Three gear picks to help you make great food in the woods
AVID CAMPERS KNOW PACKING SPACE IS precious, so it’s important to dial in the right cooking setup. Streamlining the campsite kitchen makes it easier to cook delicious meals when you’re spending multiple nights in the woods. But with dozens of different stoves and accessories on the market, it can be tough to choose the right stuff to raise your culinary game in the wild. BRO’s correspondent is here to help. She and her partner recently spent three months on the road and found three favorite gear picks to make cooking outdoors more enjoyable.
Photo: The Lodge 10” Cast Iron Skillet comes pre-seasoned.
Lodge 10” Cast Iron Skillet
Weight: 5.3 pounds
Cast iron pans have a lot of advantages in the backcountry; they can be used directly on fires, they require less liquid for cleaning, they heat food more evenly than competitive products, and they’re naturally nonstick, keeping cleanup relatively convenient while you’re in the backcountry. When you’re done cooking, just use a scraper or a Brillo pad to get the tough bits off before washing and seasoning your pan.
The extremely durable Lodge 10” Cast Iron Skillet comes pre-seasoned, so it’s ready to go upon purchase, and provides plenty of surface area for cooking for two people. It also has a dual handle design that’s comfortable while making meals. And it can easily be packed into a bag for storage. When used with the Camp Chef Everest 2 Stove, we found that it kept the stove balanced, making the whole setup even sturdier. We also never worried about damaging the pan because it’s extremely tough.
Photo: Camp Chef’s Sherpa Table can organize your cooking setup.
Camp Chef Sherpa Table & Organizer
Weight: 10.2 pounds
Unfolded Size: 27 x 17 x 28 inches
Campers need tables to be sturdy, tip-resistant, and extremely packable, but finding one with all those qualities can be a tall order. The Camp Chef Sherpa Table & Organizer comes with rubber feet that help it to stick to the ground, and it easily packs down to about the size of a lawn chair, allowing users to store many of the pieces inside of the organizer bag. I store my Camp Chef Sherpa Table & Organizer in my Yakima Skybox 18 rooftop carrier, and it takes up less than a third of the width of the box.
The Camp Chef Sherpa Table & Organizer is sturdy enough to support a heavy stove like the Camp Chef Everest 2, and it allows you to organize utensils in four protected compartments. We also love this table because it’s a perfect fit for the Everest Camp Stove 2. While many square tables are a few inches too short to accommodate our stove, this table is designed to support the entire Camp Chef Everest Stove. There isn’t a generous amount of space for slicing and dicing your food once the stove is mounted on the table. But, overall, it gives campers a convenient way to stay organized.
Camp Chef Everest 2 Stove
Weight: 12 pounds
Size: 13.5 x 23.5 x 4.25 inches
Simplicity is key while you’re on the road. If there are too many moving parts, it’s tough to stay organized going from campground to campground. The Chef Everest 2 Stove seeks to mitigate kitchen mishaps with its simple design and ergonomic functions. This propane stove is the centerpiece of the kitchen setup, and it only has three moving parts, which makes it extremely easy to set up and break down. To get started, just unclip the top of the stove, flair out the wind screens, and secure everything in place with those same clips. The stove grate easily slides into the placement holes at the back of the stove. And the gas line can be attached with a threaded knob, making it possible to start cooking in just minutes.
The Camp Chef Everest 2 Stove really distinguishes itself with its windproof design. We used this stove on several 30 mph nights, noticing a decrease in efficiency in fuel. But we never had to worry about the flames flickering or getting blown out. In the right conditions, this stove can boil a quart of water in 2.5 minutes. The Camp Chef Everest 2 is also bigger than standard camp stoves, which provides extra space for large pots and pans. It’s one of the best stoves on the market when it comes to versatility. The burners adjust easily to accommodate fast and efficient cooking, and the automatic ignition switch makes it simple to light the flames. The only thing we didn’t love about this stove is that it’s a bit longer than the average stove, which can make positioning it on a square table difficult.
Cover photo: After months living on the road, the author has figured out the ideal Campsite Cooking Setup. Photo courtesy of the Author