Everything You Need to Know About Camping: Part 3- Let’s Get Cooking

Let's Get Cooking: Options for Cooking When Camping

Part 3 – Let’s Get Cooking

Everything you need to know about camping is a 3 5 part series presented to help calm your apprehensions about camping and get you out into the great outdoors. If you have never tried camping before, the idea of getting outdoors and next to nature can be a little overwhelming. Questions arise quickly… “Where should I go?” “What should I take?”  and “What will I eat?” are just a few that come to mind. Let’s start from the beginning and break it all down to see if we can get you outdoors and up close and personal to nature. Hopefully after reading a few of these ideas you will be out building a fire, cooking up great meals and leaving all your cares behind in no time flat.

In Part 1 we discussed 3 main topics:

  • What exactly is camping?
  • Why should I go camping?
  • Where should I go camping?

In Part 2 we discussed the 10 Must Haves When Camping; 10 of the most important little things needed to help prepare for a successful camping trip. 

Here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2 in case you missed them and would like to catch up.

Part 1: So You Want to Go Camping  

Part 2: 10 Must Haves When Camping

I had meant to wrap up the Series on Everything You Need to Know About Camping this week, but have come to realize it is impossible to cover all the aspects of cooking in only one post. So I will be extending the series for a few more weeks.

Coming up…

  • What are the options for cooking when I go camping?
  • What type of cooking gear should I bring when I go camping?
  • Healthy camp recipes and ideas for your camping trip.

Let's Get Cooking: Options for Cooking When Camping

Let’s Get Cooking

What Are The Options For Cooking When Camping?

There are many options for cooking when camping. Much depends on the facility where you will be staying. For instance, some wilderness areas and campsites do not allow wood fires during peak fire season or only allow a charcoal fire in a designated area.  It is good to check out the area and the restrictions before you head out and always have a back-up plan in the event that things change. Even when all options are available you may want to use several methods for cooking anyway.  Let’s explore some of the options.

Let's Get Cooking: Options for Cooking When Camping

Camp Stove

  • The Camp Stove is usually a two burner stove and the most commonly used cooking method when camping. Fuel for the stove can be either propane or white gas. I find this method to be the most stable for cooking. Heat can be maintained and regulated easily in comparison with a wood fire, charcoal grill or dutch oven. It is the most user friendly option; one I would recommend as a mainstay in your stable of cooking choices.

Tabletop Grill

  • Charcoal can be used in a fire pit (when allowed per facility) or a BBQ grill. Some camping areas have grills available for use right at the campsite, but this is not always the case. It is a good idea to check to make certain. One way to avoid not having a grill available is the Tabletop Grill. For this cooking method all you need is charcoal and a lighter. When cooking on the grill it is not much different from home. No need to step out of your comfort zone with this method.

Let's Get Cooking: Options for Cooking When Camping

Dutch Oven

  • The Dutch Oven takes your camp cuisine one step further. Soups and stews are only the beginning with this handy piece of equipment. Whether it is used with charcoal or sitting over a fire, the options are endless when you get the hang of how to use it. I enjoy baking and making desserts in my oven; a sure way to impress and a great tool when camping when heavy equipment is not an issue.

101 Things to Do with a Dutch Oven

Best of the Black Pot: Must-Have Dutch Oven Favorites

Let's Get Cooking: Options for Cooking When Camping

Wood Fire

  • A wood fire embodies all the charm and tradition of camping. It is a practical method with many varieties for use. Foil wrapped packages are one of the easiest methods for cooking with a wood fire. It is good to remember a cooking fire is something quite different than a fire to be enjoyed while gathering and singing kum ba yah. White hot coals are much more predictable and a steadier source of heat than red hot flames.

How to Build a Camp Fire

Pie Irons

  • Desserts are fun to eat at camp. Why not opt for a healthier version. Pie Irons broaden your horizons and give you more options than the traditional S’more (yes I agree they are a camp tradition!). The great thing about Pie Irons is they make pretty mean sandwiches and a whole lot more.

Rome’s #2011 Creative Pie Iron Cooking Book

In Summary

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the ways to cook when camping, but it is a good start to get you out and enjoying the outdoors fairly quickly. As you camp, mix it up a bit and try the various methods. Soon you may be using the camp stove at breakfast, a wood fire at lunch, and the Dutch oven at dinner. The most important thing to remember is to use what works best and fits easily within your family. If a certain method is more of a chore and takes away from your experience, skip it entirely and move on to something else.

