As any experienced camper or hiker knows, having the right equipment is crucial to a successful trip. So gear up and get ready to cook some savory meals under the stars with the best camping dishes on hand.
When it comes to mealtime, having the appropriate camping dishes can make all the difference. In this list, we’ll explore some of the best camping dishes on the market, including cookware, dinnerware, and cleaning kits. All to help you make the most out of your outdoor dining experience.
What to Consider When Buying Camping Cookware
With Spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start preparing and investing in the best camping dishes that will make your camping experience even more enjoyable.
From lightweight and durable cookware to portable utensils and plates, there are plenty of options available to suit your needs and preferences. Here are a few factors to take into consideration when comparing camping cookware.
Size and Weight
Regardless of the type of camping your doing, space is often limited. Packing lightweight and compact cookware can make a significant difference in the overall comfort and enjoyment of the trip.
Additionally, heavy and bulky cookware can be difficult to carry and may take up valuable space in a backpack or vehicle.
Choosing lightweight camping cookware that can be easily packed and transported not only reduces the burden on the camper but also allows for more room to bring other necessary camping gear.
Consider the type of camping you’re doing, If it’s car camping, sure you might be able to pack that heavier full kitchen set. But, if backcountry camping, look for gear that is lightweight and compact.
It’s important to carefully consider the size and weight of your camping cookware to ensure you have everything you need to cook delicious meals while still being able to comfortably and efficiently transport your gear.
Durability and Versatility
Camping cookware needs to withstand the rigors of outdoor activities, such as being exposed to extreme temperatures, rough terrain, and the heat of an open fire.
Choosing durable cookware that can withstand wear and tear will ensure that it can be used for multiple trips, saving you money in the long run.
Furthermore, versatile camping cookware can be used in a variety of ways, such as for boiling water, cooking meals, and even as a makeshift dish. This saves space in your pack, reduces the amount of gear you need to bring, and makes cooking outdoors more efficient.
Ease of Use
When you’re out in the wilderness, you don’t want to waste time struggling with complicated cooking equipment. Camping cookware that is easy to use and requires minimal effort allows you to quickly prepare meals, leaving more time to enjoy the great outdoors.
Moreover, simple and straightforward cookware can help you avoid accidents and ensure that your food is cooked safely and properly. Remember to keep it simple when choosing camping cookware.
Cost and Value
While it’s essential to invest in durable, versatile, and easy-to-use cookware, it’s also important to stay within your budget.
Opting for affordable camping cookware options allows you to save money while still ensuring that you have the necessary equipment to prepare meals outdoors.
Strike a balance between cost and quality when selecting camping cookware to make the most of your camping budget.
When it comes to choosing camping cookware, there are a lot of factors to consider. You’ll want to think about the size and weight of the cookware, its durability and versatility, as well as its ability to cook your favorite camping meals to perfection.
Once you have taken all of these factors into account, you can start narrowing down your options and selecting the best cookware for your needs. To help you with this process, we have compiled a list of the best camping dishes that are sure to make your outdoor cooking experience a success.
Please checkout our article, How to Clean Camping Stoves & Cookware – Safely.
Top Camping Cookware
Tried and true, we have bought, tested, and approved the following cookware options on our list. While none are perfect, each has its place in the camping and cooking world.
Keep the above factors in mind and pick out your next camping cookware to savor delicious meals and create unforgettable memories in the great outdoors.
MSR Alpinist Quick 2 Camping Cook Set
A lightweight and compact two-person backpacking cookset that is efficient for backcountry trips. The cook set includes a non-stick coated pot for sauces, an uncoated pot for boiling water and meal prep, strainer lid, two deep dish plates, two insulated mugs, and a pot handle.
The plates and mugs are color-coded and the entire set can be adapted to the size of the group and the length of the trip. Additionally, all components nest within the 2.5L pot for easy packing.
Pro: Complete set from a trusted brand that knows what campers need and want. Notice the flipping handle, dual cooking surfaces, and all in a stackable compact solution.
Con: Might be more than what one needs when solo camping.
You can find the current price here.
Snow Peak Titanium Trek 700
For ultralight backpackers, this titanium pot/mug combo is a must-have. Weighing in at just .3 pounds, it can hold up to 24 fluid ounces and comes with a lid that doubles as a frying pan.
Pro: Large enough to store a fuel canister and compact stove inside.
Con: The lighter more specialized equipment is always going to come at a higher price. May not provide enough value for the average camper.
