Even though we enjoy roughing it, we still like to be clean, neat and tidy. There are a lot of reasons for that, but aside from personal preference, keeping a well kept camp means that you aren’t attracting as many bugs and animals.
You never know what kind of critter might come calling to check out the scraps of food and dirty dishes.
Of course, there are many that you could live with such as birds and chipmunks, but there are plenty more than would give you a serious fright face to face. To be honest, we think the best motto is to keep nature where it is by keeping our messes to a minimum.
Often, we just use a plastic wash basin, but last time we went with a bunch of people and they weren’t the tidiest.
We ended up thinking that maybe we would have been better served with a portable camping kitchen with sink to encourage the others to wash up right after eating.
Now, when we go hiking or backpacking, we can’t carry a lot of gear, other than the essentials, so we have to be even more strict about cleaning up. On the other hand, when camping in a tent or tent trailer, we do need some kind of system or equipment for staying organized. We like to have an area set up for cooking and then washing utensils, pots and plates.
What we usually do is arrange a table, it can be a picnic table from the campsite, and then use that as a command station. The camp stove is safe because the table is sturdy. We put the cooler under the table for shade so the ice doesn’t melt as fast, and we string a tarp between the trees if there are any to use as a windscreen. Tent poles will work just as well. Water should probably be kept under the table, too, especially if it is one of those collapsible containers. The table full of food and gear is all we need to get busy when everyone is hungry!
Admittedly, if you have never been camping before, you probably have no clue what to take for your kitchen area. Keeping down how much you take is aided by the fact that you need the right things. What’s worse is having so much stuff and still wishing you had brought something different for a specific circumstance. Since we have got our own system going reasonably, here is a list of other items that are quite handy.
- Matches are a necessity for all trips. You never know when you will need to start a fire for warmth, cooking or reheating. A book of matches is probably not the best option since they are too flimsy. Something more solid and durable like a box of wooden matches is safer and easier to use, especially when your hands are cold and the weather is wet.
- You don’t need a lot of cooking utensils. A spatula for pancakes and burgers. A whisk does nicely for mixing batter, scrambling eggs, and even to stir a soup or stew in a pinch.
- Don’t forget a tea towel. It can be used not only for drying dishes, but also to grab the pot or pan handle so you don’t burn yourself. Actually, you could let the dishes drip dry if it is warm out.
- A dutch oven is a good choice of pot because it can used on an open fire, as well as the stove.
- Portable coffee maker for hot beverages.
- Plastic measuring cup, dish soap, little plastic bags, foil wrap, can or bottle opener, cleaning sponge or microfiber cloth.
When you hear about people buying and using a portable camping kitchen with sink, you have to wonder if that might be a bit of a luxury. We don’t think so. It gives us more time to enjoy whatever we want to see and do. But at the same time, it provides us a nice safe area for making a lovely meal when are sooo hungry from our adventures!