A woman cooking at her campsite.
Getty Images: Deagreez

Camping Cookware: What to Look For, and a Few Suggestions


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The cookware that you need for that next level camping cookout is nearly as important as the food.

Since you're not going to just plop that big juicy steak onto any old grill or any old skillet, you're going to need some camping cookware that works as well as what you use at home. There are anodized aluminum, stainless steel, and cast iron versions of our favorite grilling utensils that will do the trick, it's just that you're going to want something that its your cooking style.

You can purchase a mess kit, a full on camping cookware set, or by the individual piece for your own personal camping needs just for starters. It's true that everyday pots and pans taken from your home kitchen can be used for campsite cooking. However, if you're going to be serious about camp cooking, it is going to be much easier to have set of camping cookware that is kept solely for use while away from home.

Depending on the size of your normal camping group or family, you will need some more specific items to use, but the bottom line is that some utensils are basically mandatory. Let's look at a few possibilities, brand names, and those that continue to get high ratings so that your choice will be easier.

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Camping Cookware Sets

It isn't always the case, but this Primus Campfire Cookset is a nesting, three-piece set with two saucepans and a heavy duty frying pan. The handles fold away and lock into place for ease of packing and carrying. It features an aluminum-clad bottom to ensure even heat distribution and long life on the campsite.

Camping Cookware Mess Kit

Another good option is a mess kit which often come in a variety of styles depending on what they were designed for. These include two to three pots, a frying pan, two or more dishes, soup bowls, and cutlery. This particular set also comes with a survival bracelet, a tool card, ladle, sponge brush, and a nylon bag to carry it all in. Smaller mess kits are often ideal for backcountry hikers who need something lighter than the traditional heavy camping pots. Consider durability, and going with something collapsible to save space in your pack on those kinds of trips. It's also best to go with something non-stick because cleaning your cookware is always going to be more difficult away from modern facilities.

Larger Group Options

When you find yourself planning a trip to a campground with a group of friends, above and beyond your own family, having one of these bigger outdoor cooking combo kits can make all the difference. This 39-Piece Odoland Set has all of the same options and more to make sure that your set has everything that you may have forgotten.

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This kit includes six full sets of cutlery, six drinking cups, and six stainless steel dishes that are deep enough for soups or chili. This cookset also has a kettle and one large size hanging pot for making or warming that chili over the open fire.

BBQ Accessories

These barbecue specific accessories from The Hungry Cook can certainly be used at home, but having a great carrying bag that keeps all of the pieces together and close at hand makes it even better for the campsite. This particular 34-piece set has all those specific utensils that you're always looking for at the campground, but never seem to have at hand.

This camp cook set has so many features that it's hard to list them all, but with tongs, spatula, bristle brush, large meat fork, marinade basting brush, and a hot-hand glove just for starters it stands to reason that this or another grill kit like it will be the last one that you ever buy. The only downside is that it's not exactly ultralight and compact. This is more for the RV enthusiasts and car campers who will be using modern camping facilities and charcoal pellets and propane rather than natural firewood.

The Camp Kitchen To Be Jealous Of

We want you to be just as proud of your campsite as the guy in the next tent over, so it behooves us to try and find a couple of extras to make your camping cook set the pride of the campground. If this tripod grilling set from SunnyDaze doesn't quite do it for you, then maybe a 12-piece wooden handled skewer set will.

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For those wanting to take their camp cooking to the extreme, consider a BBQ rotisserie. Some extra helpful tools include grill gloves that will stand up to serious heat, and a set of s'mores sticks, for the fun of it. What's a camping trip without making s'mores?

If you really want to be the talk of the campground, consider the Tapirus 5 Spork Of Steel Utensils Set. These not only looks great, but will you last forever.

Being a Part of the Camper Cookset

A good set of camp cookware limits the amount of time it takes to set up, use, and clean up after. In turn, giving you more time to enjoy the scenery. Especially if you're planning on a backpacking trip. In that case it's best to keep things simple and easy to clean.

Camp cooking should be all about the celebration of eating outdoors with your friends and family, not about whether your cooking set or your camping stove will rust over time.

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The bottom line is that backpackers and car camping enthusiasts alike want the freedom to leave the worries of cooking behind them, and a good quality set of camping cookware will do that many times over no matter where you decide to pitch your tent next.

Please check out my book "The Hunter's Way" from HarperCollins. Be sure to follow my webpage, or on Facebook and YouTube. Go to Rack Hub and use the coupon code Craiger for a new way to display those antler sheds!

READ MORE: WHAT DO YOU CALL A GROUP OF WILD PIGS? 95 NAMES FOR ANIMAL GROUPS

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