cooking at camp is a serious business. but have you got the right gear to guarantee full bellies and satisfied smiles? fear not fellow campers – the Cool Camping test team have been checking out the very latest gadgets to make sure your camping cookout goes off without a hitch.
Here are our recommendations for this year's best gear for cooking and dining at camp.
Dawson picnic table
No more balancing your plate on your lap with this nifty portable dining unit. Both stylish and ergonomic, this ingenious bamboo-topped folding picnic table seats 4, and is far more aesthetically pleasing than the standard bright-blue plastic versions you often see dotted around campsites. It's surprisingly compact and lightweight, but it's sturdy too, thanks to its strong aluminium frame. But it's that slick bamboo finish that sends this table straight to the top of the... er, table. perfect for adding a touch of civility to any campfire banquet. (Candelabra and starched white linen not included.)
Outwell Bamboo tableware
These chic new tableware sets from Outwell are made from colourful 100% bio-degradable bamboo, meaning they're both eco-friendly and easy-on-the-eye. They're available in sets for two or four people, each person getting a plate, bowl and coffee cup. They're also dishwasher safe. So that's extremely useful, then, if you're planning on taking your dishwasher with you on your next camping trip. One assumes it's also safe to wash them in a plastic bowl full of suspect grey water and potato peelings.
lifeventure folding cutlery set
Made from food grade stainless steel, this handy little set offers an environmentally friendly alternative to the molded plastic utensils or disposable cutlery of old. Complete with its own carry case, this triple set of knife, fork and spoon also has the handy addition of a bottle opener on the bottom of the handle. A great little buy for just a tenner.
Outwell Collaps Kettle
To the drenched and disheartened hiker, a steaming, hot cup of tea can lift the spirits like nothing else. But we all know how bulky kettles can be. Well, those clever folk at Outwell have created this ingenious collapsable kettle, a must for any campsite kitchen. The 1.5 litre kettle is made of heat-resistant silicone. Its stainless steel base ensures even heat distribution and boiling hot water every time. It's break resistant, easy to clean and opens and folds in seconds. Definitely our cup of tea.
Original Combi Somerset Fire Pit
Nothing says "cool camping" like toasting marshmallows over a roaring fire. But what to do when your friendly campsite owner doesn't allow campfires on the perfectly manicured grass? The solution is this fantastically versatile combi fire pit set. The Somerset Fire Pit includes a 400mm diameter x 145mm deep bowl made from 1.2mm thick mild steel. It is raised off the ground on its own stand, thus keeping Mr Friendly Campsite Owner (and his grass) happy, not to mention keeping all you campers warm and toasty. Stick a grill on top and, hey presto, you've got yourself a bbq!
For inspiration on campfire cooking and what to cook at camp, take a look inside the cool camping cookbook. This best-selling camping cookbook is full of innovative recipes for barbecue or burner; simple comfort food for a rainy day; delicious meals to cook over a roaring fire and squidgy sweet things to get stuck in your teeth.
Click here to order the Cool Camping Cookbook on Amazon.