By Lynda Smith Hoggan

Many experienced campers keep a "camping box" ready to go.  A camping box need not be expensive.  Most of the following items such as cups, bowls, plates, and silverware can be purchased at your local thrift store.  The box itself can be anything large enough to conveniently store a collection of food preparation items such as a plastic bin, suitcase, or even a dedicated cupboard in an RV.  Remember that if you camp in bear country, you will want your camping box to fit inside a bear-proof storage container, along with your cooler, cosmetics, etc.  Be safety conscious and space conscious!

Here are some suggestions, but feel free to outfit your camping box to fit your needs.

Preparation items

  • Washable plates, flatware, cups – or paper/plastic if need be
  • Roll of sturdy paper towels
  • Roll of sturdy tinfoil
  • Small and large skillet
  • Small and large cooking pot
  • Coffeepot
  • Potholders
  • Spatula
  • Wooden spoon
  • Several sharp knives
  • Can opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Long-handled barbecue tools<
  • Waterproof matches, long matches
  • Long-handled lighter
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Baby wipes
  • Antiseptic hand cleaner
  • Plastic dishpan, biodegradable dish soap and sponge
  • Food Staples

  • Instant or perk coffee
  • Black and green teas
  • Packages of instant dry milk
  • Raw sugar in airtight container and/or stevia powder (a no-calorie herbal sweetener) and/or organic honey or molasses (in an ant-proof container)
  • Packages of cocoa (no trans fats)
  • Packages of oatmeal
  • Bottle of olive oil
  • Bottle of flavored vinegar
  • Oil spray for pans
  • Dried herb and spice selection to taste – e.g., salt and pepper, garlic powder, crushed red chili peppers, dried parsley, cinnamon, vanilla, etc.

  • Author’s bio: Lynda Smith Hoggan is a Professor of Public Health in the Biological Sciences Department at Mount San Antonio College, Walnut, California.