Camp Kitchen Procedures

Camp Kitchen ProceduresFor many, one of the best parts of camping is setting up a camp kitchen and cooking in the outdoors. However, operating a camp kitchen requires a number of procedures above and beyond mere food storage and preparation. Care must be taken to ensure that a camp kitchen is safe to use and does not spoil the very environment campers seek to enjoy.

Site Selection and Preparation

The first procedure for any camp kitchen is the site selection that precedes set-up. A camp kitchen site should be near a source of water, otherwise it will be necessary to haul bucket after bucket of water to the kitchen. The site should also be level, and behind an obstruction that blocks the prevailing wind. If no such obstruction is available, erect a windscreen to protect the camp cook from wind-driven flames and/or embers. Rake out leaves and twigs to minimize the fire hazard posed by the camp kitchen.

During site selection, you must inspect the campsite's latrine arrangements. If flies have direct contact with sewage, they are a health hazard as they may contaminate your food. Either the latrine arrangements must be improved or the camp kitchen moved.


Sanitation procedures for your camp kitchen do not end with site selection, and are a constant chore. Food waste must be properly disposed of. At a developed campsite, this means a trash-hauling trip to the dumpster at least once per day. At a primitive site, where refuse must be packed out, you need to seal all waste in plastic bags to control the rotting food smell. Then the bags must be stored in a larger, heavy duty garbage bag for transport. In some campsites, organic food waste can be disposed of in the latrine and buried with the sewage, but that still leaves your food packaging and other trash to be carried out. An exception is oil and grease, which should always be burned or packed out, and never buried or disposed of in a trash receptacle. Dishes should not be washed in the stream, spring or local water source, to avoid contamination. Scatter wastewater from dish washing over as wide an area as possible.

Fire Safety

Water only makes grease fires worse, so your camp kitchen demands more in terms of fire safety than a mere bucket of water. While few campers wish to tote a fire extinguisher to the campground, there are two fire safety steps that are reasonably effective for the camp kitchen. Make a pile of dirt near the camp kitchen and leave a camping spade next to it. Dirt can be thrown on an out-of-control fire, smothering it. Keep a wool blanket handy as well. Wool blankets have many uses at the campsite, among them as a fire-stopper. Wool is flame-retardant, so if you throw a blanket over a burning pot it should smother it.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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