How to Operate a Camp Kitchen

How to Operate a Camp KitchenCooking in a camp kitchen does offer different challenges than cooking indoors; adequate refrigeration and keeping squirrels out of your food are normally at the top of the list. And while you will need to do without convection ovens, mixing bowls and a walk-in fridge, you can still prepare decent, hearty meals in the great outdoors.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fiberglass or Styrofoam coolers
  • Propane stoves
  • Plastic bins with lids
Step 1
Set up your heating and cooking equipment. Use a series of two-burner propane stoves depending on how many people you have at camp. Two burners for 10 people will work, but you will need to add an extra stove or two for a larger group. Make sure stoves and propane tanks are in a well-ventilated area and away from most foot traffic.
Step 2
Have several coolers available. Store foods in the coolers by categories: Produce, meat, dairy and other perishables can be packed separately. This not only makes things more efficient when it comes time to cook, but will also maintain good, safe food handling, especially if you are dealing with raw meats.
Step 3
Store dry goods in large plastic bins with a securely fitting lid. Canned goods can be kept in open crates or boxes, but food that is packaged in paper or plastic, like oatmeal or bread, can be easily foraged by birds and other animals.
Step 4
Keep cooking pots, pans and utensils stored away as well. The grease and oils from cooking equipment can also attract unwanted visitors, so when they are not in use, keep your equipment stored in containers with lids.
Step 5
Set up a dish washing station. Camp cleanliness is essential to the health of the campers. Make sure you have warm water for washing dishes and three tubs available for rinsing, washing and sanitizing. Have dish racks arranged for drying dishes.
Step 6
Organize trash and recycling bins. Make sure all trash is properly disposed of. Open trash bins can attract insects and animals to the camp. Many group campsites have a central disposal area for garbage. Make sure camp trash and recycling is emptied regularly.
Step 7
Plan your menu with refrigeration in mind. Unless you have access to a generator and a refrigerator, all perishables will need to be stored in coolers. Buy canned food when possible and stay away from raw meat unless you can properly store and cook it in a timely manner.

Article Written By Nikki Jardin

Nikki Jardin began freelance writing in 2009 and focuses on food and travel articles. She has been a professional cook and caterer for more than 20 years. She holds a degree in environmental science from Humboldt State University.

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