25 Camping Essentials for Food Lovers

Whether you're going backyard camping or camping in the woods, make sure you have everything you need for eating and sleeping well while doing it.

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May 17, 2021

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Whether you're camping in the backyard or headed out to the woods for some more serious hikes, you'll need the right gear. Use this packing list to make sure you have all the essential, most-affordable tools. You'll need essentials like a tent, sleeping bag and marshmallow sticks no matter where you're camping. And if you're heading out for a bigger camping trip, tools like a camping stove, cast iron skillets and LED-lit tools make cooking in the woods that much easier. Here are the list of essentials you'll want to enjoy the great outdoors no matter how far away from home you choose to go.


Whether you're camping in the woods or simply in your backyard, a weather-proof tent is a must-have. This tent has plenty of storage and enhanced ventilation. For backyard campers, there's even an easy-access point for an extension cord to reach your tent for charging your phones or radio.

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This affordable, best-selling sleeping bag comes in multiple sizes and colors so you can pick the perfect ones for your family.

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You could stuff 63 cans in this cooler, but odds are you'll want to make sure you leave a little space for your barbecue ingredients. It comes complete with a leak-resistant drain, so you can keep the ice and get rid of the water.

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Not all campsites come with a picnic table. This lightweight folding table allows you to bring your own workspace for cooking, cleaning and dining. The adjustable height makes it great for preparing a meal while standing or sitting down to eat with a group.

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A comfortable chair is a must-have for nights spent around the campfire. These chairs come with an attached cooler for cans of cold ones or just extra storage for s'mores essentials.

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If you time your dinners properly, you won't need a powerful headlamp. But try dicing an onion in the dark and see how many fingers you have left afterward.

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Skip searching for sticks and go with these extendable marshmallow sticks. They extend to 30 inches to keep hands safe from the campfire while perfectly roasting marshmallows for s'mores.

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Make sure you have enough water to last the whole day in this gallon-size water bottle. Pack one for each camper to keep everyone hydrated all day long.

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If you want to take your coffee on a morning hike, this travel mug is a must-have. It'll keep your coffee hot from start to finish.

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For hard core campers relying on a natural water supply, this personal water filter claims to ensure safe drinking water no matter where you end up on your hike.

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When it comes to cooking on an open fire, cast iron is a useful tool. Use a cast iron skillet to whip up breakfast, a Dutch oven to make campfire chili or a smaller skillet to bake a dessert.

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If you wanted a perfectly clear cup of coffee, you would have gone to Starbucks. This percolator can sit on a stove or over a campfire, and provides you with a rich, unpretentiously rough cup o' joe.

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While grilling over a campfire can be an exciting experience, it's not always easy to regulate the temperature. To prevent food poisoning while staying in a tent (not fun), use a grilling thermometer to make sure your meats are fully cooked.

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Keep hot potatoes at an arm's length (even when the sun goes down) with these big grilling tongs. They're made with LED lights attached, so you can see what your picking up or flipping no matter what time you're cooking.

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When grilling over an open fire, the worst feeling is losing your dinner to the ashes. Prevent drops and slips with a grilling basket.

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If you're planning to make campfire chili or lasagna, a super heat-safe Dutch oven is a must-have. This pre-seasoned cast iron Dutch oven is ideal for cooking over an open flame.

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With classic style and functional design, this must-have propane-powered camp stove protects your two burners and their precious flames from the elements.

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Pack dinnerware for the whole family with this set made for four. It comes with mugs, plates and bowls, and the enamel material means they're pretty unbreakable. Store them in your deck box in the summer for easy access on nights when you're grilling.

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These flatware sets come with all the essentials, plus multiple straws and a cleaner. Use this set camping or pack it in your bag and bring it along to the workplace or out to dinner with friends.

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Screw these into your gas camping grill and you'll be ready to boil, fry, toast and sear. Buy extras to ensure you won't run out of fuel mid-trip.

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Instead of lugging your expensive Weber gas grill into the wilderness, opt for a folding campfire grill. The culinary options are limitless— just place your pans on top of this grill and cook up a storm.

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For anyone not interesting in grilling over the campfire, a portable grill is ideal. This portable model from Coleman also comes in handy for tailgating come fall.

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This board is big enough to handle your basic cutting tasks, but small enough that it will still fit in your wash bin. The durable plastic requires no maintenance, and is perfect for outdoor use.

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This legendary soap is biodegradable and can be used to wash dishes, hands, hair, teeth, toes, automobiles and literally anything else imaginable. Just always remember to Dilute! Dilute! OK!

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While aluminum foil can be helpful for outdoor storage, it's also a great cooking tool. Use the heavy-duty stuff to wrap up your favorite ingredients, then place the foil packet near some hot coals to get cookin'.

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