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What camping/cooking gear is “must haveâ€

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:17 am
by RogHodge
I’m putting together my trailer now (well not RIGHT now) and thought it would be a good idea to begin accumulating some gear. This way I’m in no hurry and can wait for sales or Craig’s list or garage sale it or??? Some of you seem to be able to create a gourmet meal with next to nothing- like MacGyver. I know opinions this will vary considerably- which is part of the fun. Also I’m considering a minimal list since my tear will be quite small. I know that the least I could do is a loaf of bread a knife and some PB&J but I would like to step up a touch.

So- What is the minimum requirements/desired gear for a trailer. And then what is nice to have and add after taking care of the minimum?

Thanks and let the games begin!

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:54 am
by madjack
Rog, this is a can o' worms with as many answers as there are cooks but for us, we take and use most often a CI 10" chicken fryer(a 3" deep skillet), a 12" CI skillet, a medium and small sized, heavy duty sauce pot and a 10" CI smooth bottomed dutch oven...these will cover anything the wife and I want to cook over a stove...I will add a stock pot, anywhere from 3gal to 15gal depending on what kinda group cooking I may want to do...after that, the field is wide open, limited by only your tastes and skils and whether you want to deal with charcoal and cast iron, propane(my best friend) or electrical devices such as microwaves, toaster ovens, hot plates, electric skillets, etc...oh yeah, don't forget a coffee making device...we use both a 12cup blueware perc and an AeroPress...the list could be endless to the point of needing another trailer or a 1ton truck to haul all the cooking gear...the main question to eventually settle on, is what kind and amount of cooking do you wish to do................
madjack 8)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:59 am
by hugh
I,m first [whoops, slow typer, so 2nd] so I get the easy stuff. Small stove or 1 or 2 single burner propane stoves. They consist of a burner head and a flat plastic base that a typical 1 lb bottle fits in. Very compact. I use 1 to perc some coffee and the other holds one of those perforated tin plate things with the folding wires for burning toast :shock: . So items 3 and 4 would be some type of coffee maker and a camp toaster. A small kettle and a pot are also nice to have. Personal preference says stay away from aluminum cookware and go with stainless. A small plastic tote bin with either paper plates, cutlery, soap ,etc inside or real dishes. It doubles as a portable wash basin.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:23 am
by madjack
...other essential EZ-UP or other style screen room with a solid side kit for inclement weather...stoves...I use two, a small double burner propane stove and a larger 2 burner CI stove top...I run both, along with a propane lantern from a standard 20# tank with a distribution tree...this allows the lantern on top and with the appropriate hoses/adapter I can run either or both stoves...I can run both stoves off of 1# disposable bottles as well(if wanted)...since I don't use my galley for cooking, I have 2 portable tables, a roll up wooden(very heavy) 30x48 table and a folding(lightweight) plastic 30x6' table to set my "kitchen" upon...oh yeah...several ponchos for those really wet daze you occasionally get stuck out in................
madjack 8)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:29 am
by Eunice
Kenny gets upset with me because I take EVERYTHING! 2 canopies. I have a dutch oven stove, a 3burner cast iron Griswold stove, instant hot water with sinks. dining table and chairs plus lounge chairs, 3 ice chests......... I think we have a really nice set up and never do without...
It is easy to set up and take down. It is just a lot to pack but that is why I bought a new tow vehicle.
some friends just have a small stove and cook super light meals such as instant oatmeal. I love to dutch oven cook and make a big breakfast and dinner.
You will learn what you prefer and just how much you want to haul around with you.

Essential gear

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:45 am
by Alfred
Hey Rog!

I cook for my Wife and I, and three kids.

So obviously, I need a decent camp stove, and I like the 2-burner Coleman-fuel stoves, although they are a little bulkier than the propane stoves, in part due to the 'fun' of pumping 'em up, seems so old school, but also because I think they are more environmentally friendly without having to dispose of the little propane cylinders the other stoves use.

I take a large cast-iron frying pan, one sauce pan (for making the Kraft macaroni and cheese for the kids), large spatula, large spoon. I have a set of enameled camp dishes, plates/bowls/cups. Those plastic egg holders for your eggs and a decent ice chest. Make sure you bring the Seasoned Salt and Pepper, and Tobasco, for good cookin'. Plastic sandwich bags to keep stuff dry and matches. A good pocketknife and/or one of those folding multitools can come in handy, as well as hammer, pliers, adjustable wrench. A few clothespins and bungie cords have come in handy camping. One large good flashlight (like a maglite), and a few cheapie penlight LED AA-battery flashlights. Plastic-party tablecloth from the dollar store for the picnic table. Bringing along a folding table, if you have room, is handy, as well as a folding chair or two. Get two of those rubbermaid dishwashing containers, one for washin', one for rinsin'. An absolute necessity for us is the coffee percolator. 'Perked' camp coffee tastes better! Some boxes of Parmalot milk is good, because it is real milk, not dried, and doesn't have to be refrigerated until opened.

