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Camp Cooking Gear

There is no greater place to relate to people than a campfire meal. Preparing, cooking, and eating together changes people's lives. That may sound like a radical notion, but we have seen people on the brink of self-harm, broken marriages, battling depression, and just having a plain old bad week reform their outlook and change their minds and hearts within an hour or two through some Godly fellowship preparing a meal.

It's such a common theme at our school, and we accept the naturally supernatural things that occur whenever we have a group of people here. There's a gospel ministry hidden in feeding people, and many fail to see it. But, in this blog, I'd like to talk about some of our most used camp cooking tools. These are tools we use every time we cook, and it's not because we have a shortage of other options; these items have just proven to be the best for us.

Camp Chef makes one of the most useful Discada/Fryer burner combos ever. This has been a staple at our school. Jamie Boggs introduced us to Discada cooking nearly a decade ago, and it immediately became a staple. Whether cooking camp fajitas or frying fish, you'll see this kit in regular rotation.

Deep Frying with the Camp Chef Discada Bundle

US Army M26 Utensils- It's impossible to find a better spoon! The Army hit it out of the park with the WWI-WWII and beyond utensil set- we use the forks and spoons regularly. I have dozens of sets ranging from 1916 to 1945, with maybe a few newer ones. These are available anywhere you find surplus and online. Don't forget the can opener!

WWII M26 Utensil Set

Camp Oven/ Dutch Oven - Appropriately, a Camp Oven has legs, whereas a Dutch Oven does not. We carry one of each to every class and typically fill one with BBQ and one with some meat and vegetables. Lodge and Camp Chef are our go-to brands. We have No. 12 and No. 16 in regular rotation, but we have them up to 5-gallon size.

#16 and #12 Dutch Ovens

Reflector Oven - my Pole & Paddle reflector oven was a gift from a fellow woodsman, and it always travels with my groups into the field. Its simple aluminum construction with grate has allowed us many loaves of fresh bread, pies, and other desserts while feeding hungry campers. They're not cheap but worth it in the long run.

Pole & Paddle Reflector Oven baking Pasties

Spatula- I use a wood spatula 90% of the time, regardless of what I cook. I stir, scoop, scrape, flip, and squash with it. Mine is hand-carved from a random wood block sitting around the campfire. I like wood spatulas because they're easy to clean- if something too nasty gets ingrained, I carve it off. I can sharpen it when needed and make a new one in a few minutes if I accidentally burn it.

Aluminum foil makes life so much easier. Sometimes, we forego pulling out the heavy gear and opt for lightweight foil wraps instead.

Hobo Meal/ Foil Wrap

Bushpot/ Cook Pot—these are indispensable! We use them for prep work, cleaning, boiling extra stuff, making sauces, etc. My cook kit always has two sizes.

Bushpot holding fresh fried biscuits for apple butter

Lastly, cleaning supplies and a cutting board. I usually carry a flexible plastic cutting board, but I will use a wooden board when it's handy or when I find a nice log. Cleaning rags, soap, sanitizer, a cast iron lid lifter, leather gloves, and trash bags. Paper towels are nice, but rags can be washed, boiled, and hung to dry when it's nice outside.

This pretty much rounds out my regular cooking kit for group camps. When I go it alone, I typically have a spoon and a Steel bottle with a cup. From one extreme to another, I guess! What do you carry when cooking for friends at camp that I don't? Sound off in the comments.

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As a food driven individual, and having experienced the Campcraft feasting and fellowship myself, those items make the campfire meal an experience to behold. The only item I didn't see mentioned was the massive coffee pot, and waiting for that first cup of cowboy coffee in the morning.

The 5 F's... Fire, Food, Feasting, Fellowship, Friendship!

As for myself, aside from not having a discada (which makes amazing meals), is that in winter I often carry a small portable propane/butane camp stove for times in places (State Parks/Forest) when you can't start a campfire, but need to boil or make a quick meal. I vary the smallest tanks when hunting/hiking or the 1lb propane tank when near the camp/ car.


Currently, I camp mostly alone. Canteen cookset for food. Plus, stainless steel bottle cup and spoon for coffee.

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