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How to Set Up a Camp Kitchen

Learn how to set up a camp kitchen from Heather Menicucci, author of Let's Get Primitive: The Urban Girl's Guide to Camping, in this Howcast video.


I love cooking. It's my hobby. It's a thing I do when I'm not working and sleeping, or eating.

So camp cooking is challenging. First, probably the first thing you'll realize once you're cooking around the campfire is that there's nowhere to really do it. There's nowhere to prep your food. So what you want to do when you're setting up your kitchen, put some nice logs around the fire, like this one, and this will be a way for you to chop stuff. So chopping stuff like, chopping garlic, chopping vegetables, preparing even rice with water, all that stuff, there's no counter. So the counter is the thing you're going to probably miss the most, other than the stove.

So I like to set up a nice log and then I bring a lot of plastic, really hard, durable, not throw-away plastic plates, but just like outdoor plates. And these double as plates to eat on and cutting boards. So I sit next to the campfire, I've got my plate on my lap and I've got my knife, and that's where I do all my chopping and prep work.

The other thing you're going to need when you're setting up your kitchen, other than your fire, is a place to do your dishes. My favorite way to dishes when I'm camping is to use Dr. Bonners soap. It's edible, or you can brush your teeth with it.

It's totally safe to consume. So that's why I really like it. It can double for hands, it can double for toothpaste, and it can do your dishes. And I use peppermint. Peppermint is something that you don't mind putting on your body, and you also don't mind tasting.

What you want to do is set up a bucket, or bring a bucket with you, and that will be where you do your dishes. You fill it with water, put some of the Dr. Bonners in, and as soon as you're done eating or cooking, you throw them in there and then just make sure before you go to bed for the night that you do your dishes. And be sure to dump the waste water 200 feet from any streams.

Even though the cool thing about Dr. Bonners is that it's biodegradable, you still don't want to pollute the water with anything that is not normal, because animals are just not used to eating that stuff. They're not used to eating, you know, bits of pinto beans, or bits of egg, or cheese, or any of that stuff, and they're also not used to eating Dr. Bonners. So, you want to be good about where you dump your waste water.

The other thing about your kitchen is that you want to make sure that you're hanging your food. So, every time you need your food you'll take it down, but when you're not using it, your food should be hung, and your kitchen, your food, all that stuff should be at least 100 feet from your tent.

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