I like camping, and I also like cooking. But I always found it way to hard to organize the cooking with the outdoor living.
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Setup a Camp Kitchen
Camping cooking equipment, such as the "Coleman stove" or other similar cook surfaces were great for cooking that one big pot of chili or frying up the bacon in the morning. But I needed way more stuff. I would end up using all the surfaces on the wobbly picnic table that came with the site to do my prep.
But I have basically dealt with it, and the clean up that followed, but what I didn't realize, is that obviously others had the same issues, especially if you are roughing it with a few others, or larger family. You are issued this one wobbly picnic table for everything from preparation to eating. There are portable outdoor kitchens. Maybe everyone else knew about this, but I didn't.
There is only so much room in the back of the car, but many of these really cool camping gadgets are getting smaller or just able to pack away much easier. Already the tents just roll up into bags. I remember the days of those big old heavy canvas tents that weighed down the whole car (now I am dating myself!). So, things have got easier and easier when it comes to outdoor adventures. Tents almost put themselves up now, that used to take up the whole first day, trying to put up the tent with the token rock on one corner because a tent peg was lost, or someone forgot the hammer!
Back to cooking. Outdoor cooking equipment such as the portable kitchens is another great addition for the person assigned all the cooking duties. These kitchens fold up to flat brief case! You can store things you will need inside of them too, such as utensils etc. So, treat yourself to a set of new cooking utensils and some spices and all kinds of gadgets that you may use in your home kitchen, but always forget to take when camping.
I saw one of these outdoor portable kitchens and fell in love. You don't have to go anywhere near the wobbly picnic table, and there is a shelf right there for the propane stove. So everything is at the right level. You have a prep area, a cooking area, a chopping area, and now you can cook up more than that pot of chili or bacon. This is a much cleaner environment for cooking too.
If you want to cook more variety, then having all the right tools is a start. If space is limited, then you should check these out. These are sold online or in the outdoor adventure and camping stores. Camping Cooking Equipment Kitchen.
They are affordable, and if I had known they existed, I would have got one a long time ago. After you get everyone else to wash up afterwards (the cook should not have to do the dishes) now you can put things away in this camp kitchen. Then when it is time to go, you just close it up and fold it up and into the car it goes.
So, if you like some conveniences when camping, and you end up taking that box of utensils and spices and other cooking tools you may need from your own kitchen, then this way, they can all fit in this portable camp kitchen and then lay flat in the trunk of the car or van.
If you have not gone through a camping store, you should. There are some really cool technology advances for the serious backpacker and there are some easy conveniences for the family camping trip that can just makes things easier when it comes time to pack and go.