Next Week:  What type of cooking gear should I bring when I go camping?

If you missed any of the series of Everything You Need to Know About Camping you can see them here…


Everything You Need to Know About Camping shared with:

New Mama Diaries: Creative Style Linkup *2 Crochet Hooks: Snickerdoodle Sunday  *Baking in Pyjamas: Sweet and Savoury Sunday *Creative K Kids: Bloggers Brags *Mrs Tee Love Life Laughter:Mommy Monday Blog Hop *Yesterfood: Treasure Box Tuesday *Lou Lou Girls: Lou Lou Girls *Mandy’s Recipe Box: Totally Talented Tuesdays *Savvy Southern Style: Wow us Wednesday *Dizzy, Busy and Hungry: Wine’d Down Wednesdays *Crafty Allie: Worthwhile Wednesdays *The Shady Porch: Party on the Porch *Smart School House: Whimsy Wednesday *Organized 31:Inspire us Thursday *Living Well Spending Less: Thrifty Thursday *The Deliberate Mom: Shine *Calm Healthy Sexy: Let’s Get Real *Nancherrows: Friday’s Unfolded *Ruffles and Rainboots: Thank Goodness it’s Thursday *Happy and Blessed Home: Family Fun Friday  *The Diary of a Real Housewife: Friday Favorites *2 Crochet Hooks: Snickerdoodle Sunday

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”





  1. says

    We also like to camp and are getting fairly proficient with the Dutch oven. One thing I would recommend is a camp chef stove. It’s basically a camp stove on steroids. It’s awesome. Once you use one, you have to have one. My husband even uses it in the backyard saving me cooking time in the kitchen.
    Deborah @ MommyCrusader.com recently posted…One Great Addiction: Geocaching!My Profile

    • says

      I had to go and check out the camp stove to see what you were talking about. Wow. I have been living in the 20th century apparently. The Stove looks amazing. Do you have the oven and how do you like it?

  2. says

    I am so prepared now, just have to wait for cool weather and no bugs and I think i could camp! Thanks for sharing such great info with us! Now if I could get over the bug issue, I think I might like camping. Maybe.

    • says

      The bugs are a pain. Skin so soft is never far away. It is always nice to camp when the weather turns cooler. I love the change in the leaves too. so beautiful!

  3. says

    Great camping tips, I’ve never been camping before other than in my back yard when I was little. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

  4. says

    Hi Shari! I’m really enjoying this series. We were just camping last week and part of the fun is cooking in all of the different ways you mentioned. Watching a campfire is one of the most relaxing things that I know to do and made even better with camp food. Thanks for sharing your extensive camping knowledge with us at Let’s Get Real.
    Christina @ Juggling Real Food and Real Life recently posted…Let’s Get Real Friday Party #50My Profile

    • says

      Thanks Christina. We just returned from a short little trip to the river, where I had a blissful moment away and unplugged. I know I will be coming back to a plethora of things to catch up on, but I love that moment when life stands still. Getting to work now on finishing up the series for this week and next. I will be sad to see this one end. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend.

    • says

      It has been fun writing down all the little things stored up in my head for years. Even so, I still forget things on a regular basis. Makes it that much more of an adventure I guess. Thanks for coming by and taking a moment to share.

  5. says

    Shari, you are doing a FABULOUS job on this series! The pictures are beautiful and the information is so easy to comprehend and you have great resources. I have camped so much, and you have covered subjects that the novice or experienced camper can use. TERRIFIC and can’t wait for the next installment. Carrie, A Mothers Shadow

    • says

      Thank you Carrie, your comments warm my heart. I love being able to share something I am passionate about. I am glad that the passion I feel is coming out in a way people can understand. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. says


    I love reading your camping posts. They are always packed with information I had never thought about. Your pictures are just beautiful. I love seeing the mountains in the background. Are all the camp stoves yours? I also learned another great tips which is to line the dutch oven. I am sure this helps when camping to just lift the baked goods right out of it.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Pinning, stumbling, tweeting!
    Diane Roark

    • says

      No, that picture was one of the few I have used that is not mine. I have one camp stove for regular camping and one for backpacking. They work beautifully and I have had them for years. I am glad you are enjoying the pictures and the series. I line my dutch oven too when baking most of the time. It is easier for clean up too!

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