Camping Utensils

Camping Utensils: The Right Tools for the Job

When going camping, utensils can make all the difference.  Having the right utensils for what you want to do is important for you to have an enjoyable time camping.

The number one question when going camping is what type of camping you are planning on doing.  Camping can mean anything from staying in a million dollar luxury RV with satellite dish and all of the amenities of home to sleeping under the stars.  Most campers will pick something in between, which could mean a modest motorhome coach, truck camper that slides onto the bed of your truck, or a pull-behind camper. We will be focusing on the “roughing it” side of camping, where you will cook over an open fire.

Once you have decided what type of camping you will be doing, it’s on to the utensils.  If you plan on cooking your meals over a campfire, then camping utensils are going to be very important to you.  With any type of campfire cooking utensil, take great care not to touch the utensil until it is completely cooled.  They get extremely hot and can cause severe burns.  No matter what kind of utensils you choose to use, you will need potholders to move the utensils once they have been in or over the fire.

The best type of camping utensils to use over a campfire will be made of cast iron.  It is extremely durable and stands up well under the extreme temperatures of the campfire.  You may choose to use a cast iron skillet or dutch oven to cook in.  Another fun way to cook over the campfire and one that the kids love is making mountain pies.  Mountain pies are essentially grilled sandwiches pressed together in a mountain pie cooker.  The outsides of two slices of bread are buttered, fillings are placed in between the slices, and the mountain pie cooker is placed in the red coals of the campfire.  Popular kinds of mountain pies include pizza, ham and cheese, and a variety of fruit pies.  Mountain pie cookers are available at most sporting goods or outdoor stores.  Cast iron mountain pie cookers are highly recommended, as the aluminum ones do not tend to hold up well.

Hot dog forks are another popular way to cook over a campfire.  A hot dog fork is long-handled to allow the user to stand well away from the fire, and the hot dogs are held above the fire and allowed to cook slowly.  These forks may also be used to hold marshmallows or sausages.

Tripod grills are a great way to cook larger amounts and different types of food over a campfire.  Tripod grills are designed with three upright posts that are held together at the top.  Adjustable chains suspend a cooking surface above the campfire.  Steaks, hamburgers, and other items can be cooked on this versatile camping utensil.  You will want to have long-handled spatulas and forks to reach the food while it is cooking, as it is extremely hot above the campfire.

An underrated but very useful utensil you should always take with you camping is aluminum foil.  Baked potatoes and corn on the cob can be made using aluminum foil.  To use aluminum foil to cook with at a campfire, wrap the potatoes or corn with aluminum foil and throw them into the hot coals.  Turn the potatoes or corn occasionally with a long-handled fork or tongs.  If making corn, be sure to leave the husk on the corn so that it does not burn.  The corn will steam inside the husk, and the aluminum foil will protect it.

If you plan on making coffee or a hot beverage while camping, you will need a metal coffeepot that can be set in the fire.  You will also need to make sure you bring plenty of drinking water if you are staying somewhere that does not have drinking water available, and a cooler with ice for perishable items.

Camping can be fun for the entire family, and with the right camping utensils, it can be much more enjoyable.  Plan your meals ahead, and you will know that you have the right utensils for the job.