In my basement there’s a big plastic tub labeled “CAMP STUFF” always at the ready. That way I never forget a bottle opener, a tiny container of salt, or my designated Negroni Nalgene. Cooking while camping can be minimalist—bring a bucket of Popeyes, call it a day—or maximalist (once we slow-grilled a lamb shoulder?!?!!? Kind of amazed we didn’t attract a bear). Either way you’re going to need some eating and cooking gear. Here’s what you need to get started.
You could cook everything over the fire, but sometimes coffee can’t wait for the kindling to catch. Eureka’s camp stove is lightweight, adorable, classic.
My favorite way to cook while camping is on this foldable grill by Breeo that can adjust up and down. We slow-roasted the aforementioned lamb on it, ate chicken wings right off it, and percolated coffee on it.
The everything mug
One insulated tumbler does it all. Wipe it out after each use—you won’t have to worry about your wine tasting like Honey Bunches of Oats.
The Negroni Nalgene
Bring the Nalgene that best fits your personality, but look, this one glows in the dark!
$20.00, Parks Project
Splatter enamelware is classic; can’t go wrong.
For cooking and moving logs around. Necessary.
Collapsible side table
If all you want to eat while camping is a cheese plate and a good baguette—not a bad way to do it—you’ll still need a side table (or a convenient tree stump). This tie-dye one is super lightweight, packs into a tiny bag, and stretches taut to safely hold your drink. Don’t sit on it.
Refillable water jug
If your campsite doesn’t have drinking water, bring a big refillable container like Reliance’s 7-gallon Jumbo-Tainer. It should last four people a long weekend in the woods and you can always refill it at a rest stop. It has a handy handle and spout and its flat shape will fit easily under your car seat.
Doubles as a side table or extra seat if you need it. Do I even need to mention a brand here? You have one already. If not: YETI or bust.
Coffee, coffee, coffee
You’ve just slept on hard ground and you need coffee as quickly as possible. Instead of lugging a French press or percolator into the woods, bring cold brew concentrate or, for a crowd, La Colombe’s cold brew box. Water it down and heat it over the stove, or drink it on ice. Trying to pack lighter? Alpine Start's Instant Coffee does the trick.
$34.00, La Colombe
Big-batch cocktails are a good idea. So is filling an XL insulated thermos with designated cocktail ice. Boxed wine is getting better and better, and the best place to drink it is in the woods, when you don’t want to be weighed down with glass bottles. A 3L box of Herisson Vin Rouge is the equivalent of four bottles and it’s a bright, acidic Gamay blend that pairs well with unwashed hair and howls in the night.
$35.00, Dandelion Wine Shop
This collapsible sink is game-changing. You can use it to haul kindling too. Bring an old kitchen sponge, Dr. Bronner’s (it’s biodegradable), and a ratty old towel to dry with. Also remember you don’t really have to wash everything. A rinse and a wipe will do the trick. You’re in the woods!
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
You don’t even need plates if you make foil packets in the fire for dinner. But bring the heavy-duty foil, not the normal stuff, so it’ll hold up without risk of tearing.
The kitchen Dopp kit
Fill this bag with the small guys: a few beat-up steak knives and one decent chef’s knife; a cheap plastic cutting board from T.J. Maxx; matches!!!; garage sale cutlery, Nalgene minis —they never leak—filled with olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce; a multi-tool you’ll use constantly; and a 1-oz. container with flaky salt or your favorite spice mix.
$80.00, Blue Ridge Overland Gear
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit