How to Pack a Kitchen for Camping
Kitchen Area Tips and Tricks:
- Packing Dry Goods: Pack all of your dry food in sacks so it’s easy to pack and carry to the picnic table. (We do a lot of camping in bear country, so putting the food away at night is a must…and the sacks come in VERY handy.) I snagged mine at IKEA for $1.99 each, so if you’re close to one, go grab a couple of these and put it with your gear. Otherwise, any cloth grocery bag with handles work well.
- Packing Paper Goods: I also pack all of the paper goods I will need in one of these bags. It’s perfect for having next to the table. I typically will bring plates, bowls, napkins, PAPER TOWELS, and plastic utensils for all of our meals.
- Keeping Food Cold: Packing your cooler can be tricky if it’s hot outside or if you are going for more than a few days. I use an old gallon jug and fill it up with water and add a 1.2 cup of salt to the jug. Then pre-freeze your jug, set it in the middle of the cooler, and you’ll have a solid block of ice for your whole trip. I will grab one bag of ice to put on the top, but this is the only ice I pack with because the jug of ice keeps everything nice and cool! If you want to split the jug, use (2) half gallon jugs and add 1/4 cup of salt to each. *Make sure to leave room at the top of the container since the ice will expand as it freezes.
- Keeping Drinks Cold: Pre freeze the water bottles you will drink. Place them in a separate drink cooler and use them to cool off juice boxes and soda.
- Pre-make as much as possible. I always pre-make my Friday dinner at home so that I only have to reheat it when I’m setting up camp…this has saved me a LOT of time and frustration! Check out all of these freezer meal ideas that you could use!
- Washing Dishes: Wash dishes in a tote or wash basin. I use this and it works great to wash in one and rinse in the other!
- Planning the Menu: Make/take what they’ll eat. Will the kids eat sloppy joes at home? Make that! Do they skip on chili…leave that idea at home! While everything tastes better when you’re camping, chances are they’ll still skip over the things that they don’t like at home. I have gotten used to making a Dutch Oven pizza for Saturday night, and we ALL love it! Easy for me to do, the kids love it, and we’re all full afterwards!
- Ration Snacks: Pre-pack snacks for each day in a zip-lock baggy with their name on it. Saves time and energy of having to figure out rationing of food.
- Kitchen Utensil Tote: Have a tote of everything ready to go. I have a tote in the garage with everything I will need ready to go so that I’m not having to gather all of the cooking supplies I will need. You can gather this slowly (I’m always picking up old utensils at yard sales)! Some of the things that I have on hand in the tote are: Dish soap, hand sanitizer, cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, knives, serving utensils, pots & pans, and the list goes on! 🙂
- Get your menu ready! Here is a list of great camping recipes that we enjoy!
More tips and tricks for camping with kids….
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