You can check the availability of this cookware here.
Alocs Camping Cookware
This camping cookware set is made of eco-friendly and healthy materials, including ultra-light hard alumina and food-grade silicone. The heat-resistant plastic handles are insulated and have an anti-slip design for a comfortable and secure grip.
The set is lightweight, portable, and easy to clean, making it perfect for camping, picnics, and hiking. The set includes all the essentials for outdoor cooking and comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
Pro: Lightweight and easy to clean. I don’t need to pour much oil, if any, into the skillet before cooking. I only pack the skillet when backpacking and can cook just about anything I want in it.
Con: A few users mention they are better to cook over a camping stove than an open fire, but I find that true with any cookware besides a heavy iron skillet.
Tip: Keep your fire low, add a tablespoon of oil, and keep the pots stirred.
What Dinnerware Is Best For Camping?
GSI Outdoors Cascadian 1-Person Table Set
This compact and lightweight set includes a plate, bowl, mug, and utensils, making it perfect for solo campers or families alike. The polypropylene material is both durable and BPA-free, and the nesting design saves space in your backpack or storage bin.
Pro: Perfect for the family and campgrounds that have picnic areas. The familiarity of traditional dinnerware will make it easy to use. Plus, it’s reusable and good for the environment, as opposed to store-bought disposable dinnerware.
Con: May feel a bit more flimsy than other options on our list, but better than cheap disposable options.
See the current price and check availability here.
Sea to Summit Delta Camp Set
This versatile set includes a plate, bowl, mug, and utensils, and is made of durable and heat-resistant BPA-free polypropylene. The unique Protex hex pattern on the base of the bowl and plate keeps food from sliding around, and the ergonomic silicon sleeves and lids on the mug make them comfortable to use.
Pro: Dishwasher safe for easy cleanup when you return home. Comes with a nylon bag to pack and organize.
Con: A nice set to go from “picnic level” camping to fireside, but there are other options on our list that are even more compact and made for the backcountry. Good starter set though that would make a great gift for the avid camper.
Take a look at their current pricing and full range of offerings by clicking here.
UCO 6-Piece Camping Mess Kit
This mess kit is designed for camping, backpacking, scouting, and meals on-the-go. It includes a plate, bowl, camp cup, two-piece Switch Spork utensil set, and tether to secure the kit and its contents.
The bowl and plate can be connected with an airtight seal for meal storage and transport, while the collapsible camp cup stows inside the kit. The Switch Spork set can be used as a fork, knife, and spoon or can be combined to form an extra-long utensil. The bowl and plate have rubberized grips on the bottom to prevent slipping while eating. The mess kit is BPA- and phthalate-free, dishwasher and microwave-safe, and weighs 0.6 pounds, measuring 8 x 8 x 3 inches.
Pro: My newest camping kit, but also my daily work lunch kit…perfect for either. The dual plate bowl with one acting as the lid is genius and a great use of space.
Con: To be picky I would argue the cutlery could be better…I still carry my Light My Fire Spork mentioned above.
To view their complete range of offerings and up-to-date pricing, simply click here.
MSR DeepDish Plates
These hot and cold-safe polypropylene plates are sturdy and stackable, making them a great choice for car camping or shorter backpacking trips. The edges are slightly curved, making it easier to scoop food, and the non-stick coating makes cleaning a breeze.
Why a single plate on our list? Well, think of these as really nice “add-ons” to support your camping cookware inventory. Having an extra plate will always come in handy around the campsite. Plus, if you have the MSR Cook System it nests perfectly, making it more compact.
Pro: Deep dish style making them less prone to spillage (an important factor when sitting on your lap).
Con: In terms of just a plate, there are slightly cheaper options on the list; however, as a single plate, this is well crafted, and the high sides make it seem a bit more premium.
Light My Fire Spork
The Light My Fire Spork is a versatile and reusable utensil that combines a knife, fork, and spoon in one convenient design. It is perfect for outdoor activities, urban adventures, and travel, and is made from bio-based plastics that are safe and eco-friendly.
The spork is produced in Sweden by Light My Fire, a brand that creates high-quality camping accessories that are both functional and attractive. The set includes a 6.7-inch spork that is microwave and dishwasher safe.
Pro: This model makes for an ultra-light version of backpacking cutlery. Everything you need for backcountry eating.
Con: If you’re not careful, it might break…being made of only Bio-based plastic. I’ve used mine over and over with no problems, but if you’re concerned, splurge on the titanium version.
