How to be a Camp Chef

| Words by Bryson Smith | Photos by Nick Walden

It's 5 PM on a Friday (or the day before the 4th of July), and you are ready to take off for the weekend. All that's left to do is pack up the car and hit the road, seems easy enough. But wait, where did you put the camp stove after your last trip? After a bit of rummaging, it appears, and you hit the road only to discover two hours into the drive that you didn't actually remember to put ice in your cooler. It's too late now to get some, but humans made do without refrigeration for most of history so it can't be too big a deal right? Tell that to the soft cheese you bought which is slowly turning from a solid into a liquid and dripping all over everything else in the cooler: Fondue, yum! Finally, you arrive at your destination, ready to cook some dinner and sleep out under the stars. Just need to fire up the stove, but where is that fuel? Looks like you left it at home. At least everyone seems really excited about dry oatmeal in the morning...

If you've ever had a relaxed weekend camping trip turn into a disaster because of a few missed details like the ones above, we can certainly empathize because we've been there too. However, after our share of mishaps, we've gotten our trip logistics dialed and have put together some tips so your weekend getaway doesn't turn into a trip to get away from as quickly as possible.

No trip runs smoothly on empty stomachs, so we've focused on the camp kitchen. Check out the video below to learn everything you need to be a Camp Chef and be prepared for a summer of fun.

Bryson's Favorite Camp Kitchen Gear

Tundra 45 by Yeti
I'm a big fan of this cooler. It's durable, it insulates well and holds plenty of food for a long weekend. The Tundra 45 also doubles as a chair or table in a pinch.

Adventure Full Kitchen Base Camp Cook Set by Stanley
This cook set by Stanley is the perfect catch-all for most cooking that you will want to do while camping, plus it includes a set of plates and bowls. It's cleverly designed to nest inside itself; making it very compact and packable.

Everest 2 Burner Camping Stove by Camp Chef
This stove by Camp Chef is a far cry above a lot of other camp stove options which seem to have just two heat options: simmer and full blast. The heat range on the Everest feels much closer to the gas burner you might have on a home range. It is also surprisingly compact, helping keep your car camping kit lightweight rather than cumbersome.

Luci Outdoor 2.0 by MPowerd
While not strictly for cooking, I find it much more challenging to cook in the dark and the Luci Outdoor 2.0 does a great job of lighting up the table so that I can see what I'm doing as I cook. Since it charges with an integrated solar panel, I don't have to worry about charging it up before the trip.

We hope you are prepared to get out there and chef it up this summer! Let us know your favorite camping recipes by shooting us a line at If you need some inspiration for recipes, check out all these great recipes from Camp Chef. There are even some specific ones for the upcoming 4th of July holiday here.

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