Camp cooking is one of our favorite parts of camping, and we love finding fun new recipes to make outdoors. Creating a camp kitchen box that can be stored with your gear makes car camping SO easy. We keep ours packed and ready to go in our garage, so when we decide we want to go car camping, we’re ready to go without having to worry about forgetting anything!
We find that having this kind of gear ready makes us much more excited to go camping on a whim, because it’s less stressful and requires a lot less packing! Then, when we get home, we clean everything and put the box back together so it’s ready for the next trip
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Everything in our Camp Kitchen Box
Most of this gear has lived in our camp kitchen box for years! There are a few things we will swap out from time to time depending on the trip, what kind of food we want to make, and utensils and spices we may need directly from our home kitchen, but the majority lives in this box.
- Box: We use these boxes from Home Depot to store a ton of our gear. This 27 gallon box fits our 2 burner camp stove and plenty of camp kitchen gear for any trip we take.
Camp Stove and Cookware:
- Coleman Camp Stove: We have a couple different stoves, but this is the one we most frequently bring! We love having two burners and can make plenty of great meals on this. The propane is easy to find in gas stations, WalMarts, or other stores you’re likely to pass if you run out.
- Jetboil: A Jetboil is a must-have for us for boiling water for coffee and for bringing on hikes. It’s small, compact, and boils water in under 100 seconds.
- Propane: Always Always Always bring extra propane for any stove you have! This is something that really sucks to run out of. This is the propane we use for the Coleman Stove, and this is for the Jetboil.
- Cast Iron Pan: This is what we use for 90% of our camping meals! We love cooking on cast irons, they make great food and are typically pretty easy to clean. Plus, we often just eat right out of the pan. We highly recommend purchasing a lid too or this Combo Cooker to keep the food warm and able to cook even on cold days.
- Camp Cookset: Finding a pot and pan set that is relatively small is super helpful for being able to have a variety of pots and pans to choose from while you’re camping! This set from Stanley has everything we need and all condenses into one pot.
- Cooking Utensils: We usually like to have a spatula, ladle, slotted spoon, and tongs, and feel that covers most meals we will make. We took most of these from older pieces in our home kitchen, but GSI Outdoors also makes some really great kitchen sets that have all of these and more!
- Knives and Cutting Boards: These are also something we got from our old home cookware! GSI Outdoors also has a knife set with a carrying case and a cutting board that is perfect for camp cooking.
- Plates and Bowls: An enamelware set is great for easy cleaning, and this set has plates, bowls, and mugs for 4!
- Utensils: We always have quite a few of these sporks for us and our friends. They’re simple, compact, and I can also put it in my backpack for hikes!
- Tupperware and Reusable Bags: Having a way to store leftovers is crucial! We use a couple of our old Tupperwares from home, and bring reusable bags too.
Other Camp Kitchen Necessities:
- Salt and Pepper: Keep these in the box all the time so you don’t end up with unseasoned meals!
- Sponge and Soap: For cleaning dishes, silicone sponges while camping have been way better, as they dry faster and don’t get as gross as regular sponges. Always use environmentally friendly soap like Dr. Bronner’s, and follow Leave No Trace principles for dishwashing!
- Toilet Paper: You don’t want to be caught camping without this! Campgrounds often run out, or if you’re dispersed camping, its an obvious necessity.
- Paper Towels: For cleaning up messes, wiping food out of pots and pans, and plenty of other necessities.
- Trash and Ziplock Bags: Always bring your own trash bags (at least 3!!) to campsites to clean up after yourself (and if you find other trash). We also bring gallon zip lock bags for bringing on hiking trails, for holding wet clothes, or anything else! They always seem to come in handy.
- Aluminum Foil: This is great for cooking over a fire, making a make-shift lid for a pot or pan, or keeping food warm.
- Pour Over for Coffee: We choose to make pour over coffee at camp for the ease of making and the ease of cleanup. We keep our set inside the box, because it would be really easy to forget! Another great option is Kuju Coffee’s pour over coffee.
- Coozies: For your sparkling water, post-hike beers, or hard kombucha with dinner. We love these ones by Yeti.
- Wine Tumblers: We love these ones by Hydroflask!
- Skewers: For roasting marshmallows or hot dogs over the fire!
- Can Opener: SO easy to forget!
- Olive Oil: These containers are great for condiments and oils (and then we put it in a ziplock just in case it leaks out).
- Dish Towel: We just grabbed an old one from our kitchen!
- Extra Food: We always keep some boxed mac and cheese and ramen in our camp kitchen box so we know we have easy meals in case we run out of food, need something really quick, or are just too exhausted to cook one of our planned meals! (This comes in handy often.)
- Coffee creamer: We bring powdered coffee creamer just in case we don’t want to bring refrigerated creamer.
- Multi-tools: We always have a couple multi-tools for fixing gear, cutting things open, or in emergency situations.
- Shovel: A shovel is essential for going to the bathroom in the outdoors or putting out a fire!
- Flashlight: We keep one in here with extra batteries in case one of us forgets to pack ours or we just need extra light.
- Lighter and matches: For lighting your stove or a campfire. Always bring matches too!!
Extras We Add to the Box
Most trips can be done with just the above gear in the box, but there are a few things we will add to it if we have specific meals in mind!
- Extra pots or pans: If we plan to cook for more people, we may bring an extra or larger pot or pan.
- Spices: We will bring spices based on meals we want to cook on the trip.
- Coffee Tumblers: We will usually fill these up the first morning for our drive, and then add them to the box for the rest of the trip!
We hope this was helpful for creating your own camp kitchen box! It’s an essential for us to have ready to go for any trip, and inspires us to get outdoors even more!