Halloween is over. Thanksgiving is only a week away and, before we know it, it will be Christmas. What’s on your Santa List and have you been naughty or nice this year?!
When crafting my annual letter to Santa, I always try to include something that will improve my camping and/or outdoor cooking experience. Because I camp nearly every other weekend three seasons a year, I want to be as comfortable as possible. I also spend a lot of time in my camp kitchen and I want to make sure it’s in the best shape possible for my budget.
Now is a great time to assess your camping and camp cooking supplies and needs. Do you have tents, cots, or sleeping bags that are getting old and need to be replaced? Would you like to add a new Dutch oven to the mix? How’s your camp stove? Does it need to be replaced or upgraded? Do you need any new toys? Take stock of what you got and what you need. The holidays are when we tend to give ourselves permission to make those larger purchases. Now is a great time to up your camping and outdoor cooking game.
Recently, I’ve noticed that my back has begun to complain while bending and tending to my Dutch ovens that are usually sitting on the ground so I’m thinking of adding a Dutch oven table to my list this year.
Dutch oven tables are made of sturdy, durable steel and will support the weight of 2-4 Dutch ovens, depending on the size of your ovens. You place your coals directly on the table and then set your ovens on top of the coals. This raises your ovens to a comfortable height. I looked at Lodge, Cabela’s, and Camp Chef. They all offer a three-sided windbreak although height of the windbreak varies. They also feature adjustable legs for level cooking, and they collapse down for easy transport. There are subtle differences in overall dimensions, weight, and price.
I would love to upgrade my little propane camp stove to a large Camp Chef 2 or 3 burner stove. These durable, versatile stoves pack enough power in their 30,000 BTU burners to boil water and cook food lickety split! And, because they belong to Camp Chef’s 14” cooking system, you can get all kinds of accessories to go with them like flat-top griddles, BBQ grill boxes, and even pizza ovens.
It would also be nice to have a larger pop up canopy. When it rains, and it frequently does here in the Northwest, it’s very difficult to get my entire kitchen under the canopy and still have room to maneuver. It would be nice to have a 12×12 or a 15×15.
On the smaller scale, I’d like to have a collapsible dish drying rack to make clean up easier.
I need a new lantern or two for my cook shelter. I love the convenience and safety of a battery-powered lantern, but they just don’t put out the light like a propane-powered lantern, which is a little more delicate and higher maintenance.
I also think it would be fun to have a laser temperature gauge. When I’m teaching youth and talking about managing their heat, it would be nice to be able to actually show them just how hot their griddle or pan is compared to what it should be.
So what about you? Is any of your equipment old, worn out or broken, and need replacing? Are there any upgrades or improvements you can make? Now’s the time to get it on “The List.”
So, assess your camp kitchen and determine what you need to get cooking better or cooking more in the outdoors? And, if you come across anything good, let me know so I can get it added to my list!
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