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3 Campfire Cooking Setups to Make the Most of Those Campside Meals

Find out which campfire cooking setup makes sense for your style of camping.

How you cook your meals while camping depends on a lot. Are you camping with your family and have kids to feed? Can you park your car right next to your campsite? Or are you heading into a primitive wilderness area?

Ask yourself what kind of camper you are, and then determine which of these three setups would be your style.

Compact Kitchen

We’ll start with an all-encompassing setup, one that’s great for car campers, RVers, and those who enjoy more of the comforts of home than higher-intensity camping prevents. If you need your coffee in the morning, have a big expansive campsite, and are feeding six people eggs in the morning, then this would be your pick.

Camping happy woman sitting tent, drinking tea in park

Start with a sturdy, long-lasting cooler, add a small foldable table, and invest in some good quality plastic containers of different sizes with locking lids. Round it out with a coffee pot (don’t forget to pre-grind the beans before leaving), a few pots and pans, and the necessary utensils (tongs, spatula, and enough sporks and knifes for the crew).

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Cabela’s Campfire Coffee Pot

Depending on what you’ll prepare, knives, cutting boards, bowls, condiments, and other extras might be necessary.

As far as the actual fire, you’d be amazed what you can do with an adjustable grill grate that can break down into smaller pieces for transport. The days of wieners on a stick are long gone, if you want them to be.

Cast Iron Cook Space

Admit it, you really only ever wanted to cook while camping so you could use a cast iron pan, right? They’re one of the most versatile, durable, and lasting vessels to cook a meal in, and you can do virtually anything with them.

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Cabela’s Five-Piece Cast Iron Starter Set

Look hard enough, and you’ll find cast iron griddles, pie irons, and corn on the cob-shaped muffin pans. Some would suggest a multi-piece set, which would cut down on overall costs, but a single, large, deep-sided pan could probably take care of things.

Extreme Minimalist

When space and weight matter, you’re certainly not going to lug a cast iron pot or a foldable table into the backcountry, so the first two options basically disregard the needs of a large community of campers.

Fear not, we’ve got you covered.

Traveling man eating meal

A backpacking stove, a reusable bowl, and a multi-tool can get you a lot farther than you’d think. Make sure you have a large enough pot to boil water, in the scenarios where you’ll need to provide your own hydration and prepare dehydrated meals.

Each of these three setups can be manipulated and adapted to your needs, but whichever route you take, know that you’re headed towards a camp meal, one of the outdoors’ greatest things.

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3 Campfire Cooking Setups to Make the Most of Those Campside Meals