Cooking in an RV or over an open campfire isn't the same as cooking at home. I learned this very quickly when we went on our first road trip with our new RV. Not only is storage space for kitchen essentials almost non-existent, but countertop space for food prep is too. It takes creativity and some know-how to get a delicious meal on the table without pulling out your hair and destroying your kitchen in the process. There are definitely kitchen items that you can leave at home when camping, such as a waffle iron, food processor, coffee brewing system, and the hoards of redundant utensils that fill your kitchen drawers. With space at a premium inside your RV, it's important that you bring along only what you need and leave behind those extra items you can live without. Let's look at how to pack essentials for a camp kitchen so you can enjoy fun, easy camp cooking on your next outdoor adventure without toting along items that won't get used.
Keep Everything Contained
No matter whether you're camping with an RV or a tent, things always run smoother when you're organized. And a great way to organize kitchen essentials is by investing in a few clear totes and/or bins and filling them with similar kitchen items. For those of you traveling with an RV, totes help keep kitchen items safe and secure while traveling. You won't have to worry about finding your dishes or jars of salsa broken all over the floor if you have to stop quickly in traffic or make some herky-jerky turns on the road. Simply unpack everything into kitchen cabinets and drawers once you set up camp and you'll feel right at home. And if you're tent camping and therefore don't have a kitchen to stock with items, totes are easy to pack up and load into the back of a truck or car and items are easily accessible when needed. Just attach labels, such as POTS/PANS or DISHES, to the totes so you can quickly find what you need.
Make a List
There's nothing worse than looking forward to a great meal by a campfire and realizing that you forgot the one tool necessary to make it. And when you're miles and miles from civilization, running to the store to buy one isn't an option. So when you're packing up for your much-anticipated outdoor adventure, use this handy kitchen essentials checklist to ensure that nothing of importance gets left behind.
Camp stove Fuel for camp stove Lighters and/or matches Cast iron skillet or nonstick pan Dutch oven with lid Pot for boiling water Smaller pot for side dishes Sharp knives Utensils for cooking and serving (spatulas, spoons, tongs) Heavy-duty aluminum foil Cutting board Oven mitts
Dishes Glassware Mugs Silverware
Tablecloth with clips Coffee pot (with filters) Can opener Colander or strainer Plastic bags/containers for food storage Bottle opener/corkscrew Measuring cups Two (2) tubs for washing dishes Dish drying rack(s) Dish towels Sponges Dish detergent Paper products (napkins, paper towels, paper plates/cups) Trash bags Spices/herbs/seasonings
Adjust this list depending on your type of camping and how much cooking you do in the great outdoors. If you tend to eat out a lot, then you won't need many of the items above. If you like to keep it simple and stick mainly to roasting hot dogs and boiling noodles for mac 'n cheese, then you can scale down the list as well. But if one of your favorite parts of camping is enjoying a home-cooked meal around a campfire, then you'll definitely want to make sure you have what you need in order to do so! Have we forgotten anything? Is there something that you use all the time when camping that we don't have on our list? Let us know by leaving a comment!