5 Essential Camp Cooking Tools

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5 Essential Camp Cooking Tools - RichlyRooted.com

Just before the “back to school” merry-go-round began, Eric and I managed to steal a weekend and head north along Lake Michigan for a camping trip. The weather provided perfect sunshine for a day sprawled at the beach, and cool evening breezes to enjoy a little warmth from the campfire.

We went old school: camped in a tent, cooked over the open fire. Without the familiarity of a well-stocked kitchen, we had to improvise a little and make do with less. Not bad little lessons, I guess. Here’s a few of those lessons I thought I’d pass on…

1. A skillet is the number one versatile cooking piece. It was the only cooking pan we brought, and we used it to boil water, cook eggs and sausage, and make grits.

2. Pine needles work great as a dish scrubber. Just grab a handful, sniff, and use as a gentle abrasion on pots and plates.

3. Roasting forks are worth buying at the camp store. Yes, the stuff at the store is overpriced, but roasting forks for a couple of bucks are as good as you’ll find anywhere, and you’ll never have to use flammable sticks or remember to bring bent coat hangers.

4. Phone books make great kindling. Bring the whole book.

5. A stash of plastic grocery bags comes in very handy. Use them for trash, storing sooty cooking pots, trucking home recyclables, and collecting dirty clothes.

How have you improvised on your camping adventures?


  1. Absolutely LOVE to camp. Went for the first time after I was 45 and I have been hooked ever since. I use an old grill rack (transport it in a trashbag)to cook over an open fire. Works great. I also put foil in an iron skillet and use charcoal in it for a more portable cooking arrangement. I use the old grill rack on top of it also.

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