Hopefully you've already checked out our posts on choosing a tent and sleeping systems. We thought we'd continue the gear recommendations with our ultimate kitchen set up for car (or boat) camping. These are our favourite bits of kit which make our camping experience so much easier - some may seem slightly dull, but when you need them they don't feel dull - they give us less worry, better ease of set-up and an organised camp (Ridley loves an organised camp!) and more time to enjoy what we are there for - the adventuring!
Tuesday 16 May 2023
A cooler is pretty essential if you want to keep fresh food (and beers) cool on a multi-day camping trip. If you've been following us for a while you'll know we are massive Yeti fans. Whilst they are expensive, they really do live up to their reputation of being 'built for the wild' and performing exceptionally. Yes there are cheaper versions, but in our experience they can't keep stuff cool anywhere near as long as a Yeti. We considered powered versions like Dometic (which are highly rated), but quite often we are off grid, so they weren't the right solution for us.
We tend to use the Tundra 65 for longer camping trips for our family of four.
We also use a Roadie 20 for weekend trips, or for carrying food to the RV or cottages. Our version has now been replaced by the Roadie 24, which gets equally good reviews (including from Sarah's parents!).
For hiking or SUP'ing picnics we use the Backflip 24 which we love but has now been discontinued, as has the replacement version (stay tuned for a new release).
Don't skimp on the ice blocks either. We were totally unconvinced by the Yeti Ice originally, but after multiple comparison tests, the Yeti Ice really does win. It's so good that we've had melted ice cubes re-freeze on the Yeti Ice blocks!
The below image gives you a good idea of how many blocks are recommended for each cooler.
We've just recently purchased a new camp stove; after living with a single burner suitcase style stove for a very long time, it has finally given up the ghost! Our new stove is the Jetboil Genesis Basecamp System, it's a big upgrade in functionality, and seems like it's going to be great.
Knife Set - we have set of these knives from Starfrit. The protective covers are really helpful for keeping them safe while packed or while on the camping table and small people are around!
Cutlery Set - we have this set from Outwell, which comes in a handy carry case and also includes a small chopping board, dish cloths and the ever essential bottle opener!
Bowls / Plates - for our family of four we usually carry 8 bowls / plates, this means that if we don't get a chance to wash up after breakfast, we still have some plates for lunch or dinner. We find that the plates with a raised edge can be used either as plates or bowls, and pack smaller than a mixture of bowls and plates would.
Coffee Press - no camping trip is complete without a morning cup of coffee. This french press style coffee maker is made of a BPA-free shatter proof material.
Our campsite is never without some Yeti cups! We usually take a combination of the Lowball Ramblers and Wine Ramblers. The Lowballs have just been replaced with a stacking version, which will be much better for packing.
The wine version is great for wine obviously, but also a nice shape for a G&T or a campfire whisky!
We've had a variety of collapsible water carriers over the years but none of them have been very effective or lasted well enough to recommend. Last season we got a couple of the Yeti Gallon Jugs, and they have been great.
In order to have as minimal an impact on the environment as possible, we don't use standard washing up liquid while camping. These Camp Suds are biodegradable, can be used with cold water (or even sea water if you're really short), a few drops go a long way, and they can also be used as shampoo!
We use a collapsible bucket as a sink, and use silicone sponges (as they don't go mouldy and can be popped in the dishwasher for re-use). We generally pack a small packing cube with garbage bags, food waste bags, sponges and camp suds, and fire lighting tools, so that you can easily find them in your camp kitchen box.
We do have a collapsible table, and even a collapsible storage cupboard, but they don't often make it camping with us unless we can get the car right up to our camping pitch, we are staying for a long time, or we are using our big tent!
* Disclaimer this post contains affiliate links, which means we get a small referral fee if you follow the link, but it won't cost you any more. Everything on this list is actual equipment that we own and use regularly. We will never promote equipment that we haven't fully tried and tested ourselves.