Kitchen Setup

12:13 a.m. on March 27, 2010 (EDT)
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What is your camp kitchen like?

Are you a fire builder or do you prefer the minimalist setup? Do you use a alcohol stove you built your self or do you set up your Colman Classic? What do you meals generally consist of ClifaBars and Gu or fresh caught fish fillet?

I have learned most of my camp cooking from camping with others and learning from them. Seeing as I don't have the time to go camping with everyone and learn from observing, I thought it would be nice to learn from the best here.

12:22 a.m. on March 27, 2010 (EDT)
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I thought I'd start off by sharing how I cook.

I use my Snow Peak stove to boil water and mix it into freeze dried meals. Mountain House is currently my favorite. Clifbars are breakfast and lunch with hot chocolate if it is cold.

For some reason I still really like hot dogs cooked over a fire. I guess I never grew out of being a boy scout. On multiday trips I'll have a tinfoil dinner on the second day just for fun.

1:29 a.m. on March 27, 2010 (EDT)
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As I wrote in the other thread I carry a Pocket Rocket stove because I normally just boil water for my meals and drinks. For the rest of the kitchen I carry a long handled titanium spoon and maybe a lexan fork. I boil water and eat out of my MSR titanium kettle. I always bring a double walled plastic coffee cup for my morning wake-up coffee and mint hot cocoa at night. For spices I carry salt/pepper, parmesan cheese, and cajon seasoning.

I make most of my dinners from food I dehydrate myself and when I do carry freeze dried it is normally Mountain House. I carry instant oatmeal for breakfast and add craisons or gorp. Lunch is useually Cliff Bars or if on a layover day maybe a Ramen with a tuna pack added. If I'm in an area that allows campfires I always carry some foil for trout. An instant cheese cake sometimes comes along when hiking with a couple buddies for a special treat.

3:17 a.m. on April 1, 2010 (EDT)
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For some reason I almost always end up doing all of the cooking, so I finally bit the bullet and got myself a "real" camp kitchen. So I used a bunch of my MEC gift card and got...


A GSI Camp Kitchen. Finally, a camping salt and pepper shaker that won't break and spill all over everything! Woo-hoo! Ok. The other stuff is usefull too. As long as your not out on a multi week trip, that is. ;-) I like it. Stuck my Grilliput in it, my knife-fork-spoon combo, and the worlds best can-opener.

Now it's perfect.


Oh yeah! And X2 on the hot dogs. Can't camp without open flame cooked hot dogs for the first couple nights. :-)


9:45 a.m. on April 13, 2010 (EDT)
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I like to eat well so my kit is not for the ultra light set.

Stove: Since I like to do some real cooking (pancakes, bacon, stir fry, fish, etc) my stove must have good simmer properties and even heat distribution over bottom of pan. My warm season camping stove is a MSR Superfly isobutene stove. I use a home made wind screen constructed a from two aluminum party platter trays, cut to size, with the sharp edges folded over. The two sections are assembled utilizing an interlocking joint running along a vertical edge of each section, then the joint is secured utilizing two spring steel paper binding clips. The assembled unit provides ground to top of tallest pot wind protection, and is adjustable to be snug against the smallest billy, expanding up to fit a 91/2” fry pan. Far and away this is the best cook station I have ever used.

My cold camp stove is an old 1980s era MRS white gas Firefly. Roars loud and hot like, the MSR XKG, but has an excellent pot stand and the best simmering qualities of any white gas stove, perhaps excepting the famous Optimus 00. I replaced the original fuel umbilicus with a 3’ length of small diameter flexible plastic tubing, making it easier to pump the gas without upsetting the stove. (While the tube is a theoretical a fire hazard, I NEVER cook in or near tents.). I devised a windscreen for this stove from a small pie pan that fits in the spider of the pot stand.

Just the cheap classic English Bulldog Brand three pot set cooking billies, and a 9” frying pan with folding handle. Aluminum foil serves as cover for the fry pan.

Plastic spoon, Swiss Army pocket knife, and two double walled polycarbonate drinking mugs, one of which has measuring cup marking. One mug us used for bevies, the other is the best way I found to keep food warm while eating.

