10 Rules of the Kitchen for Outdoor Camping

10 Rules of the Kitchen for Outdoor CampingThe 10 rules of the kitchen for outdoor camping revolve around being practical, safe and environmentally friendly. Remember that a full stomach greatly enhances the enjoyment of the outdoors, and making mistakes in the mess can really make the entire camping trip fall flat. Fortunately, there are 10 simple things you can do to plan for a nearly picture-perfect camping kitchen.

Plan for the Outing

Write out the meal plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day at camp. Do not rely on catching fish, trapping wildlife, or collecting berries. Instead, bring enough food to sustain everyone in your party for three-squares a day, plus snacks.

Pack Light

Invest in a set of good camping cookware. Usually include nesting pots and pans that are lightweight and durable.

Pre-measure all Ingredients

Before setting out for the camping trip, measure out all loose ingredients such as coffee, spices, powered milk and oatmeal. Follow the meal plan, to figure out how much you will need.

Pre-pack Ingredients

After measuring out the ingredients, seal them in Ziploc bags. Group the bags according to meal, and pack them in larger see-through plastic bags. This makes camp cooking a snap, and all you have to is reach inside the chuck box to take out the appropriate bag. Double-bagging also will help discourage foraging wildlife from visiting the campsite.

Hardware: Bring One and One to Spare

Bring an extra canister of camping stove fuel, or an extra pack of matches and additional kindling. If you don't need it, other campers may.

Set Up a Camp Kitchen Area

Cook food away from the tents. The No, 1 rule for survival when camping in bear country is to keep food and food-related items---and their scents---as far away from the tents as possible. Even if you don't see a bear around, there is a good chance that one may come sniffing around during the night. If the camp kitchen is located far enough from the tents, the animal should not bother you.

Food Storage

Store food in a locked cooler, or hang it high in a tree. Leaving it accessible may be more convenient for you, but it also tends to attract wildlife. Even if the encounters are not dangerous, they could put a serious dent in the food left for the remainder of the camping trip.

Food Waste Disposal

Never dispose of food waste simply by dumping it into a river or lake. Instead, place it into the Ziploc bags for dry ingredients, or place it in the trash receptacles provided at the campground.

Cooking Equipment Hygiene

Never wash dishes with detergent in a stream or lake. Pour a small amount of water into a shallow pan, and add a few drops of detergent. Rinse the dishes in another shallow pan of water. Wipe the dishes dry with a rag. Use the wash-up water to extinguish the campfire.

Cook Fire Safety

Never leave a cook fire or camping stove unsupervised. It is possible for a leaf to catch fire and start a forest fire. Moreover, during gusty winds fires can get out of control rather quickly. If you are working with a wood fire, keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby at all times.


Article Written By Sylvia Cochran

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.

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