Sunday, December 6, 2009

How to Enjoy Cooking in the Camping Kitchen By Jacob Vanderwalker

Cooking while on a camping trip can be very enjoyable with the right mindset and supplies. Replenishing your body after an active day in the outdoors is a must. Whether you simply want to warm up a can of soup or cook a large meal for the whole family, cooking in the camping kitchen can be fun by following a few simple guidelines.

1. Preparation: Before leaving, plan every meal you intend to have. Make sure everything is packed and stored correctly. I have found that taking food out of the packages and placing it in Tupperware or sandwich baggies can help save space and reduce trash on the road. Make sure to store perishables in plenty of ice. Also save time on the camping trip by prepping food in your kitchen at home. For example, I try to cut my vegetables and potatoes before leaving. This will save time and energy in the camping kitchen.

2. Involve Everyone: Everyone likes to help out on a camping trip. Whether it is cutting wood for the fire or having the kids prepare a salad. There can be a great sense of group accomplishment through preparing a meal together.

3. The Right Equipment: Cooking in the outdoors can be very easy with the perfect equipment. There are a large variety of butane stoves that can heat up food quickly. I use single burner butane stoves when camping alone or with someone else. Double burner stoves are nice for larger groups. Fire pit grills are also very good for cooking meat and vegetables over the open fire. Before starting any fires, be sure to research the fire policies and dangers in the area. Make sure to have the right utensils as well. It's not fun trying to pick up a hamburger with a spoon or eating soup with a fork.

4. Enjoy yourself: Take time to sit down with your guests and enjoy the food. Swap stories about the kids or the day's hike.

5. Cleaning Up: Make sure to leave the camping kitchen area just as you found it or better. Leftover food should be thrown away or given to the begging dog. If in an area where other animals may be around, store leftover food in sealed containers and away from tents. Read and follow all park rules and guidelines about food storage and potential animal threats. Recycle and reuse everything that can be. Try to avoid using paper and plastic if possible. Bringing a large container of water will help in the clean-up process.

I have had many memorable meals prepared in the camping kitchen. Each experience brings a little more knowledge into what is wanted and needed for the perfect outdoor experience. Some people can live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, while others need a four course gourmet meal. All that really matters is that you get the nourishment you need to enjoy yourself.

There are a wide variety of camping needs and wants. The camping kitchen is a great place to be at the conclusion of a wonderful day spent outdoors.

Jacob Vanderwalker wishes you the very best in all your camping kitchen experiences. Find all your camping needs at

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