Special applications:
A spice kit stocked depending on the trip’s menu. Sometimes I pack small BBQ grate when open fires are permitted, and I feel like steak or other BBQ yummies. Sometime I bring a wok if stir fry is on the menu. I bring fishing gear and a fillet knife if fish is on the menu. I use one of those egg carriers and a spatula when fresh eggs and pancakes are on the menu. Sometimes I bring extra foil, constructing a wilderness oven to smoke/roast turkey or prime rib on special occasions. But mostly my backpacking faire is freeze dried and dehydrated items, trout, pancakes, eggs and bacon.

Car camping:
I have a classic Coleman two burner white gas stove in a box, that I can optionally convert to run on propane. I also have two free standing propane burners, similar to those used to deep fry turkeys. I have the typical pots and pans, and use paper plates and wax drinking cups. I use one of those large plastic totes with the interlocking hinged doors both to store the kit, as well as to serve as a dish cleaning sink.

Regardless of venue, I always use Castle Soap, and bleach to sterilize cookware. (One need witness only once how sick a hiker can get from contaminated gear to justify the additional weight of a few ounces of bleach to safeguard the group's health while out on the trail.) Soapy water is heated in largest billy used to cook, while rinsing/sterilizing is conducted with warm water in a clear plastic bear canister.

Secret tips:
Freeze dried foods hydrate more completely if simmered on the stove slightly longer than indicated on the instructions. I initially boil water in a pot large enough to accommodate all the meal pouches. Water is poured into each pouch, then the pouches are sealed and placed in whatever water remains in the bottom of the pot. The pot is covered, and the stove set to a simmer flame. Spices are added to enhance flavor since back packing faire is typically pretty bland. Fresh serano chilis, fresh garlic, and curry are the most popular supplements. Fry items are cooked in olive oil or butter, depending on desired effect. Butter is transported in one of those Tupperware containers that has a gasket seal and locking tabs to secure the lid. Other fluids which may foul the contents of my pack are packed in their respective bottles/tubes, then all are placed inside a medium Tupperware beverage container. The container is not set in the pack until the last moment, before hiking, precluding a spill while in transport. The container contains any spills, and protects the assorted fluids from being squeezed out of their respective containers. Delicate items such as fresh berries or bread can be transported in a cook pot (pad the inside of the pot with paper towels to prevent bruising the fruit while hiking).

11:19 p.m. on April 13, 2010 (EDT)
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I too cook on a Pocket Rocket stove. I use a 1 quart MSR cook pot and mainly carry just a nylon Spork. I cook pasta,dried cooked rice,add cheese to both,I like to have top Ramen,instant oatmeal and sometimes granola. I take instant Gatoraide and sometimes instant milk.

By only bring the water to a boil,adding the pasta,rice,ramen or oatmeal, then removing from the heat and turning off the stove I can make a 4 oz fuel canister last a couple weeks. After I remove the food in the hot water I insulate the cook pot in a shirt.

I retransfer everything from original store packaging to Ziploc bags and reuse them untill they wear out.

I use a green flatpad scrubby to wash dishes with.

If I am in an area that allows fires I take marshmellows and sometimes hotdogs as I too love the way they taste broiled over an open fire. I rarely cook in my cookpot on a bed of coals. I used to and you can make the pot easier to clean of the soot by first rubbing the entire bottom and sides with a bar of soap. Believe it or not the soap will not melt away and then clean up is as easy as wiping of the soot.

10:27 p.m. on May 11, 2010 (EDT)
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The only time I use a stove is if it's raining, or Im camping somewhere that has an absence of wood. Depending on how much of a pig-out night it is I like roasting turkey drumstics and bratworst, and something like pie or cobbler for desert. All washed down with a decent beer(not miller, coors, bud corona or any of that other massproduced crap.)

8:04 p.m. on May 12, 2010 (EDT)
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All washed down with a decent beer(not miller, coors, bud corona or any of that other massproduced crap.)

Any brand beer someone else is will to carry into the backcountry is decent for me, but if its in my pack, then a Sam Adams, local micro brew, and almost any IPA (yum yum) are my choices.


8:19 p.m. on May 12, 2010 (EDT)
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J Hagar said:

All washed down with a decent beer(not miller, coors, bud corona or any of that other massproduced crap.)

Any brand beer someone else is will to carry into the backcountry is decent for me, but if its in my pack, then a Sam Adams, local micro brew, and almost any IPA (yum yum) are my choices.


good choices, espcially ipa for those hot summer day. plus you can use the beer for cook specialty dishes.

June 20, 2018
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