Ahh, the great outdoors. There's nothing like waking up to the smell of nature, a crackling fire, and a hot coffee to really start your day on the right foot. We love camping around these parts so when we started planning our summer excursions, we turned to our Stasher community to help us prepare like pros.
Naomi and Dustin of IrietoAurora are essentially professional campers (in addition to vanlife trailblazers) so of course we asked them to spill their favorite camping kitchen essentials we should all be adding to our kitchen boxes, STAT. Below are their recommendations for a stocked kitchen for easy meal-making.
What's In Your Camping Kitchen Box?
It’s been over a year since we adopted a plastic-free, low waste lifestyle. Honestly, our van kitchen has been one of the easiest places to make significant change in pursuit of a zero waste lifestyle. Our low waste kitchen essentials are multi-purpose and low-budget, which is ideal for a tiny kitchen where space is a premium.
- Mason Jars — This is a staple. We buy bulk food into them, store leftovers, ferment veggies, and they’re affordable. For us, mason jars are the ultimate zero waste method for any kitchen. We have them in just about every size you can think of.
- Stasher Bags — A game changer! These reusable, resealable food storage bags have taken our zero-waste game up many notches. We use them to store snacks on backcountry trips, leftovers in the van, and we buy bulk food items into them. It’s the best eco-alternative over plastic baggies.
- Beeswax or Vegan Wraps — We buy bread and cheese into them, wrap half an avocado to store in the fridge, take on the go sandwiches, the list goes on. We like to make them into basket shapes to forage for herbs and mushrooms. We even take them on adventures out hiking. I love how easy they are to clean and they’re compostable.
- Cloth Napkins — In an effort to "un-paper" our kitchen, we switched to cloth napkins. We reuse them until they’re dirty and throw them in wash. For cleaning up spills and wiping up around the kitchen, we tear up old t-shirts and we have reusable towels for drying dishes, so we’ve eliminated paper towels. Cheap, simple, and no waste.
What's Your Favorite Camping Cooking Gear?
Essentially, we’re always camping and one piece of gear that I use daily is my cast iron pan. I bought it at a secondhand shop and restored it. What I love most about this piece of kitchen gear, besides the fact that it’s safer than other types of cookware and relatively easy to maintain, is that it’s tough, durable, and adapts to different types of cooking. So I can sauté, broil, grill, stick it in a campfire or use it on the stovetop. It’s the only pan I need for life on the road.
What Does Your Dream Camping Kitchen Look Like?
My dream camping kitchen will include a full slide-out outdoor kitchen with a two burner refillable denatured alcohol stove, a deep sink, a large counter top cutting board, and plenty of storage for bulk foods and cooking gear.
What are some of your must-have camp cooking items? Share with us in the comments or even better — show us on Instagram using the #StasherBag hashtag. We may feature your tips and essentials in a future post!