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Your camping kitchen can make or break your camping trip, but what makes a great setup? Keep reading for our top tips for your camping kitchen to make sure you are fully prepared for your next outdoor adventure.

Shelter the Area

Even if you have extra space, it is not advised to cook inside tents. Not only is this a fire hazard, but it can also cause damage to your tent. It could also potentially be harmful to your health.

Most people opt to cover the area using a tarp or shelter to protect from the elements. If possible we also suggest setting up the kitchen in a place that is protected from the wind. You could also set up a wind break around the kitchen area to prevent interruptions during cooking. You can also use shelters and windbreaks as barriers around your camping kitchen to keep the area safe for children.

Photo Credit: Get Out With The Kids

Heating Options

There are a few different options when it comes to cooking your food while camping. The most common options are a gas stove, portable BBQ or fire. Compact and easy to use, gas stoves are usually the go-to for most campers. Ensure your stove is used on a flat surface and that there is sufficient space to store utensils and prepared food while you cook.

Similarly, a portable BBQ can be a great option for camp cooking. Depending on which model you choose some may come with their own stands, others need to be used on a table or bench.

For a truly authentic camp cooking experience, you can’t go past cooking straight over a camp fire. Before setting up a fire, be sure to check that fires are allowed where you are camping or if you can set up a fire pit off the ground.

It is best not to have the fire under any tarps or shelters. Keep in mind though, that campfire smoke can help keep bugs away, so don’t stray too far. If you do decide to use a camp fire to cook you will need a BBQ plate or grill that you can put over the fire. You can’t go past a good old-fashioned camp oven for a true-blue camp cooking experience too.

Keep Your Cool

One of the most important elements of your camping kitchen is how you are keeping your food fresh and drinks (namely beers) cold. An Esky or cooler is the most common way to keep everything cool while camping. Though if you don’t have easy access to more ice (or prefer to avoid a slushy at the bottom of the Esky) we suggest investing in a camping fridge. Camping fridges will involve a bit more of a setup as they will require a power source, (we suggest a Dual Battery System). In our opinion though, they are well worth it.


Having sufficient workspace is vital to any great camping kitchen setup. A table set aside for food preparation and cleaning, with a secondary table for meals is the best option. Make sure your tables are sturdy and well balanced. Having additional storage underneath is a bonus.

Organising Your Camping Kitchen

Proper organisation and storage of your camping kitchen equipment can be a huge help when it comes to food preparation and cooking while camping. Plastic storage containers, hanging shoe racks, table/desk organisers and benches with storage underneath are great options to keep things organised. Having your kitchen boxes organised and packed at all times makes it much easier to just grab and go on those last minute trips.

Photo Credit: Echoes of Laughter

Photo Credit: Sunny Simple Life

Bonus Tip: Collapsible washing tubs, colanders, bowls, cups etc. are a great space saving option. You can usually find these at most camping and homewares stores. 

Check out this great checklist from Travel Australia Planning Guide for everything you’ll need for your camping kitchen: Camping Kitchen Checklist

Want more tips on camping and caravanning? Check out our other blogs here.

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