To check availability and get the latest pricing information, simply click here.
MAGWARE Magnetic Camping Utensils Set
The Magware utensil set is a portable and reusable travel utensil set sold through crowdfunding with over 15,000 sets sold. The goal was to create a sustainable and functional alternative to single-use plastic utensils.
The utensils connect magnetically, making them easy to pack and store. They are made of durable, lightweight aluminum and come in five colors. The set is perfect for everyday carry and outdoor adventures, and by purchasing it, you’re supporting responsible and sustainable production.
Pro: I got this set for my wife, and she loves it. It’s a great way to organize the utensils. They are each strong and useful while being light and packable.
Con: Not having my own set! Honestly, though, I do like the simplicity of my spork all-in-one utensil for backpacking purposes. But, if I’m good this year, I hope Santa puts a set of these in my stocking.
Best Camping Cookware Cleaning Kits
Sea to Summit Cleaning Kit
This 6-piece clean-up kit comes with a collapsible 10-liter kitchen sink, pot scrubber, soap, cleaning towel, and drying towel that can be easily stored in a compact nylon zip pouch.
The kitchen sink is made from waterproof nylon and is suitable for dishwashing, meal prep, and personal hygiene. The kit also includes a super-concentrated Wilderness Wash that can be used for cleaning personal items, outdoor gear, and cookware.
The pot scrubber, cleaning cloth, and drying towel are effective in cleaning dishes and camp equipment. The entire lightweight kit weighs 9.5 ounces and measures 5.1 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches when packed.
Pro: This is my go-to cleaning kit for backpacking…it wraps up, and everything packs into a tight little package.
Con: Set it on a stable, flat surface to not spill the water. Also, needs a good amount of water to hold form and not spill over.
Check out the current price here.
Luxtude Collapsible Bucket with Handle
The Luxtude collapsible bucket is safe to use as it is BPA-free. With a capacity of 5 gallons, it is made of high-quality waterproof fabric and is durable and leakproof. It is also portable and comes with a nylon carry bag for easy storage. This bucket can be used for various tasks such as camping, hiking, gardening, car washing, and fishing.
Pro: If you’re looking for something larger than the Sea To Summit Kit, this will do. At 5 gallons, I like to fill it up after setting up camp to have a reservoir of water nearby. The handles and build seem to be durable enough; while I may not take this on a multi-day backcountry trip, it’s perfect for overnighters or car camping.
Con: May not be for every camping trip…can be a bit heavy when filled.
See the current price and check if it’s still in stock here.
How To Wash Dishes While Camping?
When camping, washing dishes can seem like a daunting task, but it’s an essential part of keeping your campsite clean and hygienic. Luckily, with a little planning and the right tools, washing dishes while camping can be a breeze.
First and foremost, it’s important to follow the principles of Leave No Trace and avoid washing dishes in natural water sources. If you’re staying at a campsite with a designated dishwashing area, make use of it and follow any guidelines provided. Otherwise, try a portable camping sink or basin to collect water for washing dishes.
When it comes to cleaning dishes, start by scraping off any leftover food scraps into a garbage bag or compost bin. Then, use a sponge or scrubber and biodegradable soap to wash the dishes thoroughly. Rinse the dishes with hot water, and then dry them with a towel or let them air dry.
To make the process even easier, consider investing in collapsible dish tubs and a portable drying rack. These items take up minimal space in your camping gear, and can make a big difference in the ease and efficiency of washing dishes while camping.
Remember to always properly dispose of any wastewater or food scraps in a designated area or trash receptacle to minimize your impact on the environment. By taking the time to properly wash your dishes while camping, you’ll not only maintain a clean and hygienic campsite but also help preserve the natural beauty of the wilderness for future generations to enjoy.
Cook Up a Storm: The Best Camping Dishes for Delicious Outdoor Adventures!
Investing in the right camping cookware and dishes can elevate your outdoor cooking experience and make your camping trip more enjoyable. From lightweight and durable pots and pans to portable utensils and plates, the right camping cookware can make all the difference when it comes to cooking delicious meals in the great outdoors.
Taking the time to consider your needs and preferences is all part of the preparation stage for a good camping trip. By choosing from our recommended list of camping cookware and dishes, you can ensure that your next camping trip is filled with savory meals, great memories, and unforgettable experiences.
So go ahead, gear up, and make the most out of your next camping adventure with the best camping cookware and dishes available.
We invite you to check out our article on the best small and large wood-burning backpacking stoves.