Camping Cookware – Getting It Right
There’s no question that camp cooking can be a great delight or a severe disappointment. There’s the anticipation as the food’s cooking, and the smells arise in the clear air of the camp site. The disaster can take many forms: uncooked and cold grub, burnt meat, food with ashes or gas contaminating it, or a combination of any of those factors.
So how can the proper cooking equipment make a difference? Well, to begin with, some equipment and cooking techniques are more suitable for a beginner camper that others. For instance, most of us have grilled in the back yard. Some have even used a charcoal grill. If that’s the case, you might want to acquire a portable charcoal grill, or perhaps a propane grill-stove combo. That might be the best way to get well-grilled food while you use the burner beside the grill to heat a hardy soup.
There’s another major factor: how long are your trips to be, and how will you take them. If you’re car camping and using public camp grounds, you may find grills already available so you won’t have to bring your own. And if you’re going to be backpacking, both duration and difficulty will help dictate the equipment that’s practical and utilitarian. If you’re car camping, both the equipment, including stove, utensils and cooler, can be larger and heavier than your backpacking gear.
Also the type of foods and condiments are dictated by the type of camp you’ll set up. There are portable one-burner stoves that can boil water in minutes that are actually designed for wilderness backpacking. With them, you can carry dehydrated meals you just pop into the boiling water. And for car camping, you might opt for a Dutch oven where you can set a full stew or chili over the fire to cook and simmer for hours.
Then there’s equipment quality and price. Like most everything, the more expensive usually equates to higher quality. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t good quality gear being sold at discount prices, particularly in the off season.