Consumer Guide To Camping Gear, Equipment And Accessories

When you go camping you dont have to be limited to hot dogs and marshmallows, unless you want to. With a few basics and a little preparation, you can cook like home.

For some the idea of a perfect vacation is the plushest hotel room money can buy, but there is nothing like the great outdoors to get away from the stress and rigors of the day-to-day grind. Some people think all that will be available for their getaway will be hot dogs and roasted marshmallows, and they are truly important, but you can also cook gourmet style if you so choose. Whether camping alone, with a partner, or as a group or family, there are basics to bring along, and a few extras to really make your commune with nature extra special.

Camp Stoves: "I won't need a camp stove because I plan on cooking everything over the campfire." Ah, famous last words from one who hasn't camped in the rain, had wet firewood, or been smoked out for various reasons.

Stoves come in many shapes and sizes, but are described according to the type of fuel that they use. The two most common and most practical are the propane stove and the white gas or dual fuel one. The white gas stoves will produce more heat of the two options, and if you have the duel fuel kind will also burn unleaded gasoline. They do, however, cost more to burn than propane.



Propane is my personal preference. It is cheaper and much easier to use. All you do is open a canister, screw it on, turn on the gas and light the burner with a match. Regardless of which one you decide to use, select a stove with at least two burners, unless you are backpacking and need to pack light. The double burners will give you more cooking versatility. You will be able to cook on these burners similar to on a gas stove at home, though the heat may not be as intense-so adjust your cooking times accordingly.

Additional Equipment and Accessories: You got the most important item, now what else do you need? Coolers are important for all perishable food. Select one that has a drainage spout so you can easily drain any water as your ice melts. You can also get ice packs that are all enclosed that wont damage anything with water. Cast iron cookware is the old standby for cooking on the campfire. Several cookbooks are available for "Dutch Oven Campfire Cooking". These books include recipes for cooking most everything imaginable, including a delicious apple crisp, over the campfire. If you do some research ahead of time, you will be sure to bring along all of the necessary ingredients for a delicious feast.

You can also use enameled cookware, available in the camping section of retail stores that is also usable on your camp stove. And don't forget tongs, spatulas, plates (whether paper or reusable), silverware (metal or plastic), trash bags, salt and pepper, something to wash your cookware with, and of course, sticks to cook your marshmallows with. Camping is always a learning experience, whether you go for adventure or relaxation. You learn about nature...you learn about what else to bring along, that you wish you would have this time...and most importantly, you learn a little about yourself-each and every time.

© Demand Media 2011