Of course, another 'must-have' is a good camp lantern. Get one that takes the same fuel as your stove (whether you choose propane or white gas) so that you are not having to cart around 2 different fuel types. The glow of a white gas or propane lantern is much warmer-looking than the glow of a battery light! Invest in a hard shell case for it, to hold the extra mantles and protect your glass globe.

If you are still tent camping (and if you are on this forum, I hope that unlike me, you are not) I find a tent fan is a must-have when it is warm out, to move the air around.

Personally, I like using a chuck box, but I know others do not or at least find them redundant to a galley. Good chuck box thread here:

Cheating, but I've found bringing along one or two of those artificial/paper fireplace logs can be helpful for starting a fire. Purists might not like it, but the kids do.

Oh, and personally, I don't leave home without the acoustic guitar, for strummin' and gentle pickin' around the campfire after supper.

I know I'm forgetting something, everytime I go camping I forget something. The Chuck Box helps with this.

Wife bought me a Dutch Oven recently, haven't used it yet, will report back on this, I know others love 'em. I have a cast iron griddle too, which might be redundant to the frying pan, but nice to have as an extra, if you have room.

Oh yeah - We just bought the Walmart version of the EZ-up canopy before our last camping trip. Since I've been camping for years without one, I didn't think of it as a necessity, but I will tell you, it made it nicer...Sweet Wife really liked having the canopy.

AL in Asheville :thumbsup:

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:12 pm
by len19070

Coffee Pot

#8 cast iron frying pan.

8 quart Pot

a Multi size Pot/fry pan lid

Dutch oven. (optional, If you plan your meals and don't need a Dutch oven...don't bring it.)

If your real cleaver get a lid for the dutch oven that fits the Fry pan, the Pot and the Dutch oven.

Extra points are given if you get a #8 "cast iron "Chicken fryer" with a lid.


Its a pot, fry pan and can be used as a dutch oven with a lid.....a 3 fer.

There's nothing you can't cook in these items.

Happy Trails


PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:01 pm
by rbeemer
Well Rog,

Here is my situation if that tells you anything....

My wife does not go camping....she moves outdoors for short periods of time :lol: :lol:

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:15 pm
rbeemer wrote:Well Rog,

Here is my situation if that tells you anything....

My wife does not go camping....she moves outdoors for short periods of time :lol: :lol:

:lol: :lol: Now that is funny!!!

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:20 pm
Rog, we have a list somewhere on this site that list what we all pack. (Don't look at Bob Henry's list cause I think he takes his entire kitchen.) :lol:

But Jack is right...we all take different things but basically the same thing...propane stove, coolers, lanterns, toilet get the idea. Let me find that thread and get back to you.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:59 pm
by TonyT

You are going about building in the right order. It is a lot easier to build your galley to match your equipment than it is to find equipment to match a finished galley. With a smaller trialer/galley, every inch will count so buying what you want now and building to match it will same you a lot of hair pulling and lost space in the end.

Good luck with your build, Tony

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:17 pm
by legojenn
TonyT wrote:Rog,

You are going about building in the right order. It is a lot easier to build your galley to match your equipment than it is to find equipment to match a finished galley. With a smaller trialer/galley, every inch will count so buying what you want now and building to match it will same you a lot of hair pulling and lost space in the end.

Good luck with your build, Tony

I'm learning that the hard way. I am in the process of replacing my Walmart and Canadian Tire-sourced camping equipment from my tent-camping days with equipment more suited to hikers from Mountain Equipment Co-op. I think REI is a store in the US that sells similar products.

I'd like to get my gear into two to four 10 gallon (37.9L) 24 x 16 x 8¾" Rubbermaid containers that can be carried on the TV or in the hatch under the dogs.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:52 pm
by hiker chick
The menu plan dictates the packing list.

Solo, all I need is a java press, JetBoil, a bowl, a few utensils, grill basket and a cooler with drinks, condiments, salad and meat.

With more, it just depends on what we want to eat and how we want to cook it. For super fast and light trips, we've eaten out at national park restaurants.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:00 pm
by Lawnjockey
Here are the basics:

Cast Iron frying pan

Dutch oven

Smaller "Dutch oven" w/o legs

Tea kettle

Maleta coffee maker w/ reuseable filter

DUAL FUEL lantern and stove, propane is for panzies and white gas gets expensive fast.

For utensils, coffee cups, etc, go to Salvation Army and load up.

Cabelas sells a heavy duty grill with folding legs. They are great, I keep one on my jeep roof rack at all times. Never know when you will have a BBQ emergency.

Tortillia press, available at most Mexican markets, just don't go in the meat dept or you will be scared for life.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:21 pm
by Juneaudave
Visa card :oops: