Through trial and error, you’ll be able to edit and adapt your camp kitchen so it can be tailored to your adventures.
Choose cookware that has more than one use, is relatively lightweight, and packs easily with your other gear for functionality. Cast iron cookware is fantastic for creating delicious meals outdoors and in the form of a skillet, your cooking can move easily between stove and campfire. Keep in mind though, they’re not the lightest option so if that doesn’t work for you then you could also consider a frying pan with a folding handle. A billy is another nifty multi-tasker that can also be thrown over the fire to boil water for a cup of tea, heat water to wash dishes, boil spaghetti or make pasta sauce – so it’s an excellent addition to your kit.
Polypropylene tableware is ideal for keeping weight down in your camping kit, but there are other sturdier options that will be more pleasant to use. Melamine tableware mimics the look and feel of porcelain but is far more durable making it great for those travelling in a camper or caravan. A super hardwearing option would be enamel or stainless-steel plates and bowls, which when taken care of can essentially last a lifetime. However, they’re not the best for kids as they get quite hot which might not be comfortable for little hands.
With a bit of thought and prep, your camp kitchen will be a breeze to use.
Image: GSI Outdoors
Utensils & condiments
If you want to keep it simple, a spork could be all you need to eat with. But if that’s not your style, there’s a wide range of camping cutlery available, or you can use an old secondhand set from an op shop that you don’t mind exposing to the elements.
Small refillable leakproof bottles such as those made by Nalgene or HumanGear can be filled with your favourite condiments and reused over and over again. You can also pack your favourite spices into mini containers to add some crucial flavour to breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Having a spatula, compact folding knife, and tongs ready in your kit will also help you prepare and cook meals without a hassle.
Hard plastic dish tubs are an affordable and convenient choice for washing up at camp. However, they can take up a bit of space. With that in mind, there are foldable lightweight sinks as well as tubs that have collapsible silicone sides for easier more compact storage. Save time when you want to hit the road by putting biodegradable wash, a scrubber, and a towel to dry your dishes all ready to go.
Pantries & camp cupboards
Depending on the length of your trips and how many people you’re going away with, you might want to consider a camping pantry or kitchen unit. These are less of an investment compared to a camper trailer and enable you to set up a fully operational cooking station for a group or large family. They’re definitely not a necessity, however, as you can get away with a table and a stove stand for food prep and making meals.
Transport & storage
If you use a tub system, these will stack along with your other gear in your vehicle for easy packing. At the end of each trip, you can just go through each one, check for missing items, and restock it ready for next time. There are also other storage solutions such as gear slings, which allow you to pack all your kitchen essentials into compartments and pockets on a fabric roll. Then you can hang it up on an awning for easy access when you’re at the campsite and roll it up again when it’s time to head home.
Thanks for listening, tune in again for next week’s episode!
Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of the Snowys Camping Show Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pocket Casts, Podcast Addict, or Stitcher so you never miss an upload.
If you have any questions for Ben and Lauren, make sure you head over to our Facebook group and let us know as we’d love to hear from you.
Catch you out there!
About the writer...
When it comes to camping, hiking, travel and adventure – the Snowys team have all the expert advice, guides, and tips on everything outdoors.